The Following Recap: Hierarchy

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The Following
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So is Joe’s epic plan to convince one of these new cult members to let him use their good credit to buy a house? Why doesn’t he just ask the nice suburban mom if she’ll cosign on a lease? For a guy with control issues, this plan doesn’t exactly seem preferable to the one that involved Joe living in luxury with Lily and the twins and those other adopted children that Lily would’ve definitely pushed out of the helicopter the second it was up high enough.

Now that Joe’s shed his previous identity as hack writer, he has to figure out a new career path. This week he’s trying out his hand as serial killer with a heart of gold. Gone are the days when he would use his own followers as the cheapest way to produce the squishy sound that he loves to make. He loves his followers now, all two of them. The heart-shaped hole in his chest has been replaced with a plush teddy bear clutching a cotton heart with the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” stitched across it in cursive, because it’s from the bargain bin. Out of all the aspects of Joe that make him unlikable to real people but somehow irresistible to fictional ones, his smugness is at the very top. It’s the only facial expression he’s become capable of making, to the point where there were scenes this episode where I was convinced he was actually wearing one of the Joe Carroll rubber masks. He’s so convinced of his own magnetic charm that he has no problem looking a rival murderer in the eye and shaming her for trying to murder someone.

I recently met a woman who was a raging conspiracy theorist. She believed that the government controlled the weather by shooting chemicals into the clouds. She explained to me how there were farms full of newborn babies being harvested for their organs. What was remarkable about our conversation was how calm and pleasant the tone was. This woman could not have been more affable, as she sat there describing to me a world that, if true, would have meant we all live in a nightmare. That’s how I feel when watching The Following. In the show’s reality, it’s not abnormal for a father-son bonding session to include the kidnapping of a woman at the mall. When Mike collapsed in tears at the end of the episode, I just thought, Why isn’t every character doing this every minute?

I’m still fuzzy on how the FBI managed to figure out the name and address of the Huntsman so quickly, after his managing to successfully elude their grasp for so long. Then again, I’ve never officially subscribed to LinkedIn and so that’s probably the piece I’m missing. The fact that so many agents managed to surround his cabin in the woods so quickly means that they’ve either all been waiting there for weeks after being given the wrong address for a surprise party or that they all have crushes on Max. I wonder if she just tells any guy who tries to put the moves on her that he’s her cousin.

As spread out as all the main characters are right now, it shouldn’t be too hard to bring them together. The FBI just has follows the one thread that unites them all: a radical physical injury that needs healing fast. Between Luke’s gunshot wound and busted face, Hardy’s gunshot wound and untamed heart, and Emma’s wrist slashes (as if she needed more of a Christ complex), someone’s going to be a very busy nurse practitioner.

It’s still not explicitly clear whether Agent Mendez is a Follower or not, but all signs seem to be saying that she is. And by signs, I mean Instagram likes. Joe posted a photo of the cult leader wife’s cleavage and Agent Mendez not only “liked” it but  gave it an emoji thumbs-up.

Hardy being obsessed with killing Joe didn’t come as a surprise, but I hadn’t realized the part about his becoming a professor as a sort of teach off. Those criminology majors must have gotten so bored when he kept making them analyze an imaginary Tell Tale Heart crime scene every week. Hardy was so happy to see that Max was okay that I thought it was very sweet of her to only think the second half of the sentence, “I knew you’d come for me too late” instead of saying it out loud. Her suspension is probably over since getting abducted follows dog-year rules. One hour spent being terrified that you’re about to be dismembered surely equals six months.