The Following has finally found the secret for a decent episode: less talking. Oh sure, there were still some problems (like kidnappers discussing their kidnapping business in the most easily overheard place as possible and police sending only one deputized alcoholic and a small town cop to check up on the only solid lead they’ve gotten), but this action packed episode was more watchable than anything else The Following has presented so far.
The merry trio of kidnappers were scrambling after the close call with their other hostage (and what we are left to assume was a pretty steamy threesome) and Joey gets his hands on the phone long enough to call his mother and tip the FBI to his whereabouts. He also manages to later escape the actual house and makes it all the way to a neighboring house. He tips off the elderly couple living there, but unfortunately for them Emma is a pretty fast runner.
Paul gets tasked with “thanking” the couple for their help and Paul’s thank yous come with an axe. Literally seconds later Ryan and the small town cop burst onto the scene (Side Note: The FBI’s only task right now is to find Joey so if a call comes in saying that he’s been spotted, wouldn’t you send the FBI to canvas neighboring homes and the local cops to the talk to the tipsters? I would). Ryan’s blood expertise tells him that the killer just left so they (still just the two of them) go running off into the woods.
Of course Small Town Cop is a rube and the newest Carroll Cult Member quickly spots him, lures him to the barn and kills him with his own gun. This is why you send the FBI to the maniac’s lair, not the guy who has never seen a dead body. Ryan manages to kill the guy and then gets into the house. Unfortunately Paul is there too and he has a gun to Ryan’s skull. Can someone say hostage situation?
While Carroll’s plan spins wildly out of control (or is it…) Carroll continues to blissfully plot his epic revenge from the confines of his cell. He hires his former attorney (forced into servitude with the threat of losing more fingers. Yeah, he chopped off two of her fingers as punishment for losing his appeals. So original) to send Poe inspired messages to his acolytes and deliver ultimatums to Claire: if she ever wants to see Joey again she has to wait at a certain place at a certain time. If Carroll’s actual novel was as full of clichés and overused tropes as his master scheme its no wonder it was a failure.
So Claire followed Carroll’s directive of coming alone (because that’s what the naïve heroine does in mediocre crime novels) and sliped her FBI entourage to basically get kidnapped. Of course she won’t be seeing Joey, since he’s one of the aforementioned hostages, so what will happen to Claire? I doubt they’ll just send her on her way, but who knows, maybe the criminals are as incompetent as the police.
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