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The Following

Mystery . Drama . Crime

Season One found Ryan dragged back into a world of horror, when the FBI reached out to him in the wake of Joe's escape from death row. Challenged with an ever-growing web of murders, Ryan and the FBI soon discovered they were up against not one killer, but a cult of killers directed by Joe, who appeared to die in a fiery explosion at season's end. As Season Two unfolded, Ryan, FBI Agent Mike Weston and Ryan's niece, NYPD officer Max Hardly led an off-the-books investigation into Joe's presumed death and the whereabouts of his cult's remaining members.

Status: Ended
TV Channel: FOX
  • Robert Bianco

    Some plot twists seem implausible at best, others are overdone or gratuitous. But some implausibility comes with the horror/suspense genre, and there's no question Williamson has mastered it--just as there's no question that the match of wills between the wounded Bacon and malevolent Purefoy is exceedingly well played.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    Both Bacon and Purefoy are so intensely earnest, The Following quickly supersedes its patent Silence of the Lambs setup.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Bacon, always a watchable actor, is the perfect, and necessary, counterbalance to Purefoy.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    If what you're looking for is a good scare that's cunningly and ruthlessly executed, be forewarned. The Following is the real deal.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    If you can make it through Monday's first episode of Fox's much-anticipated new suspense drama 'The Following,' you have some intense, but high-quality, television ahead.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    The pilot rivals anything you'll see at the cineplex in terms of acting, surprise, and suspense. You will go into each commercial break with your heart in your throat. But what really makes The Following more like a feature film than a primetime program is its extravagant, emphatic savagery.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    The plotting is intricate, the entire acting ensemble is first-rate.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    There's no pulling punches, and exec producer Kevin Williamson delivers a full-throttle ride that, four episodes in, proves twisty, unpredictable and tense.

    Variety Full Review
  • Curt Wagner

    [Purefoy's and Bacon's] performances--and scenes that focus on Carroll's killer minions that I won't talk about lest I spoil things for readers--are the strongest parts of the series and overshadow the weaknesses. Those include numerous plot holes and some sketchy logic, plus Williamson's annoying habit of beating us over the head with the Poe references.

    RedEye Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    The Following is as graphically violent, gruesomely gory and generally horrifying as anything on network TV and most anything on basic cable. But as crafted by Kevin Williamson, 'The Following' is also riveting.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Lori Rackl

    The story isn't brilliant or all that sophisticated, but the scripts are stocked with enough clever twists and turns to keep you guessing.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Tom Gliatto

    This provocatively, almost boisterously violent thriller bolts into action with a clever premise and sustains it with good, unexpected jolts. [28 Jan 2013, p.43]

    People Weekly Full Review
  • Liz Medendorp

    Referencing literary works and imitating horror films may seem derivative, but by drawing from the familiar, The Following obviates the need for extensive exposition and jumps right into the action.

    PopMatters Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    It's hardly a new story... But ... 'The Following' is tricked out with enough narrative and casting bling to warrant the huge push Fox has given it.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    Though dazzlingly plotted and acted, the show is not easily watched.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    The Following ... is one of the most disturbing procedural dramas on television, in its own way creepier than similar network shows and even cable series like "Dexter" or "Breaking Bad" or "The Walking Dead." It's hard to turn off and even harder to watch.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Tom Long

    [A] somewhat overheated but still fairly effective new thriller.

    The Detroit News Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    This is a genuinely scary and unsettling series.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Mike Lechevallier

    The series loses some of its drive by its dreary fourth episode, when a labored love triangle between Carroll's disciples mars the overall flow of the central arc. ... Until that point, though, The Following is mostly engaging, even if it never truly substantiates its antagonist's godlike stature in the eyes of his worshipers.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Bruce Miller

    Part Greek tragedy, part “Silence of the Lambs” offspring, The Following has an intriguing premise that almost rises above its layered plotting.

    Sioux City Journal Full Review
  • Sara Smith

    The Following, compelling and frustrating from its opening credits, sets viewers up for a season-long, blood-soaked rematch between an evil intellectual and his law-enforcement nemesis.

    Kansas City Star Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    I had hoped The Following' would be a more self-aware about its own violence... Instead, The Following simply goes for more generic thrills, using a lot of horror-story clichés including making the most virulent followers into boys and girls next door. It's a well put together show, so that the four episodes sent for preview flew by. But it doesn't invite bigger thoughts, which is what violent cable series such as "Dexter" and "Boardwalk Empire" have done at their best.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    Nothing in this pilot promises how fascinating the show will ultimately become, and unfortunately, the show is more efficient than truly good. ... The first four episodes contain no aesthetically pleasing shots or sequences, just tedious coverage of talk and action, and too many of its 'shocking' moments are dependent on visual/aural shortcuts. ... Nevertheless, The Following fascinates, thanks to soulful lead performances by Bacon and Justified's Natalie Zea (as Carroll's ex-wife) and the nervy way it develops and sustains its central flourish.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Troy Patterson

    When the show talks about crime literature, it's quite dull, but when it shows instead of tells, it's something to see.

    Slate Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    Williamson has crafted a pilot tense and frightening. But in the subsequent three episodes, The Following deteriorates into a serialized version of CBS' "Criminal Minds." ... After four episodes, this viewer was weary of seeing women terrorized.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    The Following is a bummer of significant proportions. Not that it's bad--it's not--but it's bleak, sordid, blood-spattered and creepy (though not necessarily always "creepy" in a good way, like "The Walking Dead").

    Newsday Full Review
  • Geoff Berkshire

    Anyone looking for soapy twists and turns, shocking violence and a fast-paced ride will get what they want from creator Kevin Williamson and crew, just don't expect the show to dig deep into its characters or give you much to think about in the process.

    Zap2it (Inside the Box) Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    Through the show's first four episodes, an unexpected love triangle develops among three of Carroll's devotees that's tinged with unexpected sexual politics and questions about sexual identity. It's the only aspect of 'The Following' that feels fresh. Too bad this plot only serves as a side dish; the main course is the same old reheated serial killer/crime solver hash.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Linda Stasi

    There are twists and turns a-plenty, and Bacon and Purefoy are so good they make up for the silliness - if not the gratuitous gore.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Nancy DeWolf Smith

    There is some suspense here, even if it is mainly because the violence when it comes is so swift and sickening. But the show still feels slack.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    Williamson may have put thought into what this show is about, but what comes across on screen is an empty exercise in fetishizing the charismatic evil of serial killers.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    Given that this show was created by "Scream" writer Kevin Williamson, there's the usual showy deconstruction of scary-story cliches, but that deconstruction just draws attention to how hollow this project is. ... Ultimately, my dislike for The Following has less to do with its gore factor than with its essential laziness, silliness and pretentiousness.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    The main problem with The Following, isn't that by the second episode, you get the template of Williamson's gotchas--that the most innocent-seeming characters are actually Carroll's minions--it's that the violence is so gratuitous, it actually ruins what could have been a very good psychological thriller.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    No matter how you slice it, you won't find a quality cable series hiding inside.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Despite its dour atmospherics and some attempts at higher-caliber acting from Kevin Bacon and a large ensemble cast, The Following is a trite, gratuitously violent exercise in still more stylishly imagined American horror stories. It is filled with melodramatic sleuthing that you've seen over and over. Enough is enough, isn't it?

    Washington Post Full Review

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  • self destruction

  • fbi

  • cult

  • serial killer

  • murder investigation

  • hideout

  • prison escape

  • pacemaker

  • prison

  • cult leader

  • bisexual male

  • bisexual man

  • child kidnapping

  • kidnapping

  • little boy

  • gay interest

  • gay

  • bisexual

  • murderer

  • reference to edgar allan poe

  • flashback

  • kidnapped boy

  • murder

  • violence

  • investigation

  • fbi agent

  • title at the end

Episode Guide For Show: The Following