SPOILER ALERT: This blog post contains spoilers for The Following season 3 premiere “New Blood”.
If you’ve watched The Following from the beginning I’m sure you’ll continue to watch this season. The premise is pretty much the same. Ryan Hardy is out to seek some personal vengeance against some crazy killer or some crazy killer is out to seek personal vengeance against him. This season Joe Carroll is seemingly out of the picture, however they gave a quick mention about his upcoming execution. They might bring him back in but with the way things ended last season, I don’t know how they could. Joe lost his edge at the end of the first season and was less like the “Charles Manson” type manipulator he was and more like an opportunist trying to evade capture.
Season 2 came along with Lily Gray as the ring leader who exploits Joe’s image to justify her psychopathic tendencies, making Joe’s presence relevant. I can’t imagine this premise could possibly work for a second go around. Last season ended with Joe Carroll being caught (again), Lily and Luke Gray were killed, and Mark got away leaving him as the antagonist…? Hmm… Nope… that doesn’t work for me.
In “New Blood” a year has passed from the end of season 2 and starts with a happy scene, a wedding. The head FBI lady finds love and it’s her wedding. Hopefully her new wife won’t end up being a follower to some crazy serial killer. That premise definitely would not work a second time around. Ryan Hardy finds love again too, but with his history, you know he’s going to ruin it. A new character, Andrew, is introduced. At first he seems like he might be a crazy killer there to kill Ryan but then reveals himself as a grieving father of one of the cult members killed by Ryan. He makes his announcement by dousing Ryan (and the couple) with blood and accusing him of murder.
The wedding concluded with no further bloodshed (pun intended), no one killed… whew! Of course, Ryan is filled with so much guilt over everything he goes to visit the grieving Andrew but when he gets there, sees that it’s not the same guy from the wedding. So, he was a crazy killer after all. It makes sense now. Who would have blood readily available to play out a Carrie scene but a psychopathic killer? Now we’re getting somewhere.
On second thought, maybe not. The new “followers” turn out to be Mark’s. Innocent people are killed and are staged in scenes of our heroes’ “greatest hits”… according to the Gray family: the scene of Ryan killing the girlfriend, Max killing Luke, and Mike executing Lily. Mark is quite the crazed killer but he is no leader. With his family dead he’s so unhinged that it seems impossible that he can even organize his thoughts let alone a series of complicated murders. He copes with the death of his twin brother Luke by talking into mirrors as Luke. This multiple personality disorder thing might work to explain his ability to scheme, but the followers themselves seem more suited to be the “leaders”. I realize this is fiction but I just can’t get on board.
I like how they skipped through the relationship between Max and Mike. We all knew that wasn’t going to work out. I was rooting for them but after the way things ended last season with Mike committing the cold-blooded murder of Lily Gray, I just couldn’t see a way back for him, regardless of how deserving Lily’s death was. (Deserved: she killed his dad and sent him the video to watch). He’s going through the same turmoil Ryan went through, just without the drink.
Ryan’s girlfriend? Although beautiful, she may as well have “MEAT” written across her forehead because I see her being killed off very quickly. There needs to be continued tragedy for the show to work and Ryan Hardy just can’t be Ryan Hardy without continued tragedy. She’s gonna die! With everything that’s happening, I’m surprised he lets her out of his sight without a troop of armed bodyguards.
I’m a fan and I’ll continue to watch the show. Possibly more out of curiosity than anything. I just want to know how they’re going to play this one out. From what I’ve seen, the third season to any show will either make or break it. We’ll see for The Following.