The Following Recap: What's My Motivation?

The FollowingAn angry Mike Weston returns to the action in this week’s The Following, only to end the hour once more in an ambulance. Elsewhere, a potentially very satisfying girlfight between Claire and Emma is thwarted (stupid Roderick) and Joe’s writer’s block nearly gains a body count. Let’s review the major developments that take place in “The Curse.”

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NICE TRY | Early in the morning, Claire grabs Joey and walks out the front door. They make it all the way to the estate’s iron gates, which are chained shut, before they’re intercepted by Roderick and a bunch of random followers. The move earns Prof. Matthews an electronic ankle bracelet; that, as well as the gajillion cameras strung up all over the property, should teach her to stay put. Or, as Joe phrases it, “Trust, I’m afraid, must be earned.”  (Side note: Anyone else notice the sheer height of Jacob’s hair in this scene? Impressive.)

Later, Roderick interrupts Emma spying on – my bad, trying to be “respectful” of – Joey and Claire. “Like when you slept with her husband?” he quips? I dig how quickly he can infuriate her. Any scene, she holds it together for about two sentences, then she’s threatening him and stalking off. And he’s even crazier than she is, so I don’t even really fear for him. When Roderick and Claire later share a few minutes together, she asks if everyone in the house is a deranged lunatic. “There’s a few hard-core psychos, some first timers, groupies,” he replies in the same tone you might use to discuss tomorrow’s weather. But the former Mrs. Carroll has some intel for the not-so-good sheriff, too: “You know Joe can’t be trusted, right?”

B—-, PLEASE | Using little Joey as a lookout, Claire pokes about in Joe’s office. The Internet access on his laptop is locked. However, she is able to pull up a working draft of his new book. “This is a story about,” it begins — and I am pleasantly surprised to learn that Joe is taking literary cues from Britney Spears’ early oeuvre – “death.” (Oops. Maybe not so much.) Before Claire can read more, Emma pops in, all smiles and “remember how fun it was when I lived with you and then kidnapped your only child?” Claire orders her to stay away from Joey. “Or what?” the nanny sasses back, earning her a punch. (If there were a Batman-style on-screen graphic to accompany that haymaker, it would say, “Deserved!”) But Emma gives it right back to her former employer (on-screen graphic: “Elfin Rage!”), and stuff is about to get awesome but Roderick steps in and breaks it up. (Side note: I love the gentle way he says “Ladies, ladies” as he does it.) Don’t worry Emma; you’ll get your sloppy second chance later.

THE RETURN OF BOY WONDER | When we catch up with Ryan and the FBI, they’re all over the armory. Nick and Debra are there, as is a barely-out-of-the-hospital Mike. It’s OK; even though Joe’s followers beat him into a pile of goo a few days earlier, he’s now being held together with surgical tape and fiery hatred. Or, as he shorthands for Ryan, Dana Scully-style, “I’m fine.”

The FBI quickly puts together that Carroll’s group has overlap with a disbanded militia organization run by a black market arms dealer named Daniel Monroe. Mike’s very gung-ho about tracking down a lead that might bring them to Monroe, and maybe even Carroll’s camp. But his exuberance (breaking and entering into one of Monroe’s men’s homes, pummeling that man with little cause) earns him a time-out from Debra. Literally. She actually tells him to go stand in the corner!

CHANCE ENCOUNTER | Ryan finds Monroe hiding in the basement; with Mike’s help, he disarms him. But the agents don’t know that Joe, Jacob and Vince are on the premises, too. Carroll and his men know that Monroe can lead the FBI to the followers’ estate (which he kinda does when he slips that he doesn’t know where Joe’s “house of psychos” is), so they go about eliminating him and his militia pal. (Important to note: Jacob’s definitely over his fear of killing now.) Ryan takes out Vince, but Joe gets a hold of Mike and holes up in a room with giant, windows that can withstand bullets but apparently can also allow people on one side to hear something whispered on the other.

Ryan quickly establishes that Joe won’t kill Weston because otherwise he won’t get out alive. (OK, I guess; are we to read Joe’s compliance with this theory as proof that he doesn’t think Jacob’s capable enough to have his back?) So Joe does a lot of threatening and prodding, and Ryan settles in for this week’s heart-to-heart with a nutjob.

MORE ALIKE THAN YOU KNOW | Earlier in the episode, we saw Carroll having trouble writing his book — Joe wants backstory that will make Hardy a compelling, flawed hero. So he gets Ryan to talk about his father’s 1983 death in a convenience store. (Kudos to the show’s casting and hair staff, because the actor playing young Ryan in the flashback is very Kevin Bacon-reminiscent. And his hair truly looks like it’s about to cut loose, footloose.)

Good God, Bacon always manages to make me hurt for Ryan during this kind of conversation. It’s worth a rewind to hear the way his voice breaks as he says, “I just… watched” when remembering his dad’s final moments. Joe natters on about how they’re both driven by death, but then Jacob comes in with Debra at gunpoint, and the pair of crazies run off after Ryan gives up his gun. Later, as Mike’s being checked out in the back of an ambulance, he and Hardy commiserate about circumstances making them harder people. Ryan says Mike just has to make sure he doesn’t do something he can’t live with, and we watch a flashback to kick-off-your-Sunday-shoes Ryan forcing the junkie who murdered his father to OD on heroin. At gunpoint. Interesting.

Ryan’s reverie is broken by Debra calling him over to meet local law enforcement… and Sheriff Roderick smiles broadly as an oblivious Ryan says hello.

LOOKING FOR SOME SYMPATHY | Back at Casa Crazy, Joe brings some wine up to Claire’s room and wants to debrief about his terrible day. She’s not in the mood, so she kicks him where she knows it’ll hurt – his ego – by telling him that she saw his book and it’s the same old stuff he’s always churned out. That makes him really mad (it’s humorous to watch this cold-blooded killer get truly unsettled about someone trashing his writing), so he finds Emma alone in the kitchen and prepares to dip his quill in her inkpot. (Side note: I feel bad for whoever pulled kitchen cleanup on the chore wheel this week. Hope there are some Clorox Wipes under that sink!)

Now it’s your turn. What did you think about Jacob’s tearful (and aborted) call to his dad? Is “Carrollism” the name you would’ve given Joe’s religion? How much longer do you think Roderick will be able to stand being around Joe? 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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  1. David4 says:

    The budget cuts that are going on in the USA are really bad. Only three people seem to work in the whole FBI!

    • tripoli says:

      Awesome! At this point I’d be disappointed if the FBI ceased to be a bunch of morons and actually gained the upper hand for once. I’m digging the consistency ;)

    • Annie says:

      I really don’t know how much longer I can put up with this insanity. I keep yelling at the characters – or wanting to, since I do actually realize they can’t hear me. Every time there’s a decision to be made, they make the wrong one. Listen, Feebs, when it’s you alone with the suspect in the suspect’s house and you can’t get a cell signal, and the suspect helpfully suggests you go to the street, YOU DON’T GO TO THE STREET. She only stopped herself because of that noise. Which she then had to go investigate. Leaving the suspect unattended. SO HE COULD BE KILLED. It makes me crazy, and not in a fun way. And then with the backstory surprise-little-Ryan-was-a-killer — yes, way to hammer home the theme you already hammered into us during the Joe/Ryan scene. We get it. OK? WE GET IT. “They’re more alike than you think.” How avant garde. How fresh. WHATEVER, show.

      • David4 says:

        I know. I watched her actually go to the street and I went “Wow! The show went 25 minutes before someone acted like an idiot! That’s a record!”

        This show should be awesome, I understand a killer cult is unreal and I can suspend belief, but it’s just SOOOO bad. Everyone is in the cult?! Everyone who isn’t, all 5 of them, are stupid? Give me a break! I now watch to see how bad this can get.

        • Lyndsey says:

          On the other hand, if she left the house she would have avoided getting captured by a psychopath and would have been able to call for backup who might have arrived in enough time to capture or kill Joe.

      • Kristoffer says:

        I could be wrong because so far all the FBI folks are pretty stupid (I think they must have hired all of the CTU folks) but I think she was just walking to the window to get a better signal and not actually taking his advice to walk to the street.

        Saying that, I do think this is going to get old pretty fast… meaning how many times can the FBI be so close only to have the ‘cult crew’ outwit them yet again. None of these folks had ever been to this house – yet the 2 bad guys know the layout well enough to get out and not be anywhere in site by the time Ryan gets outside… He was only a second or two behind.

    • Sara says:

      Hahaha seriously! I’m rooting for Team Joe now

  2. Alichat says:

    I’m rather surprised that Mike agreed to go to the hospital. As fired up as he was all episode, I assumed he would refuse. Of course that wouldn’t allow the ridiculous set-up of Roderick standing 10 feet from the ambulance. On another note, was anyone else surprised that Emma didn’t get in trouble for smacking Claire. I seem to recall Jacob saying no one was allowed to hurt her face. I was sooo hoping Carroll was going take Emma to task for that, instead of plowing her on the kitchen island.

    • Shaun says:

      How was a sketch not made of Roderick?WTH going on in the FBI?!

      • log says:

        There was…. a really terrible one, but there was. I do not like to give this show any credit, but for once they did something correct.

        • Alichat says:

          I could have sworn Ryan saw Roderick too when he was saving Weston. We know Debra didn’t see him, since she couldn’t even be bothered to sabotage their SUV so they couldn’t get away. But Roderick was standing out in the open when Ryan found them beating Mike. I’m hoping we at least get a “why does that guy look familiar” line from Ryan.

          • Ang says:

            What got me was Ryan met Roderick right after walking out of the ambulance where Weston was…did Weston not see Roderick? The ambulance had not left yet.

            This episode seems to continue building defining several antagonists along the way. Pretty soon Joe will only have stupid Emma. Loved when Claire jacked her up!!!

          • log says:

            Haha, me too. I find myself having to come up with reasons why these ridiculous moments are passed by, such as “Well.. Roderick was laying down cover fire? Maybe that’s why Ryan doesn’t recognize him? Even though as viewers we could clearly see each individuals face clearly?….” and so on.

      • Weston did have a sketch of Roderick, it just wasn’t a very good one.

    • DoctorWhoFanatic! says:

      I almost choked on a cookie when I read “plowing her on the kitchen island.” Gotta admit, your phrase sounds way better than it played out haha.

    • Dark Defender says:

      I totally thought they brought Mike back, just to kill him. I figured with 4 episdoes left (as of this airing), it was time for another FBI guy to die.

    • Kim R says:

      Re: surprised Emma didn’t get into trouble for smacking Claire….I was thinking the same thing but Joe IS making out to her on the kitchen island where there HAS to be knives nearby….just sayin’. :)

  3. tahina says:

    What show is worse, Hannibal or this one. -.-

  4. uh huh says:

    What?!??! A Dana Scully reference! I love you! And I miss The X-Files. Now THERE were some freaky FBI agents.

    Otherwise, I think Kevin Bacon is the only reason I’m still watching this show. He’s so darn good.

  5. Tina B. says:

    I’m pretty sure that Nick is a follower with the power they are all using and the inside connection to the FBI. It makes sense, it has to be someone WAY higher up than Weston or Parker. Hate Emma, such an idiot, I hope Claire kills her. Claire is an idiot right now, I pray for the sake of Joey that she gets smarter.Loved seeing Claire punch Emma, Jacob is getting more brutal but still a golden boy to me. Joe and Emma make me ill. Hate Joe and Roderick, can’t wait to see Roderick try to rise up and see if they beat each other senseless!

  6. Andy says:

    Kimberly, your weekly Following recaps are great. Your jokes really make me chuckle and I love that.

  7. Ashley says:

    haha didn’t see that coming btw claire and emma i hope she does kill emma………. if not jacob better do it. YAWN…………….rodrick is F’in ANNOYING!

    • niki says:

      I like Rodrick…he’s great for comedy relief. I laugh every time he has an interaction with Emma or i wait to see if he gets hit again by Joe in some scene. Between him and the only 3 FBI agents in the bureau fun stuff :)

    • Yeah, Jacob needs to kill Emma, i think it would evolve into my favourite episode. I want him to kill her in a room decorated with pics of Paul, a bit like in Dexter, and rant about how it’s her fault he died, and say about how he loved him and stuff, and then kill her very brutally and painfully (sorry, i just really loved Jacob and Pauls relationship lol) xx

  8. The Beach says:

    You left out what, to me, was one of the more interesting part of tonight’s show: Debra really getting into Jacob’s head with all the “golden boy” stuff.

    • Alichat says:

      Yeah….I wanted that scene to go on longer. I want the same answers as Debra…..why did he go this route?

  9. Jaime says:

    Loved the review, made me laugh… especially cause when Debra cautioned Mike I literally yelled out “Oh man, she just sent him to stand in the corner!” and I’m glad someone else found that funny…

    … but you missed my favorite line of the night! When Mike broke into the house (a la Ryan style when he broke into Emmas house earlier), Debra turned to Ryan saying “I blame you for that!”… awesome!

  10. JC says:

    These are some of the most incompetent FBI agents in the history of TV and film.

  11. big cheddar says:

    I think this show has finally beat me into submission – I thought this was one of the best episodes in weeks.

    • log says:

      I unfortunately agree. Did you notice how Jacob told Joe that the guy was dead BEFORE he could kill him?!…………. finally got me excited for an episode. I was hoping it didn’t pick up steam so I could easily drop it at the end of the season, because for some reason I just can’t stop watching despite its awfulness. Fingers crossed!

  12. Babygate says:

    I’m a fan but this episode had me rolling my eyes. The FBI always seems to run into a dilapidated, dark space that has many corridors and no cell reception to chase the bad guys. And it always seem to be nighttime by the time the fighting is done. And they always jump in without back up. And they seem to get from one state to the other in record time. The acting is outstanding but the plot is proving to be just as inadequate as these FBI agents…And I understand Joe not killing Ryan because that’s what the chase is about. Ryan feeds Joe psychotic fantasies by virtue of their cat and mouse relationship, but not killing Debra was unrealistic. Not that I want her to be killed, but there was no logical reason for Joe not to kill her. Or at least lock Ryan and Debra up in the storage room so he and Jacob could get away. I hope they get this stuff figured out before the finale…

  13. Couch says:

    I would be upset if I was a Feebie and saw this show. It’s as if the creators really F.B.I. stands for F’ck’n Bunch of Idiots! I can’t see how they can make this series last so long…let alone trying for more seasons. Can anyone imagine a Season 6???
    I watch the show because, yes, Kevin Bacon does well…but James Purefoy (Joe) is one of my favorite actors. His portrayal of Marc Antony on HBO’s Rome series made me a fan for life. And his scenes here just show what a great actor can do…even given shoddy material to work with. And I must admit I enjoy the sarcastic Roderick character. Decent psycho…lol.

    • Lola says:

      I loved all of the lines that Vince/Vinnie (?) had. They were so sarcastic. Like when Roderick accused him of not being upset about the Armory and he said that he was shaking on the inside or something in such a flat tone.

  14. Elderleigh says:

    So what will be the big finish for the season? Don’t tell me-let me guess…Ryan is actually the true leader of the loonies and Joe just the figurehead…I mean really… Joe has a secret follower planted f***in everywhere…I like both Kevin and James (Rome was great) but I am beginning to lose interest.

  15. lisa says:

    James Purefoy KILLED it in this episode

  16. Sherri says:

    I had to quit watching this show! I love Kevin Bacon so I am sorry, but the ineptitude of the FBI just plain scares me. But I do love these recaps, so I live this show through Kimberly!

  17. ENAD says:

    Ok, so the FBI are morons as usual and the bad guys win again. I tuned in mostly to see what I thought was gonna be a knock down drag out fight between Claire and Evil Emma, but Roderick broke that up. Although I applaud Claire for her efforts, I don’t know if I could have stopped from squeezing the life out of the smug psycho who stole my child.

  18. Dave says:

    this little FBI team is exceptionally good … i mean INCREDIBLY good … at getting knocked unconscious by baddies. kudos to them. really. :)

  19. Ken says:

    I thank God every day that the real police and FBI are not the incompetent assclowns these morons are on “The Following” This show has gone from ridiculous…to ridiculously stupid in record time… the good guys ever do anything right?

  20. kirads09 says:

    Theory: Joe knows (or at least suspects) Ryan killed the junkie who killed his father (as revealed in the episode). Maybe that is what Joe plans to reveal in his the “book” he is writing? Joe is all about torturing and eventually destroying Ryan. I won’t be surprised if part of the season ending cliffhanger is some poor FBI newbie getting sent in undercover to infiltrate Joe’s cult. The locating of the recruiting site seems to be setting that up. But from previews, looks like Roderick goes rogue, which is an interesting (but not altogether unexpected) twist.

  21. shel says:

    so disappointed in the show on a weekly basis. Every episode has Kevin Bacon sneaking around a dark house with a flashlight only to be a/hit over the head, b/shooting a “surprise” bad guy. Amazing how inept the goodguys are, and I’m tired of Joe, who’s not at all the charasmatic leader he’s supposed to be

  22. Yes, stupidity is killing this show. How close do you have to be to shoot out the tires of an SUV? Hardy was plenty close enough a few episodes back but let Emma PUT Joey in the car, GET IN HERSELF, and DRIVE off slowly enough that he could have flattened a tire or two with ease. Elsewhere, Claire escapes captivity and DOESN’T grab one of the GUNS hanging nearby. I really liked the Hardy flashback twist at the end of this most recent episode, but how many people have to wander into strange places and get conked or killed before someone in charge of the investigation puts a tracker on EVERYBODY who leaves to investigate?

  23. jonathon says:

    i don’t get the continuous complaints. this show is serving up the action and the acting everyweek. because it is acting, not real life, so the f.b.i. doesn’t have to be fully intelligent. oh well, people complain to complain. I love this show, my favorite new show this season and kevin bacon, james purefoy, the girl that plays emma, i can go on and on, this actors are good, i can’t stand emma or roderick, i’m confused about jacob, i like mike and hardy and every character seems to have meaning when you still can’t trust everybody. hope the finale tops all other eps this year and all the complainers miss out on the great finish. Keep up the good work guys!

    • kirads09 says:

      Thank you. Agree.

    • kate says:

      people are complaining because the suspension of disbelief is too great to bear. SOME semblance of truth is required to maintain an audience that isn’t sitting there saying, “this is impossibly stupid.” when the FBI and FBI agents have to make choices, and EVERY TIME make the wrong one, people begin to roll their eyes. the FBI, in real life, is an elite law enforcement agency that requires training and intelligence. people watching the show expect them to act at least somewhat meet those expectations, because the show, while fictional, is supposed to be set in the real world. in this show, the FBI are, maybe, as competent mall security guards. people don’t buy it.

    • The Venerial Disease says:

      The acting isnt that great though. The dialogue is terrible at times. The characters are unrealistic. The plot lines tend to be predictable, or if not predictable, at least predictable enough in that any time they need a way out, everyone but the 3 main FBI agents turn out to be cult members and allow the bad guys to escape. Every episode ends up with Ryan alone with the bad guy in a dark corridor…. Its just getting old. I wish I could quit watching but I feel like I need to make it through the finale. This episode was better than the last few, but ever since the first episode this show has lost steam for me.

    • chistosa says:

      Not to mention that if the FBI got their man the first week there is no more story. It is about the chase. I agree with posters that comment on the lack of other FBI agents. It appears that there are only 3 o fthem each week except for the computer experts. I don’t find them as inept as some. They manage to find the different lairs each week; Jacob’s vacation home, Emma’s home, the armory with very little to go on. They just get there too late. it has too be that way or Joe is back in jail and the cult is broken up.

  24. Angela says:

    I’d like to know what Kevin Bacon saw in the outline of this program that made him decide to accept the part. I guess he didn’t see any of the plotting because this show is so bad! You can see attacks on characters coming a mile away. And really, Claire? You thought you could just waltz out of the house and get away? Who would write such a stupid scene!!!

    • kate says:

      I’m assuming he read the pilot script. and I thought the pilot episode was good! possibly the best episode of the season, but the show REALLY went downhill at like, episode 4 or 5, and completely jumped the shark by episode 6. too late to back out at that point.

  25. MB says:

    Maybe the cliffhanger will be that the FBI gets the upper hand and that will blow viewers away.

  26. kate says:

    I don’t know how much longer I can put up with this show, and I so desperately want to like it. The premise is so good. Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy are great – most of the acting is really good, considering the material. But the writing…the incompetence of the FBI, the impossibility of Joe coordinating all this stuff from behind bars with only Roderick to help, etc…it’s just too much to be believed.

  27. I don’t know about you guys but I think, by season’s end, someone more creative than me will put together a reel on YouTube featuring all the times Ryan Hardy runs out after a baddie and comes out into the night, with streetlights/taillights shining on his face, the sound of his weak heart beating ferociously and that shocked/horrified/mortified/stunned/OHMYGODWHY expression on his face. I believe I have seen one of those sequences and expressions in EVERY episode so far. Maybe the writers have a game going on about how they can cram it in every episode… “The Following :-O” we’ll call it someday in iMDB trivia notes.

    Another note: I feel like the house and the cult are more RODERICK’S followers than they are of Joe Carroll. It was Roderick who recruited most of them, housed them, armed them and, well, trained them. More of these people know Roderick than they know Joe. And more of their personas match Roderick rather than Joe. I guess my point is… why are people still listening to anything Joe says? Why is Roderick? I still haven’t SEEN anything about why Joe Carroll is so seductive to these people…