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The Following - Flesh and Blood - Review: "I Can't Do this Anymore"

15 Apr 2015

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The Following - Flesh and Blood - Review

Last week we saw Max come into touching distance with our killer Theo, Ryan and Mike chase down a lead and Nick Donovan make a surprise return to the show after coming in as Gina's temporary replacement.

"We go way back" Joe

Joe's execution is fast approaching, which means an exit for James Purefoy, if it goes ahead. Sure, Joe does deserve to pay for what he's done, but I just can't imagine The Following without him. He's been at the center of things for two seasons now, and I've come to love him and Ryan's interactions, as well as Bacon and Purefoy playing of one another in scenes, they're both at their best when they're sharing a scene together. This season the episodes where Joe and Ryan have been together in a few scenes, however brief, have been my favourites so if Joe dies, for me, it would be a huge loss. I love that they are trying something new by bringing in Theo as a new nemesis for Ryan and moving away from Joe's "Chapter", and although Theo is creepy and has lots of qualities to make him an ideal villain on the show I just don't think he's as captivating as Joe has been.
Ryan has been going on a downward spiral ever since he visited Joe for the first time in prison. This episode showed us that in a way Ryan needs someone like Joe Carol in order to cope. He liked the adrenaline rush he got from hunting Joe, and I think he liked the feeling of playing a game of cat and mouse with him as well. He doesn't get that rush with Theo, because Theo hasn't got a goal or plan in action that he wants to achieve, like Joe did with his book or Lilly did wanting a family from Joe. Theo just wants to escape justice.

Speaking of Theo, this episode he spent the majority of it again trying to avoid capture by the FBI, and for the most part it seemed to be working until he made one vital mistake of hacking two systems using the same code. Theo may be smart, but even smart men make mistakes, and that got shown this episode. Now they know who he is it forced him this episode to do the unthinkable and kill or attempt to kill his entire family. Theo didn't want to do it, but he had no choice.  He may have loved his wife, but he didn't show too much affection for her when he was killing her, he didn't regret doing it in other words. They were just a temporary family to hide his monstrous activities.

Now his family are out of the way I hope that Theo will come out of his shell a bit more, and make an even greater impact on the FBI's life's as currently his arc, in my opinion, could be one of the weakest we've had on the show from a villain standpoint. It's thrilling seeing what he's capable of and the lengths he's willing to go, to elude Ryan and his team, and I also like the unpredictability of the character where he could be anywhere at any time, but that's really all he's doing. His arc isn't story driven like Lilly's or Joe's, which although might be a good thing since it's a change from what we have been seeing, for me personally, I haven't enjoyed it as much. I liked that each previous villain had a plan set out from the get go, so we knew what we were expecting, but this season there isn't that in place. We don't know what's coming.

"I can't do this anymore" Gina

This episode we saw the return, and the departure of Gina Mendez. I was overjoyed to see her back in action after her lengthy suspension, and also because I'm not too keen on Donovan, I much prefer her. Surprisingly this episode she was out in the field for the majority of it, and my heart kept on racing when she was alone in that house with Ryan and Mike investigating the basement. I feared for her safety. Although she isn't a major character I've come to really like her as a character, and for me she is nearly on par with Debra, both are similar in a way with their personalities. They both are willing to help catch these killers, whilst still holding basic guidelines of what they shouldn't be doing. Gina decides right at the end of the episode after struggling to cope with the possibility of seeing two kids’ dead, to quit. She's done, and I'm not sorry to see her go, not because I don't like her, because I do very much, but because I fear if she stayed on any longer she might have ended up dead. I wouldn't have wanted that. Also, if she did die who knows what effect it would have on Ryan as he's seen too many friends die at the hands of killers.

Elsewhere, Gwen continues to feel distant from the real Ryan Hardy, she keeps on believing he isn't telling her the truth, the entire truth. Whenever I see Gwen in a scene with Ryan, like this episode, I keep on getting a feeling that in one of these scenes she's going to do something bad to him, turn on him, that might though not be such a bad thing. Surely she is going to serve a much higher purpose than just being a person who Ryan comes home to at night. If she doesn't it would have been a waste casting such a great actress for the role.

Also, Joe this episode was being examined by the psychiatrist, and had a dream sequence about him escaping and Ryan coming to pick him up. I have to admit I did think that the whole escaping sequence was real, as he's done it before, but when Ryan showed up I knew it wasn't real. I could see though Joe escaping before his execution. Joe is good at waiting and analysing everything that's going on around him. The dream sequence, like the one Ryan had about Joe shows how they both are connected to each other, especially if they're thinking about one another all the time. It's a strange relationship, but if Joe does die I honestly think it won't help Ryan at all.

Overall it was a good episode, but not the greatest. There were some thrilling and intense scenes here and there, as usual, but nothing out of the ordinary. The best scenes for me were ones with Joe and his psychiatrist and also the Gina and Ryan scenes. The show is slowly progressing, but without any real story behind this season I worry that viewers will start to tune out as the show has already lost over a million since the premiere, which is not good.

As always, thank you for reading! Let me know in the comments what you thought of "Flesh and Blood"
About the Author - Robert Fruin
Robert is a sixth form student from the United Kingdom, who is currently studying IT, Media and Business Studies. Robert is a huge fan of the ended ABC series LOST, he has seen it many times over and has even visited some of the filming locations for it. Robert mainly watches drama series such as Game Of Thrones and Person of Interest, but has a soft spot for the comedy The Middle. Some other shows he watches are Grey's Anatomy, The Walking Dead and The 100. Some other interests include Cycling, Kayaking and Photography.Robert is currently reviewing Aquarius, Black Sails, Helix, Intruders and Z Nation. Feel free to connect with him on any of these social media sites.
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  1. What did you think of the episode?

    Also, sorry for a rushed review haven't had a lot of time recently.

  2. 1.Another strong installment.
    2.Ryan-Joe hallucinating/dreaming about each other-Fantastic or weird?Can't decide yet!Keep them coming-they almost got me with that introductory jailbreak scene.Good one,writers!
    3.Ealy is killing it as the big bad-The way his mind works is fascinating to watch as a viewer.I found it very interesting that he spared his children but chose to kill only his wife when push came to shove.
    4.Sad to see Gina depart but i can't really blame her.The way Ryan is going in full mode downward spiral-That dinner sure was very awkward-i think he should take her advice more seriously.
    5.Mark was a no-show again,i wonder when he's going to pop up.
    7..Great review.
    Dialogue of the episode-This job steals your soul Ryan. You should get out too. Go live your life with Gwen while you still can.

  3. Thanks!

    I would say the Ryan-Joe dream sequences have been excellent, very weird, but enjoyable. I think Joe will live, and escape or something will happen with him. I can't see them killing him.

    I can understand why he spared his children, they couldn't do anything or say anything to incriminate him where as his wife could. I like Ealy as an actor, and Theo as a character I just wish his arc was more story driven. I'm entirely sure what his purpose is other than either trying to elude the FBI or kill them.

    Mark is back next episode, not sure what role he will play in all of this now, but I can't wait to have him back.


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