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TV Review: The Following 3.4 “Home” & 3.5 “A Hostile Witness”
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The Following Shawn Ashmore Kevin Bacon

The Following
Season 3 Episode 4: “Home” and Episode 5 “A Hostile Witness”
Created by Kevin Williamson
Written by Liz Sczudlo (3.4) and Michael McGrale (3.5)
Starring Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore, Sam Underwood, Valerie Cruz, Jessica Stroup, and Michael Irby
FOX
Air Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2015, 8:00pm

A two-hour dose of the weekly insanity, The Following starts with Kyle (Hunter Parrish) and Daisy (Ruth Kearney) “accidentally” shoving an innocent guy into moving traffic. Last week we learned of some kind of higher evil than Mark. Mark (Sam Underwood) is left a shell of himself as his plans to foil Ryan Hardy and the agents who killed his family keep blowing up in his face. He’s gone from diabolical maniac to sad-faced tag-a-long in just four episodes. It’s a tribute to Underwood’s acting prowess that Mark remains this compelling.

Keeping with the theme of this season, Mark and crew are making Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and his partners; Mike (Shawn Ashmore) and niece Max (Jessica Stroup) regret killing the Gray family by publicly shaming them. A vicious firehouse slaughter leaves a blood-speckled message, “Heroes Die while you Lie.” Before the heat can come pouring down on them, the FBI learns of Kyle and Daisy’s Ohio home and blows up their spot, while simultaneously coming close to catching Mark at his brownstone. The cat and mouse aspect to the show is better this season as the FBI seems to be smartening up to the old tricks. Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) was a psychotic villain, but with an overall sense of heightened intelligence. This year’s villains seem like chickens without heads most of the time. Until that is we find out that Joe’s teacher Dr. Arthur Strauss (Gregg Henry) may be pulling the strings as his trial nears.

We pick up hour 2 with Hardy meeting Strauss on his prison bus on the way to his trial. Gregg Henry is a great character actor whose IMDb resume lists well over 100 credits. However, he misses the flair and presence that Purefoy brings as Joe Carroll. A show like The Following could only be initially successful with a strong lead villain capable of being both horrible and hypnotizing, and THAT was Purefoy to a tee. Despite Hardy’s claims that Strauss is the “father of all serial killers,” I’m not buying into it yet.

Mark’s losing a grip and becoming more and more paranoid. He follows his followers and begins to unravel their plan for himself. As the courthouse drama unfolds, Kyle and Daisy take care of the loose ends, like murdering star witness Carrie Cook (Sprague Grayden) who was Hardy’s Season 2 love interest. Soon Mark learns the truth and he in turn goes after Strauss.

As usual every time the bad guys appear easy pickings, the crack FBI squad on The Following somehow let’s everyone get away! But that’s okay, because there’s a silver lining. In order to stop Strauss, Hardy must do the one thing he swore he wouldn’t… visit Joe Carroll. To quote Joe, “What took you so long?”

As we delve into next week’s previews, it appears Strauss has a legion of psychos at his beckon and call including a crazy looking guy in a clown mask. Great. I just got over Twisty from American Horror Story: Freakshow. The Following returns next Monday night at its original time, 9:00 EST on FOX.

Video

The Following 3×04 “Home” / 3×05 “A Hostile Witness” Promo


The Following 3×04 “Home” / 3×05 “A Hostile Witness” Promo (HD) The Following 3×04 “Home & 3×05 “A Hostile Witness” – As Mark, Kyle (guest star Hunter Parrish) and Daisy (guest star Ruth Kearney) plan to make a personal attack on Ryan, the FBI receives a tip leading them to a secret location, which gives them a leg up in the case. Then, on the day of an important trial, things go awry, causing the FBI to split up to hunt down a missing person. With his team breaking apart, Ryan enlists the help of a former enemy to defeat a greater one in the all-new, special two-hour ‘Home/A Hostile Witness’ episode of THE FOLLOWING airing Monday, March 23rd on FOX.

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