The Following - Welcome Home [TV Review]
With each passing week, it’s difficult to think how the people behind The Following can possibly find a way to top the previous episode. Just when you believe things are getting ready to slow down and give the audience breathing room, it decides to really increase the stakes of what is going on. There is much more at risk for the FBI’s pursuit against Carroll and his followers, and absolutely everybody now is at stake.
This week’s episode, Welcome Home, showcases Joe Carroll out of prison and inside a special hideaway where he and his followers can meet. The idea that his young son is afraid of him plagues his mind, so now he is more determined to capture Clare and reunite his family. At the FBI, a new agent is hired and put in charge of the case, demoting Tom Hardy back to simply being a consultant.
One of the big theme portrayed in this episode is the idea of dedication, and it comes from both sides. It’s truly portrayed on the side of the followers however; these people have dedicated their very lives just to help further the goals of Carroll. Carroll seems to have embraced, although not fully, the idea of being a cult-like leader. There are people, hanging on his every word, even ready to end their own lives, which is both powerful and terrifying.
Tom Hardy has seemed to have improved vastly as a character, now not accepting to play on the sidelines anymore. His role in this case has become much more prominent over the past several weeks, and it really shines here. While there are times where it seems like the FBI is being incompetent, it seems like Hardy picks up on it quickly and analyzes peoples true intentions behind everything. While it seems a little bit cliché to have one of the agents being one of Carroll’s spies (in which one of the new characters has so much evidence put against him, it must be a red herring of some sort), it would at least go with the flow of the story.
Welcome Home doesn’t seem to be riding off the atmosphere of the previous episodes, and instead pushes us back into the wild fray of things. Like before, it seems like the next few episodes are going to be a long build up for and explosive climax, which will probably end up being the season finale. Many good things were introduced here however, like how far many will go for what they believe. Above all, it shows that each character here is expendable, no matter how much you would hope otherwise. That kind of thinking will keep audiences on their toes and draw them back in for more.
The Following - Welcome Home gets eight stars out of ten.