The shine comes off two of Joe’s golden boys in this week’s The Following, which nevertheless ends with an event we’ve been waiting for for some time. And it looks like FBI Nick isn’t the follower many of us thought… but you never know. Let’s review what happened in “Havenport.”
JIG’S UP | Once Mike recognizes that the Havenport sheriff is Roderick – the voice tips him off – he pulls a gun on the undercover follower. Roderick slips out a side door in the confusion that follows; the FBI soon discovers that the faux lawman is really Tim Nelson, a “golden boy” (like Jacob) who had Joe as his faculty advisor at Winslow. Roderick speeds over to Joe’s mansion, where he announces they’re “royally screwed.” (Exhibit A: his hair. It’s mussed in ways that can only foretell doom.) “It’s just a matter of time now. They will find us,” he says, quite agitated as he exhorts Joe to move everyone off the premises. When Carroll calmly says it’s “not time now,” Roderick questions whether there’s another plan in the works. The tone he uses with Joe is an interesting mix of devotion and mockery; it’s not surprising when his mentor grabs him by the throat and nearly chokes him to death. Roderick coughs, wretches and then screams, “You used me? You used me!” Kinda fun to see the whole nutty shebang begin to come apart, no?
DEFECTIVE DEFECTOR | Jacob runs in to alert Joe that Ryan’s giving a press conference. Hardy offers full immunity for the first Carroll follower to come forward and work with the FBI. Joe dismisses the move as theater. “The FBI are clearly desperate,” he reassures his flock. “We, on the other hand, are not.”
During all of the hubbub, Claire and Joey take a walk on the grounds. She drives home the point that although Jacob is her son’s “favorite,” they can’t trust anyone in the house except for each other. It’s OK, she adds, because they’re going to leave “real soon.” Well, one of you is! Roderick stealthily leaves the house, knocks Claire on her face and throws Joey in the backseat before speeding away in his cruiser.
Roderick stashes Joey somewhere, meets up with an old girlfriend (?) and forces her to drive him somewhere. They hit a roadblock and he calmly kills both of the cops working it; later, he’s about to kill her, too, when the FBI and local law enforcement swarm. His response? “I surrender.”
Back at the house, Claire is hysterical and runs to Joe, who swears he will fix the situation. (Does the show want me to giggle when he says things like “I am having a really bad day?” Because I always do.) He tasks Jacob, Michael and Ethan (don’t worry about figuring out whether or not you’ve seen the latter pair before; it won’t matter in a few) with bringing Joey home and killing Roderick. “Make him suffer if you can.”
LET’S MAKE A DEAL | Ryan doesn’t believe that Roderick has Joey, but a phone call to Joe confirms that the former sheriff’s “insurance policy” is the real deal. The acolyte demands a clear getaway if he gives them the kid, then whistles a jaunty tune as Ryan steps into the next room. Nick is adamant that they can’t give Roderick what he wants, but seems willing to brainstorm another way.
That’s why I knew straight off that Ryan sneaking Roderick out of the station wasn’t legit. But it’s good enough to fool the unhinged former sheriff, who doesn’t know that Mike is in the trunk and Debra and Nick are following close behind. Roderick brings Ryan to a home where Joey’s tied up in a closet; as Ryan’s freeing him, Rod pulls a gun out of the couch and aims, but Mike appears with his weapon drawn, averting disaster. Happy ending! Yay… oh wait. Shots suddenly shatter the glass sliding door behind Roderick and he hits the ground, dead – yep, Joe’s red shirts are outside with Jacob!
Weston’s supposed to get Joey somewhere safe while Ryan goes after the shooters, but he sticks him in a back bedroom and tells him to stay there while he secures the house. For the love of all that is holy, will someone Krazy Glue that kid to his or her side? Poor Joey – who completes his mental and emotional wreckage by tripping over a corpse (the house’s owner, methinks) – gets scooped up by Jacob and brought out into the woods. Ryan and Mike kill the other two guys; Ryan then talks Jacob out of returning Joey to his dad. Even though Jake eventually takes off, Joey is safe, which leads to his way-more-touching-than-it-should-be first conversation with Ryan. “You’re Ryan Hardy,” he says with wonder. “Mom said you’re one of the good guys.” And what happened then?/ Well, in Havenport they say/ that the FBI’s mechanically regulated heart grew three sizes that day.
REUNITED AND IT FEELS PRETTY TERRIBLE | Back at Casa Loca, Emma tells Joe that everyone’s in a tizzy about the FBI closing in. In the space of a few sentences, he rebuffs her sexual advances, blames her for Joey’s disappearance and slaps her. Oh yeah, and he tells her their trysts were just sex – “that’s all it is and nothing more.” She runs out of the room, crying, “What is wrong with you?” Seriously, Ems? You’re asking that now?
When Jacob returns, he is not in good shape. “We’re gonna die soon. I can feel it,” he tells Emma, tears sliding down his face, but I can barely make out what he’s saying over the sheer volume of his hair. It’s like his coif said “screw it” and decided to make a run for safer pastures on its own. (Excellent hair acting all around in this episode.) Emma feels me; she (unsuccessfully) tries to smooth his locks back into normal hair shape as she draws Jacob near.
CLAIRE TAKES A STAB | Downstairs, Claire cries when she watches news footage of Ryan carrying her son to safety. Perhaps buoyed by her relief, she approaches Joe in his study and offers a deal: She’ll stay and try to love him again if he’ll just let Joey go. She’d be OK with that? he asks, skeptical. “Eventually, yes,” she replies. “Time will be the truth.” She even goes as far as kissing him… but it’s only a ruse to get him close enough to skewer! Joe pulls out the knife she’s just inserted in his abdomen and lumbers after her as two of his goons dash in and carry her off.
Patched up but in pain, Joe calls Ryan to say that “Claire is no longer our leading lady” and it’s time for her to die. Gulp! Meanwhile, an upset brunette enters the FBI command center and asks for Ryan. Don’t worry, guys, I’m sure she’s in no way a repeat of the “Lord help my poor soul” girl… except she’s totally a repeat of the “Lord help my poor soul” girl! Only this time, she doesn’t maim herself. She says she’s a follower named Melissa who wants to help the FBI – and once they let their guard down for a second, she jumps on Nick’s back, rips the hair ornament out of her chignon and drives it into his eye. Yeowch. She gets a chest full of bullets for her trouble. Show of hands: Who still thinks Nick’s one of Joe’s men?
Now it’s your turn. Make like Joe and process your feelings using the therapy of words by sounding off in the comments!