Now that The Following’s first season has come to a close, it’s easier to look back on the entire series and realize that the shocking first weeks were considerably better than the later offerings. There were a lot of twists and turns—some predictable, some not—but in the end the show went in the completely wrong direction.
This week’s “The Final Chapter” was fitting for the series. It started off with an eerie, stomach-churning scene with Parker buried alive, but by the end of the episode I found myself begging for it to be over. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat and gasping at unbelievable revelations. I was sitting back hoping something great would happen.
The first half of the episode followed Hardy and Weston as they tracked down Parker. The psychological torment the audience felt as Parker lost control in the coffin was haunting, but by the time they find the agent dead you realize it was all for nothing. It was hard to buy Parker’s character. She was brought into the series a few episodes in and never carried a lot of weight. Her death didn’t hit me as much as Jacob’s did in the previous one.
Her death did provide Hardy with all of the clues he needed to be led to Carroll. Emma popped back into the show to knock Hardy out and deliver him, and then she disappeared again. I guess season two will have to include her in some capacity, but what would be the point?
The last quarter of the episode is filled with clichéd final confrontation moments between Carroll and Hardy. After 15 episodes, the two have one last standoff that includes Hardy dissing Edgar Allen Poe to get the upper hand on Carroll. Are you kidding me? All he had to do was trash-talk a serial killer’s favorite author to disarm him? It was the biggest letdown of the entire show—which is saying something because the series was littered with them.
Hardy and Carroll take their fistfight to a storage shed on the water that gets lit on fire, causing Carroll to burn to death before the structure blows up. It’s too much like the second season finale of Dexter and not at all satisfying.
At one point I thought that the only way this finale could be salvageable would be if we discovered that Claire was the original killer and pinned it all on her husband. I’m not entirely sure how that would have worked, but it would have been better than the actual ending:
It turns out Molly, the next-door neighbor that Hardy dated briefly, was in fact a follower, and she stabs both Hardy and Claire. It’s supposed to set up a cliffhanger, but clearly both have to survive. Presumably the next season is going to be about tracking down the remaining followers. However the real question is if we should care or not.