For Season 1, Episode 10 of The Following, “Guilt,” Violet gives a recap, while Josh offers some insightful commentary. Spoiler alert! You’ve been warned. Click to read more…
It felt like we didn’t make much progress in this episode, nor was it really all that exciting. But they keep adding in more characters, connections, twists and turns, and I must know how everything is related, so I have no choice but to keep watching.
This week’s episode focused on Jacob quite a bit, and how he’s dealing with his guilt of killing Paul and now being back around Emma, who he resents for leaving him and Paul for dead. Joe wants Jacob to give Emma a chance to explain and to forgive her, so since that’s what Joe wants, he lets her talk, but he doesn’t buy what she has to say. Jacob’s apparently going crazy, because he keeps seeing Paul, who blames Emma for his death. Jacob and Emma hook up, during which he continues to see Paul, and even hallucinates stabbing him to death. Jacob then confesses to Emma that he killed Paul, blames her for it, and warns her to watch her back now that he’s actually killed and gotten a taste for it. Seems pretty dangerous to have a house full of killers living together. It’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong and they kill each other. You could argue that they’re all “family” and wouldn’t do that to each other, but they are all more than capable of doing so. One word from Joe, who they all blindly follow, and everyone in the house would gladly kill each other.
With regards to Joe asking Jacob to talk to Emma, I feel this was motivated by his need to have Emma occupied by Jacob. Joe knows his wife is coming soon and he can’t have Emma following him around like a sad puppy dog (evident by the drawing she was working on before talking to Jacob). It is clearly for Joe’s benefit that Jacob and Emma reconcile I feel. As for Jacob’s hallucinations, I feel they are a manifestation of his guilt for still having feelings for Emma. Combined with his psychotic personality (as this house seems teeming with), he is creating a dangerous situation for Emma to have to deal with. I feel the show has tried to show that Jacob is not willing to follow Joe blindly either, so I am interested to see where they take Jacob’s story. I have had suspicions he may be a key player in the inevitable fall of Joe.
Speaking of Joe, he’s got a couple of “Constitutional Extremists” working with Roderick to get Claire back. Roderick comments that he has to work today and can’t join them, but when Joe starts to get upset about that, Roderick caves.
The scene further sets up the power struggle, or rather sudden lack of power Roderick now has. I foresee a sort of civil war between the two, maybe to the extreme of cult members taking sides, given that Joe doesn’t kill Roderick quick enough. We will have to see what happens. I also think that Roderick may be afraid of Ryan Hardy, and didn’t want to go fearing he may die on one of these missions.
Back at the police station, Hardy wants to talk to Amanda Porter, the Claire Matthews Killer, but Donovan won’t let him. Just then the FBI figures out that their Witness Protection telecom logs have been hacked and that means Joe knows where Claire is. Hardy gets to be in charge of her protection detail, and goes over to the motel where she’s being held. Joe’s guys arrive and attack them, killing the other agents. Claire and Hardy are able to slip out the back, but one of Joe’s men apprehends Claire. However, Hardy points out that he’s not going to shoot her, Claire hits the guy and is able to get away and Hardy shoots him. He’s wearing a bulletproof vest, so it doesn’t kill him, but it knocks him down long enough for them to drive away. Before they go, Hardy has Claire throw out the sim card from her cell phone, and removes the GPS device from the car. Now the police detectives have no way to track him and no way to contact him, and they assume he is taking her to his place in Brooklyn.
The scene with Donovan allowing Hardy to take over Claire’s detail seemed to be a marked difference in his approach so far. Donovan has put a lid on Hardy the past few episodes. I am not sure if it’s due to respect, or other reason that Hardy was given the go-ahead, but I am interested to see how it plays out. Donovan also surprisingly compliments Hardy’s decisions when he finds out that Hardy is off the grid, which seems contradictory to how Donovan from last week would react.
However, they are wrong. He takes her to the secluded house of his friend Tyson, who used to be an agent but is now in the Witness Protection program. Tyson is played by David Zayas, who played Sergeant Angel Bautista on Dexter. What’s up with the influx of Dexter actors? You may remember FBI Agent Troy Riley from the beginning of the season, who was killed in the third episode by Maggie Kester. He was played by Billy Brown, who played Detective Mike Anderson on Dexter, a character who was also killed off. Poor guy just can’t seem to stay alive. Anyway, so we get a flashback to 2005, where Tyson is offering criticism to Hardy’s book Poetry of a Killer, saying maybe it’s not a good idea to be known as “that” agent, the Joe Carroll agent. But Hardy says he wants to do it because he thinks it will help him.
I initially had suspicions that Tyson may have been turned already (the cult does seem to be everywhere). He was an interesting plot device, giving us more background on Hardy. The discussion of Hardy’s “Death Curse” seems almost prophetic for the episode…
Later, while Hardy is in the other room, Claire asks Tyson if there have been any other serious women, and Tyson mentions a girl named Molly, who wanted to get serious, and we get to see her in a couple of flashback scenes, where she wants to know all she can about Hardy. But Tyson lets Claire know that Hardy doesn’t let anyone get close, that Claire was about as close as he’ll let anyone, and that she herself was the only one ever serious. Hardy returns, and right then Claire finds something on her sweater, which Hardy quickly concludes is a tracking device (why didn’t he check for something like that sooner, knowing what these people are capable of??), and now they must know where she is. Tyson volunteers to help fend off the imminent attack, since he has a state of the art alarm system, a gun that will blow through their vests, and a surprise or two up his sleeve.
The tracking device did seem like an easy “out” for the cult to catch up to Hardy and Claire. I wonder if they could have came up with a better plan, such as put the device on Hardy and drive away, so that the cultists would follow him? Regardless, we can tell there is going to be a gun battle here.
Claire decides this is a good time to tell Hardy she loves him, and after a bit of argument Hardy says he loves her too, and they kiss. Finally. Took them long enough to admit that they still had feelings for each other.
I really disliked this scene. It was not the time nor place, as the cultists were possibly on their way in at that very moment! Really? Right then they have to exchange their feelings?!
A few minutes later, Roderick and the two men begin their attack. One man comes toward the sliding glass door, and it explodes, knocking him down. Turns out Tyson shot him with his high powered gun and the bullet went straight through the vest, just like he said. Tyson guards the back, while Hardy goes to check on Claire. Another man knocks on the door, trying to coax Claire out, saying no one else has to die, he’ll take her to Joey. We hear gunshots and it turns out Tyson has been shot, and Claire and Hardy drag him inside. Hardy hears something outside and goes to check it out. Claire takes the opportunity to run toward Roderick’s car and pulls a gun on him and the other man. She then gets in the car with them, telling them to take her to her son. They drive off as Hardy chases after them yelling “Wait!” and Claire mouths “I love you!” to him. Hardy runs to his car only to find out his tires have been slashed.
This whole scene feels like a waste of time and effort on Claire. The FBI and Hardy do all they can keep Claire away from Joe and she chooses to willingly go with them! Countless people have died or been severely injured to trying to keep her away from Joe, then she just willing hops in the car! It is really hard to like Claire, especially when Claire knows that Joe is not going to hurt Joey (it is clear that no matter how insane Joe is, he cares for his family).
It turns out Tyson has not been killed (good thing, that wouldn’t have been very nice to kill off another Dexter actor), as Hardy sits at his bedside at the hospital. Joe calls him, rubbing it in that Claire’s willingly on her way to him. Hardy says that he’s done, he quits. Joe goes off into a rant about being the one who saved Hardy’s life, gave him a second chance, this is his rebirth, every day he comes a little more back to life, he can’t quit now, he’s not quite yet the man he needs to be. He tells Joe to go to hell. If you think about it, Joe’s kind of right, and Hardy probably realizes that. Before this whole mess started, Hardy was in a slump, and now he’s been motivated to come out of it. You hate to admit when the villain makes sense in his own twisted way, but Joe is the kind of villain that you love to hate.
I am really beginning to not enjoy Joe’s monologues about “Hardy’s story.” It is a very hard to believe plot, that a man would put a cult together for the sake of torturing one man’s soul.
We also get a glimpse of Joey’s relationship with his father. Poor kid doesn’t understand what’s going on, why everyone is living at that house, why his dad isn’t in jail anymore. He looks like he not only hates Joe, but is scared and intimidated of him. But Joe uses his creepy, charming, manipulative ways to get Joey to open up to him, saying that his favorite food is s’mores (which just so happens to be Joey’s favorite, not by coincidence I’m sure) and getting Joey to help him make them the right way. They’ll probably be pals by next episode when Claire finally arrives, which Joe promises Joey will be really soon.
Joe is quite clever, and his tactic to draw in Joey did seem to work like a charm. I still think Joey will have reservations with Joe however. I also feel that Joe will keep Claire and Joey separated, which may backfire if Joey learns his mom is in the house but not allowed to see him. This may damage the relationship between Joe and Joey a lot.
Another thing we get from this episode is a little insight into how the cult recruited members. At the police station they discover that there was some sort of secret URL which led to a creepy Carroll/Poe website with a secret door or hidden portal which brought you to a video of a person wearing a Poe mask, telling you to enter your name and email and someone would get back to you.
Learning how they recruit is interesting. I still have hard time believing there are so many people deranged enough to follow this man on his own personal vendetta. If Joe was offering them salvation, a way to God, or other more common cultist beliefs, I could accept it, but this seems more of a personal mission than anything else for Joe.
Lastly, we see a car pull up at Joe’s house, and a man brings in someone to see Joe. It’s Molly, Hardy’s ex-girlfriend that Tyson was telling Claire about earlier. She and Joe look excited to see each other. So the question becomes, did Joe recruit her before or after she dated Hardy? My guess is before, since she was trying to dig up dirt on him. Joe probably sent her to get close to him, get as much info on him as she could, and also to get him away from Claire. Is there anyone in this show who is NOT a follower? Apparently we have to assume that every random character brought up is connected to Joe in some way.
The intro of Molly for me was an “ugh” moment. It again is hard to believe that so many people are “Followers.” If I were to make a guess, I would say that Molly became a member after she and Hardy broke up. I would guess that Hardy ended the relationship, which then, broken hearted, (and apparently deranged) Molly turns to Joe for comfort. I mean, what better person to comfort you from a break up than said break up’ers mortal enemy, right?
Ready for next week, when we see how it goes with Claire at the house with Joe, and maybe get some more intel on the followers.
As for next week, I anticipate Joe trying to turn Claire. Claire will refuse to the extent she can, but may play along in order to keep Joey safe. I am mostly interested in Roderick’s and Jacob’s story, as I feel they are the wild cards in the house. As for Hardy and the FBI, they are likely going to have some reactionary story to some event that Joe has cooked up, as it is rare that they are able to make any significant headway without the assistance of Joe providing some carrot to follow.