Following on from last week’s superb episode we couldn’t wait to see what this week’s instalment had to offer.
If you haven’t seen the latest episode of The Following and don’t want anything spoiled then please stop reading now. If you are up-to-date and want to relive the action then keep on reading.
Last week Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) took over Micah’s (Jake Weber) cult by killing his wife and poisioning him. Joe then had a message broadcast on TV via Carrie Cooke (Sprague Grayden) where he announced that he is alive and that no one should feel safe. During the episode Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and Carrie became closer as did Max Hardy (Jessica Stroup) and Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore). The end of the episode ended on a shocker with Weston going to a secret location where it was revealed that Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea) is alive.
This week’s episode picked up right where last week’s left us with Weston visiting Claire. Last week it wasn’t clear what was known about Claire surviving or how Weston knew. However we aren’t left guessing long thanks to a flashback one year ago. Here we finally get to see what happened after Ryan and Claire were rushed to hospital after being stabbed at the end of Season One.
At the time Claire was visited by Weston while Ryan was still undergoing treatment. Despite Claire wanting to see Ryan it was decided that putting her in hiding without his knowledge was the only way to keep her and her son Joey safe. It turns out that Weston was the one who told Ryan that Claire hadn’t survived the attack. Back to the present we learn that Joey is currently with Claire’s mom. She has also seen Joe’s TV broadcast so knows that he is alive and wants him dead. We later learn that witness protection wants to relocate her and that she wants to know how Ryan is.
The action switches to Ryan who appears to have had plenty of action the night before. He awakes in in bed with reporter Carrie and their clothes are allover his apartment. Before she wakes he heads to a different room to rewatch Joe’s TV broadcast where he told the world that no one is safe. Carrie comes to see what he is up to but Ryan stops her. Before she leaves she tells him that he can trust her and that although she wants the story she also wants to help Ryan.
From one bed to another we then join Joe and Emma (Valorie Curry) in bed. He’s poking fun at the events since he took over the cult and is teasing her by getting her to say “Praise Joe!”. They are soon disturbed, much to Emma’s annoyance, by Mandy (Tiffany Boone) who tells Joe that Robert is looking for him. Joe tells Emma to be nice and asks her opinion on Robert. Emma says Robert can be trusted but other cult members need convincing. She wants Joe to include her in everything. He says she is his high priestess and that he needs her help.
To help start spreading his new message Joe unleashes the psychos that Micah was keeping locked away. One of these is Mallory (Emily Kinney, The Walking Dead) the girlfriend of Lance who died on his mission for Joe at the bookstore last episode. In a discussion with Joe, Robert says the psychos are devoted and know what is expected of them but they need guidance.
Back with Ryan at FBI he is told that Director Franklin still gives him their full support. Ryan then goes to interrogate Dr. Strauss (Gregg Henry) who was arrested last episode when we learnt that he trained killers like Joe. We are given a flashback to 1982 when Strauss first met Joe. Back in the present day Strauss presumes he is interrogated due to Joe and Ryan tells him about the bookstore attack. He says he had nothing to do with Lance but explains that Joe is good at finding people. He expands on this by pointing out Ryan’s obsession with Joe and says he’s essentially another follower.
Back at the cult Joe is hard at work preaching to them. He explains that new blood must be spilt as there can be “no redemption without blood”. He encourages his new followers to embark on a “sacred mission to spread holy redemption”. He calls them “brave warriors” who can “bring harmony to Earth”.
Ryan calls Carrie asks for her help. They hatch a plan to try and draw Joe out and Ryan leaks to her about the capture of Dr. Strauss. They presume if it works that Joe will call Jana who was his mole at the FBI. With the help of Max they setup a trace on her phone and wait.
Carrie’s TV broadcast on Dr. Strauss does indeed get Joe’s attention and he calls Jana right away. The FBI begins the trace while Ryan surprises Joe by answering the call. Instead of hanging up Joe just can’t help himself as he boasts to Ryan about his new followers. Ryan annoys him by telling him about Jana’s death. Joe promises his holy army of warriors will rain hell on the world as he saves it one soul at a time. He tells Ryan he should just relax and watch the show. Thanks to Joe’s preparation the trace fails.
We are given another flashback to 1982 where we see Joe again with Dr. Strauss who has a copy of one of Edgar Allan Poe’s books. We learn that Joe’s parents died so his uncle sent him to the US from England. Tests have indicated he is special and Strauss asks if he knows what psychopath means. These flashbacks are important as we get to understand more about how Joe became who he is today.
Joe is angry about the arrest of Strauss, Jana’s death and that Ryan is still hot on his trail. Emma tries to take his mind off it but he’s too annoyed and asks her for a moment. Meanwhile Joe’s psychos are out and about in a van and are picking victims. After randomly selecting some poor chap walking alone they stab him and leave a card with the words “No redemption without blood”.
Weston arrives back to Ryan and Max after secretly visiting Claire. He says that he went to visit his mum but Max has checked as she was worried and tells him she knows he isn’t telling the truth. Max has also discovered that Lance had a girlfriend called Mallory.
Back at the cult and Joe is sat with Emma and cat that he sacrifices in front of his followers. It’s proves too much for some who then ask to leave. Joe says of course they can but then locks them in the hole. Joe says those that say they can’t kill must overcome weakness to accomplish their sacred quest. Later Emma and Mandy have a disagreement and Emma warns her.
Later that night the psycho’s are still picking victims and they choose a couple with a dog. While investigating why their dog is barking they end up getting stabbed to death along with their son. The police arrive at the house with Ryan and Weston and they discover the message “No redemption without blood” scrawled on the wall.
Max tracks down Mallory with some facial recognition software and discovers a restaurant where she once worked. It happens to be the same one the psychos are going to attack next. Mallory and a guy walk into the restaurant and sit at the bar as they fancy a drink before attacking. She picks a woman on the way to the bathroom and goes after her. Her attack fails and Ryan and Weston arrive. They push her for Joe’s location but her fellow psycho slits her throat before she can talk.
As the psychos arrive back at the cult Joe celebrates them by cutting himself and marking their foreheads with his blood. He calls them Harbingers of salvation who should embrace destiny. This whips the rest of the cult up into a frenzy.
Before the episode ends Ryan and Carrie are getting it on once again back at Ryan’s apartment and Claire announces she wants to go to New York to see Ryan. We reckon that there is going to be an almighty showdown between Ryan and Weston before Season 2 ends. What do you think?
The Following continues at 9/8c Mondays on FOX in the US and at 10pm Tuesdays on Sky Atlantic in the UK.