James Purefoy

All posts tagged James Purefoy

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Three seasons ago the FOX network aired a limited episode series entitled “The Following,” a gory, yet intelligent cat-and-mouse game centering on two characters. The bad guy, a brilliant psychopathic college professor who also enjoyed serial killing, had escaped federal custody. The former FBI Agent, who put the killer behind bars, got contacted by the Bureau to help recapture him. However the former agent Ryan Hardy was far from the All-American-Boy, hiding demons from his boyhood within him. The serial killer Joe Carroll, realized that he and Hardy were far more alike than different and used that knowledge to get deep inside the agent’s head.

The first season of the series, hit all the right buttons, a gripping suspenseful and taut tale, which seemed to end with Carroll’s death in a fiery explosion, in the season finale. However the ending was not filled with sunshine and rainbows, Hardy and Carroll’s ex-wife now Hardy’s girlfriend, got stabbed by one of Joe’s followers, before the screen went black.

That is where the series should have ended, however ratings rather than logic drove the decision-making and The Following returned for a second season and surprise, Joe Carroll wasn’t dead. Turned out he got rescued from the shack, seconds before it exploded and was living down South. The first portion of that campaign was underwhelming, but when Joe Carroll once again took center stage, the season ended strongly.

Unfortunately, the network refused to read the writing on the wall, which clearly told them without Joe Carroll, you don’t have a series. So they brought the show back for a third season, in which Carroll was in a Virginia Correctional Facility, awaiting execution. Then they went and killed him with a third of the season left.

The FOX network announced that they have decided renewing The Following for a fourth season and have seemingly given up on the current campaign, as they are running the last four episodes in two-hour blocks. This has resulted in fans of the series literally watching the show stripped of every aspect of the show, that once made it so enjoyable.

Joe Carroll lives on, as we see him appear each time Hardy gives him into his demons, primarily drinking heavily. However Joe also encouraged Ryan to water-board his prisoner in an effort to extract information. This was after the prisoner and her brother, threw acid in the face of an FBI agent and subsequently killed him, while kidnapping another agent. The agent they killed, had accidentally killed a fellow agent last week when she realized he possessed a laptop, that should have been in the evidence room. The Agent Tom Reyes, kept the laptop to spy on his girlfriend Max Hardy.

Here is the scorecard for those who still care after episodes Twelve and Thirteen aired on Monday night. Besides the death of Reyes, Hardy killed Penny the sister of Theo Noble. Just after telling Max Hardy she’s the love of his life, Agent Mike Weston received multiple stab wounds in his back, from Mark Gray. Gray died seconds later as he attempted to kill Max, but Mike shot him to death. It appears that Weston’s on life-support, from the brief clip of him they showed in the previews for the final two episodes.

Theo and Daisy escaped from the theater where they attempted to set up Hardy’s death. Noble’s told Daisy she had her chance to escape, now he’ll let her go when he’s ready. Hardy’s estranged-girlfriend Gwen, told Ryan that he’s going to become a father and if he wants to be part of his child’s life, he needs to get his act together. He attends an AA meeting at the end of the episode and it appears that Joe’s spirit, respects his move and has left him.

Some shows stay on the air too long and that’s the case with The Following, which actually should have stuck with being a one-time event.

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Even in death Joe Carroll gains another victory over Ryan Hardy. The FOX series “The  Following,” finally ended the game of cat and mouse that’s taken place between the psychotic serial-killer and the FBI Agent, committed to ending Carroll’s killings. However Hardy would not find himself rid of the disease that he stated the murderer infected him with, in an earlier episode, with Carroll’s execution. He instead realized more than ever the symbiotic relationship the pair shared, as Carroll forced Ryan to admit that Joe was indeed, the most important relationship in his life.

Carroll refused to go quietly into the night, staging one last escapade that cost at least two guards at the Virginia Correctional Facility to lose their lives. Joe used the sunglasses he stole from prison guard Gary Benson, in the previous episode, to take out the guards. He then locked the door of the facility, taking three hostages, including his attorney and the Governor of Virginia’s Chief Of Staff. He then informed the powers that be, that unless Hardy arrived at the prison within two-hours, he’d start killing his hostages.

Joe once again focuses the spotlight on himself, thus putting this season’s “Big Bad,” Theo Noble on a back burner, although he’d still figure into the episode. The first time we see him is in some junkie crash-pad, as he picks up a young woman from a mattress on the floor. The guy she’s sleeping with, objects and pulls a knife, he doesn’t put up much of a fight, before Theo kills him with his own knife.

The young woman’s Penny, Theo’s younger sister and the only person he has true feelings for. He’s kept them alive he says by being forceful and taking control, which he intends to do by taking down Hardy. He also shows Penny, Arthur Strauss’ codebook, it turns out Theo’s looking for a person that can get him his anonymity back. Penny says he better, as if they catch him she’ll soon be caught as well.

Ryan, Max and Mike fly down to the prison, Hardy gives up all his weapons, as he knows Joe will search him. Max tells her uncle that if he can kill Carroll, he needs to do it. He tells them if anything happens for them to take care of each other. He places a call to Gwen, to let her know he’s going in with Carroll. She says she needs to tell him something, he tells her to save it for later. He hangs up, so she doesn’t get to tell him she’s carrying his child.

Hardy arrives at the door of the room Joe’s holed up in, Carroll makes him remove his jacket and shirt, to prove he’s not carrying a weapon. Joe tells him to put on the handcuffs that are on the floor and cuff his hands behind his back. Ryan says he’ll do that if Carroll releases the hostages, Joe tells him he’s got no leverage. Hardy picks up his shirt and jacket and says have fun with the SWAT Team. Carroll agrees to release the doctor, Hardy puts on the cuffs and changes places with the doctor. Joe then jolts Ryan twice with the Taser unit he took from a guard, he says if Hardy accepted the invite to the execution, none of this would be necessary.

Ryan comes to a short time later as Joe’s now has a wire noose around the agent’s neck. He hoists him up from the floor with the noose, then tells him that Ryan will tell Carroll that their relationships the most important in his life, or the two hostages will start losing limbs. He then lets them both out of their nooses, then has the Governor’s Chief Of Staff tie the female attorney to the examining table.

The commander of the SWAT Team tells Mike and Max, that they’re being directed to break down the door to the room Joe’s taken the hostages in. Mike says that Ryan needs time to be able to negotiate with Carroll and to insure the hostages safety. He’s told that Hardy’s got ten minutes to work his magic.

Ryan tries to convince Joe that he’s nothing like him, that he’s tried to stop him. Carroll says that during that time he tried to stop him, he became Joe. He says Hardy’s his loyalist follower, that nobody else has the passion for Carroll that Ryan has. The agent tries to refute his point, but Joe loses patience and starts to go at the lawyer’s jaw with the scalpel he’s purloined.

Hardy screams for him to stop, then he tells Joe that he’s in Ryan’s dreams. Carroll asks what role he plays in the dreams, after threatening to cut the attorney again, Hardy says they’re friends in the dreams, they drink together and Joe teaches him how to kill.

Joe steps away from the examining table, he takes the wire from around Hardy’s neck. He asks the agent what he thinks the dreams mean? Ryan responds that Joe messed up his head, Joe says the dreams are telling him they are the same. He then asks Hardy the feeling he gets when he pulls the trigger, Ryan’s eyes tear up as he says satisfaction. He then admits that he is the same as Carroll, Joe takes off the handcuffs. After Hardy slugs Carroll in the gut, Joe offers his wrists to put the cuffs on him.

Right at that moment Theo hacks into the prison’s computer network, he tells Penny he can control everything, unlock any cell or close the place down. Just then Hardy Carroll and the two hostages leave the room, Penny releases the locks on all the cells on Death Row. Theo asks what she’s doing, she says she’s saving him from himself.

Hardy tries holding off the convicts with the Taser unit, but there are too  many and he’s soon overpowered. One of the convicts grabs Joe, four start kicking and beating on Hardy. Two more take the woman out to their yard and are about to have their way with her. Hardy somehow subdues all the inmates attacking him, then he saves the attorney.

He sees the convict strangling Carroll to death, he stands and stares realizing this guy could soon drain the life from Joe’s body. But he goes after the convict, whose far bigger than Hardy and soon he’s choking the agent. Carroll kicks the dude in the back and Hardy knocks him out.

When he’s reached safety he calls Gwen, he tells her he has to see things through at this point and will stay until Joe’s executed. A while later he goes to Carroll’s cell and asks him why. Joe tells him that Ryan’s his true legacy, once he admitted they were brothers, Carroll was ready for death. Ryan tells him they’re not delaying the execution, they will come for him in a few minutes.

This time the silence is deafening, nobody speaks until Joe’s asked if he has any last words. He says a quote from The Raven, Nevermore. They raise the window and some of his victim’s family members are in attendance along with Ryan. They start to pump the lethal toxins into Carroll’s body, his breathing becomes rapid and his face starts contorting and he has body seizures. He looks around helplessly, seemingly looking to say something but the words don’t come. His breathing starts to slow down, his eyes begin to glaze, he flat-lines on the monitor. The attending physician feels for a pulse, the warden announces the time of death as 12:11 am.

Hardy stops at a bar after he leaves the prison. He orders to shots of whiskey, the girl behind the bar pours the two shots, then says whoop it up. He pushes one of the shots to the next stool, then raises his glass and says here’s to you. Joe says no here’s to us, then Ryan realizes Joe’s just an apparition. He asks for another shot after he guzzles the first one.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.

Photo Courtesy Of Giovani Ruffino/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Giovani Ruffino/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

When it comes right down to it, everything in the life of FBI Agent Ryan Hardy, revolves around his nemesis Joe Carroll in every aspect of the FOX series “The Following,” even with Carroll just 36-hours away from getting executed via lethal injection. He affects the way Hardy interacts with friends and lovers, he’s even taken to haunting Ryan’s dreams, as he did at the start of the latest episode, “Kill The Messenger.”

Our first image of the hour’s Hardy asleep with his girlfriend Gwen in his apartment, when a hooded figure breaks in and makes his way to the bedroom. Hardy opens his eyes, puts his fingers in front of his lips for the intruder to be quiet, the man pulls off his hood, revealing he’s Joe and he’s holding a knife. Ryan whispers, how are we going to do this and Carroll hands him the knife. He wakes up on the couch, Gwen coming out from the bedroom hearing him screaming in his sleep. The TV’s on with a documentary on Carroll’s crimes, she tells Ryan to come to bed, he shuts off the set.

Theo breaks into an office complex, turns out it’s the office of Arthur Strauss’ aide Julia Barnes. He’s looking for something, and ransacks her office trying to find it. He finally finds it under the wallpaper, it’s a codebook, which he grabs and starts to leave, when a security guard tells him to stop. Theo slices the guy’s neck open with what appears to be a wire.

We see him entering a home in Hoboken, New Jersey, dragging a suitcase, he’s sporting a mustache and sunglasses and the housekeeper, who greets him as Mr. Salman, says she didn’t expect him to arrive home this day. He gives her a hug and apologizes, saying he should have called, then asks where Penny’s at. The housekeeper says she’s been gone for several days, then she says she’ll let him get settled. As soon as she leaves he jumps on his laptop.

Ryan’s driving her to the hospital the next morning, when a police cruiser pulls him over, make him exit his car and lie down on the street when they see his service revolver. Turns out Theo Noble’s dedicated to turning Hardy’s life into a living Hell, through his hacking skills. The NYPD computer showed the car as reported stolen, with a man behind the wheel, matching his description, identified as armed and dangerous. Just the first of a bunch of tricks Theo pulls on Ryan.

They drive a little further and a car rams them at a four-way intersection. He gets out of the car to check things out and Noble’s on the other end asking if anyone got hurt? Ryan tells him that he may have won this round but he’s one man and Hardy’s got tons of agents looking to take down Noble. Theo responds all the agents Hardy has won’t be enough to keep him safe. Theo calls on a burner phone, if he’s sloppy enough to use the phone again they can get where the signal emanates from.

Theo decides he needs a new partner to complete his next task, he settles on a man from Virginia named Gary Benson, who got denied being admitted to the Rangers, due to flunking the his Captain’s evaluation. Theo decides to use that to his advantage and finds the guy at a gun range, they start talking and have some beers and when Benson gets drunk, he starts blaming the Captain for ruining his life. He says he lost his wife and his home all because of this guy named Robert Tubbs. Theo convinces Benson to take them to Tubbs house and they’ll scare him real good.

We’re in a strip-club in Atlantic City and our old friend Daisy’s a waitress there, some guy asks why she isn’t a dancer there, as she’s far prettier than the rest of the girls. She says she’s too shy for all the eyeballs, he asks her what about just two, then gives her a hundred-dollar bill and tells him he’s got a beach house up the road. She takes the money and says she loves the ocean.

Joe Carroll’s brought in to meet with his court appointed attorney, to inform him of the procedure on his day of execution. As she tells him about his final day, he sees the newspaper headline sticking out of her briefcase and he recognizes the photograph of Theo Noble.

He flashes back to Winslow University as he’s talking to some coeds about Poe, when suddenly Theo asks Carroll if Poe could have killed his brother, that he’s said to have grieved so for. Carroll says there’s no evidence pointing in that direction, Theo says perhaps Poe was smart, he stayed under the water and didn’t make waves. That was Arthur Strauss’ first rule for any of his students, Joe asks Theo his name and he says he’s late to class. As Joe returns to the present, his lawyer asks if he has any last requests, he asks that a message get sent to Ryan Hardy saying he’s got information on the man Hardy’s searching for.

Daisy heads to the beach house and starts making out with the guy when she tells him to be gentle. He stops and slows down and she calls him Kyle, he says his name’s Walt, she asks if she minds if she calls him Kyle and he says call me what ever you want. But he gets too rough again, so Daisy stabs in the neck with a knife. Then she starts to cry and takes off the black wig she was wearing. Suddenly she sees someone outside the plate-glass doors, it’s Mark Gray who screams boo then shatters the doors. She tries to run from him but he catches her, she calls him Mark, he replies Mark drowned he’s Luke.

He’s about to kill her when she shows him the feed of the cameras still set up in Max Hardy’s apartment. She says this way he can track Mike Weston’s movements and finally kill him and avenge the death of his mother, who Weston executed last season. He lets her live.

Benson and Noble break into Robert Tubbs home wearing ski masks, they knock him out then tie him to a chair. When he wakes up, Theo pulls off Gary’s mask, telling him that Tubbs needs to pay for what he did to Benson. Gary punches his former commanding officer in the gut, Theo asks if that felt good and Gary screams yes, Noble shoots him and says that should feel even better.

Benson pukes up in the sink, Theo tells him that he scouted him out and chose him because he’s special. Gary asks if he means like Neo in The Matrix and Theo says, yes you’re the one Gary. Benson left his ski mask in the house Theo goes to grab it and Gary calls his ex-wife Linda on the burner phone. He tells her she’ll be sorry she left him.

Turns out Gary’s a guard at the prison Joe’s kept in. Theo sought out Benson, to use to communicate with Carroll, he wants to know if Joe knows the code to Strauss’ book of numbers. Theo’s telling Gary what to say and listening to Joe’s responses through the prison’s surveillance system. He tells Joe if he gives him the code, he’ll make sure his name lives on after he’s executed and deaths will still be credited to Carroll long after he’s gone.

They get the hit from the burner phone, they track the call going to Linda Benson, she says it was her ex-husband Gary that called, the Bureau soon alerts the facility about Gary Benson. Joe starts asking Theo questions about Hardy and asks if he has a new woman in his life. Noble tells him that he’s dating an attractive doctor named Gwen. Suddenly an alarm sounds, the prison’s alerted to what Benson’s doing, Joe sees a pair of sunglasses in the guard’s pocket. As Benson starts to panic, Carroll strangles him to death, taking the sunglasses, without detection.

Hardy heads to the prison and asks Joe what Theo wanted from him, Joe says Ryan’s not acting like his friend. Hardy explodes, saying they’re not friends, he’s killed Carroll’s followers and soon Joe will die because of him. Carroll says they should chat about Hardy’s new girlfriend Gwen, he says he hears she’s quite the looker and a doctor. Ryan loses it and starts choking Joe, until the guards pull him off, Carroll’s delighted to see such passion from Hardy and tells him to admit that Joe’s the most important relationship in his life. Hardy says he’s a disease and when he’s executed Ryan will get cured.

He head back to the apartment, he thinks he’s alone and Gwen’s left him so he starts to pour himself a drink, he hears Gwen and panics, dropping the glass. He tells her he’s fine, then tells her he went to see Carroll, he thought it was the right move but he was wrong. He tells her he loves her, she’s looking at a positive home-pregnancy test in the bathroom and breaks down crying.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.

Photo Courtesy Of Giovani Ruffino/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Ryan Hardy’s trying to fool the world into believing he’s got it together, but viewers of the FOX series “The Following,” realize the FBI agent’s far too close to a complete mental collapse and perhaps losing his grip on reality. His fragile condition caused him to  hallucinate, in the middle of trying to find a suspect, in the latest episode entitled “Flesh & Blood.” Hardy thought he saw his nemesis Joe Carroll, who in reality was in a Virginia Correctional Facility, awaiting his execution. He also caused friction with his girlfriend Gwen, by acting badly in a situation, that could affect her career.

The  Bureau finally identified the serial killer they’ve chased for the last few episodes, but once again allowed Theo Noble to escape apprehension and they were too slow to stop his latest round of murders. Gina Valdez got reinstated by the Bureau, then resigned, joined Hardy to help him with his search, then quit again, she said for the final time, saying the job takes your soul.

We open with Theo in a grocery store, wheeling a shopping-cart while talking with his wife Cindy, apologizing for running late due to a meeting. He asks if the kids are asleep and she responds she tucked them in an hour before. He says he’s trying to get cupcakes for his kid’s school activity, but he’s actually picking up bleach and rubber gloves. He tells Cindy this store doesn’t have gluten-free snacks so he’ll try another store. In reality, he’s about to grind up the founder of Nanitech Tucker Myers into ground beef in the store’s butcher department.

Nick Donovan’s telling his agents to be on the lookout for Myers, who he believes is their suspect. Hardy tells him he’s chasing a ghost and more innocent people will die. Donovan clears the room except for he and Hardy, says he thought he made it clear that if Hardy wasn’t on board to get off the case, then he says that’s why Valdez is retiring. She’s in her office packing her belongings.

Ryan attempts to convince her to stay, she said she joined the bureau to save lives, lately it seems they lose more than they save. Hardy tries giving her the we’ve done a lot of good speech, then he tells her he’ll help her unpack if she decides to stay.

We head to death row and find Carroll’s in a chair with a pair of handcuffs on when a female doctor and a guard come to talk with him. She asks if he knows why he’s there, he says unpaid parking tickets then says he killed lots of people. We see him trying to slip handcuffs, as she asks him what’s his mood at the moment, he replies hopeful. We hear a scream, Carroll’s gotten free of the cuffs. He kills the doctor and two guards, then kills a third with an ink-pen to the throat. He’s disguised as a guard goes outside, a car pulls up to rescue him and Hardy screams get in.

He comes back to reality and excuses himself for his mind wandering, his real psychiatrist, Dr. Sachs says he asked how’s it feel knowing Joe’s about to die? Carroll’s face grows a bit paler, but other than that shows no reaction to the doctor’s question.

Theo and Cindy are putting groceries in their car in the supermarket parking lot, she asks if he’ll attend their son’s playoff games, he says he’d like to, but work’s crazy. We see she’s got some distrust as she asks how his trip to Philadelphia went, he tells her it was fine, then corrects her and says he was in Boston. Just then Cindy’s friend Nancy drives up, Theo asks if it’s too late for him to run.

Nancy starts questioning Theo, he says he’s going to start-up the car and asks her to remind her husband Bob he still has his shovel. Nancy then asks Cindy, how Theo responded to her trick question, Cindy says perhaps she’s just imagining things, but her friend tells her to trust her instincts.

Max figures out on the net that the actual killer at Nanitech’s Sam Lewis, an intern she talked to when she was the company. They find his address and Hardy and Mike Weston go check out the house. Theo’s alerted by alarms he’s got placed that they found his other house, he monitors the agents via cameras in the house. He’s got C-4 explosives under a kick plate, Weston triggers the explosion but Hardy saves them by pushing them both into the tub.

In addition to trying to kill the two FBI agents, he erased Sam Lewis’ identity from all the national data bases, so they no longer have a picture of him. Donovan grudgingly admits Hardy was right all along and tells Max to sit down with a sketch artist. Gina tells Ryan she’ll come back until they catch his suspect.

Carroll’s in the prison yard in a tiny cage when Sachs comes to talk with him. He tells Joe that since he declined to choose his method of death, the state’s chosen to execute him via lethal injection. He’s then told that Ryan Hardy declined the invitation to attend the execution, and leaves. Carroll scowls and paces the short length of his cage, when the doctor’s gone.

They identify the man who vouched to the FBI for Sam Lewis, he’s named Elden Witt and he’s an attorney. Gina, Mike and Ryan head to the house, Valdez secured a search warrant, they kick down the front door of the empty home. They find a door hidden under a rug to the basement, there they find a bunch of severed ears hanging from the ceiling and eventually a corpse, padlocked to a chair with the top of his skull gone.

Gina realizes Witt’s returned home, he knocks her down and runs to his car, Hardy smashes the driver window and pulls the killer from the car. They then take him to the Bureau office, where Witt exclaims his excitement at getting caught by Hardy. He says his name will live forever.

Hardy wants him to identify Sam Lewis, Witt refuses saying Hardy’s got nothing to offer him to induce him to put himself in that danger. But Ryan plays on the fame compulsion, saying he’ll tell the media he’s the most heinous killer since Carroll. He tells Hardy he’s got a flash drive from Lewis and tells him where it’s hidden.

Theo throws Cindy a surprise birthday party at their house with all their friends in attendance. She’s overjoyed at the surprise and with her husband. Nancy and her husband Bob are in attendance and Nancy starts asking about Theo’s Boston trip. She says that Bob’s friend from college works at the company he went to, he says he never met the guy, but Nancy says the guy’s coming for a visit in a couple of weeks and he and Theo can share stories.

When they get home, Nancy starts ripping on Theo to Bob, saying he’s lying to Cindy, then she says he got so nervous when she mentioned Bob’s fictional friend, her husband didn’t attend college. She quickly becomes silent as they realize Theo’s in their room, he kills her first, then makes it appear Bob killed himself. The police arrive at the Noble’s the next morning, informing Cindy and Theo that Bob and Nancy are dead, apparently Bob killed Nancy and then himself. Cindy falls to pieces.

Theo attempts to manipulate info on Bob and Nancy, but trips up and uses the same code he used to infiltrate the Bureau’s server. Max picks up on the code and starts scouring Bob and Nancy’s Facebook page, she recognizes Lewis’ profile, with his face hidden in a picture next to Cindy. They find out her identity through the DMV, Theo’s alerted. He starts to break down, then suddenly turns into steel. He then tells Cindy and the kids nobody’s leaving the house that night.

Cindy’s tied up on their bed asking what Theo did with the kids, he tells her not to worry then injects a syringe into her neck. She loses consciousness and he kisses her forehead, saying his gift to her is dying without pain. When Hardy, Valdez and Max arrive, Theo’s gone, Cindy’s dead and the kids are unconscious but still alive. An ambulance is called and it appears the two kids will pull through.

Ryan’s cellphone rings and Theo’s on the other end, Hardy says his days are numbered, that he’s going to put Noble away. Theo tells Hardy he’s the guy who’ll tear Ryan’s future apart, piece by piece.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

There are rumors floating on the Internet, that FOX may decline renewing, their third-year series “The Following,” a point, I wouldn’t argue, as the entire series seems to feel tired, in this go round. That includes, the writers, directors and actors, who got to stretch out a great one-season premise, into two seasons and seem lost in season three. Although the debut of Michael Ealy as Arthur Strauss’ best student ever, Theo and the return of Joe Carroll, brought back a buzz to the show in the previous episode, the latest episode seemed stuck in neutral for 54-minutes.

The episode starts off on the road at night as a vehicle drives through the fog, containing a male and female Federal Marshall and serial killer Duncan Banks. Banks got captured in the previous episode after killing folks for almost 20-years, without getting caught. Banks, another of Strauss students, hid Arthur and Daisy in his father’s old hunting cabin, until Theo choked Strauss to death using a cord, nearly severing the Doctor’s head. Theo allowed Daisy her freedom, then went home to his adoring wife and kids.

The Marshalls GPS system advises them to take an alternate route, but it’ actually being manipulated by computer genius Theo. He gets the car lost deep in the woods, then shuts down the vehicle’s computers, causing the car to lose all power. The male agent looks under the hood as their radios are to far out to transmit, we see a figure in the woods, quickly realizing it’s Theo. After a while the female officer leaves the car and she’s Theo’s second victim of the night. He asks Banks if he knows who he is and Duncan says he does, but he has no information on him, name, e-mail address. Theo asks if he wants to live and Duncan can’t say yes fast enough, he’s told if he helps the man that’s freed him from a police car he’ll live.

We head to the Virginia Correctional Facility, where Joe Carroll sits on death-row, Ryan Hardy’s there to find out any info that Carroll may have on Strauss’ greatest student. Joe says it’s him of course, but Hardy tells him that Strauss didn’t approve of Carroll’s tactics, making himself a celebrity. Joe then says that Strauss purposely isolated his students from each other, so they’d all rely on Strauss. The Assistant Warden of the prison enters the room, telling Joe he’ll die in exactly, one week, his choice of lethal injection or electric chair. Carroll says that dampens the mood.

Ryan arrives at the Federal Marshall’s vehicle and Hardy’s convinced that Strauss’ killer rescued Banks. Federal Marshall Scott Turner, who’s not been on this season, shows up at the scene to investigate what happened to his people. Mike Weston says then Duncan lied, when he said he didn’t know the name of Arthur’s killer. Ryan responds he believes the guy they’re looking for found Duncan and they were strangers, when he killed the Marshalls.

With Gina Valdez on suspension from the Bureau, Hardy’s old nemesis Nick Donovan’s now in charge of the office. He says he’s not there to fight with Ryan, just to restore order to an office that lacks it completely. They got a lead on the guy that Theo used to make passports and other ID for Strauss, unfortunately, Theo and Duncan are heading there as well.

The suspect Louis Cera’s (played by Manny Montana, Johnny on Graceland) beating his bud’s behinds in cards, he exits while he’s still hot. He pushes the elevator button, but it’s slow so he takes the stairs. Theo and Duncan enter the apartment and ask where Louis’ at? One of the guys says at your Mama’s and Theo cuts the guy’s hand off, then he repeats the question.

Per usual, Weston and Hardy arrive too late, as all three roommates got sliced to death, Theo and Duncan are already back in their car looking for Cera. Somehow, this pair never seems to take any responsibility for not being as sharp as the bad guys that they’re chasing.

Max is back with the Task-Force, on restricted duty, another female agent tells her that her sleuthing on the web paid off, they found the company that all the e-mails emanate from, a firm called Nanitech, nearby. Max and the other Agent, Habib are told to go their and check the companies records.

Theo’s spotted Louis on the street, but suddenly receives a text message. He tells Duncan a side-projects come up and he needs Duncan to catch Louis. He says he’s trusting Duncan, because Banks’ knows  what will happen to him if he messes up.

Max and Agent Habib, arrive at Nanotech and the company’s CEO Tucker Myers, assures them he will give them everything they need. Suddenly one of the intern’s Kent, feels a tap on his shoulder, from another intern Sam who wasn’t supposed to be there that week, but explains a project needed his attention. Sam’s in reality Theo, this was the side project he needed to take care of, pin all the blame on one of the company’s executives, Peter Collins.

Duncan follows Louis to his girlfriend’s house, Louis brings flowers, she embraces him and shuts the door. We then see that Ryan and Mike just got the girlfriend’s address, we know what happens next. Suddenly the girlfriend looks up from kissing Cera, sees the TV and says that’s your building, it’s a news report on the murders of his friends and saying authorities are looking for him.

He tells his girlfriend they have to leave immediately, when he hears a noise downstairs. He grabs his pistol and searches the house for an intruder, but returns to the room finding nobody. He then sees his girlfriend’s sliced to death on her bed, Duncan then knocks Cera out. Mike and Ryan show up while the body’s still warm.

Theo’s planted all the evidence on Collin’s computer-terminal, Agent Habib takes him back to the bureau. Max tells Myers to send everybody home, the office’s a crime scene. Kent however stays behind, saying that he and Collins are lovers and they spent the day before at a bed-and-breakfast. He then helps Max search for who put the info on Collins terminal.

Duncan takes Cera to the warehouse where Louis produces his phony documents, he beats on him until Cera reveals where his backup discs are hidden. Banks burns them and is about to shoot Louis, when he gets a call from Theo, saying he needs Cera to do one more thing before Banks kills him.

Kent’s discovered that someone hacked into Collins’ hard-drive two weeks earlier, he’s about to get the person’s identity, when the server goes down. He heads to the server room to fix the problem and Theo stabs him to death. Max after a while realizes something’s wrong, she goes to the server room looking for the intern. Just when she finds his dead body, all the power goes out, she grabs her flashlight, weapon and cellphone and calls for backup. Theo’s just about to stab Max when the other agents enter the building, Theo escapes.

Ryan and Mike find out where Cera’s being held, the FBI SWAT Team join them, raid the warehouse and get Cera. Hardy goes after Banks, but Duncan surprises Ryan and fires a shotgun shell at Hardy’s chest, Ryan falls on his back. Banks goes to check out his condition, his vest took the brunt of the shot, he kicks Banks then fires two point-blank shots killing him. They find a passport that Duncan was having Cera produce, it’s got Hunter Myers photo on it. Coincidentally Theo’s sitting in Myer’s home with a pistol in his hand when Myers gets home.

Hardy’s told by Nick to investigate Myers, Ryan says his gut tells him, the CEO’s not behind this. His supervisor says the FBI uses hard evidence not gut-feels, as their parameters. He tells Hardy to check into Myers or he’ll assign another agent the case.

The final scene’s Hardy at a pool table, ripping Nick about how he’s handling the case. Joe Carroll’s at his side at the table wearing civilian clothes and they share a bottle of whiskey. Carroll tells Hardy, they don’t appreciate him or his skills, he says Hardy’s the best agent on the Bureau. Then he says however when all others desert you, who’ll have your back, Hardy smiles and says you. Hardy says that’s right, you and me against the world. Hardy wakes up in bed next to Gwen.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX. 

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Just when it looked like the chances of saving season three of the FOX series “The Following,” were between slim and none, the show shook up the dynamic radically, bringing back a fan favorite, in addition to introducing this campaign’s “True Big Bad.” The moves resulted in the good-guys finally winning a couple of rounds, as well as for a more taut and exciting episode, by far the finest of the season. Part of that involved addition by subtraction, finally getting rid of the psychopathic Mark Gray, at least for a while, but the breakthroughs the Bureau made on the case, added to the excitement.

As the previous episode concluded, FBI Agent Ryan Hardy, broke his vow to himself and went and visited serial killer Joe Carroll, whose awaiting execution in a Federal Prison, Carroll greeting him asking, what took him so long? The two longtime adversaries have a twisted relationship, knowing each other as well as they know themselves, both obsessed with finding out exactly what makes the other tick. Carroll can hit Hardy in spots that nobody else realizes exist, while Ryan used his knowledge of Carroll to stop he and his followers killing spree, three separate times.

Carroll show his powers of observation, stayed razor-sharp as he tells Hardy he looks well, he’s stayed on the wagon, back full-time with the FBI and it looks like Ryan’s in love. Hardy feels his buttons getting pushed and almost leaves, but Joe calms him down and asks what he wants, Ryan tells him they’re looking for Carroll’s mentor, Dr. Arthur Strauss. Turns out that although Carroll’s Strauss’ most famous protégé, he’s just one of many that Strauss trained to become highly skilled serial killers. We’ve already met Daisy, Kyle and Andrew this season, in this episode we meet another couple of his students.

Joe asks Hardy, what’s in it for him if he assists the FBI and Ryan asks him what he wants? Carroll says he’s resigned himself to his predicament, but he fears Ryan’s unprepared and Hardy asks him what he means? Joe says, don’t forget Ryan, when I die, you die and Hardy laughs the threat off. Carroll then says I miss “Us,” the banter, the laughter, the crying, if I help you, I want you to visit me every day until D-Day.

Hardy says that if Joe gives him some valuable information, he’ll return. Carroll then says that Strauss has contacted a former student that he trusts and that he and Daisy are hiding with them. Ryan has to find a connection Straus has in the nearby area. As Hardy leaves the facility, his body rebels against the emotion he’s suppressing and he vomits in a toilet on the first floor.

Hardy’s next stop’s at the hospital, to visit his niece Max, who got whacked from behind by Daisy with a wooden-plank in the previous episode, to rescue Strauss, she looks pale and weak when he enters. Soon after, Max’s boyfriend Tom, comes in to take her back to her apartment. Tom’s been monitoring Max’s movements, with Daisy’s laptop, that gets a feed from cameras she and Kyle set up in her apartment.

We get our first glimpse of the show’s new “Big Bad,” in the following scene, Michael Ealy whom you may remember as the android Dorian, in the former FOX series “Almost Human,” starring Karl Urban. Dorian’s benign manner and friendly personality, are nowhere to be found as his new character Theo, whom Strauss describes as “his best student.” Theo sporting long dreads, takes out Strauss’ trial lawyer with an acetylene torch.

Back at the Bureau Office, Ryan, Mike and Max had their suspensions revoked, but Bureau Chief Gina Valdez took the fall, serving an indefinite suspension, until she’s questioned by superiors, leaving Hardy in charge. He has his agents scour the area for missing person reports in the last 5-10 years and an analyst, says that six missing persons on the list, were last scene in Beacon, New York. Hardy and Weston take a trip to Beacon to check things out.

There are certain character actors on Television, that when you see their faces, you’ve got a preconceived notion, of what the character they’re portraying will act like. Michael Gaston, who played Beacon Sheriff Windsor, typically plays dicey upper-management characters, so I assumed that the Sheriff was a Strauss operative, when Mike and Ryan got to town, but he turned out to play things by the rules. However there were members of the community, that were far from what they seemed, as we found out.

Windsor and one of his officers, Hillary Banks meet with Hardy and Weston and the sheriff says they should’ve called and saved themselves a trip, Strauss and Daisy aren’t in his town. Ryan says they’re checking on missing persons reports and ask the pair if they recognize any of the six photos they brought with them. Banks says the picture of a young blonde woman, could be the Jane Doe, whose remains they found in the swamps a couple of weeks earlier. She volunteers to take the pair to the spot they recovered the body.

When they get to the area, Hillary mentions she returned home after discovering the Jane Doe, soaked to the bone, saying it rained hard that day. Hardy asks if the area’s prone to flooding and Banks says it is, which makes Ryan think that bodies could be buried in the higher ground and the rain dislodged the corpse, sending it down to the swamp. They find out Ryan’s theory’s correct as they find nine sets of remains, buried within the last 10-15 years.

Theo’s dreads are just a wig, we find out when he takes it off and gets into his car. He soon receives a text message, asking is it done? We then flashback 13-years according to the graphic, we see a nerdy looking guy talking on his cellphone and working on his computer. He says to the person on the other end, he hates that office and he should run it, then says he’s going to get some sleep. Suddenly he hears his stereo blaring from the living room, he leaves his bedroom to shut it off, then realizes he’s got a visitor, sitting on his sofa, wearing a clown-mask and a hood. The man in the mask tells the nerdy guy Patrick, not to be scared, they’ve chatted on-line for months.

Patrick realizes it’s a guy who uses the screen-name Karl-1988, whose in reality Theo. He tells Patrick, not to worry he’ll still get the glory, then as Patrick tries to run, he tackles him and ties his hand behind his back with a zip-tie. He then goes to fulfill Patrick’s plan, killing all four employees of the insurance office, Patrick referenced in his phone call, but he gets stabbed before he can kill all four employees.

He sneaks into a hospital and hides in a supply closet, when the door opens and a much younger Dr. Arthur Strauss, with a full head of dark hair walks in. Theo aims his pistol at Strauss, who tells him he’s there to help him, as he believes fate brought them together. He tells Theo he’s aware that he murdered the people at the insurance office, then says they share the same compulsion to kill. He tells Theo he’ll hide him, but the younger man says he has to finish first. He then comes back to the present, sends a yes response to the text, then gets told to drive to Beacon.

Hillary takes Ryan and Mike back to her Uncle Duncan’s café, he raised her as her parents died when she was a child. Suddenly a waitress named Margo, comes over to the table and says to Hillary the murderer’s Sheriff Windsor’s son Justin. Duncan says he doesn’t pay Margo to gossip, but Ryan and Mike ask Hillary to take the to where Justin lives.

Justin’s up to no-good, but it’s making crystal-meth at his shack in the middle of the woods. Windsor arrives and asks his son if he’s involved in the murders and the teen swears to his father he knows nothing about them. Windsor says his son’s got problems, but he knows when he’s lying and Justin’s telling the truth, then he arrests his son for the crystal-meth lab he owns and operates.

Daisy and Strauss are hiding out in a cabin, with Daisy certain that Strauss’ student abandoned them, but he soon arrives. It’s Duncan Banks’ who tells them there’s trouble as Hardy and the FBI are in town, it turns out that Banks’ murdered all the victims as well. Strauss tells him to calm down, there’s no way they can trace the victims to him, but Duncan says he killed before he met Strauss and that body’s buried with the rest.

Weston and Hardy get told that the first victim’s Hannah Banks, Duncan’s wife and the agents realize that he’s behind all the murders. They head into the café, with Hillary behind the counter, standing next to Duncan. Banks sees that both agents are about to reach for their service revolvers, he grabs Hillary around the neck and sticks a knife to her throat, saying if he can’t escape, he’ll slit his pretty niece’s neck. Hillary’s holding a cup of coffee and throws it in Duncan’s face, allowing her to get free and Ryan to knock Duncan out.

Windsor arrives, soon after Banks admits he killed Hillary’s parent, because her mother was a squealer, the officer punches her uncle in the gut, making him double-over in pain. Windsor tells Hardy and Weston, his father and Duncan’s used to hunt together and they used a cabin, which would make for a great hideout and says he’ll take them there.

Theo starts walking to the cabin and he once again flashes back 13-years earlier, as he and Strauss are back in Patrick’s apartment, for Theo to kill him and set him up as the murderer. He puts his hand over Patrick’s and has him pull the trigger of a pistol aimed at his chin, which sprays his brains on the curtain behind him. Strauss’ filled with glee tells Theo that he’s ambitious, but to avoid his moment in the spotlight, like a shark he should always stay under the water. Theo thanks him and tells him he’ll repay him one day, he returns to the present, knocks on the cabin door and Strauss says thanks for coming.

However Strauss doesn’t stay happy for long as Theo strangles him to death with a wire, nearly severing his head from his body. When Windsor, Mike and Ryan arrive they find Arthur’s corpse, but Theo and Daisy have escaped. We see Daisy by herself, hitching a ride. Theo heads home, where we find out he’s got a knockout wife and a beautiful boy and girl, oblivious to what he does.

Mike and Ryan tell Duncan that Strauss got murdered and show him a picture of the corpse and Duncan asks if Daisy did it, but she lacks the upper body strength to have done it. Banks says it must be Strauss’ best student, but that’s all the info he has on the guy.

Hardy arrives back to visit Carroll in the final scene and Joe remarks that Ryan kept his word. Hardy then asks Joe whose Strauss’ best student, then the scene fades to black.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 9:00pm on FOX.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The thought occurred to me while watching episodes four and five, of the third season of the FOX series “The Following,” that perhaps the series show-runners, consider their creation a very dark comedy, how else do they explain, the total ineptitude displayed by FBI Agent Ryan Hardy and his crew, consisting of his niece Max Hardy and Agent Mike Weston. During two straight hours of chasing down four psychopaths and a paralegal enabler, helping Dr. Arthur Strauss, they killed just one, allowed Strauss to get his trial dismissed, then missed numerous chances to capture Strauss, his student Daisy, as well as Mark Gray.

It appears that starting next week, the show’s going to radically alter it’s story-arc, finally introducing this campaign’s “Big Bad,” another student of Strauss, who also tutored serial-killer Joe Carroll. However, even infusing new blood into the series and the last-minute cameo of James Purefoy as Joe Carroll in hour two, isn’t enough to give this series back its credibility. The crew crossed the line in the second season and that hanging over their heads seems to stymie them at every turn. Right now the three agents, are covering up the unjustified shooting of Lily Gray last season by Weston, after one of her sons, slit his father’s throat on a cellphone video to Mike. Until that cloud lifts, they’ll remain ineffective, especially with the three beginning their suspensions in the next episode.

If you’re looking for a series that gives you about the same amount of deaths per-episode as your typical slasher-film, then the current version of the Following might qualify as the series for you. Once again deaths caused by damaged individuals, who take life so lightly was high in these two hours. If you want to view a parade of sick and twisted souls, who only feel alive, while killing others, again this fits the bill.

However, the brilliant game of cat and mouse played between Purefoy and series star Kevin Bacon in season one and at certain times in the second sign, are missing this time around. We’ve seen a disjointed effort of two insane men, one getting used without realizing and the Bureau failing to respond in time to any crisis. They’ve lost a colleague in Jeffrey Clarke in the second episode, two TV news-reporters last week and Hardy’s former girlfriend and key witness in the trial against Strauss, Carrie Cook in the first hour. When will the FBI actually do something right and how can the people of that universe, have any confidence in the Bureau?

These episodes don’t warrant a formal recap, so here’s a thumbnail-sketch of what went on, during 86-minutes of actual air-time, Mark Gray, Daisy and Kyle killed four firemen at the station that Max’s father and Ryan’s brother Raymond commanded before he died. Daisy and Kyle pushed a college student in front of a moving car, then tried to push his girlfriend off her dorm-room roof, to make it appear as a suicide. In one of the few good moves of the night for Hardy and company, they saved the girl, the daughter of the judge, whose trying the Arthur Strauss case the next day.

Strauss’ lawyer discredits Hardy so badly on the witness-stand, a previously slam-dunk case of guilty, now very much in doubt, leaning heavily on the testimony of TV magazine-show host Carrie Cook. Kyle and Carrie kidnap Cook, then roast her alive in their panel-van, the judge already dismissed the case, when Cook failed to appear by the deadline. Strauss, walks free and Ryan, Max and Weston get suspended the following morning.

They shoot Kyle to death, however Strauss and Daisy escape via helicopter. Weston’s about to shoot Mark Gray to death, when Ryan talks him out of it. He says if you kill him now his suffering ends, if he goes to prison he’ll suffer every day for the rest of his life. Weston puts the gun down and Gray jumps into the New York Harbor, and we will see him again. Max got beaten by Daisy with a plank, but she’ll be okay, we don’t know if her relationship with Tom’s okay after she had sex with Mike and Tom saw it on Daisy’s laptop. Ryan finally breaks down and visits Joe Carroll, who smiles and asks what took him so long?

There are scenes that Hardy and crew look so inept, I almost expect to hear the WAAH-WAAH of a trombone at the end of the scene, as if I were watching the Keystone Cops. This is certainly not the show that I enjoyed in the first campaign, or that came together in the latter half of season two. Strauss and his new student look intriguing, but the Bureau has yet to prove they’re up to the task at hand.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night, at 9:00 pm on FOX.