There is a lot going on in this episode of The Following. Joe begins working his new cult to meld the way he needs them to operate for him. Meanwhile, Ryan realizes he is working with a religious sect, after an engaging conversation with Joe when a plan to trace Joe’s phone doesn’t work. Claire has also come to a decision, and seems to have her own plan on taking down Joe Carroll. There’s a lot to talk about in this episode of The Following, so let’s dig into it!
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Episode Recap of The Following, Season 2 Episode 10: Teacher’s Pet
- This episode, we learn what exactly happened to Claire through flashbacks. Mike has been aware of Claire being alive since her hospital stay. The US Marshals and Mike want Claire to go into witness protection. She refuses at first and wants to tell Ryan, but finally does agree to it. We then see Mike leave Claire and tell Ryan that Claire died.
- Mike brings Claire up to date about the Joe situation, and tells Claire about Lily Gray. Claire is getting antsy and is wanting to leave witness protection, and seems gung-ho about killing Joe herself. Mike tries to talk sense into her, but Claire seems to be making travel plans to New York.
Ryan Hardy–Joe Carroll’s Mirror?
- Ryan Hardy’s relationship with Carrie Cooke seemed to be getting a little more serious this episode. Carrie offers to help Ryan, and keep things off the record if he wants, but he declines–at first.
- The FBI is holding Strauss, and Ryan decides to talk to him, to see what Strauss knows. Ryan doesn’t learn too much, and Strauss is actually about to get under Ryan’s skin, calling Ryan a psychopath, and comparing Joe to Ryan.
- In another flashback, Joe Carroll’s history is shown–with Strauss meeting Joe in high school, where he begins teaching Joe his ways. We also see Joe being wounded and Strauss patching him up.
Ryan Hardy Has a Plan
- Ryan comes up with a plan to attempt to track Joe, using Carrie Cook, and Jana’s old cell phone. Carrie does a news report on Joe Carroll and the capture of Dr. Strauss, which as Ryan predicts, causes Joe to call Jana.
- Having the tracing started, Ryan answers Jana’s phone, and seeing Joe’s face, he is clearly displeased hearing Ryan on the other end. Despite Emma’s plea for Joe to hang up, Joe can’t help but engage Ryan.
- Unfortunately for Ryan, the call is not traceable, at least not immediately. Joe is still very unhappy needs some alone time, growling at both Mandy and Emma to leave him be. Ryan is able to figure out that Joe is probably working with a religious cult and they begin a search for local cults.
Joe Begins Shaping His Shiny, New Cult
- Joe, with his new cult, seems to be getting closer to Emma, while Mandy seems to be getting sidelined. This sets up some conflict between Mandy and Emma later in the episode, where the two have a spat.
- Meanwhile, Joe has begun putting his plans in action with his new cult. First he begins with trying to get his members more interested in spilling blood, using Jesus in a twisted way to explain its “necessity”. Through the murdering of a cat, Joe hopes to win his cultists over…Joe asks who needs some time to deal with the new direction for the cult. We learn later that these people were confined to the “hole”. Meanwhile, the more “crazy” members of the cult are given a mission–random murderous killing on the streets of New York.
- His disciples begin their random murders, but when two of the cult members head into a restaurant to kill, the mission is botched, and Ryan and Mike are able to corner them in the restaurant. One of the cultists gets cold feet, and is about to surrender, but the other kills her, and then is shot himself, leaving no one to interrogate.
- Back at Korban, Joe holds a ceremony honoring the two disciples that returned from their murderous rampage, again trying to brainwash and desensitize his followers to killing and death.
Claire Has a Master Plan
- The episode ends with similar scenes to how it began–Ryan and Carrie hooking up again, while Claire makes plans to talk to Ryan, and to return to New York, saying she knows how to stop Joe.
Josh’s Thoughts: The Following, Season 2 Episode 10: Teacher’s Pet
I really have a hard time swallowing Joe’s new cult. Maybe it is because I am such a skeptic, and stubborn, but I can’t understand how these people can go from their relatively peaceful cult to now this cult with murderous intent. At least the show even makes light of this, with Joe and Emma basically mocking them this episode behind closed doors.
I really enjoyed the scene with Joe and Ryan’s conversation. Joe was clearly not happy to hear from Ryan. It was intriguing seeing Joe try to control the situation, despite Joe knowing this was not a good situation to be in. I really hope to see more of these Joe/Ryan scenes and hope they are as engaging as this one was.
There was still no Lily Gray or the psycho twins this episode. I am wondering where her story will go next. We seem to be having a three way battle going here, with Joe’s group, Lily’s and Ryan’s. What I think will really put a wrench in things is when Claire is known to be alive. I really think that Lily will try to get her hands on Claire, which will really make things strange between Joe and Ryan. Could they team up to save Claire? Also, I am sure Emma will not be too happy to see this either. I am curious to know what Claire’s plan is though. What super awesome plan can she have? Putting herself as bait to lure Joe out? That would be my best guess at this point, which frankly, I am not a big fan of, as that will probably not go well.
Speaking of “wrenches”, Mandy is another wildcard that will probably cause Joe some problems sooner rather than later. Emma and Mandy had their big spat this episode, and I am wondering if Mandy is feeling a little slighted by Joe, with the way things have been going lately.
Overall, this was a good episode, I thought. It had some creepiness with the crazed murderers, and really The Following has done a great job of minimizing the idiotic FBI moves we had plaguing season 1. The way the show is handling the “good guys” is much more entertaining and believable in my opinion.
Right now, The Following is the show I am looking forward to most that is currently airing. It was a cool “Easter Egg” with Emily Kinney showing up in the episode, from The Walking Dead. I am curious to see how many people recognized her in the episode. But overall, the show has really improved since season one. Hopefully it can continue the way it is going, as I am currently all-in with their direction so far.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 2 Episode 10 of The Following: Teacher’s Pet
I really enjoyed this episode of The Following. I think it was because we finally get to see Joe and Ryan interact again after all this time. That was always a highlight of this show, the Joe vs. Ryan scenes, because they play such an intriguing game of cat and mouse. They’re both so smug and arrogant about their own cleverness, which makes it entertaining to watch. Joe was obviously not expecting to hear Ryan’s voice on the other end of the line when he called Jana, but once he figured out what was going on, I think he was in fact pleased about it. Strauss made a comment in a previous episode that Joe considers Ryan a friend. It kind of seemed like that from this phone call, because it felt like Joe was all excited to tell Ryan about his new cult, despite Emma’s warnings to Joe to hang up the phone. Joe probably figured he would deal with Ryan eventually, but most likely didn’t think it would be this soon, before he started his string of murders, so it was kind of like an unexpected call from an old friend.
We also got the backstory about what exactly happened to Claire after she was stabbed. The FBI’s explanation for putting her into witness protection, despite their belief that Joe Carroll was dead, was because they were afraid that the Joe Carroll followers still out there were going to come after her. I’m not so sure it was completely necessary for Ryan to be left out of the loop, while Weston was kept in it. It just seems like it was all done for the shock factor of discovering that Claire is still alive midway through the season. And so that Ryan could start this relationship with Carrie just in time for Claire to show up at Ryan apartment and walk in on him and Claire together, as I’m sure that’s what going to happen, considering that Carrie and Ryan have been spending so much time together lately.
I’m also not sure why Carrie feels so entitled to have Ryan trust her. I kept thinking, why would he trust her, considering that the last time he did, she tricked him into telling her all his Joe Carroll stories, and used them in her book? Then he recently saved Carrie’s life. What had she done for him lately, besides sleep with him? There really wasn’t anything she’d done to prove her trustworthiness to him. But anyway, he did trust her, and it seemed to work out as planned, causing Joe to call Jana’s phone, even though the trace didn’t end up working. I kind of wonder if they genuinely like each other, or if they are just using each other to get what they want, with Carrie using Ryan to get the story, and Ryan using Carrie for her pull with the media.
Regarding Emily Kinney, who also plays Beth on The Walking Dead: So THAT’S where Beth was taken when she was kidnapped, to Korban, which is actually Terminus! I knew Terminus was giving off a cult-like vibe! Then they made Beth go on a killing spree, and now she’s dead. Okay, okay, The Following and The Walking Dead are obviously in two different universes, but it was fun to see a familiar face pop up on The Following this episode!
Looks like we get back to Lily Gray next episode. Should be interesting…
Scenes from The Following, Season 2 Episode 11: Freedom
Here are scenes from the next episode of The Following, titled Freedom: