Josh reviews this week’s episode of The Following. Weston is finally back! We also learn a lot from the armory from last episode! Come see what we thought of this exciting episode after the break, as Violet provides commentary in her usual pink font!
This week’s episode of The Following I felt was the turning point where the FBI is finally getting some headway, becoming more proactive rather than simply reacting to Joe and his Follower’s plans. We also have Claire learning some interesting information this episode, which provides at least some light to the viewers as to the plans Joe has in terms of the “grand scheme”. Let’s get into it!
The episode begins with Claire trying to escape with Joey. I am not sure why she thought it would be so simple, but she takes Joey and heads to one of the gates of the property. She finds that it is locked, and tries to get Joey to go out it. Her plan is foiled as Roderick and a half dozen Followers show up, asking her what she is doing (clearly already knowing). Roderick then escorts her back inside. When back inside, Jacob tells Claire that she needs to behave, because she is making them both look bad. Here we learn that the place has heavy surveillance by cameras (which I had already assumed). As punishment for her attempted escape, she receives a tracking ankle bracelet, which will go off if she moves too far from the house. Joe shows up and basically tells her that “trust needs to be earned”. Kind of hard to want to be trusted by a psychopathic cult leader/serial killer, maybe?
Yeah, very naive of Claire. I was a bit surprised that they were even able to get as far as they did without someone showing up. Even if she was somehow able to get outside of the gates, there were cult members out there as well.
Meanwhile, Hardy opens up the episode with Molly providing a check up on his blood pressure, which she notes is low. She lets him know he needs to get a check up, and that he needs to be careful. She gives him a kiss on the way out. She is such a sweet lady taking care of Hardy like she is, huh? The episode then moves back to the bunker we learned of last episode. The NSA, DEA, US Marshalls and just about every law enforcement agency has shown up. We finally get to see Weston again, which I am very glad for. He is out of the hospital and, while still in rough shape, has decided to resume working. Weston also provides a description and sketch of Roderick, which will play out towards the end of the episode. Donovan is on the scene as well, and he, Parker and Hardy discuss the armory base. We find out that there is an extensive library of training videos of the potential cultists, that are being beaten and depraved before being brought into the cult. Parker also shows Hardy the murals that have been painted on the walls, which indicate several religious elements, works of Poe, and Parker indicates that sacrifice is the highest honor a member can provide to Joe. Parker also dubs the Cultist “religion as “Carrollism”, which Ryan seems surprised she had put a name to it. There are still times Parker seems to understand Joe a little too much (enter conspiracy theory here).
Hmm, I don’t think Parker is in on it. I think her understanding comes from the fact that she grew up in a cult, which she later escaped from. However, as we’ve come to find out, EVERYONE seems to be in on it, so who knows?
We move back to the Cultist house, where Joe is clearly agitated, and it looks like he is having difficulty with his “story”. We see him type on the screen, “What motivated Ryan? What fueled him????????????” At this point, Joe feels he must call Ryan and discuss his “writer’s block”. Joe is after Ryan’s back-story, and is particularly interested in Ryan’s father’s death, and the “plague of death” that surrounds him. Hardy detects that Joe is clearly agitated, and Joe proceeds to explain that the character of Ryan Hardy is in question (with regards to his book). Hardy tries to derail Joe’s thoughts by bringing up their discovery of the armory. This seems to further aggravate Joe, and their conversation ends.
Joe then has a meeting with Roderick, Vince and Jacob. Joe is still clearly bothered by the closeness the FBI is getting with their discovery of the armory. Joe questions how easily the FBI can find the hideout from the armory, to which Roderick says it is basically impossible. For some reason, Vince felt the need to bring up that Daniel Monroe, a member of Freedom 13 Militia (explained later), and him being a loose end that could be a problem. Roderick is against killing this guy, due to his helpfulness and friendship with Monroe. Roderick says he has no idea where to find Monroe, but Vince voluntarily says he knows how to locate him. I am surprised that Vince is so willing to give up a person who would seemed to be his friend. Perhaps Vince knows he screwed up pretty bad leading the FBI to the armory, and is trying to save his own skin. I was expecting him to side more with Roderick here though. Jacob volunteers to kill him, but Joe says he will handle it himself.
Wait a minute, a guy named Monroe that’s a member of the Militia? Sound familiar to any “Revolution” fans out there?? But anyway, Jacob seems to be eager to get his next kill now that he’s become the cold, distant Jacob.
Back at the armory, Weston is clearly frustrated as they continue investigating the armory, to which Ryan asks Weston how he is doing. Weston sort of lashes out at Hardy, comparing him to his father. It seems like he might be a little frustrated with Ryan over his injuries. Anyway, we find out that the FBI discovers that Joe and company are working with Freedom 13, a black market arms dealer. This leads Hardy and Parker to investigate the house owned by the parents of Brian Fowler, a member of this group who is connected to some cult members.
Back again at the house, Claire and Joey are alone briefly. Joey asks when they are going to try to leave again. Roderick walks up however, politely asks how Claire is doing. They have an exchange, with Claire trying to pry some information from Roderick. During their conversation, Roderick hints to Claire his anger towards Joe, as Claire tries to find out who Roderick is to him, and what the grand scheme is. Claire informs Roderick that Joe can’t be trusted, further igniting the conflict that is inevitable between Roderick and Joe.
I found it slightly amusing when Claire commented to Roderick how he seemed like a nice, normal guy. She didn’t see him last episode when he was laughing maniacally and randomly punching people for no reason.
Weston, Parker and Hardy are at Monroe’s house, and it appears vacant from the outside, with no one responding to their knocks. Again, they have no FBI back up, so obviously something bad is going to go down, and they won’t have assistance yet again. Weston decides to break into the house, and says something to the effect of, “this is from the Hardy playbook”, still showing some hostility towards Hardy. As they enter, they find a security looking device in the house, and a warm tea kettle, indicating someone was there. Ryan gets tackled by an attacker, but Weston whacks him rather aggressively, knocking him out. We learn the attackers name is Brian Fowler, and as Hardy and Parker interrogate him, Weston whacks him a few more times for being defiant. Hardy says he is going to take a look around, and to attempt to calm down Weston, he tells him to come too. In what appears to be the basement, Ryan is held at gun point by another assailant, but luckily Weston is able to get the drop on him. We learn this new assailant is Daniel Monroe.
Meanwhile back upstairs, Parker is going to finally call for back up, but Fowler informs her that there is a signal jammer in the house. How convenient. Parker and Fowler hear a sound, and as Parker is investigating, we find Jacob has killed Fowler and then knocks out Parker. Back with Hardy and Weston, they inform Monroe they have connected him to 5 other cult members through Freedom 13. The attacker mentions the Cult House, to which Hardy begins to demand where this house is. No answer is given however, as one of the security devices has gone off. Ryan is attacked by Vince, but he manages to disarm Vince, and as he reaches for his gun, Ryan shoots Vince dead. While Hardy is occupied with Vince however, Joe has managed to kill Monroe and taken Weston hostage in a locked room, that has bulletproof glass. Poor Weston can’t get a break! Joe threatens to kill Weston, but Ryan calls him out, saying that Joe needs him as leverage to escape, to which Joe agrees. Joe wants to continue the conversation they had earlier on the phone, return back to Hardy’s father and his death. We then have a flashback to the incident that killed Ryan’s father: a convenience store robbery that went wrong. Hardy explains that as the gunman fled, he ran into him. The gunman let him go though, for the reasoning that Ryan indicates as “luck”. Joe asks about what happened to the assailant to which Ryan replies that he died from ODing.
Where did all Weston’s aggression from earlier disappear to that he wasn’t able to use it on Joe?
Back upstairs with Parker, she is trying to connect with Jacob, to which Jacob threatens to kill her if she persists. Jacob then forces Parker down to the basement, to assist in Carroll’s escape. Just prior to this Hardy admits to Joe that Death drives him as much as it does Joe. Joe tries to make a comparison between himself and Ryan, saying that they are more alike than different. Jacob however has shown up, interrupting their conversation, and forced Hardy to disarm himself. Ryan drops his gun, and Jacob and Joe flee. I thought that just maybe Joe would kill Weston here. While I am glad he didn’t because I like Weston’s character, it would have further spun Hardy into his “Death Curse”, which I thought would serve Joe’s purposes well. Perhaps Joe thought it might break Ryan too much, causing Ryan to shoot him impulsively.
Parker and Jacob have a conversation while they are alone, and we get a little bit of background on Jacob. Parker tries to get into Jacob’s head, asking what went wrong, saying that she could understand why the others joined the cult, but that he was a “golden boy” from a “golden family.” We learn that Jacob had been in medical school, but dropped out because he didn’t want to be a doctor.
Back at the house, before Joe has returned, Claire and Joey are in Joe’s office. Claire asks Joey to keep watch as she looks at Joe’s laptop, presumably to see if she can use the internet to contact anyone. She can’t but she finds the story that Joe is working on, and begins to read it. Joey warns Claire however, and Emma walks in. For some reason, Emma tries to play nice with Claire, acting polite, and even tells Claire she felt a part of their family. Claire isn’t believing any of it and warns Emma to stay away from her son. Emma tries to play it off as something that Claire will get over, and Emma leaves the office. Claire marches out to Emma and lets her know she will never forgive her, and that she better stay away from her son forever. Claire ends up smacking Emma, to which Emma returns the favor, and a catfight breaks out. It is quickly interrupted by Roderick, however.
Claire had started to strangle Emma, commenting that she would kill her. Does Claire have murderous impulses that we don’t know about? Will she eventually join the cult?
Claire has returned to her room, when Joe comes in, acting like he had just had a long day at work. Claire tells him directly that she is not willing to play this ruse, as she has done enough pretending for the day. Claire then tells Joe his plan that she read in his book will not work (we still do not know what that plan is). Joe becomes very frustrated during their conversation, and nearly backhands Claire. He leaves visibly irritated. Meanwhile, we flash to Jacob, who is watching the news regarding his own involvement with the Cult. We see Jacob here clearly having some internal struggle, and he calls his dad. His dad answers, but after a few seconds, Jacob just hangs up the phone. The final scene in the Cult house is with Joe winding up in the kitchen with where Emma is pouring herself some wine. Joe moves on Emma, and they begin a romantic (can psychopaths be romantic?) meeting in the kitchen. I hope none of the dozens of followers come in for a midnight snack.
I think Parker’s earlier conversation with Jacob got to him, and that this cold, heartless facade he has been putting up the past couple weeks is starting to break down.
At Monroe’s house, the backup has finally arrived, and Parker and Weston are being looked at by the EMTs. Weston admits to Hardy that he had gone overboard that day, and that he is still stressed out about nearly being killed. Ryan tells him that he can’t do something that he would regret. This leads to a flashback, to where we witness young Hardy purposefully ODing his father’s murderer. The episode wraps with the “good fortune” of the local sheriff Nelson helping out the investigation, AKA Roderick.
My final notes on this episode: I enjoyed it a lot. I really like Weston, and am glad to see him back. I think it was a little out of character for Weston to be so aggressive, as I would have thought he would have been more scared than angry getting back to the case. Regardless I am glad to see him back. As usual, we have Parker and Hardy making unwise decisions on waiting for backup, which winds up putting them in peril. I’ve learned it is something I just have to accept about the show, though. I am also glad to see Joe becoming agitated over the progress of the FBI and actually having the FBI being proactive in the investigation rather than simply reacting to Joe’s schemes. I am still not convinced that Jacob is fully on board with Joe’s plans and would like to see him turn himself around, and potentially assist the FBI. As for Claire, I have a feeling she will continue to sow the seeds of conflict between Roderick and Joe, and I am curious if Roderick will spill the relationship between Emma and Joe to Claire. I am also curious to know if Claire will even care. I also am hoping that Weston recognizes Roderick, as I would assume Roderick doesn’t yet know that he is back on the case. In the previews for next week, we see Roderick asking for a “deal”, presumably because he is in FBI custody. Hmm…We have 3 episodes left, and I can’t wait to see what happens!
I also really liked this episode. We got to see a lot of the goings on in the house and Claire’s interactions with Joey, Roderick, and Emma. The FBI was finally a step ahead of Joe for once, and I felt that the side story of the Freedom 13 militia enhanced the story, making things tie together, rather than feeling like a lot of unnecessary detail thrown in like last week. Best of all, we got to see a face to face confrontation scene between Ryan and Joe, instead of just seeing them talk on the phone all the time. Although, for speaking to each other through bulletproof glass, they sure didn’t seem to have any trouble hearing each other, nor did either of them have to raise their voice at all… Looking forward to where this takes us next week!