'The Following' Recap: Who Are These People?
'The Following' Recap: Who Are These People?
Carla Day
Carla Day
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
How the heck did Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) end up getting such an elaborate cult put together from prison? There were so many shockers on The Following, I'm not sure which was the most surprising. "The Fall" proved that anyone could be a follower. Well, except for Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea). There's no plausible way for them to be under Joe's influence, right?

Ryan's Actually Quite Witty

After being taken at gun point by Paul, Ryan started using words as weapons. I never imagined that Ryan could be so frightening just with a few looks and comments. He got under Jacob and Paul's skin. 

First, he terrorized Jacob that he would break his neck and spine if he got close enough. And, scared Paul away from taking the phone. Even with a gun pointed at Ryan, they were more scared of what he could do to them without a weapon.

The game seemed to be up when Emma came in an quickly tasered Ryan. The electric shock messed with his pacemaker and was the perfect weapon. It made sense that Joe suggested it to Emma.

With Emma gone, Ryan started taunting Jacob about the relationship between the three followers. When he mentioned a threeway, Jacob went ballistic and attempted to strangle Megan. This Ryan was a lot of fun to watch and much better then the depressed Ryan we've been seeing.

The Threesome Breaks Up

In order to complete the plan, Emma escaped with Joey while the guys stayed with Ryan and Megan. She was the leader of this small group and her disappearance threw Jacob and Paul off there game, which allowed Ryan to use the knife to cut himself free and stab Paul.

Megan and Ryan escaped the farmhouse leaving the two remaining captors in the house. Parker sent in HRT to bring them in. The team that came in the front was executed by a fake team that came in the back and Paul and Jacob took off. 

Meanwhile, Emma and Joey were stopped by Mike and his local cop partner. When Mike pulled his gun on Emma, the local cop shot Mike saying she was called by Roderick. Anyone can be a follower.

Ryan was almost able to stop Emma. He killed the local cop, but his heart gave out on him. Emma used Joey to block her from a shot and drove away. Paul and Jacob stole a vehicle and contacted Emma, but she didn't respond after answering the call. It broke her and
Jacob's hearts.

Emma's loyalty to Joe superseded her love for Jacob. Paul desperately needed help for his knife wound and Jacob promised to stay with him.

Claire Has a Follower of Her Own

Charlie was a creepy dude. Joe assigned him to watch over Claire and report on her life. While stalking her, Charlie fell in love with her, which worked in her favor. After her idiotic move to go with him in the first place, she was lucky that her captor wouldn't hurt her.

The plan was falling apart when Emma couldn't get Joey to their meeting place for the reunion between mother and son. When Claire realized she wasn't going to see Joey, she tried to escape but was unsuccessful. Instead, she used Charlie's feelings for her to get information about the plan.

His reaction to kissing her was psychotic. He almost knocked himself out by banging his head, which would have allowed her to get away. In the end, Claire was saved anyway. Agent Taylor and a team busted in on the location, but Charlie got away.

Mommy Issues

In order to stall Emma from doing anything to the hostages, Parker tried to use Emma's issues with her mother to draw out emotions. It worked some, but really both sides were in a delay mode. Emma was waiting for back up from Roderick, while the FBI was waiting for SWAT and HRT. It was a mutual waiting game.

Through flashbacks, we learned why Parker became a cult expert. She was raised in a cult and her parents still belonged to it. After being forced by her mother to be with the cult leader, Parker escaped in the middle of the night.

She returned as an adult and they remained hostile towards her. They offered to help get her back into the community, but she rebuffed them. Instead, she told them she came to forgive them and to say she still loved them. 

That visit may have provided closure for her, but she still carries the cult necklace with her. Is she really over it? Could that experience have led her to join another cult? Even though she seems drawn to Joe at times, I don't think she is his follower instead she knows from her experiences how to play him.

Joe Has a Plan

These events proved that Joe has an intricately developed plan that involves an elaborate array of Followers. He has grunts, military trained personal, police officers, computer experts, a lawyer, and the mysterious Roderick among his cult members.

He wants to cause Ryan Hardy pain, but the plan is about much more than Ryan. The next step is to get moved to a different prison facility, but why? The plan is still unclear, but with each move more pieces fall into place.

Who is Roderick? Is there any circumstance where Emma would hurt Joey? Why does Joe want to be moved?

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(Image courtesy of FOX.)