Cast: Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore
Release Date: Now Available On Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
A year has passed since the hit thriller’s season finale found rogue ex-FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) finally capturing his nemesis Joe Carroll (James Purefoy). With Carroll locked up on Death Row and Hardy back with the FBI – and in a stable relationship with an ER doctor (Zuleikha Robinson) – new threats emerge that have Hardy, Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) and Hardy’s newly agented niece Max (Jessica Stroup) on edge and off balance. Unlike the known threat of Joe Carroll, each new danger is potentially more lethal because the FBI isn’t exactly sure where it’s coming from. But with psycho twin Mark Gray (Sam Underwood) still at large, Joe Carroll still haunting Ryan from behind bars, Carroll’s murderous mentor Dr. Arthur Strauss (Gregg Henry) in the background, and a new, meticulous chameleon-like killer (Michael Ealy) circling, Hardy soon realizes that Joe Carroll was only the beginning.
Picking up one year after the events that concluded the second season including Ryan’s capture of his elusive and sadistic nemesis Joe Carroll, the third season begins with the wedding of a co-worker and a somewhat peaceful time, things at a calmer point than they have been in quite some time, Ryan even beginning to believe he just may have found love. As we are all far too aware, it’s merely the calm before the storm and beginning with an incident at the wedding followed by multiple murders and disturbing graffiti left at the crime scenes calling Ryan Hardy a liar among other things, Ryan and his team begin to investigate. Before long the team begins discovering events could be linked both to the escaped Mark Gray, as well as to Joe Carroll’s mentor Dr. Strauss, in addition to the revelation of a new, technically brilliant killer named Theo who has been unwittingly forced into the middle of everything. After continually refusing, Ryan finally relents and visits Joe for help who now sits on Death Row with his execution date rapidly approaching, a decision which just may create a whole new mess of problems for Ryan.
The third and (unfortunately) final season of Kevin Williamson’s bloody and wildly intense series ‘The Following’ delivers no shortage of painful intensity and gritty action packed excitement, in many ways coming together as the best season of the series and my personal favorite, not to mention introducing the character of Theo (brilliantly portrayed by Michael Ealy) who quickly became one of my favorite characters in the series.
The one question many will surely be asking is does the show conclude and the answer unfortunately is no; if anything introducing a much larger scope obviously intended to lead into the next season had the series not been prematurely cancelled. Regardless of this fact, fans of the series that haven’t yet had the chance to check out the third season are definitely still going to want to make sure and watch this riveting final season which does at least conclude many open aspects of the series lingering from the previous two seasons.
Fellow fans of the series will definitely want to make certain to pick up a copy of ‘The Following: The Third and Final Season’ on Blu-ray to add to their collections and complete their set (a complete series release is also available for those who don’t already own the previous two season sets on Blu-ray). The Blu-ray release of the final season delivers solid high definition video and audio presentations in addition to a number of great extras including Severed Scenes on over half of the episodes from the season and more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) easily making it a definite must own for many fans.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Following: The Third and Final Season’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the third seasons episodes. The video presentations look wonderful, delivering a sharp, detailed presentation on every episode, holding up impressively even during the darkly lit and fast moving sequences which are incredibly common within the series, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become plagued with video noise or negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, these are more than capable high definition video presentations that should have fans quite pleased.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all 15 Season Three episodes. These lossless multichannel soundtracks sound fantastic, delivering clean, discrete and hard hitting audio presentations on every episode, frequently utilizing all five available channels to surround the viewer with gunshots whizzing by, explosions and any number of other fitting auditory effects, never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible at any point. Overall, these are solid and incredibly fun 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtracks that should not disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Following: The Third and Final Season’ includes a number of solid extras. Included on the release are Severed (or Deleted) Scene(s) for over half of the episodes in the season. Also included are a number of Behind the Scenes Featurettes exploring different aspects of the series in depth, they include: ‘When Heroes Lie’ (running approximately 10 minutes in length), ‘Evil Has many Faces’ (approximately 11 minutes), ‘The Art of the Crime Scene Photo’ (4 minutes), and ‘Ryan and Romance’ (2 minutes). We are also treated to a ‘Gag Reel’ (approximately 4 minutes), a parody video with Kevin Bacon titled ‘The Following: Funny AND Die’ (8 minutes) as well as the ‘New York Comic-Con Panel 2014’ (29 minutes).