The Following is Kevin Williamson's take on a far-reaching serial killer story. Charismatic English professor/killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) was apprehended in 2005 by FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon), but not before Carroll stabbed Hardy in the heart, leaving him unfit for field duty and needing a pacemaker to survive.
Eight years later, Carroll escapes prison, having made a killing disciple of one of the guards. Hardy, no longer with the Bureau, is called in to consult, and learns that Carroll has used Internet access to make an untold number of disciples (the eponymous following). Carroll is recaptured by the end of the pilot, but not before he kills the one woman Hardy managed to save back in 2005. Furthermore, Carroll's disciples kidnapped his son—all to draw Hardy back in and back to Carroll's ex-wife, Claire (Natalie Zea).
I'm not usually into serial killer thrillers, but I am a fan of Kevin Bacon and Natalie Zea, and the literary element has potential. The twist is that any character could be seduced by Carroll. Between its frenetic pace and flashbacks, the pilot felt jumpy to me. One of the FBI agents, Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore), seemed only around for enthusiastic blabber. Episode two will either pull me in or push me away.