No redemption without blood. That is the theme of the 10th episode of The Following season 2. There are a lot of random victims this time around, including an innocent cat. Ryan seems to be getting closer to Joe, and Joe isn’t happy about it. He sends his band of killers out to wreak havoc on the city. And Claire tells Mike she doesn’t want to be in hiding anymore after he fills her in on the latest information about Joe and Lily Gray.

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Spreading the Message of Holy Redemption

It seems Joe has either drank a lot of the Korban Kool-Aid or he’s just a really good manipulator (which we all know he is). He knows he has a lot of convincing to do now that Micah and Julia are gone. He gives a lot of sermons to earn the trust, or rather to gain more followers to add to his holy army of warriors. Emma goes along with it, while Mandy seems very, very skeptical.

He sends the group of psychos, the ones that Micah kept in isolation, out into the city to spread his message, including Mallory (Emily Kinney, of Walking Dead fame). Four go out, only two make it back. But they do manage to kill a few people and get the message of redemption out before the showdown at a Brooklyn restaurant.

While the group is out killing random people on the street and in their homes, Joe is preaching some more to weed out those who are skeptical of his “teachings.” To do this, he kills a cat in front of them, and Emma puts the ones that question it into isolation.

When the two return, Lucas and Tilda, Joe anoints them with his own blood, praising them for a job well done.

Getting Closer to Joe

After his night with Carrie Cooke, Ryan heads to see Dr. Strauss, the man who trained Joe, which we learn from 1982 flashbacks of Joe as a teen. Ryan then comes up with a plan to draw Joe out. He tells Carrie to announce on TV that Strauss has ben arrested and is cooperating with authorities in the hope that Joe will call Janna’s phone that was taken after she killed herself. Sure enough, Joe calls Janna and Ryan picks up. Joe seems legitimately surprised, but quickly gains his composure and taunts Ryan, in typical Joe fashion. Despite the lengthy conversation, the FBI can’t trace the call. And when Joe hangs up, he is not a happy camper.

With the information that Joe gives Ryan, they are able to track down Mallory, who was Lance’s girlfriend (the guy that got killed in the bookstore). They head to Brooklyn to the restaurant where Mallory got fired. Patrick, another one in the group, warns Mallory they weren’t supposed to make the killings personal, but they head in anyway. Mallory gets cold feet, and when she attempts to kill a random woman in the bathroom, the woman fights back. It doesn’t matter, though, because Ryan and Mike, and the FBI, are already in the restaurant.

Ryan is able to talk down Mallory, but Patrick kills her and Ryan shoots Patrick. Typical that Ryan is thisclose to Joe again and his witnesses die.

The Return of Claire

Meanwhile, Claire Matthews, who we learned last week was very much alive, is not very happy that Joe is alive. We learn that Mike helped put Claire in witness protection when she was stabbed a year ago for her and her son’s safety. But now that Claire knows Joe is alive and on a killing spree again, she wants to help, despite authorities and Mike urging her to go back into hiding. She says she wants to head to New York and help Ryan. Oh yeah, and she wants to kill Joe herself. Can you blame her?

I am very skeptical of Mandy being skeptical. There’s a lot going on in that girl’s head. One day, she’ll snap again, just like she did on her mother. Perhaps she’ll kill Emma? Who knows?

But let’s talk about Joe getting tripped up by Ryan. Joe never gets tripped up by him, so I was surprised to see his surprise when Ryan picked up Janna’s phone. This is the first time this season that Ryan seemed one step ahead of Joe. However, in the end, it was really only a half step, as I mentioned the witnesses to “help” Ryan find Joe were killed.

And it’s clear that Strauss manipulated Joe as a teen to believe that killing is okay. And now Joe is doing the same to his new group of followers. However, I have to wonder if Joe is starting to believe all the stuff he’s preaching about. And I have to wonder how dumb Emma can be. She considered herself Joe’s right-hand woman last year and he kept his ultimate plan a secret from her. So, one has to wonder if Joe was really telling the truth that he will keep Emma in his plans this time around. After all, Joe is a really good liar.

And I really don’t trust this Carrie Cooke character.

The Following airs Mondays at 9pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV