I don’t know which is worse on The Following: an alive Joe Carroll taunting Ryan Hardy or a dead Joe Carroll haunting Ryan Hardy. Either way, Ryan is not in a good place right now after taking that first drink after Joe’s execution. In this episode, “Demons,” his rashness does possibly lead him a step closer to Theo, but not before almost jeopardizing the investigation yet again. Meanwhile, Theo and his sister seek out help to get back under the radar, and Daisy and Mark try to track down her laptop. And Tom, Max’s boyfriend, is going to have a lot of explaining to do.

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A Downward Spiral

Shortly after Joe’s execution, Ryan falls off the wagon, gets drunk and goes home with the bartender. Realizing what he’s done, he races home to Gwen and fesses up, blaming Joe. But she’s not having it and she leaves. This only leads him to drink even more.

Gwen calls Max, who races to his apartment. As he continues to sneak drinks, she explains that they have a lead on Theo. The tip that Joe gave Ryan about Theo living in Philadelphia panned out. They traced it back to a family murder in 1990, where Theo was the only survivor. Years later, when he was 16, the body of her mother’s boyfriend was found, but Theo goes off the radar.

Finding Another Killer

While looking at case photos of Theo’s family’s murder, Ryan recognizes the MO of a serial killer in the ’90s called the Mad Man. He enlists the help of a former colleague, Jill. Ryan believes that if he captures the killer of Theo’s family, maybe it will lure Theo out of hiding. Together, they pour over more photos with Max and Mike. They follow a lead down to Philadelphia of a former DPW worker. Jill warns Ryan that she wants a clean arrest, with none of his usual ways during the investigation, basically meaning no beatings or killings to find the guy. Of course, when Mike calls with the name and address of the worker, Oleg, Ryan doesn’t tell Jill and heads to the guy’s house on his own. Inside the house, which looks like a hoarder house, Ryan finds strange drawings in the basement, along with a journal about the devil and tape recordings of murders.

He heads upstairs when he hears someone and comes face-to-face with Oleg, the Mad Man. Of course, Oleg gets away, and when Ryan calls it in, Jill is not happy. She quickly forgives him back at the motel, though, as they pour over the new evidence. But Oleg has followed them and attacks Jill in her room. Luckily, Ryan sees the motel clerk who Oleg killed and races to the room to stop the attack. But he goes all Ryan Hardy on him and starts beating him senseless until Jill stops him.

During his interrogation, Oleg says he killed Theo’s family because he asked him to. He explains that the 10-year-old Theo was his only friend and that his mother beat him. According to Oleg, Theo was a demon who made Oleg promise to kill his family except him and his foster sister, Sophia. So much for Ryan’s theory.

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Computer Hacks and Tracking a Laptop

Meanwhile, in coo-coo land, Daisy talks Mark out of gunning Mike down on the street. She explains that they need to be more careful so they can be happy again after the death of their loved ones. They head to a friend of Juliana’s to try and track down Daisy’s laptop that was taken from the safe house. The friend tells them that he can’t track the laptop anymore, but he knows it was accessed by someone in the FBI. He explains that he can’t hack into the FBI. But Daisy knows someone who can.

Daisy contacts Theo for help, even though she’s very scared of him.

But Theo has been doing some recon of his own. Using Strauss’ data, he tracks down a woman, Eliza, at some sick party she’s throwing. She is one of Strauss’ students as well, in case you couldn’t tell by the weird rooms of death at her party (or at least they look like death). After killing a few people to get into the party, Theo and his sister find Eliza. He tells her that it’s only a matter of time before she’s exposed by Ryan Hardy. But he promises he can bring her Ryan Hardy, dead or alive, which will protect her. When she asks what’s in it for him, he just hands her a card and says it’s for another time. Hopefully, they take his bait. As he and Penny drive away, he gets the message from Daisy for help.

And it turns out Daisy and Mark aren’t the only ones who want to find that laptop. FBI Agent Sloan, put on the case to inventory all of the evidence from the safe house, starts questioning Tom about the raid. At first, she believes him and his report. But things don’t add up, so she heads to his apartment for more digging. When she pulls out a separate report, she realizes that he went rogue and probably took the laptop. She pulls her gun on him and, after a struggle, it goes off, probably killing her.

So Gwen, who is probably the most healthy thing that’s happened to Ryan, is gone now. With his unborn child that he doesn’t know about. He’s drinking again, so he’ll just continue drinking to mask the pain. And as long as he has his buddy Joe Carroll by his side, he seems to think he’ll be just fine. But a drunk Ryan is not good for anyone. And now he’s pushed away the one good thing for him in a really long time.

I don’t really like the storyline of Tom and the laptop, though. I feel like he was just a jealous man who found out his girlfriend was cheating on him and now he looks like a killer who was possibly in on everything all along. Or maybe he was. Who knows at this point?

I do, however, kind of like how things are tying together now. The Following kind of went off the beaten track for a little bit this season, but now that Daisy and Mark have made contact with Theo, we’ll probably have a big epic shootout soon. Or something of that nature.

A two-hour The Following event airs Monday, May 11 at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV