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TV Review: The Following 3.9 “Kill The Messenger”
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The Following Kill The Messenger

The Following
Season 3 Episode 9: “Kill The Messenger”
Created by Kevin Williamson
Directed by David S. Tuttman
Written by Barry O’Brien
Starring Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore, Sam Underwood, Valerie Cruz, Jessica Stroup, Michael Ealy
Air Date: Monday, April 20th, 2015, 9:00pm

Before we get to the review of The Following 3.9 “Kill The Messenger,” here’s a quick recap of last week: THEO IS F@%KING NUTS!!! Sorry, but yeah, it’s true. Michael Ealy‘s portrayal of Theo reached epic proportions last week when his identity was discovered after murdering his wife’s best friend and framing her husband. His response was to “deal” with the situation and that included murdering his wife and leaving his kids to die. Kids saved, Theo put Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) on notice – come after him, and his loved ones will be next…”piece by piece.”

Theo is already making good on his promise to make Ryan’s life hell. Pulled over at gunpoint because you stole your own car? Check. A car accident thanks to traffic light mix up? No problem. Get girlfriend Gwen (Zuleikha Robinson) in trouble at work? Child’s play. For a psychotic cyber genius like Theo, these are easy tasks. Gwen has been doubting Ryan for weeks now. Loud outbursts, nightmares of Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), and now invasions to their privacy are wearing her down and the writing seems on the wall for another Ryan Hardy opportunity to live happy. If only he can last till Joe’s execution…

Remember Daisy and Mark Gray??? She’s serving drinks in AC and when she kills an aggressive customer at his beach house, who’s waiting for her… Mark! This was a great scene because we’ve been trained by both horror movies and thriller shows like this to expect visions and jump scares, but HOLY CRAP it IS Mark. He chases her through the house and reveals “Mark drowned, I’m Luke.” Sam Underwood was missed the last few episodes as they gave Theo a chance to develop on his own. Now that Luke is in control of Mark, only good things can happen. A promise to help Mark/Luke kill Mike (Shawn Ashmore) is all that keeps her alive.

Meanwhile, Theo is recruiting. Under one of his disguises he meets and connects with a former US Army ranger recruit Gary Benson (Evan Hall). He convinces Gary to get revenge on a former colonel and aides in the execution. The connection is made clear when Gary shows up to his job; Joe Carroll’s newest death-row guard… “Tell Joe Theo says ‘Hello.'” Have I mentioned how damn creepy Michael Ealy is? If this season manages to get Joe, Theo, and Mark together we’re talking the Unholy Trinity of Crazy all in one season!

The best part of the whole season so far for me was Joe’s up close meeting with Theo (using Gary as an avatar) in a battle of Strauss’s best vs. favorite student. Theo actually needs Joe’s help and tries to sell him eternal infamy. Each one is so wonderfully evil, but combined it makes for truly can’t miss television. Joe’s reactions to Theo’s offers are fantastic. You can feel Joe’s tension. Purefoy manages to steal all these episodes with the shortest screen time, something that gives him a real Anthony Hopkins/Hannibal Lecter vibe; that and the demented psycho serial killer in a solitary prison cell awaiting his escape… oh I meant execution.

The only thing better than this was the highlights for next week’s episode in which Joe’s execution date arrives… but c’mon, it’s The Following so you know what’s gonna happen. While The Following undoubtedly tows the line of ridiculousness (sometimes straying far beyond), you can’t deny how compelling, unnerving, and altogether awesome it is.

The Following returns next Monday at 9:00 pm EST on Fox.


THE FOLLOWING | Sneak Peek: “Kill The Messenger”

Don’t miss the chilling new episode of THE FOLLOWING MON at 9/8c on FOX!

THE FOLLOWING | Young Killers In Love

Kevin Bacon talks about Kyle and Daisy.

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