Cast: Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore
Release Date: Own It Today On Blu-ray™ Combo & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 10/10
Golden Globe winner and Emmy® nominee Kevin Bacon and UK’s James Purefoy (Rome) star in this hit psychological thriller from Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries, Scream). Heading into its intense, spellbinding second season, the show catches up with a healthy and healed Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) a year after the tragic events of last season. Following a horrific new murder spree, the FBI calls on Ryan and Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) to speak with the lone survivor, Lily Gray (Connie Nielsen), in order to help them solve the case. Having worked tirelessly to rehabilitate his life, Ryan is reluctant to re-engage with the FBI. Instead, he proceeds with his own investigation behind closed doors, and finds a valuable ally in his niece, Max Hardy (Jessica Stroup), an NYPD cop working in the Intel Division. Throughout the season, Ryan will cross paths with several complicated individuals, including Mandy Lang (Tiffany Boone) and the enigmatic Luke (Sam Underwood), which furthers his suspicion that Joe Carroll’s (James Purefoy) reign of terror is far from over.
Warning: This review contains heavy spoilers from Season One as well as some potential spoilers from Season Two!!
The second season of the fantastic Kevin Williamson created and Kevin Bacon starring series ‘The Following’ starts off just where the first season wrapped: Joe Carroll has been confirmed dead and now Ryan and Claire can finally be together and enjoy themselves for a moment; or at least so they thought. While Claire is in the bathroom of a hotel room finishing up getting ready, one of Joe’s followers appears and brutally attacks Ryan, stabbing him. Claire immediately appears from the bathroom and is attacked and stabbed by the woman herself before Ryan overpowers and kills her. After both Ryan and Claire are rushed to the hospital, Mike Weston delivers the bad news to Ryan that Claire didn’t make it, at which point the season jumps ahead a year. Ryan is still distraught and now even further from the point of humanity. When a new group of murderers wearing Joe Carroll masks begin to run amok murdering en masse and new facts are revealed to lead Ryan to believe Joe is not in fact dead, Ryan goes off the deep end; taking whatever measures are required in order to end this once and for all.
For those not already aware, I’m a huge fan of Kevin Williamson’s work ever since ‘Scream’ in 1996 and while I’m usually pretty thrilled with the majority of his work; ‘The Following’ would have to be my favorite television creation of his to date without question. While I absolutely loved the first season of the series, I honestly think that the second season really found the perfect footing for the series and this season delivered pretty much non-stop intensity and insanity from start to end, really taking things to a whole new level, and quite shockingly at times as well, truly testing the limits of network television. I couldn’t be more pleased with the second season of ‘The Following’ and can also not recommend the series highly enough.
Fans of the ‘The Following’ will definitely want to make sure to pick up a copy of The Complete Second Season on Blu-Ray, because this is definitely one they will want to add to their collections. The high definition video presentations and lossless DTS-HD MA soundtracks on the episodes are far superior to even the HD broadcasts. All fifteen Season Two episodes have never looked or sounded better than they do here and that in addition to the numerous bonus goodies included on the release (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) make this a definite must own for fellow fans of the series and make certain to grab it on Blu-Ray if possible.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘The Following: The Complete Second Season’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the second seasons episodes. The video presentation on the episodes looks spectacular, far superior to even the High Definition broadcasts in which the season was originally aired. The colors are rich; all of the details are sharp and spot on. All of the numerous fast moving and action oriented sequences that are so frequent on the series look great and no notable faults could be found within on my end. Fellow fans of the series should definitely be pretty thrilled with these high definition video presentations of the second season’s episodes.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all 15 Season Two episodes. These lossless multichannel soundtracks sound pretty great as far as Television produced soundtracks go and unlike many currently running series’ ‘The Following’ quite frequently takes full advantage of all five channels with the action, effects and fantastic music surrounding you, even further immersing the viewer into this spectacular series. Fellow fans of the series and audiophiles alike should both be quite pleased with the included DTS-HD MA soundtracks on the episodes.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘The Following: The Complete Second Season’ includes a number of nice bonus goodies. Included on the release is Severed (or deleted) scenes on over half the seasons episodes; 14 ‘Inside The Following’ Behind The Scenes Featurettes; 4 new featurettes including: ‘Following Marcos Siega’ ‘The Religion of Joe Carroll’ ‘Bound by a Common Foe’ & ‘The Joe Mask’. The Blu-Ray release also contains an Alternate Ending for Season 2; Sneak Peek: Silence; the 2013 Comic-Con Panel for the series, as well as a Gag Reel.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 10/10
Own ‘The Following: The Complete Second Season’ today on Blu-ray™ Combo & DVD from Warner Bros. Entertainment.