Ryan (Kevin Bacon) was understandably depressed on this week’s episode of The Following. Even though his friend Tyson was going to be okay, Claire (Natalie Zea) had been taken, and they weren't any closer to catching Joe Carroll (James Purefoy).
Ryan sat drunk in front of a news report, as they rehashed the FBI’s ineptitude. Debra (Annie Parisse) came to check on him. She got him to come back into work, after admonishing his alcoholism and pointing out it was bad for his heart.
The FBI were able to trace the server for the Joe Carroll recruitment website. It was located at a dodgy S&M club in NYC. The woman who ran it wasn’t a follower, but her boyfriend Vince (the surviving militia brother) was. He’d set up the site behind her back. She agreed to lure him to the club and wear a wire.
Roderick gave Vince permission to go to the club and pick up a package of explosives. When he got there, he kidnapped the girlfriend. Ryan wouldn’t let the FBI rescue her, so they could follow Vince back to the cult hideout.
Vince made a stop at an old army barrack they used as a training ground. When he tried getting frisky, he discovered she was wearing a wire. He took off, as Ryan, Debra, and two more agents busted inside. The nameless agents saw people locked in cages and tried rescuing them, but it turned out they were just new cultists and killed the agents as part of initiation into the cult. Ryan killed the new recruits, before they could harm Debra.
Things were even more tense between Roderick and Joe this week, as Roderick became further unhinged. He continued to brutalize the other followers.
Vince informed Joe their satellite communications had been compromised, since the FBI found the training compound. Joe broke Roderick’s nose, for giving Vince permission to leave. Joe is back and calling the shots, and won't allow Roderick to mess up his plans.
Claire was taken to Maniac Mansion, were “dark” Jacob (Nico Tortorella) was assigned to watch over her. He’s basically a butler that’s allowed to use violence to get her to do what Joe wants; he just can’t touch the face. It was quite shocking seeing the show’s sweetest killer with a steely expression, roughing up Claire.
All Claire wanted to do was see Joey. Before that could happen she had to get reacquainted with her husband; this included donning the new dress he gave her and meeting him for dinner.
Joe told Claire he’d make her love him again, but she said nothing was happening until she saw Joey. Eventually, Joe acquiesced. The desperate mother was reunited with her son.
Jacob continued to give Emma (Valorie Curry) the cold shoulder. She was very impressed Joe had assigned Jacob to Claire. When Emma tried talking to him, he insisted that the Jacob she’d loved was gone. He wanted nothing to do with her.
Sadly, there was no quippy, shirtless Ghost Paul this week.
Secret acolyte Molly delivered a bunch of data she’d collected on Ryan over the years. Joe was pleased with her work. Later, he watched sex tapes she'd secretly recorded with Ryan. Nothing strange or homoerotic there — kidding, Joe was totes jealous!
Flashbacks showed Molly also visited Joe in prison. She was a nurse, who killed patients on the terminal ward. She was tasked with moving to New York to get close to Ryan.
She isn’t just an ex-girlfriend; she’s his neighbor and they’re still friends with benefits. She made Joe promise that when the time came, she could kill Ryan. I think she’s naïve to believe this. There’s no way Joe would let Ryan die by any hand but his, after all they’ve been through.
By the end of the episode, Ryan returned home, to find Molly waiting. She comforted him, in hopes of getting Ryan back into her bed.
Which part of “Whips and Regret” did you find most disturbing?
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