Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

The Following Recap: The Kidnapping of Mr. Tekserv

THE FOLLOWING: In a flashback, Joe Carroll (James Purefoy, L) confronts his next victim in the "Welcome Home" episode of THE FOLLOWING airing Monday, March 11 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT)

Joe moves into his new digs this week. Heat, water, and a foyer full of followers are included in the rent. There are lots of boxes left to unpack, Edgar Allan Poe portraits to hang. Joe’s study is being called his “inspiration room.” Whoever did the interior decorating was clearly inspired by The Wire when it came to one particular design choice: a chalkboard with five photos affixed to it — Hardy, Weston, that older grayed-haired FBI dude, Parker, and the guy who was killed by the crazy follower wife (his photo has an X over his face). You know, just in case Joe has trouble keeping track of a handful of people he’s obsessed with who all do the same job.

The person leading the house tour is Roderick, who we learn was Joe’s “first student.” We see a flashback to a younger, slightly jockier Roderick being led into a room by a same-aged-looking Joe. A terrified woman is tied up on a table. Joe spews some nonsense about how good it feels when you feel the flesh give way to the knife blade while demonstrating on the girl. Which it actually seems Roderick could’ve figured out on his own. We already knew Joe was a hack writer, but he doesn’t even seem all that original when it comes to serial killing. Roderick is chiseled and dimpled, the kind of handsome that makes people want to do stuff for you. Like, he’s probably never paid for a cup of coffee in his life. He excels at life. So obviously he’s working an unpaid internship for Joe.

There’s a new boss man at the FBI. His name is Call Me Nick. He wants to apologize in advance for being a control freak but he has no choice. Everyone rolls their eyes at this. It’s so like the Man to step in and say that catching a dangerous murderer is serious business. Call Me Nick is demoting Hardy from fuck-up freelance agent to fuck-up freelance consultant. Hardy’s all, Yeah, I’ll “consult.” The scare quotes are his and they’re so you’ll understand that by “consult” he means “figure out where innocent people are and then fail to save them.” Then Hardy Footloose-dances out of the room. Just kidding because I wish.

Joey isn’t at all psyched to wake up in the morning to the sight of his dad. Joe doesn’t seem all that peppy about it either. He looks like he’d prefer to skip the next eleven years and just jump to the sending-off-to-college part of fatherhood. He has invaluable expertise about bursar’s-office protocol that he is eager to impart to his son. Plus, he can’t wait to sit in on all of Joey’s Gothic literature classes (which he will also force him to major in) so that he can wryly hold court from the back of the room.

Emma is in the house, too. She tells Joe that she’d forgotten how many other followers there were since she’d been stuck so long in that farmhouse. Joe tells her it’s a good sign that they haven’t heard about Jacob and Paul on the news. She says she hopes they’re okay. Neither of them explains why they can’t just bounce some satellite signals around so they can call them and tell them to come live at this new giant house. I’m assuming Emma is still supposed to be Joey’s nanny, but she’s got her hands full with Joe, specifically full with his hands. She tries to put the moves on him but he tells her he loves his wife. She thinks, Dude, I seduced a gay guy who was in love with a man who I was also sleeping with. You’ve been in prison with no sex for years, so what gives? It’s like you hate women or something which is cra … oh, right.

Call Me Nick is handed some top-secret paper documents in a manila folder that Weston immediately hacks into using a computer. This happened. Call Me Nick storms into the room and demands to know who did the hacking. Hardy hilariously tries to take the blame while Weston sits behind him, hands on his keyboard, smoke wafting off his fingertips. Call Me Nick gets mad and sends Weston back to his hotel. Weston is ambushed in his room by Roderick and a blonde lady follower. They want to know where Claire is being kept. Claire’s location is being kept secret from everyone, but since Weston is Mr. Tekserv, they figure he can find out where she is.

Hardy calls Weston three times but he doesn’t pick up. “That’s not like him,” says some new tech lady. “He always picks up.” “Put his phone on that picture box,” says Hardy. “You mean the computer?” This is when the old Hardy would’ve taken a discreet pull of his vodka water, but there’s no time for that now. The tech lady pulls up a screen that shows Weston’s phone is in his hotel room. “Something’s not right,” says Hardy. “Put the hotel inside the box now. But this time make the creatures move.” The tech lady, whose getting better at deciphering Hardy speak, pulls up surveillance footage from the hotel parking lot. It gives them a crystal-clear picture of Weston being loaded into a car. The technology breaks down when it comes to showing three of the seven license plate’s numbers. No matter, Hardy figures out they took him to a town half an hour away. Let’s hope he gets there in time!

Weston is surrounded by Roderick, the blonde follower woman, Charlie, and a handful of others. Roderick tells him they’re going to reenact Fight Club only with a few changes. He’s going to keep asking Weston where Claire is, and every time Weston doesn’t give him the right answer, he’ll have to fight Charlie. In the first round, Charlie and Weston just punch each other with their fists and Weston can mostly hold his own. In round two, they are each given steel pipes and Charlie takes Weston out. Weston keeps saying he doesn’t know where Claire is. Round three is supposed to finish him off. He and Charlie are each given knives. Charlie stabs Weston in the gut and the blonde is about to slit Weston’s throat when Hardy rushes in … not too late for once … and saves him.

This is followed by a gross scene of Charlie coming to Joe, full of remorse. Joe says he’s not going to lie, he’s disappointed. Charlie says he wants his life to matter and so his gift to Joe is to let him kill him. The blonde woman lays plastic down on the ground. Joe whispers to Charlie that he matters before sticking a knife into him and the two share a creepy, orgasmic hug before Charlie dies. Emma’s turned on. Roderick is restless; he wants to kill someone, too. The blonde woman is bored.

Weston survives. Hardy spends the night in the hospital so someone will be there when Weston wakes up, because in this kind of television show, no one has any family unless they’re being taken hostage or revealing themselves to be old-timey cult leaders. Hardy tells Parker, “He keeps saying he didn’t tell them anything. What does he mean?” Really, Hardy? You have no idea what he might be referring to? Parker is more generous in her reaction. She just smiles and tells him that Weston is talking about Claire. He did know where she was, because of his click-clackity computer training clearance coding background, but he still didn’t tell. Not even when he knew it would cost him his life. Pretty noble, but the thing is, now Hardy knows that Weston knows and we know that Weston’s is a total Hardy fan boy. All Hardy has to do is agree to go to see a movie at Nighthawks one night and Claire’s safe-house location will be his.

Photo: David Giesbrecht/FOX