The situation moved in a new direction on The Following
, Agent Parker and Ryan Hardy got reamed by higher ups at the FBI for the lack of progress on the Joe Carroll case. Despite all that they have done, the case was kicked to DC. In "Love Hurts," Ryan once again became the focal point of Joe's plan.
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With Joe among his followers, his ability to influence a large group of people to do his bidding becomes more clear with each new move. Despite the deaths within the cult, his loyal disciples are willing to sacrifice themselves for his own personal gain.
Joe wants Claire. On the first attempt, no one died. On the second attempt, Ryan killed five members. And, on the third attempt Ryan killed Louise and Amanda was captured. Even though the FBI has been behind every step of the way, they are making progress. Plus, they have kept Claire safe ... for now.
The third attempt to draw Claire out was a diabolical plan to kill innocent people named "Claire Matthews." Each death that Ryan couldn't prevent would cause him unspeakable pain. And, if Claire found out about the killings, she would give herself up to save others.
The love that Joe and Ryan share for Claire bonded them, but it also puts them on opposite sides and only one of them can win. If Joe finds Claire, he satisfies his love for her, while hurting Ryan at the same time.
For all the pleasure Joe gets with each killing, Ryan gets an equal about of pain.
The followers don't kill just to take a life, but to fulfill their destiny. Joe recruited people that were lonely or had something missing in their life and provided them with a purpose. They are a chapter in his book and are destined for greatness.
Amanda's chapter involved using Joe's killing methods to take out the Claires. She used a harpoon, an ice pick, and then a nail gun. She did her master's biding and killed with joy. The look on her face when she killed the first Claire at the restaurant was frightening to see.
She was giddy with excitement when she sat down and had a wicked smile when she turned around and reminded the friend about her message. Joe has found himself some messed up people.
When Ryan came face-to-face with Amanda, the motivation behind her actions became clear. Amanda killed her cheating husband and his mistress. Joe took advantage of her hatred of cheaters to drive her to act out against Claires to symbolize the cheating she did with Ryan, while also punishing him for being with Claire.
Amanda's chapter ended in failure. She wasn't able to secure Claire for Joe. Will she kill herself in prison like the Joe's other disappointments?
Joe: Master of Manipulation
Joe continues to prove his excellence in manipulating people. He found the weak, got to know what drives them in order to use them to his advantage. If he didn't use his abilities for evil, he could have sparked greatness in others.
The unquestioning dedication of at least one of his followers has to break at some point though, right? The intelligence levels of his disciples vary, but at least a few of them are bright people. One or more of them have to see through his manipulation.
Or, are they all so brainwashed that they won't question him? Emma has become infatuated with Joe in a very personal way. Since he took her to bed, I could see her overcoming her devotion to him if she feels betrayed.
What's Jacob's Story?
Jacob has been conflicted from the beginning. He never killed anyone and after several opportunities he couldn't bring himself to do it. Joe was aware of his difficulties in this area, but has trusted him anyway.
What makes Jacob special? What motivated him to seek out Joe and then stay in the group? Jacob's mother clearly loved him. Jacob's father most likely was at least part of the reason.
Both Jacob and his mother had a sense of fear about his father arriving. And, it was more than that he would call the cops on his son. Perhaps, Jacob stayed because of his love for Emma and Paul. People do crazy things for love all the time.
Even though Emma ditched Jacob and Paul, Jacob stuck by Paul until the end. Whether they were truly gay or not, it didn't matter. They loved each other. Just as Charlie wanted his life to matter, so did Paul
Joe seems to have twisted his followers minds up to believe a natural death is meaningless. If someone can't or won't kill them, they commit suicide. Paul's death was haunting. Love hurts. Jacob took his first life, but it was closer to an assisted suicide than a cold-blooded murder.
I wouldn't be surprised if in the end, Joe is brought down by Jacob. He doesn't appear to be as intelligent as Emma or Roderick, but he has the biggest heart. Now, that Joe is out and the plan is in motion, will he accept being surrounded by death?
Emma's in a tough situation now. Roderick knows about her relationship or one-night stand with Joe. He also knows that Emma ignored Jacob's calls. As second to Joe in the cult, he would certainly use this information to his advantage. The question is: What will he want?
Neither Emma nor Jacob looked very happy to see each other. A happy reunion and return to their romance is unlikely. Though, Emma is fairly good at manipulation herself, so perhaps she will win Jacob over again.
Even though Amanda failed to bring Claire out of hiding, Ryan may have led Joe right to her. His insistence that Nick contact Claire provided Roderick the clue he needed to find her. Will the FBI be able to protect her now that her location is known? If the past is any indication, the answer is a resounding no.
Do you find Jacob sympathetic even though he's a follower? Will a follower ultimately lead to Joe's downfall? What was your favorite moment?
(Image courtesy of FOX.)