The Following Episode 210
Written By: Brett Mahoney
Directed By: Marcos Siega
Original Airdate: 24 March 2014
In This Episode…
Wrapping up last week’s cliffhanger, Claire didn’t really die; the FBI just faked it to get her into witness protection and keep her safe. But she is sick of witness protection, upset by the resurgence of Joe and Lily’s new cult, and she misses Ryan. By the episode’s end, she has told her security detail to make whatever arrangements they need to - she is going to visit Ryan and she claims to know the key to bringing Joe down. But she doesn’t just want Joe arrested - she wants him dead.
Back to the crazy. Robert points out the “psychos” from the hole: Tilda, who killed her brother; Patrick, who was dishonorably discharged from the Army for torturing POWs; Lucas, a narcissist; and Mallory, who is there mainly because she is (or was) inseparable from Lance, but she’s “not squeamish.” Robert promises to “shepherd” them, and Joe preaches to all his new followers, including the psychos. His new message: “No redemption without blood.” Pretty much everyone is on board.
The NSA feels confident that Jana acted alone; Gina had no knowledge of what her ex was doing. They haven’t charged Strauss with anything yet, but Ryan is there to talk to him. His theory is that Strauss said he trained other killers; Ryan thinks Joe might be seeking them out for his new cult. His first question for Strauss is if Lance was one of his. Ryan tells him about the bookstore, which makes Strauss laugh. He never understood Joe’s grandiose nature. Strauss accuses Ryan of being just as obsessed with Joe as any of his followers.
Ryan decides to try a new tactic. He goes on the record with Carrie, and she reports on Update America that Strauss was arrested in connection with Joe Carroll and his cult. Emma alerts Joe to the news, and he is more startled than I have ever seen him. Scared, even. He calls Jana, assuring Emma that her phone is super-protected. This is exactly what Ryan hoped would happen, as he has some of the NSA’s top people at his apartment, with Jana’s phone all set up to trace the call. Joe is startled when Ryan answers Jana’s phone. He takes a beat and turns on the charm, trying to wave away a panicked Emma. Joe promises that he has a “holy army” and things are going to get much, much worse. Joe hangs up, and Ryan’s crew wasn’t able to trace the call - Jana’s encryption is really really good. Emma moves towards Joe to soothe him, but he throws his phone and she grabs Mandy and they scamper off. I think this is the first time we have ever seen Joe with so little control. Ryan, meanwhile, thinks they may have a new lead: he thinks Joe may have co-opted another religious cult. And he thinks something is going to happen today.
And something is happening. The little band of Joe’s psychos has taken to the streets of New York in a van. They are taking turns picking victims. Tilda chooses a random jogger who reminds her of a high school bully. She stabs him in the belly. Lucas picks an average family because they have a dog and he likes dogs; he breaks in and kills mom, dad, and teenage son. Back at Corbin, Joe and Emma are trying to teach their followers that “sacrifice” will take them to a better place. Joe kills a cat with his bare hands, which upsets at least one follower. Joe calms her, then assures her - and anyone else who doesn’t feel comfortable - that they can leave, they are not being held against their will. A few leave - and are followed by a beefy guard. Mandy tries to hang on but she can’t and runs out after them. Emma later finds her by a bonfire and tells her that the others who left were placed in the hole; Joe thought she deserved a second chance. The two square off, neither trusting the other; neither wanting to admit they are jealous of each other’s standing with Joe. When Mandy spits out that Emma “isn’t the only one who killed her mother,” Emma almost looks proud.
Ryan and his crew are out at the suburb killing. “No redemption without blood” is written on the wall in blood, the same message that was stuffed into the first victim’s jacket. Max calls andsays that security cameras have ID’d Mallory. Based on where she is, her past work, and Joe’s video message, Ryan thinks she is headed to a restaurant she used to work at. He sends out swarms of cops.
Mallory is, indeed, leading Patrick to this restaurant. It’s not supposed to be personal, but she was fired two years ago, so she figures no one will recognize her. They head in and sit at the bar while she watches the crowd. She chooses a middle-aged woman, on a date with her husband, and follows her into the bathroom. Mallory tries to attack her, but she is hesitant, and the woman fights away. She runs into the restaurant, screaming, and Patrick grabs her. Then Ryan and the cops burst in. Mallory joins Patrick, and Ryan turns his attention to her, telling her her parents love her and miss her and want her back. These seems to break something inside Mallory, and she drops her knife. She is about to spill on Joe’s whereabouts, and Patrick panics. He throws his hostage across the room and slits Mallory’s throat before she can speak.Cops shoot Patrick dead, and Ryan tries to save Mallory. He is unsuccessful.
Joe holds a lavish ceremony, filled with fancy robes and masks. Tilda and Lucas are the guests of honor. Joe slits his own wrist and anoints them with his blood. “Who here wishes to join their sacred rank?” Pretty much everyone does and the tide of change sweeps across Corbin.
Dig It or Bury It?
Honestly, it was a good episode, but not a great episode. It is one of those “middle of the season” episodes, trying to tie up storylines and prepare for the last few episodes. In other words, it just didn’t “blip” on my radar.
Lily’s cult strikes again.