The Following: The Third and Final Season (Blu-ray)

From creator Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries) comes The Following: The Third and Final Season which saw the series starring Kevin Bacon come to a dramatic end, while leaving things open for a possible return at some point.

As the third season begins, Ryan Hardy (Bacon) is sober and beginning to move on with his life. He is in a relationship with Gwen (Zuleikha Robinson), and awaiting Joe Carroll’s (James Purefoy) death by lethal injection. Ryan’s niece Max (Jessica Stroup) has found love with FBI agent Tom Reyes (Gbenga Akinnagbe) after leaving Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) who just couldn’t give up his obsession to find Mark Gray (Sam Underwood) his parent’s killer.

But as anyone familiar with The Following knows, happiness is generally short-lived. Dealing with the death of his twin brother, to say Mark goes off the deep end is putting it mildly. Mark and his new followers launch a gruesome plan to force Ryan’s questionable actions during Season Two into the public eye. Through a series of murders that recreate the deaths, Mark and his followers are able to wreak havoc on the trial of killer mentor Dr. Arthur Strauss (Gregg Henry) and disrupt Ryan’s life again. Ryan is forced to deal with his own turmoil as Joe’s date with death approaches and hope he can stop Dr. Strauss and crew from completing their deadly plan.

Just as Ryan and the FBI are wrapping up their hunt for Mark and Arthur, Ryan realizes they are on the trail of a killer that is far more dangerous than anyone else they’ve ever faced. Theo Noble (Michael Ealy) is a cold, methodical killer and his knowledge of technology makes him almost impossible to track. Theo seems to take perverse pleasure in hunting Ryan and his family.

While season three of The Following has moments where it falls a bit flat, in the end it leaves you wanting more. The suspense level is pretty high and the writers did a pretty good job of wrapping up storylines. At the same time, they left open the potential for the crew to return in a short series or more likely, a TV movie.

Presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio, Warner’s 1080p transfer looks very good. It really shows the dimly lit imagery and the pale skin tones. Detail is excellent, though black crush is occasionally evident. The color palette is an odd mix of yellow and blue. Colors are bright when called for and muted otherwise.

The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is quite good. It’s a bit front heavy and not particularly immersive, but it works for the show. There’s a nice level of bass throughout and dialogue is crisp and clear. There are some nice panning effects and dynamics as well. There are no real issues to speak of.

English SDH, French, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles are included.

The following extras are available:

  • When Heroes Lie (HD, 9:33) Kevin Bacon discusses how he felt Season three should focus on the impact of all the deaths his character had been responsible for. Also included are comments from Executive Producer/Director Marcos Siega and stars Shawn Ashmore and Jessica Stroup.
  • Evil Has Many Faces (HD, 10:44) A look at this season’s villains, including comments from Executive Producer/Director Marcos Siega and stars Kevin Bacon, Shawn Ashmore, Michael Ealy, Sam Underwood, Gregg Henry, and Ruth Kearney.
  • The Art of the Crime Scene Photo (HD, 4:15) Executive Producer/Director Marcos Siega shows the level of detail that goes into creating the crime scene photos for the series.
  • Ryan and Romance (HD, 2:02) Kevin Bacon talks about his character’s romantic life over the past three seasons.
  • The Following: Funny and Die (HD, 8;04) Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Sam Underwood, Dean Winters, Michael C. Hall and Kyra Sedgwick star in this parody of The Following.
  • New York Comic Con Panel 2014 (HD, 28:34) Hosted by TV Guide’s Damian Holbrook and featuring Marcos Siega, Kevin Bacon, and Shawn Ashmore.
  • Gag Reel (HD, 4:21)
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 10:30) Referred to as ‘Severed Scenes,’ these are scattered throughout various episodes on the discs.
  • Digital HD  Copy.

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