Review

Review

TV Recap: 'The Following' Episode 211 - 'Freedom'

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The Following Episode 211
“Freedom”
Written By: Dewayne Jones
Directed By: Liz Friedlander
Original Airdate: 31 March 2014

In This Episode…

Joe is working with a group of his followers, to prepare them for killing. A woman, Angela, is brought up in front of the “class” and Joe instructs her to remember the serenity and freedom of the time she went snorkeling, and give that freedom to Carla, a woman tied and gagged on the table before her. She takes some encouraging, but Angela plunges the knife deep into Carla’s abdomen. Joe hugs her. Later, while alone, Emma brings up Mandy to Joe, fearing that she is a lost cause. Joe agrees, she has turned out to be a disappointment. Mandy overhears all this and rushes from the room before they know she is there. Robert comes in to speak to Joe. While he promises that he is with Joe, he says that some of the others are questioning him. They know Joe’s past and doubt his sincerity. Plus, Carla had been a good friend to Robert, so her death (or being sent “home”) hit him especially hard. Joe reminds him that Micah is still in their hearts, and their salvation comes from the redemption of others. He promises to take this message back to the others, and apologizes for his doubt. Joe still has his concerns - he is not used to followers questioning him. He sends Emma to smooth over the situation. Emma sits with Robert on his bunk and admits she doubted Joe in the past; he has made mistakes. “He needs people like us to guide him.” She encourages him to have faith. They kiss, and end up having sex. Later, she returns to Joe and finds him watching a televangelist, Kingston Tanner, speaking about Joe to his flock. “Last year, I thought way too small,” Joe admits to Emma. Poe wasn’t the answer; religion is. Joe is bringing about a holy war.

Another killing, this time two masked men storm a bakery and knife everyone they can as they move front to back. Mike and Ryan’s research on potential cults that Joe could have commandeered (they have a short list of 73 potential cults) is interrupted by the call from the bakery. They arrive on the scene to discover five dead, 12 injured, and no message. A highly unusually trait for Joe. Not far away, a woman named Serena kills a nurse named Terry - a simple but brutal stabbing as she is getting into her car. Serena stuffs Terry into the backseat, takes her hospital ID, and drives off. She uses the ID to sneak into the hospital, which is overwhelmed with the recent rash of stabbing victims. No one notices her slip in. She goes to one of the break rooms, shoves a bag into a locker, and sends a text with the combination. This text goes to two men in the hospital, posing as bakery victims. As soon as the text comes in, they each slip from their hospital beds and retrieve the bag, which is filled with guns.

It is around this time that Ryan, still at the bakery, realizes that there were five employees brought to the hospital - but only three working that day. The victims were all taken to the same hospital that still holds Luke. This wasn’t Joe’s people; it was Lily’s.

Serena uses her stolen ID and a nicked chart to get into Luke’s super-secure ward. She goes to him and hands him a phone. Lily is on the other end, promising they are getting him out of there, just “listen to Serena, and soon you will be home.” Her two cohorts, dressed as orderly and patient, come to ward next. Security won’t let them in, then they get a call, presumably to let them know what is about to unfold. All hell breaks loose, with the men shooting everyone in sight. They don gas masks and throw smoke bombs before smuggling Serena and Luke out. Their plan was to escape in an ambulance, but before they can, the cops have surrounded the area. They have to go to plan B. It is not exactly clear what plan B is - something to do with moving through the basement and escaping into the marketplace across the street - but the group gets separated. Luke is trailing blood through the basement, and hides in a storage closet. Ryan finds him, but then one Luke’s “bodyguards” finds Ryan. He offers to help the goon walk right out of there; they are only interested in Luke. The goon is interested; the two of them fight; the goon ends up dead and Luke escapes into the marketplace and disappears. He finds his way back to the hotel where he reunites tearfully with Lily and Mark.

Mandy is quickly realizing that Corbin is not a good place for her. When Joe is out, she sneaks into his room, hooks up his computer, and gets a phone number from Joe’s classified secret code. She packs up and leaves the compound. A woman picks her up, hitchhiking on an icy road, and Mandy uses her phone. The phone number she calls is one of Lily’s cell phones. Mark answers; she recognizes his voice. Mark is shocked, and won’t confirm if it is him or not. Mandy is scared, but clearly she is looking to join Lily’s crew.

Joe sees Carrie’s news report on the bakery stabbings, that Lily is mimicking Joe’s crew. “That clever little viper,” Joe drawls. “We’ll show her.”

Finally, Ryan and Mike are at Ryan’s apartment. They assume the knock on the door is from Max, and Mike goes to open it. It’s not Max, but he recognizes Matt Daniels, head of witness protection, in an instant. Mike immediately begs Ryan to let him explain, but there is no need. Claire is there, and Ryan is positively in shock.

Dig It or Bury It?

I’m glad we finally brought Lily back into the picture. I foresee the battle turning into one between Joe and Lily more than Joe and the world. But honestly, this episode was a little lackluster. Even the killing spree in the bakery just seemed underwhelming. I don’t know if it was the way it was shot, the way it was scored, the way it was cut, but that scene just didn’t have the intensity of, say, the bookstore stabbing.

Prophecies?

Ryan is elated to be reunited with Claire. She doesn’t want anything to get in the way of them killing Joe. Joe, meanwhile, is waging war on religion, while Mandy has rejoined Lily’s group.

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