Welcome to another weekly review of The Following! I rather liked how we did the last one, review and recap in one, so let’s pick it up from there. And it should go without saying, even though we’ll say it anyway, that beyond this point there will be spoilers.
Let’s get to the thick of things. Roderick has lost his shit. Thinking that Weston was still in the hospital and then finding himself face to face with him at the precinct made for a pretty awesome scene — “shouldn’t you be unconscious in the hospital right now?” — and also began what would be his unraveling throughout the rest of the episode. Thus far this season, we’d only seen him as the cool, collected, if a bit uptight, second-in-command to Joe. After his escape, that smooth outer veneer finally cracked leaving him scared and vulnerable. His entering Joe’s study and announcing that they were well and truly screwed was also important in that it solidified just how quickly Joe’s walls are crumbling around him.
Last week, we saw Joe Carroll feel insecure for the first time in the season. This week, he’s a bit of a mess. While I thought the transition came a bit quickly in “The Curse,” here the groundwork had already been laid, so seeing Joe become increasingly more unstable was a delight; it’s a side of him I honestly didn’t expect to see until the final confrontation with Hardy. When Joe rejected Roderick’s pleas to execute the escape plan, that was the straw that broke the sociopath’s back. That Roderick of all people would be the one to deliver Joey back to law enforcement was totally unexpected and a great twist, though Roderick making a failed power play in his last moments was not. Going for the gun was exactly the kind of move we would expect from him. Still, losing him in the series is a bit of a shame. Most times he was on camera, he was magnetic and genuinely interesting. Joe’s character is taking up the slack, though, developing in wholly unexpected ways.
Also, way to go Claire! After treading dangerously close to being FOX’s Andrea from The Walking Dead, it was great to see her take some initiative and give Carroll the ol’ stabbity-stab. It doesn’t totally redeem her, not after willingly being so dumb in the last 12 episodes, but in fairness, being such a thoughtless character earlier in the season really made the final thrust (ba-dum-tssh!) a surprise. It may wind up costing her life, of course, but something tells me that she’ll make it through this season. The writers have been hinting towards a romance between she and Hardy for ages, and letting her die just doesn’t seem likely. Then again, The Following isn’t afraid to kill of key characters. No one is safe, and Claire not making it would be a great way to leave us off-kilter approaching season two.
With only two episodes left, the walls are closing in on Joe Carroll and his group of followers. There are still some key plot threads left to be unwoven, as well. For example, we’re still in the dark on the terrorist sub-plot and what the “master plan” of the whole compound really is. Why exactly is Carroll so self-assured that the FBI won’t come barreling through the front gate; it seems that he may not be and could in fact be in far over his head. Hardy’s history has also yet to be revealed and that’s just too good to be kept a secret. “Havenport” also made clear that all but the most important characters are falling by the wayside. The season seems set to end with a lens close to where it began: Emma and Jacob, Carroll and Hardy, Hardy and Claire. Jacob tells Emma, “We’re going to die soon. I can feel it.” How right he is, because at the end of the day, this is a story about Hardy and Carroll, and Hardy’s rise to herodom.
With only two episodes left and a now powerful sequence of episodes preceding it, The Following has finally come into Must Watch Television.