The Following Recap: Off the Rails

The Following Season 2 RecapYou’d think a room full of serial killers wary of each others’ motives would make for some compelling television. Yet when two Following factions meet in this week’s episode, it is to surprisingly “meh” effect.

Meanwhile, Ryan and Max’s family bonding means they let a killer slip through their hands together. (Awwww.) Let’s review what happened in “Family Affair.”

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REST STOP | Joe and Mandy stalk a suburban mom and her two kids, then break into the house and grab the baby boy. The mom (played by Popular‘s Leslie Bibb) realizes something’s up and grabs a knife – but drops it when she realizes that the bearded stranger in her backyard is actually her former guru of gore, alive and looking like he could sorely use a few minutes in a truck-stop rent-a-shower.

As Mandy plays with the woman’s young daughter, Jana (the follower) asks Joe what went wrong; apparently, Roderick had told her that Joe would come to her much sooner. “I took a detour,” Carroll says. She makes him a fake passport and gives him money and food; before he leaves, he asks her about Joey – in Witness Protection with his grandmother – and wonders whether she can help him figure out if it’s safe to call the number he found in the classifieds two episodes ago.

During a quiet moment alone, Mandy asks Joe if they’ll kill Jana – and bonus points to the kid for kinda stunning a mass murderer with her bloodlust. He explains that death is a gift and that you just can’t give it away indiscriminately, and no boys will respect you if you… oh wait, I’m confusing this speech with the one from eighth grade health class. My bad.

Before they take off, Joe makes a call, which brings us to…

MURDER MANOR, PART DEUX | … the palatial estate where Lily has gathered her international, probably all-psycho brood of orphans and castoffs. Here’s what we learn: Lily was taken in by a very rich man after her father killed her mother, that man’s housekeeper died giving birth to twins (Mark and Luke), and Lily has traveled the world, taking in “discards” to add to her “family.” We also pick up on some family dynamics: It looks like Lily dotes on Mark and is tougher on Luke, but there’s also something very wrong about the way Luke runs his hands over his mom’s arms and the way the pair giggle at how “sexy” her arm scar will make her.

All of it makes Emma wigged out and wary, but Lily works overtime to make her feel comfortable – and it seems to pay off when Joe calls and wants to know whether it’s safe for him to show up there. Valorie Curry sheds all of Emma’s tough-girl act the moment she hears her mentor’s voice, and she quietly cries as she says, “It’s safe. Come back to me, Joe.”

The pair rendezvous with Emma and Mark in a cemetery. (Side note: Enough with the gothic shtick, Carrollers! Find a new literary jam. May I suggest Jane Austen? Not as much killing, but far more petticoats!) Emma alternately sobs and beats at Joe with her little fists and hugs him and yells at him, but it must all end OK, because she brings him back to the house, where Lily is waiting in a slinky black number.

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REALLY, RYAN? | Lily tasks nouveau follower Gisele to finish off David, Lily’s business partner who was stabbed at that benefit at the library. (I thought he was her driver. Oops.) David knows who Gisele is but refuses to take the pills she offers, so she garrotes him to death and downloads some information off his laptop. (With all of the random French she tosses around – knowing full well that other people in the room don’t understand her – Gisele is 100 percent your annoying college friend who couldn’t let study abroad go. And I know, because I was that friend.)

Despite a warning from Mike, Max helps Ryan track Gisele to the crime scene, but she gets away. And Mendez really doesn’t like Hardy disobeying her orders, so she arrests him and brings him down to the FBI for questioning. But nothing comes of it, so he’s out in time to meet Max at Grand Central Terminal, where Gisele is about to hop on a train.

Max manages to get into very public fisticuffs with Gisele – then, in typical Hardy fashion, lose her – before Ryan even gets there. So then the pair run through the station, searching for the killer just by looking around. As someone who on multiple occasions has spent way too much trying to locate her parents who always insist on meeting “by the big clock” even though the rest of the free world meets up there, I feel qualified to say that the Hardys are screwed.

Somehow, though, they find her on a platform just before a train pulls in. (Side note: There are a bunch of things about this whole sequence that regular MetroNorth commuters will agree don’t ring true, but as long as the show isn’t trying to pull some Step Up 3D nonsense – aka having us believe that you can hop a train to California from Grand Central – I’m OK with it.)

Ryan and Gisele beat the snot out of each other, but when he pulls his gun, she fakes being innocent and a few other travelers jump on him while she sneaks into the train, which takes off. Bummer, Ryan. May I suggest you go downstairs and drown your sorrows in a Shake Shack shake? Oh wait, Max calls with something even better: In the chaos, she slipped onto the train, too.

And back at the FBI, Mendez calls her ex – a former FBI agent — and apologizes for not being able to take the kids that weekend. And that ex? Jana.

Now it’s your turn. Did you, too, feel like not much happened in this episode? Is Mandy a psycho in training, or just a lost soul?  Think Lily’s other “kids” are killers, too? Sound off in the comments!

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