In Which The Theme “Love Hurts” Is Shoved Into Viewer’s Faces Repeatedly Because The People Writing This Show Don’t Know What Subtlety Is
This week’s episode opens with Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon), Debra Parker (Annie Parisse) and Nick Donovan (Mike Colter) attending a briefing involving the CIA, Homeland Security, etc. They basically give us a run down of the past 8 episodes, while Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) gives a
blah rousing speech to his followers back at their mansion.
We are also informed in a throwaway line that Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) is still in the hospital, having yet to regain consciousness, and as such will not be in this episode at all. Booo hiss.
Paul and Jacob
Jacob (Nico Tortorella) and Paul (Adan Canto) have been notably absent from the show for the past few weeks, but make their comeback pretty early on into this episode. Last we saw of them, Paul got shot by the cops and they were escaping from a farmhouse. Now, they’re holed up in Jacob’s family’s lake house. Apparently he thought it was going to be unoccupied, because everyone involved is shocked when his mother walks through the door.
After a short confrontation in which Jacob’s mom is appalled that he’s joined a murderous Poe-worshipping cult, Jacob protests that at least he hasn’t killed anyone yet (that is a weak defense, dude, seriously) and she grudgingly goes to tend to Paul’s wounds. Jacob’s mom used to be a nurse, so she knows exactly how bad his condition is; Paul has sepsis, and he’s going to die if they don’t get him to a hospital soon.
While Jacob is brooding about what to do, the show gives us several flashbacks that give us more of a glimpse into the Paul and Jacob relationship, including one that shows exactly how it was that Paul found out about Jacob having never killed anyone before. Turns out he knew pretty much from the beginning, and kept it a secret for all that time. (It’s around this time that I start to suspect that there’s a greater purpose to these scenes; less ‘awww look at the cute psychopathic cult members and their hurt/comfort’ and more ‘one or both of them are gonna die and it’s gonna be really, really graphic’.)
Jacob’s mom tries again to get them to leave the lake house.
Roderick conveniently emails Jacob back with the address to the Mansion of Murderers, but Paul’s condition has deteriorated and he won’t be able to survive the trip. He asks Jacob to kill him, because he wants his death to mean something. JFC, first Charlie, now Paul. What is it with these people and their need for “meaningful deaths”?
Anyways, Jacob smothers him to death with a pillow while soft romantic music plays in the background and then weeps over his smother’d body. End scene. So totally called it, you guys.
Emma, Joe Carroll, and Roderick
After the sex that Emma (Valorie Curry) and Carroll had in the last episode, Emma is extremely pleased with what she presumes is a change in their relationship. He shuts that down right quick, though, calling that night an “indiscretion” and making it very clear he doesn’t want a repeat. Ouch, gurl.
Emma spends much of the rest of her scenes feeling sad and rejected. Roderick (Warren Cole), however, is taking a weirdly strong interest in who Emma is and is not fucking, because he’s always in the background of her scenes spying/smirking at her sad and rejected self.
Eventually, Roderick confronts Emma – in an awesomely loud fashion – calling her out on sleeping with the boss and for ditching her boyfriend and his boyfriend and then lying about it afterwards. (I’m still not clear on why she was lying about that, by the way.) Roderick also does a really, really good impressions of Jacob’s whiny voice. Like, surprisingly good.
At the very end of the episode, after Roderick sends his little email, Emma and Jacob are reunited just before the screen fades to black. Shit is about to go down next week.
Follower Of The Week and Ryan Hardy
After the business meeting/interrogation at the very beginning of the episode, Donovan pulls Debra away for a private conversation. He describes Ryan as a wild card and assigns Debra to babysit him, while the major control of the investigation is now going to be handled in DC – implying that both Debra and Ryan are incompetent at their jobs. Debra, obviously, is not very happy about this.
Later on, Carroll calls Ryan to ask after Mike (AKA rub the guilt and the heart-wrenching pain in some more) and then goes on a tangent about love and hurt and all that nice foreshadow-y stuff we learned about in high school. The hands down best part of this show – Sassy!Ryan – makes another comeback as Ryan tries to keep Carroll on the line long enough for the FBI to track him, but obviously that doesn’t work.
This episode’s “Follower of the Week” is named Amanda (Marin Ireland). She seems particularly unhinged compared to most of the other followers we’ve met so far (who are usually more put together and only mildly creepy). In a flashback, we learn that Amanda was a fangirl of Carroll’s when he was still in jail, and that they used to write letters back and forth in which he praised her worth and told her that she deserved happiness.
She then interpreted that to mean ‘take a shotgun and blow my husband and his girlfriend’s heads off’. When she went to visit Carroll in prison to tell him about what she did, he helped her evade authorities by introducing her to Roderick and giving her a place to stay in the Mansion of Murderers.
In present day, she’s tasked with murdering women with Carroll’s ex-wife’s name as a tactic to either get Ryan to tell him where Claire is, or to get Claire to come out of hiding herself. She succeeds in killing two women named Claire Matthews before the FBI finally catch up to Amanda as she’s tracking down the third Claire at a college party. Ryan manages to talk Amanda down from killing Claire #3, and in the process of his oh-so-moving speech, we find out that Ryan is in love with Original Claire Matthews. Biiiig surprise. Totally didn’t see that coming at all.
It was a pretty ‘meh’ episode overall; not the show’s best, but not bad enough to be its worst.
Carroll: I just wanted to see how your friend Agent Weston is doing. I heard that he took quite a beating.
Ryan: He’s expected to make a full recovery.
Carroll: Oh! That’s good to hear!
Ryan: Yep. I’m sorry about your friends though. They’re kinda… dead.
Roderick: Joe speaks to my contradictions. We all have our gray areas, Em.
Ryan: That’s not Joe’s wife!
Amanda: IT’S A FREAKING METAPHOR, RYAN.
The Following airs Mondays, 9/8c on FOX.