Josh gives his recap of this week’s episode of The Following while Violet provides commentary in pink font. Only one more episode left after this one! Caution: Contains spoilers. Click through to read more!
In this week’s episode of The Following, we have a lot of stuff going on.
The episode begins with Joe creepily watching Hardy sleeping with Molly. After they have “finished”, Molly and Hardy are discussing his heart condition, which ends with Ryan dismissing her worry, saying “I am already dead”. This phrase fascinates Joe and he plays the phrase back on the video several times. This may throw back to Joe’s struggle with his story, and his struggle with his protagonist not having direction. I feel that Joe needs to get Hardy to “feel” again, which is going to begin to play out later this episode.
Not the first time we’ve seen Joe watch videos of this. So creepy and weird!
Joe then talks to Emma, to which he tries to repair the damage he has done to their relationship by saying that he was overreacting due to the stress of the current events happening. At first Emma recoils, but he seems to warm back up to Joe pretty quickly. Later, we have Joe appearing to be attempt to remain cool, as he discusses with Emma and Jacob the “Plan”. We still haven’t been told what the plan is, but so far it still only seems to be his novel that centers around Ryan Hardy. Anyway, we have a brief talk between Jacob and Emma here privately as well, with Jacob attempting to convince Emma to come away with him. Jacob tries to convince Emma that Joe is likely just using them, and doesn’t care if they live or die. Emma is still drinking the Joe-Aid however, and is not willing to leave Joe.
Ugh, Emma forgave Joe way too quickly. I was hoping that she would have a “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” attitude toward Joe after he not only rejected her but also slapped her last episode, but no such luck apparently. In the scene where Jacob and Emma were talking, I thought, oh good, he got the message last episode, maybe now he’ll actually do something productive, either directly against Joe, or to just get out of there. But that was not the case, unfortunately…
Joe then confirms with Jacob and Emma that the other cult members are ready, along with a member newly introduced to the viewers. Joe says that, “everyone has their parts to play”. Joe certainly makes if feel as if something big is about to go down. We also have Joe telling Claire that she will be dying, and has two henchmen remove her from her room. A little later, Joe is meeting with his cult members, again reiterating they are nearing their climactic end, and they have a cultist chant, which can be summarized as describing death as the “end all be all”. The cultists members, including Joe, Emma and Jacob head out to their objectives.
Meanwhile, Hardy, Parker, and Weston are working within the FBI command center at the Sheriff’s office. They have had Joey provide a description of the house, and they have located numerous matches to investigate. They catch a break however, as an FBI agent runs across some record discrepancies with a specific property that seems to have been tampered with. Hardy is convinced that they have found the house. They then surround the property, but as expected, the house is empty. With the exception of a dead cultist hanged in the house. I, as well as the FBI are puzzled as to why a cultist member would hang himself. I suppose the most logical explanation would be that Joe is reinforcing his power over the cult, and that they do not even fear death. While examining the scene, while in Joe’s office, Hardy comes across a book discussing the “Red Death”, which is going be more important later this episode.
When Hardy and the rest of the FBI reconvene at the Sheriff’s office, they being to investigate the Red Death, and what it could mean. They throw around ideas, and it seems to relate to Poe yet again. Meanwhile, Hardy seems to feel that there are some cultists in the audience outside the Sheriff’s office, so he decides to go outside and have a look around. Unfortunately this seems to activate the cultists that are indeed outside, and a young woman, talking to a reporter begins talking about the Red Death out of nowhere, and ends up stabbing the reporter to death. This girl is then captured by the FBI and brought in for questioning.
Ryan is alone in the interrogation room with the girl, but has Parker and Weston outside watching. The girl seems bent on being cryptic with what she says. Finally Ryan seems to lose his cool, and roughs the girl up a little bit. She continues her creepiness, but tells Hardy that he needs to be reborn. Hardy now knows that Claire is going to be killed. Interesting thing that I thought I saw happen here, was the cultist girl seemed genuinely scared when Hardy was about to choke her to death. I feel this shows not all Cultists are as devoted as it seems. Regardless, this leads back to the FBI discussing what Joe’s next move is. They eventually realize the story they have been discussing this episode references a plague in a place where people were seeking refuge. This leads them to believe that the target is the evacuation center that was set up.
If I lived in that town, I would most certainly be getting out of town, not heading to an evacuation center where the cult could easily attack a large number of people. Seems like a no brainer that it would be a target, and I’m surprised it took them that long to figure it out in the first place.
Meanwhile, Joe, Emma and Jacob end up at a married couple’s house. They have also brought Claire, who is tied up. The married couple are tied up, and sat down in the living room. Joe is clearly in agony from his wound that Claire had given him last episode, as he has a deep blood stain around the wound seeping through his shirt. Joe has also been drinking a large amount of alcohol this entire episode, which means he is probably quite drunk. For some reason, Joe has decided to cook dinner for the married couple, Claire and himself. Joe tries to carrying on with the 3 of them, almost as if they are having a double date. It was quite a creepy scene, and I half expected Joe to kill one of them suddenly. But their conversation moves to defining marriage, as Joe holds his knife to the husband, asking if he would die for his wife. Joe is impressed by the man’s bravery, and mocks his own wife for her inability to keep to her wedding vows. The thing that Joe is forgetting though, is this couple (as far as we know) doesn’t have a psychopathic murderer as one of the spouses. Fairly certain that allows the breaking of “till death do us part”. While they are having their engaging dinner, Emma walks into the garage with Jacob sitting in the car. Emma says that it looks like he is planning on leaving. Jacob again tries to convince Emma to leave Joe, but again she refuses.
Emma apologizes to Jacob, he forgives her, and they share a kiss. I’m so disappointed in Jacob for giving into Emma again. She betrayed him and left him and Paul to fend for themselves! How can he ever trust her again after what she did to him? How can he believe a word that comes out of her mouth? I thought he was over her, especially when he went through his crazy phase when he was seeing Paul everywhere. But I guess he sees it as that she is all he has left, so he’s trying to cling to that.
While the 4 are having an “engaging” dinner, the police end up knocking on the door. Emma comes from the garage, and answers the door. One of the cops begins explaining law enforcement is doing a door-to-door check, but midway through his explanation, the cop realizes who Emma is. Unfortunately too late, Emma shoots the two of them dead. I am a bit perplexed by what goes own next. Jacob is moving one of the cop’s bodies, and Joe decides to get up from dinner (perhaps to assist or manage?). As Joe gets up, he tells Claire and the married couple to “not move”. Just as he turns his back, Claire whacks him over the head with the wine bottle he had been drinking out from. She then grabs a fork and proceeds to shank him in the wound, which I thought was really awesome of Claire. My problem is however, Jacob seemed to be on the porch of the house, less than 10 feet away, and Emma seemingly disappeared, yet it took forever for either of them to come help Joe. I will have to chalk it up to how the episode was cut together. I really felt the timing was off in this scene however.
Yeah, I expected Jacob and Emma to immediately run in and see what the commotion was about, thwarting Claire’s efforts yet again. It was odd that it took so long for them to notice anything was wrong.
Claire and the husband and wife run through the forest, hoping to make it to a neighbor’s house. Joe tells Emma and Jacob to take the car to hunt down Claire, and he will meet up with Alex, and they will meet up at their next destination. The trio run onto the street to search for help, but wind up finding Emma and Jacob in the car. Claire tries to usher the two back into the forest. Claire ends up trying to take on Jacob, likely to buy time for the other two to escape, and she is captured. They put her in the car, and wind up at a dock of a boat, meeting up with Joe. Joe forces Claire onto a boat, and informs her it will not be a pleasant trip. They set sail for a mystery destination, not yet revealed.
Wouldn’t Claire assume that someone would be looking for them? I would have thought they would make sure to stay concealed until they safely made it to the neighbor’s house.
Jacob and Emma get back in the car. Emma begins to turn the ignition and Jacob stops her. He tells her they should leave. He confides to her that he doesn’t want to die, and as I always thought, he is not as brain washed as most members seem to be. I am surprised at his reasoning however. He explains it’s actually about self-preservation, and not wanting to die. He makes no mention of the morality of the situation. It makes me wonder if saving Joey was only because Jacob felt Joey was in mortal danger, and not because Jacob felt it was the right thing to do. Had things at the house gone smoother, perhaps Joey would still be in Joe’s custody. This actually makes me appreciate Jacob’s character less. I felt the entire season, he was portraying a decent guy caught by a woman’s love, who went down a wrong path, and would eventually redeem himself. Unfortunately this is not the case, as he never really shows remorse. Jacob tells Emma that he is leaving, with or without Emma. Unfortunately for him however, Emma is not willing to turn her back on Joe. So much so in fact, that she ends up slitting Jacob’s throat while saying, “I don’t know how to love you both”. Jacob bleeds out with a shocked look on his face while the blood pours from his neck and lips. Throughout Jacob’s story arch, I spent my time trying to understand his character, thinking I was kind of getting it, only to come to the realization that while he did very little killing, he still didn’t seem to have any remorse and was more worried about saving his own skin, which ironically is what does him in, in the end.
Well, there go all my high hopes for Jacob. I thought he was going to turn out to be a good guy in the end, and that he would actually do something useful. But it turns out he was just a coward all along. Afraid to kill, afraid to die. He should have known not to trust Emma.
Rewinding back to the FBI, they have decided to move on to the evacuation center, which seems to be some sort of recreational building. I have a pretty big problem with this scene, which I will go into after I finish. Hardy and Parker discuss moving into the building without guns drawn to avoid a panic. They canvas the room, which is fairly dimly lit, with several potential candidates moving about the area. Hardy ends up spotting a man that he had seen at the sheriff’s station, when the reporter was stabbed. He (rather blatantly) whispers to Weston about the man, who is clearly watching Hardy. While Hardy tries to sneak up on the man (who is looking directly at him), the lights suddenly turn out, and mayhem ensues. The Cultists begin attacking with knives and other hand wielded weapons. Several cultists, civilians and FBI agents are wounded or killed in the process. Meanwhile, Parker winds up going down a hallway (alone again of course). She is surprised by two cultist members and captured. The majority of rest of the fighting has stopped however, and as they are trying regroup outside, Weston tells Hardy that Parker is missing. We come to find out that the cultist members have taken her to what looks like a foresty area, and are going to bury her alive in a wooden makeshift coffin. Rather creepy way to live or die, depending how the next episode plays out.
What is my big problem with this scene you ask? Maybe this comes from being able to see both sides of the coin as far as the FBI and Joe’s plans, but it seemed painfully obvious that the attack on the evacuation center was specifically meant for Ryan Hardy. Why would you move in with Ryan Hardy basically leading the investigation? As soon as the cultists saw him, they “activated”. They may have not activated had Hardy not shown up. Even better, have some plain-clothed FBI agents walk the around the evacuation center, to avoid any “activation”, potentially saving dozens of lives. It seemed rather silly to send in the one person that seems to really get these cultist killing and maiming.
My big problem is that they blatantly acknowledge the fact that they didn’t check or screen anyone who entered the evacuation center. Um, why not??? They know that these cult members are EVERYWHERE, as they have been all season, and this is the very town in which they know the cult members were living, so why wouldn’t they right away realize that cult members would go to the evacuation center too?
As for predictions for the season finale, I think Joe has to die. He seems gravely wounded, so I can’t see him making it out alive. Ryan will have to have a last confrontation, to which Claire is in mortal danger, in a situation that Joe will try to control. Molly will probably have to be involved as well. In fact, I wonder if she will be the spin off cult leader for season 2, since another season is confirmed. I think Emma will die, as without Joe I don’t think Emma has a place. Unfortunately Claire is likely dead as well, as I feel the vengeance emotion will fire up Hardy for next season. I have a feeling Hardy will find Parker however, as I do not think she will die buried. While this episode was not nearly as fun as last episode, I have high hopes for the finale, and hope to have some resolution before the season ends!
I agree that Joe will die, he has to. He’s already in a weakened state from his stab wound, so he’s not going to be on top of his game. I see Emma dying as well, most likely trying to save Joe. As for Molly, it makes sense that she could take over in Season 2, considering that her condition of helping Joe was that she got to be the one who killed Hardy. He has no suspicions of her being a cult member, so it would be easy for her to seamlessly step in. If she is in the finale at all (which it seems like she has to be, as she hasn’t come up in awhile and she seems like a pretty integral part of the story being Hardy’s neighbor), it might be in a flashback scene where a “Plan B” is revealed, and the episode ends with some sort of friendly contact between her and Hardy. I’m going to have to disagree about Claire. I think we have to have the touching reunion scene between mother and son. Besides, if Claire dies, what happens to Joey? I’m not so sure about Parker, though, because it doesn’t seem likely that they would think to look for her buried in a remote spot in the woods. Can’t wait to see how it all ends!