The Following Recap: Missed Connections

Photo: Giovanni Ruffino/FOX
The Following
Episode Title
Whips and Regret
Editor’s Rating

I’m imagining a future gathering of people in a room, like the kind where AA meetings take place. Alcohol is being consumed in this room, though. Lots of it. Even the booze that never gets drunk, like just straight cocktail mixers, are being poured into paper cups and downed. The attendees have all been victims on this show, except not of Joe Carroll’s “monomaniacal need to kill” but of Ryan Hardy’s jaunty incompetence and refusal to take a single time-management course. There’s Weston and Tyson both still in comas but propped up in chairs, Weekend at Bernie’s–style. There’s the gas station cashier girl who was tied up back in the Threesome’s Company episodes. There’s Hardy’s sister. And there’s the woman from this week, the manager of Whips and Regret, the S&M nightclub with the name that wants to be a pun but just isn’t. Let’s call this woman Code Word Red.

Claire gets chosen for Ravenclaw House this week, and Jacob is there to help her settle in. Or rather, the new murdering Jacob helps her. The old just-murderous-tendencies Jacob “isn’t here anymore.” New Jacob and Old Jacob look strikingly similar, though. It’s uncanny. New Jacob asks Claire if there’s anything he can get her, and after she says yes, her son, he’s all, “Ha-ha, anything but that.” He brings in some shopping bags with brightly colored tissue paper and a black cocktail dress, and all I want in the world is a montage where she swirls in front of the mirror, trying on all of her new things. But it’s never going to happen. Carefree materialism is wasted on the killers in this cult.

Molly (who I neglected to mention last week, sorry!) is acting all buoyant in Joe’s study. She’s the woman who we learned from a flashback last week used to date Hardy, until his fear of a death curse finally pushed her away. She’s became one of Joe’s followers after going on a speed-date with Joe in jail. “I’m single, I live in Pittsburgh, I’m an RN, and I’ve killed more people than you have!” Her victims are her patients. In his study, she tells Joe that what he’s doing is beautiful (Murdering? Quoting? Convincing others to murder while quoting?) and hands him a flash drive and a notebook with a log of videos she’s made of Hardy’s apartment. I wish the FBI had someone half as organized as this on their team.

The temp tech lady has convinced her parents to give her their HBO Go password after promising them that they won’t get in trouble for it. Actually, Hardy promised them, which means that they’re in a jail cell somewhere now, but whatever. The tech lady is now able to triangulate enough coordinates to lead her to Whips and Regret. Agent Parker calls it an after-hours club, which I guess means it’s busiest at 10 a.m. because that place was packed when she and Hardy busted in. They catch Code Word Red clacking away at a computer. They bust her, and she tells them that Vince, one of the militia brothers, has his mail sent to the club. She agrees to help Hardy and Agent Parker after they offer her what they think is a fair deal: she hands them one of Joe’s Followers and they screw it up while putting her life in danger. The plan involves replacing the shipment that came in, which is full of explosives or ingredients to make explosives, with perfectly replicas. This is accomplished in, like, a couple of hours. No shortage of manpower in the FBI prop department it turns out.

Vince shows up and convinces Code Word Red to come outside to his car with him. He then sticks a gun in her face and stands there threatening her while Agent Parker and Hardy sit in a car across the street, eating popcorn and listening. Code Word Red keeps saying stuff like, "Vince, did you know when I was a kid, my favorite color was RED? How about you? Were you a well-READ kid? Have you ever seen any of the numerous movies called RED?” Back in the car, Hardy asks Agent Parker, “Is this what the kids are calling a podcast?” Agent Parker shrugs and so Hardy hand-writes a letter to the tech lady back at headquarters asking her. He’ll send it later, as soon as they pass a mailbox. The SWAT Team, who have shown up in time for once, ask if they can take Vince out. Hardy’s all, “Absolutely not. He’s going to take us to Joe’s house. You’ll see. I’m really good at this, guys.”

Vince drives Code Word Red to an abandoned armory that he found out about on a serial-killer listserv. It was under the discussion topic “Minimal electricity/non-rusted cages. Anyone?” He takes her inside and tries to start fooling around with her but instead finds her wire. He looks at it confused. Maybe it’s an S&M thing, because if it were a working wire, wouldn’t the FBI be on top of him by now? Finally he figures it out, “Ryan Hardy!” He tells Hardy that he’s going to kill Code Name Red and it’s going to be Hardy’s fault. Hardy thinks, Get in line, pal. Then Vince escapes somehow, and Code Name Red is pushed down an unlit hall, tied to a swivel chair. The SWAT Team finds three people locked up in a cell and sets them free, even though all of us at home were shouting, “They’re followers! They’re followers!” We need to get that tech lady to patch us through next time. Two SWAT guys are killed, which leaves only, what, eight left in the whole country? The three followers get shot down, too, after nearly gunning down Agent Parker. She thanks Hardy for saving her life, which is generous of her, since he was the one that caused her life to be in danger in the first place.

Claire goes to dinner with Joe. He asks if she wants a drink, and she’s like, “God, yes." She asks him what the hell he’s doing. He struggles to put into words the premise behind his character. “I don’t want these people to feel alone. I need to put the world’s violence and chaos into order. I know it’s a lot to comprehend over dinner.” He tells her he knows he can win her back, and in his head he’s thinking, Just wait until I play her my illegally downloaded The Raven movie later. That'll make her melt like marshmallows and chocolate over graham crackers. At the mention of s’mores, Joey pokes his head into the room, and he’s reunited with his mom.

Roderick and Joe get into a fight. That’s what happens when two control-freak psychopaths become roommates. At least there won’t be any passive-aggressive notes left on the bathroom mirror. Joe goes into his study to queue up The Raven, planning to watch it on his own but instead gets sucked into watching a video of Hardy and Molly doing it in Hardy’s apartment. The video appears to have been recorded on Hardy’s open laptop. Like, she just hit record and left the screen open. Flash-forward (is that how it works?) to present day when Hardy comes home to find Molly in his apartment. She’s clearly going to try and rekindle things between them. He pulls two vodka water bottles from the fridge, and they make themselves comfortable.