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TV Review: The Following 3.2 “Boxed In”
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The Following Season 3

The Following
Season 3 Episode 2: “Boxed In”
Created by Kevin Williamson
Directed by Rob Seidenglanz
Written by Michael McGrale
Starring Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore, Sam Underwood, Valerie Cruz, Jessica Stroup, and Michael Irby.
FOX
Air Date: Monday, March 9th, 2015, 9pm

Ah, The Following… just when I think I’ve seen every conceivable torture and death trap, you give me something new and horrible to enjoy! We are re-introduced to Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and his FBI colleagues one year after season 2 left off. In the season 3 premiere last week, Hardy and friends uncover a series of gruesome murder scenes with tableaus depicting how Lily Gray and her family were killed in season 2. Lily (Connie Nielson) and her twin boys (Sam Underwood playing both Luke and Mark) were as villainous as the show’s seminal nemesis Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), who is now on death row. Mark, the lone survivor of the Gray family, has seemingly amassed his own following and is ready to get revenge on Hardy, his niece Max (Jessica Stroup), and partner Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) for killing his mom and brother.

In The Following Episode 3.2 “Boxed In”, we learn more about Mark’s new following and his new plan. The title is fitting for a few reasons. Mark’s plan involves revealing the truth behind his family’s demise. After all, FBI agents aren’t allowed to kill in cold blood or for revenge, no matter how evil the bad guys are. Mark is obsessed with exposing their cover-up. He also seeks the assistance of designated torturers. The goal is simple: hurt enough of Ryan Hardy’s friends and soon enough, he will confess to the crimes he has committed. So Ryan, Max, and Mike are boxed into a corner. The title also works for one of the most disturbing torture porn-esque scenes in the show’s history. Seriously, I got the “Hostel creeps” from one particular scene (and that was just in the description of said torture, not actually showing it!).

But what about Mark’s followers: who are they? Andrew (Andrew Irby) was captured at episode 1’s conclusion and a connection is made… to Joe Carroll? Why are Kyle and Daisy (Weeds Hunter Parrish, and Ruth Kearney) so eager to follow along, aside from the fact that they’re obviously crazy? How does Mark have an array of henchmen willing to torture and maim at a moment’s notice?

Well, I’m not sure I love this season’s motives. The show is asking a moral question: In the face of unspeakable evil, can evil deeds be done to achieve good? Take Mike Weston, for example. Lily Gray slashed his father’s throat while he watched. Is he wrong for shooting her rather than bringing her “to justice”? After all, on this show, EVERYONE escapes from prison! The show keeps paralleling David Fincher’s Se7en; but would anyone really be angry at Brad Pitt for shooting John Doe? If I spoiled that, sorry, but it’s been 20 years, so deal with it.

Despite that, you can’t ask for a better hour on television for action and horror-themed violence. The villains are so evil; the good guys, flawed but still good; and you actively become invested no matter how much your brain tells how ridiculous it is. I wonder what role Joe Carroll will have this season. One thing’s for sure, he and Mark are as much enemies as Mark and Ryan. Maybe we’ll see the return of the super-team of Joe and Ryan. Like Batman teaming with the Joker!

The Following airs on Fox, Monday nights at 9pm EST. Season 1 & Season 2 are available now on DVD and Blu-ray and through Netflix.

FOX’s press release:

RYAN LOOKS FOR A CONNECTION AND FACES THE TRUTH ON AN ALL-NEW “THE FOLLOWING”
MON MAR 9 9/8c

Ryan believes he has found the connection between Andrew (guest star Andrew Irby) and Mark, but he and the FBI are still unsure if – and how – Joe Carroll might be connected. Meanwhile, tension between Mark, Kyle (guest star Hunter Parrish) and Daisy (guest star Ruth Kearney) mounts and Ryan soon finds himself in a dangerous situation, in which facing the truth is the only thing that will set him free in the all-new “Boxed In” episode of THE FOLLOWING airing Monday, March 9 at 9/8c on FOX.


The Following 3×02 “Boxed In” – Ryan believes he has found the connection between Andrew (guest star Andrew Irby) and Mark, but he and the FBI are still unsure if – and how – Joe Carroll might be connected. Meanwhile, tension between Mark, Kyle (guest star Hunter Parrish) and Daisy (guest star Ruth Kearney) mounts and Ryan soon finds himself in a dangerous situation, in which facing the truth is the only thing that will set him free.

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