The Following Recap: All the Wrong Moves

the following s1ep7 300Joe wants out in this week’s episode of The Following – and like Lola, whatever Joe wants, Joe intimidates, schemes and murders to get. (I might be remembering the song wrong.) Meanwhile, little Joey proves the smartest and most effective player in either camp and Ryan winds up shooting at a getaway vehicle to absolutely zero effect. Again. Let’s review the major developments of “Let Me Go.”

RELATED | Fox Renews The Following, New Girl and Two Others

DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE… | Claire is supremely unhappy that her son is still missing. Debra is supremely unhappy that Claire got into a car with one of Joe’s followers, and asks whether she can count on her not to do so again. “No, you can’t,” Joe’s ex pops off. “Not any more than I can count on you to find my son.” I’d give that an ouch, but she’s totally right! Meanwhile at the prison, with ol’ eight-fingered lawyer Olivia in tow, Joe requests a transfer so he can escape the “injustices that have been inflicted upon” him – like when Ryan broke three of his fingers in the pilot. The warden is all too happy to sign off on the move and – in what, in retrospect, is a real ballsy move – makes sure to let Hardy know that the transfer is his fault.

So Joe is trussed up and locked in a van, which follows and is followed by support vehicles and tailed by a helicopter. Unfortunately, no one in any of those vehicles (or anyone in the building, really) has seen the 2001 remake of Ocean’s Eleven. If they had, they’d realize far earlier than they do that Charlie has messed with the surveillance feed to make it look like Joe was in the transport vehicle… when really, he was in Olivia’s trunk. (People, I feel like this is a teachable moment: My love for the Clooney doesn’t just keep me warm at night, it teaches me useful things. No felon/nattily dressed vault caper gang will ever get the jump on this girl. What could your love for the Clooney teach you? The more you know…)

Ryan and Mike realize that the warden’s college-age daughter has been missing for two days; they surmise Joe must be using the girl as leverage to get the transfer signed. (Note to the warden: Your cover was blown the second Ryan and Mike mentioned your daughter’s disappearance, and you said you’d “look into it” like it was an employee complaint about someone repeatedly burning popcorn in the office microwave.) Ryan has the transport stopped right around the time the warden is sobbing and being taken into custody, but Joe is nowhere to be found.

THANKS FOR NOTHING | Joe changes into the suit Olivia’s brought him and then asks her to do one more thing: Call Ryan Hardy and tell him that Joe is killing her, and it’s Ryan’s fault. She’s like, “Yep, I’m here with Joe, yep he’s terrible, wait, what do you want me to-” and then Carroll wraps his hands around her neck and snuffs out her little legal light. Boo. I liked Renee Elise Goldsberry in the role. Ryan gasps and tells Caroll to kill him instead and makes a mental note to buy a slightly scratchier hairshirt the next time he’s at Penitents R Us. (Side note: With all of the “this is your fault” going on in this episode and the series at large, Ryan’s going to need one heck of a Robin Williams therapy hug when all is said and done.)

Mike and Ryan, via FBI cell-phone pingology, find Olivia dead in her car and track Joe into a nearby office building, where he’s met up with followers David and Louise. Ryan (once again) is thisclose to getting his man when he loses his gun (and he worked so hard to get it back!), which Joe trains on him while delivering a James Bond villain-esque speech about how it’s not the time for Joe to die. Joe escapes to a helicopter waiting on the roof; Ryan regains his sidearm and shoots David in the leg, bounding up the stairs just in time to watch his target fly away – much like Emma drove away last week.

Debra lets Ryan torture David for a few minutes to get info that helps the FBI find the warden’s daughter. (More on that in a minute.) When next Hardy sees Claire, she’s being taken into protective custody — and she’s not pleased.

AND THE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM | I decided tonight that Joey is my favorite character in this show. He’s known for a while that something about Denisemma ain’t kosher. He fully understands that hanging out in a grungy auto garage with a screamy tattooed guy named Bo probably isn’t the kind of extracurricular activity of which his mother would approve. And he’s pretty sure that the fact that Bo has a girl chained up in a cage in the back room is a terrible thing. So he does a super-brave thing and nicks the keys, steals into the room and calmly introduces himself to the girl, Dana, and tells her that he’s going to get her out. (Maybe he picked that up from Ryan in the last episode? Except Joey actually closes the deal. Too harsh?) She flees just as Bo realizes what happened; a just-arrived Charlie catches her, and soon she’s back in the cage. Emma and Bo also aren’t getting along great – but she seems to settle a little when Charlie informs her that Bo’s not a true follower, just someone who does tasks for them here and there.

Joey feels Charlie out about the whole messed-up situation. Charlie correctly interprets the kid’s questions as a well-controlled freakout and gives Joey his word that no harm will come to Dana. So when it’s time for them to leave, Charlie takes Bo into the back room and kills him, leaving him with a very much alive Dana, whom the FBI finds later.

Charlie, Emma and Joey wind up at a huge home filled with other followers, all of whom spill out the front door when Joe and Louise arrive. Emma runs into Joe’s arms, weeping, but he’s only got eyes for his son – who won’t approach him. So Carroll instead walks to the boy, who correctly identifies him as his father. Joe blinks back a total breakdown as he verifies that yes, that’s true.

Now it’s your turn. Did you fear for a moment that Charlie would kill Dana in front of little Joey? (I certainly did.) Are you still jumping at moments like when Bo drags Joey out from under the car? (Despite knowing they’re going to happen, I cannot control my eek! reflex.) Don’t you wish the FBI would look like it’s on top of the situation at least once in the next few episodes? And are you missing the currently bi-curious former gaybors? I sure am! Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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75 Comments
  1. Fan says:

    Yes I wish the FBI was on top of the situation I am getting discouraged from watching the show….. There should be a balance ! I love the show though.

    • Strepsi says:

      I know, and LOL @ KIMBERLY ROOTS’ recap pointing out that the most competent person in the whole show is 10-year-old Joey.

    • Ashley says:

      this was weak episode in my opinon. Haha no paul or jacob what the hell?………. once again joe has escape and ends up reuniting w/ his kid before the mom? joey didn’t want to get close to joe and the FBI should’ve done a better job now the lawyer is dead but i knew she was a goner the moment she stopped the car. next weeks episode better be an exciting one cuz i’m losing patience!

    • Yes, me too. WORST. FBI. Team. Ever. It’s like they can’t do their jobs, can’t figure out who’s on the right side, have no gut instinct, nothing. I’m about to stop.

  2. JB says:

    Sad there was no Paul and Jacob!

  3. Dumb TV VIEWER says:

    Follow @DumbTVViewer for thing stupid viewers say/think!

  4. Carm says:

    The criminals win every single week! Enough already! Joe getting out and away really pissed me off!

    • Tristan says:

      If the FBI wins, the show’s over. Unfortunatly, the whole premise relies on them being morons. I’m losing patience too.

      • Carm says:

        I know they can’t win it all but they are not really winning anything. Whatever Joe sets out to accomplish, he accomplishes. That is so annoying.

        • meem says:

          Not ENTIRELY true, but close. Joe’s plan was to reunite with Joey AND Claire. He didn’t get Claire. But the FBI really had nothing to do with that failure.

  5. Alichat says:

    There’s a point in this show where it is going to get really annoying that Ryan and the FBI get so close but then the bad guy gets away. Oh wait…..we’re there.

  6. Troy McClure says:

    The show’s starting to lose me a little. I thought last week’s episode was great, despite its overly convenient ending. I also miss the horror element of the show, which has been mostly absent lately. It feels kinda like 24 lite. I understand Claire’s feelings, but no one ever told Jack Bauer that he wasn’t doing as much as he could. I am kinda enjoying my sick attachment to Emma, Paul and Jacob, though. Part of me wants them to survive, ditch Joe Carroll and live out their days on an island.

    • kavyn says:

      I want Paul and Jacob to break away. I feel like Emma is too devoted. But I agree, for some odd reason those three are the ones I want to watch when I tune in.

    • Strepsi says:

      good point about the horror missing (Murder by choking? Lame) — the show needs to either have the FBI radically increase intelligence, or have the Followers rampage and throw a hail Mary pass, like first season “24” or third season “Dexter” and just go for it: no one is safe, major characters die, a bloodbath….

      • meem says:

        When did they shoot this? I know there was a lot of talk about the gore elements in the pilot soon after Newtown. Could they have toned it down in response?

  7. Erin says:

    What song played at the end of tonight’s episode?

  8. kat says:

    It really is time for the fbi to get something right. And maybe for one episode where Ryan doesn’t get his ass kicked. For a character modeled after Jack Bauer, this guy can’t seem to even have one moment of winning, where Jack almost always got it right eventually.

  9. Rrrrrr says:

    This show is getting whaaayyyy too repetitive with the whole “bad guys win a the last second!” Thing, and considering we’re only 7 episodes in, that’s not a good thing at all. And it’s surprising to me, because back when Kevin Williamson was on The Vampire Diaries, it was never ever repetitive. I wonder why this show is so different, when the premise alone almost garuteed that this show would be better than TVD.

  10. Josh says:

    I can’t watch this show…I love when it’s a battle of the minds. Instead it’s the battle of the mind versus the battle of the stupidest people on the planet.

  11. shuayb says:

    Yup that’s Kevin Idiot Williamson for you. I haven’t bothered to watch since episode 3. These recaps do it for me. He will use the same plot devices and formula till it gets so beyond old. The sucess got to him so he is now just churning out nonsense…

  12. Meredith says:

    This show is starting to lose me. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt on a lot of things, but Joe choking out his lawyer with a BROKEN hand and her not being quick enough to get the door open? Did they give him a bionic replacement that I missed?

  13. dude says:

    i know i will get hate my way love the show it is serialized joe isnt going anywhere just yet the only one i want gone is the nanny next will be great. fbi is like ctu when they never believed in jack

  14. Hilary says:

    I’m sorry but this show is just becoming ridiculous. I understand that this is just a TV show and we are supposed to suspend disbelief, but really this entire plot is so incredibly unrealistic that I can barely force myself to watch it anymore. Not to mention the stories are 100% predictable. The same thing happens in every episode. The FBI thinks they have everything covered when in actuality there is another person working for or with or under the duress of Joe. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be watching but I doubt it will be long.

    • Rick says:

      The Walking Dead is more realistic than this show

    • Todd says:

      After last week’s crapfest, I half watched while playing a puzzle game on my smartphone. The game was more compelling. I deleted the show from my DVR recording schedule.

      I think the show would have been a lot better if it had been a one season miniseries. I really can’t imagine this being dragged out for a second season and beyond.

  15. James says:

    highlight of the episode Fever Rey playing at the end. as for the episode itself well all I can say is Arg!!!. i can’t stop watching so its my own fault really but this show is so very painful to watch. clearly the writers of this endevor have no clue how the justice system and by extention the prison system work. it really boggles the mind first of all how he’s gotten this far a convicted serial killer being able to chat the night away with a bunch of random people. ok thats perfectly normal, I’m sure charlie manson gets visitors all the time. by maricle he did escape one would think the police and entire FBI, and US Marshalls would be informed you know to do things like issue Bolo’s set up road blocks that sort of thing. I’m very sorry if I’ve offended anyone who loves this show, truthfully its a very good concept (questionable exacution), and I will watch it for Purefoy and Bacon, but i will curse the TV gods for making my brain hurt, as i do.

  16. JerseyMichelle says:

    I’m also losing patience with this show. Loved the pilot and the first couple episodes, but lately I feel like a lot of my shows are chores to watch. I’m also tired of the killing, violence and general sadism on the show, but I’m probably in the minority on that one. Only 8 new episodes left to “follow!” I will say that I love Kevin Bacon in this role. It’s nice to see him on TV.

  17. King says:

    If you like to nitpick this show is for you! First, Ryan saw Joe two/three floors above him but he yelled “FBI” over the crowd anyway (it’s not that Joe wouldn’t see and hear the crowd going crazy!) ! Joe in turn was able to see him coming and was able to walk away. Then, instead of calling the FBI right away about the helicopter, Ryan just shot it hoping the helicopter would fall! Not to mention Ryan should have been talking to the FBI over a walkie talkie or phone while they were in pirsuit. They should have given updates about the situation: where Joe was heading; who was with him etc. Then, it’s up to our own imagination how the warden handed Joe to his lawyer (should have raised red flag immediately) without anyone sering them. I knew Joe would be able to pull his escape off but the writers could have made it more believable. There’s so much wrong this show but I can’t stop watching. I guess, it’s fun to criticize a TV show like this.

  18. dude says:

    exactly if its popular it gets attacked. i get that people are frustrated but if you are still watching you know deep down it is still better than most shows. sometimes shows frustrate us

    • kavyn says:

      What popular show gets attacked that doesn’t deserve it? I don’t see people attack Once, Walking Dead, etc for predictable writing…

      • Patrick Maloney says:

        Right because no one is expecting Hook and Emma becoming flirtation, right? And Henry not saying something sanctimonious and obvious every damn episode?

        • kavyn says:

          Sorry, I chose the wrong word. When I said predictable I meant it in a repetitive sense. Like every week being the same situation where the FBI are winning and suddenly Joe pulls some bs twist to save himself. Yes, Once has some predictable story lines coming up, but it’s not the same thing every week.

  19. Does anyone else think that Joe is actually Emma’s father? It might be jumping the gun here, but we’ve only ever heard about her (promiscuous) mother with no mention of a father. Besides, Emma and Joey could pass as siblings, so that is another factor to consider.

    • Faster says:

      Maybe. I’m still stuck on the idea that Joey is Hardy’s son.

    • NCSouthernBelle says:

      I love this theory. It would explain her protective nature of Joey above other followers, their matching haircuts, and her hug with Joe at the end of this week’s episode. At first I thought they were lovers, but father/daughter makes more sense to me.

  20. Joey Jo Jo Jr. Shabadoo says:

    I just laugh at the “this show is losing me” or “it’s horrible but I’m still watching” folks. Seriously, it’s been 7 weeks if it’s so bad and predictable at this point, just crap or get off the pot. Nobody is making you watch a television show.

  21. Lisa says:

    I understand the frustration about the stupidity of the fbi but i’m really digging this show. i like how many villains there are. like a bunch of death eaters and carrolls their voldemort

  22. kees says:

    I want them to better explain how and why all these followers are so loyal. They’re losing me because I do not understand how he got so far inside their heads. Sure he wrote a book but he was in prison when he started to assemble this group, how did he get to some of the people who’ve been helping Emma & Co.?
    And seriously? We get it-everything is Ryan’s fault, but come on, can’t he get some redemption here soon?
    Final note-is Ryan magically not an alcoholic anymore? No withdrawls/shakes, nothing? I really hope they can get this show turned around soon. It started out SO good!

    • Drew says:

      Cults usually center on a charismatic leader who caters to the needs of damaged people and twists those needs into something that the cult leader can benefit from. Joe is not charismatic enough to pull this off, I agree. He’s just a generic bad guy who talks in a whispery tone. People follow him because the script says so. The truth is, they haven’t done a good job of making us understand how he makes all of his plans logical. Those people should believe that there is a goal for what they’re doing… Yet, his whole goal is to make this novel in which he is the star and all of his followers are nameless and expendable. Who signs up to be the red shirt?!

      The show would be a million times better/creepier if the audience could actually understand these people, instead of having mustache twirling bad guys following a mustache twirling bad guy.

    • Whimsical says:

      Agreed. I too started watching to see what tricks and insights this serial killer had, and how he got all these people to follow him. Sadly, the answer appears to be “Because they’re MORONS.”

    • This is my thought exactly. Seven episodes in and I’m still not quite sure WHY Joe Carroll has this many people following him. The show is working on telling us Joe Carroll is the charismatic leader but they haven’t really done enough to show us… maybe that will change since he’s out-and-about and in a house filled to the brim with serial killers but one can only hope, considering how lazy some of the writing is…

      Yes, I know it is ironic that I continue to watch a show that I’m getting more and more disillusioned with but I’m willing to give it the season, just to see if the writers decide to make better use of Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy. Right now, I don’t think many will disagree with me that they are being heavily underutilized the story isn’t being particularly compelling.

    • Faster says:

      I agree. Last night they mentioned that they got some of these people from a website they set up, and I was hoping to hear more about that.

  23. dude says:

    i think there is a connection between them as well or she would have been dealt with earlier. i wonder if she is going to be the new threat in season 2 you never know and i am glad there was no paul and jacob

  24. Mikepach says:

    The last two episodes left me neither on the edge of my seat or satisfied. There should have been some sort of conclusion last week and this week was equally as ridiculous. I know the points belated but, REALLY? Bigges investigation in the country and NO HELICOPTERS WATCHING THE FARMHOUSE AS THEY ESCAPE UNNOTICED?! C’mon… I was furious last week. Joe jus ESCAPES? To his X-Men mansion?! No BOLOs no road blocks, not so much as ANY real attempt to catch him. I was so in love with this show and I’m so sad to say that I hope fox cancels the second season… What happened to the two bozos at the farmhouse? When are they gonna magically show up and be reunited with Emma? With what’s his names stomach all magically healed.

    I wish last week brought about the ends of Emma and the pod.
    Or that we at least got to see more of that weak link and inner betrayal between them due to their creepy love triangle.
    We needed a win this week for the FBI in some capacity, and we got nothing…. No satisfaction. Not even a good cliff hanger.

  25. George2k says:

    The Walking Dead is more realistic than this show (best line ever) lol

  26. Mikepach says:

    Oh ps. I get that the warden messed with the feed… But really was it just the warden who put him in the truck?… They stuffed him in the truck and then left him totally unattended with his lawyer for 10 minutes… Exactly how most high profile , ongoing investigation, serial killer prisoner transfers go down.

  27. Drew says:

    I’ve not been a fan of the writing on this show since the start. But the top moment of stupidity was Ryan telling Claire that he wouldn’t give up, because that’s what Joe wants him to do.

    Was I the only one who saw the five minute villain monologue all about how Joe wanted Ryan around and how their story was only beginning?

    I could complain about the stupid law enforcement, but I’ve done that a lot. They just get stupider with each new episode. But I will complain about the guy who gets his gut sliced open and never makes a sound because they didn’t want to pay the guy more than a featured extra salary. Seriously people? If you’re going to have a victim, make him a victim! If someone slices me open, I’m going to at least say “Quit it”

  28. Coolio Jackson says:

    More of the same….more implausible cat and mouse games with the FBI looking like fools. I still can’t believe Kevin Bacon signed up for this. I keep watching this show, hoping that it will get better….or at least believable. In the real world the FBI would have paid some prisoner 3 packs of Newports to slit Joe’s throat….instead, we have this version that comes off like it was written by giggling twelve year olds saying “wouldn’t it be cool if….” This show is just too frustrating….I hope that season 2 doesn’t follow this same formula….a mentally defective follower at every turn. Geesh.

  29. tega says:

    Please I hope those runing the show vists sites like this?common d good guys gotta win for once!!

  30. Pat D. says:

    The worst part about this episode was the fact that even if Ryan eventually “defeats” Joe, it will be the most unsatisfying victory ever. Joe had Ryan dead to rights and declined to kill him saying “theres more story for you!”. Well, if he wanted, he could have beaten Ryan right there. But his goal is to cause Ryan as much misery as possible while spinning his demented yarn, so no matter what, Joe has won already.

    I hope the writers get better for season 2, because I really like the cast—just so much flawed plots and gaping holes in situations. Maybe they can bring on a couple of law enforcement consultants or maybe some writers from 24 (since they claim to be emulating that show anyways).

  31. Pat D. says:

    Also, I was not buying for one second that a rogue helicopter could just “disappear” in airspace over Richmond. That was possibly the most implausible part of the episode. After 9/11, isnt there fighters/helicopters ready to scramble at a moments notice when a rogue aircraft is over a major metropolitan area?

  32. JMill33 says:

    The first episode was *so* good.

    And now here I am with my suspension of disbelief stretched a d fraying like a rope bridge over a gorge in an Indiana Jones movie.

    I could forgive Claire lashing out at Ryan once. I could (ever so barely) cut her slack for swallowing the baloney about being taken to see Charlie. But she’s still giving Ryan lip after he’s put his life on the line multiple times? She’s saying she’ll waltz off with Joe’s psychos again? Sympathy gone, and as a character, unappealing.

    Joe’s escape was a complete joke. From the immaculate instant transfer order to the Three Stooges transfer caper to the Darth Vader broken hand Vulcan windpipe pinch of Joe’s attorney.

    Charlie and the Hostage Factory. Emma seems to have learned everything she knows about keeping an eye in your kid by watching the Walking Dead. Though I doubt Charlie will turn out as awesome as Carl.

    But the first episode was *so* good. I think I’ve got a lg least a couple of more episodes in me. I think.

    Fox has already ordered season two. I hope the Following gets its act together before they get taken back to the workshop or have to do the Showrunner Shuffle.

  33. Patrick Maloney says:

    This episode didn’t do it for me but I’ll stick with it

  34. NCSouthernBelle says:

    This show is really testing my deep love of James Purefoy! Joe Carroll is so freaking evil. Purefoy plays it perfectly, but as one of my favorite actors it’s hard to see him in such a villainous role.

  35. Disco Dave says:

    I’m bored. There is no good/evil balance on this show, and hence little drama.

    This show would be a lot better if the FBI “won” an episode every once in a while. Disappearing helicopters in US airspace? I can’t believe they actually tried to do that.

    FWIW, I think Claire is in on this whole thing.

  36. Felt a bit disappointed in this episode. Last week finished with Jacob and Paul on the run with Paul bleeding badly. Surely by now the FBI would have found out they car jacked a guy and are likely looking for medical help, Ryan did stab Paul personally after all. Also felt that the whole prison break was glossed over way too quickly, are we to believe only the Warden was involved??
    This episode felt like the creators wanted to get to the ending place too quickly and missed a lot of potential in the process. Nothing about Charlie’s lair either, would have expected scenes with the main FBI crew looking over the place at least, similar to what we saw at Emma’s house. Ended the episode feeling like I had missed something, even went back to check I hadn’t missed the last episode, just in case :P Hopefully next week returns to more complete story telling.

  37. CountryQueen says:

    I’m sure the writers are feeling very non-plussed today. Isn’t this the episode they said where everything would change? I’m sure we are all suppose to be talking about that ending – with all the followers in the house – and Joe finally meeting Joey. Maybe now we can find out how Joe became this cult leader. They really need to get to that. I’m enjoying the show for what it is – not nitpicking too much (though I enjoy reading yours here) – but it is getting old and a change up is very much needed – so let’s hope this is a some what fresh start for us.

  38. Walkie says:

    It’s a terrible TV show. It couldn’t be more obvious. How many victims are going to almost get away. How many times is Kevin Bacon going to be just a second too late to save the day. Stupid.

  39. Weezy says:

    Hilarious how the author says Joe Carroll “intimidates, schemes, and murders” to get what he wants (which is obvious), but no one ever thinks about the fact that the government does the exact same thing in real life.

  40. Jeri says:

    I’m about 3 episodes behind now, having a hard time trying to stay interested. Bummer as I really like Kevin B.

  41. Sheldon W. says:

    This ep confirms that we’ve left ‘grounded in reality’ far behind and are well past the signpost welcoming us to LalaCrazyCuckooLand – and I’m loving it (though I’m wondering just how nuts it’s going to get, since Ryan is allegedly going to be showing some smarts and taking the game to Joe in the near future).

  42. Jen says:

    It’s becoming somewhere predictable, but I’m still enjoying it. I think the good guys will get a win soon. Maybe with Joe broken out of jail right now, the story won’t be as repetitive.

    Oh, and I thought of the scene from Speed with the video loop! Ocean’s Eleven did it too, buy Keanu got there first :)

  43. MikeC says:

    this was the second and last show i’ll watch very predictable and getting very boring … easy to figure out what is going to happen … bad guys win everyweek … if this is the best fox can do?

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