If it feels like it’s been months since the first time you saw a commercial for Fox’s now crime drama, The Following, you’d be right. The critically acclaimed show has been promoted heavily, especially in recent weeks, taunting us 30 seconds at a time with what many are calling the best new show of the season. Well, tonight was the long-awaited series premiere and boy, was it interesting.
The premiere episode expectedly entitled, ‘Pilot,’ begins in the fictional Virginia Central Penitentiary, where the guards who are closing up for the night find a bit of a surprise; a whole bunch of dead bodies. Notorious serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) had escaped from prison.
A lot of background on our characters is given in the first five minutes, before we get to a commercial break. Dr. James Carroll was at one time a professor who went on a spree killing 14 of his female students. Carroll’s obsession with Edgar Allen Poe is what drives him to be such a gruesome murderer. He is a bit disturbed.
FBI Special Agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) is called in to Virginia immediately after it is discovered that Carroll has escaped. Hardy is the agent who singlehandedly caught Carroll and put him in jail in the first place. Since then, Hardy has been on disability because while taking Carroll down, he was stabbed in the heart. It’s safe to say that these guys have a history.
Hardy, who is our show’s protagonist, is very difficult to like. He is a grumpy alcoholic, whom no one seems to get along with.