The Following Episode 114
“The End is Near”
Written By: Adam Armus and Kay Foster
Directed By: Joshua Butler
Original Airdate: 22 April 2013
In This Episode...
Joe is in bad shape. He has lost a lot of blood, is high on alcohol and pain killers, and his plan is spiraling out of control. Time for plan B.
Working off the description Joey gave the authorities, Ryan and his team are scouring the county, looking for any estates that match up. One matching the description pops up on a satellite photo, but it doesn’t appear on obviously-doctored county records. This is the place. A massive convoy moves in on the property, but upon entering, The agents discover the house completely empty - except for Aaron, who hangs in the foyer as a warning.
Back at the command center, the FBI is trying to match IDs to known Carroll visitors, trying to get a handle on any of the approximately 37 cult members who were living in that mansion. Cops are conducting door-to-door searches for Joe or any of his followers, and encouraging locals to go to the evacuation center for their own safety. Ryan goes outside and stares out at the media circus gathered outside the station. He senses that at least one follower is there, watching. Sure enough, a reporter interviews a creepy young blonde named Amy, who starts spouting off passages from The Masque of the Red Death before stabbing the reporter to death on camera. Ryan tackles her and brings her into the interrogation room. She quotes“Annabel Lee” before going back to Red Death. Ryan loses his temper and holds a gun to her throat. Amy is not scared - she is too mad to be scared - but she does reveal that Claire must die so Ryan can be reborn. This startles Ryan.
Meanwhile, Joe, Claire, Emma, and Jacob are using the home of Phil and Vicki Gray as their safe house until nightfall. As you would expect from a psychopath, Joe sits and tries to converse with the couple, while the couple is trying not to shit themselves in fear. Joe makes his hostages dinner, but doesn’t untie them - not that they would have much of an appetite anyway. He eventually unties Claire to allow her to open a bottle of wine because he is in too much pain to to work the corkscrew himself. Claire is a good girl and hands the corkscrew over immediately. The doorbell startles all of them. Joe holds a knife to Phil’s throat to keep him quiet while Emma answers the door. She assures the officers that everything is fine in the house, but the cop seems suspicious. Without a thought, Emma shoots both cops dead. Jacob is horrified. Claire uses the distraction and her still-unbound hands to knock Joe out with the wine bottle. She jams the corkscrew into the wound she gave him yesterday, then frees Vicki and Phil from their binds. She gives Joe a kick for good measure, and the three hostages escape. Emma and Jacob help Joe, but he insists he will be fine - their directive is to get Claire at any cost. Claire and the Grays make it through the woods to the road, but they realize quickly that car coming for them is Emma and Jacob. The followers grab Claire - they don’t have time for the Grays - and take her to the meeting point.
Back at the command center, Ryan, Debra, and Mike are puzzling over Joe’s next move. Mike is the one who figures it out: the cult is like the plague, and the evacuation center is the castle. Joe’s people are acting out The Masque of the Red Death. The agents go into the evac center, casually looking for anything suspicious under the guise of “keeping the peace.” Being cool does not work well for Ryan. He recognizes Alex as someone who was in the crowd when Amy stabbed the reporter. Of course, Alex recognizes that Ryan recognizes him. He raises his arms over his head and the lights go out. Quietly, the darkened auditorium becomes an abattoir as cult members start killing anyone they can get their hands on. When order is regained, five civilians and nine cult members are dead, dozens are wounded, and Debra is missing. Alex and another goon have kidnapped her, tossed her into a makeshift coffin, and buried her alive.
Emma and Jacob bring Claire to meet Joe at the harbor. He forces Claire out of the car and onto a yacht and the two set sail. Jacob and Emma watch them go, then go back to the car. Jacob is done. This isn’t turning out like he expected and he doesn’t want to die for Joe. He is leaving and wants Emma to go with him. She kisses him deeply, and admits that she loves him - and she loves Joe. She slits Jacob’s throat quietly, then strokes his face as he dies. “I don’t know how to love you both.”
Dig It or Bury It?
Oh wow. This episode was non-stop. Does it make me extra-twisted that I loved the cult members infiltrating the evac center and just causing this quiet mayhem? It was so deliciously creepy, and the way it was shot only took it to the next level. Most shows would do a scene like that with lots of screaming, lots of pandemonium, and lots of gunfire. But instead, it was oddly quiet. It was dark, and people just had no idea that people were dropping all around them. It only made things more terrifying. This was truly a stand-out episode in a season that has been dotted with formulaic plot points. Tonight was just out-and-out action and terror.
Next week is the season finale. I can’t decide - do you think Joe will live or die? The show can easily continue without him - following the followers who carry out his work. But do you want the show to carry on without the delightful James Purefoy?