'The Following' Recap: Love and Betrayal on 'Guilt'
'The Following' Recap: Love and Betrayal on 'Guilt'
Carla Day
Carla Day
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
On The Following, Joe had one goal: finding Claire and reuniting their family. On "Guilt," despite the efforts of the FBI and Ryan Hardy, Claire willingly gave herself up to Joe's Followers in order to be reunited with her son, but only after she and Ryan declared their love for each other.

Battle for Claire

Joe's Followers tried twice to get Claire and failed in both attempts. In order to prevent another  mishap, Roderick brought in highly trained men to help get her out of protective custody this time and they still weren't able to get her.

Since it was a security leak that lead the Followers to Claire, Ryan decided to cut out the FBI and protect her independently. While in theory that was a good idea and even one that Donovan thought was smart, it ended up not being good enough since Claire picked up an electronic tracker at the hotel.

The Followers showed up at Tyson's place to try once again to get Claire.

Stupidity Continues to Be the Norm

Throughout the series, people's actions at times have made absolutely no sense at all. It's getting to the point that it strains credibility. As soon as Ryan realized that Claire had a tracker on her, why didn't they leave and find a new hiding spot? Seriously. The decision to stay at Tyson's made no sense at all.

Then, instead of hunkering down at Tyson's they separated, ran around randomly, and then Tyson went outside and got shot. Ryan's number one priority should have been protecting Claire. Since they decided not to leave, they should have taken the offensive. 

They did place the tracker in a location to ambush the one shooter, but that wasn't nearly enough. Why didn't one of them cover from the roof, perhaps? Or, build a bunker within the house?

Claire Willingly Leaves

The first time that Claire got into car of a Follower, I was shocked and dismayed at her decision. Why would she leave protective custody in the hopes of being reunited with her son? At that time, Joe was in prison and the FBI was getting close to finding the farmhouse.

This time, I don't blame her for getting into the car. Claire and Ryan clarified their feelings for each other. They both love each other, so that was out of the way. And, after Joe had killed the other "Claire Matthews," other agents were killed, and then Tyson was shot, she had had enough.

She wanted to see her son and stop the bloodshed. So, she got in the car and mouthed "I love you" to Ryan. She couldn't sit by and wait for the FBI, Ryan, or anyone else to find Joey. She needed to risk her own life and find her son.

Also, since the FBI has no leads on where Joe, Joey, and the Followers are staying, it's possible the she could contact the FBI or Ryan and lead them to her and Joey. It's too bad she didn't have a tracker on her that they could trace. 

Jacob's Turn to the Dark Side

After being abandoned by Emma and killing Paul, Jacob's innocence was tarnished quickly. Even though, Paul's death was more of a mercy killing than a murder, it weighed heavily on Jacob, especially because his best friend didn't have to die.

If Emma would have come to get them, Paul could have gotten the medical treatment he needed and would have lived. Even though Jacob still loves Emma, her betrayal was such that it will be difficult for him to overcome. At Joe's urging, he tried.

The visions of the murdered Emma in the tub and then Jacob's imaginary stabbing of Paul, have him convinced that he is now capable of killing. I'm not sure that I buy that, but time will tell. 

Jacob will either come to reject Joe's teachings and move against the group or he will begin to fully embrace the cause. I'd like to think that he can find the innocence within him and the love of his mother and come out of this a good person, but at this point the corruption seems to be manifesting within him.

Joe's Manipulates S'mores

The former professor demonstrated the depth of his powers of manipulation and control. With a few simple words, he got Roderick to forgo his law enforcement job to go along to capture Claire. He also got Jacob to talk to Emma. 

And, the big win was with his son. Joe brilliantly used s'mores to win over his won. Well, maybe not win him over quite yet, but to at least get Joey to talk to him and sit next to him. The crumbling of the graham crackers was such an obvious move to an adult, but to Joey, it was an opening to help his father.

Out of everything that occurred during "Guilt," Joe's s'mores move with Joey was the most disturbing to watch. It was another move towards ruining Joey's innocence.

But, Joe wasn't entirely successful this go around with Ryan. Instead of drawing Ryan in further, his foe decided to quit. With Claire willingly going to Joe, why would Ryan want to continue to play Joe's game?

Of course, once Tyson wakes up and Ryan gets some sleep, he'll be right back at it. Even if Ryan wants to quit, Joe is his nemesis and he won't be able to rest until the insane killer is back behind bars.

New Clues and Questions

The FBI uncovered and decoded the emails used to communicate with Followers. It lead them to a secret website filled with disturbing images and a way to join the cult. This is the biggest lead that they've found.

Will they be able to successfully send a message to the cult? Could this be a way in? At this point, I'd think Joe and his Followers would be suspicious of any new potential recruits. With the high death rate of Followers, they may need to accept new people and help. 

The other big reveal was regarding the woman, Molly. She dated Ryan in 2009, which was after Joe was in prison and after Ryan and Claire ended their relationship. Was Molly a plant from the beginning?

Or, did she go to Joe after her relationship ended with Ryan? Either way, Joe is going to use her however he can to get to Ryan. This reveal is one of the least interesting of the series, but that could change. One things for sure, I wish she would have shown up before we saw the flashbacks.

The way that story was introduced was weak and not nearly as shocking as it could have been.

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(Image courtesy of FOX.)