The Following
For Joe

Episode Report Card
Kelsea Stahler: B- | 21 USERS: B
YOU GRADE IT
Might As Well Face It, He's Addicted to Blood

While The Following may be shaking things up with a new mystery in Season 2, it's basically back to business as usual. Sure, there's less gore, but the creepy twists and turns with plenty of red herrings and smoke and mirrors are back. And we're in for the ride, drawn helplessly by Joe Carroll's fake Southern drawl and Kevin Bacon's engrossing grunts.

Ryan is still very separate from Joe, despite the fact that he learned just last week that Joe is still alive – a fact even Joe's dear Emma isn't yet privy to. His niece Max is mothering him, worried that he's become obsessed with Joe's latest cult and that if he doesn't fill the FBI in soon, he'll face obstruction of justice charges. Naturally, Ryan is against joining forces with the FBI, so he continues on his own, using Bing on Microsoft Surface just like the Fox sponsors commanded so that he might find out more information about Lily, the art dealer who survived the subway attack last week.

Because Ryan can't work without the motivation of a pretty lady, we're supposed to believe that he feels connected to her – or as one of the McCreepy Twins says he's “crushing” on her. He visits Lily, pointlessly, to find out if she's connected to Joe. She's not, but she knows how to use Bing too, so she thinks he's just using the investigation as an excuse to flirt. (I hope – why else would she look so giddy about it?)

Distraction comes in the form of Luke and Mark McCreepy, who are waiting hopelessly for a call from Joe and who've murdered a nice family on the Upper West Side, locked their son in a closet, and played happy half dead family with the corpses all day – sort of like they did with Hannah's body last week. Eventually, they stop calling the man's corpse "Dad" long enough to call Ryan from a rooftop across the street, starting a needless extra step in his trip to find the murder site. Did Ryan really need to be on the roof across the way? No. But did it make the reveal of the murder location more dramatic? Sure.

Ryan gets in mild trouble with the bureau because they're pissed he keeps inserting himself into the investigation, even though the killers are calling him so he clearly needs to be there. Being chastised does not keep him from following Luke (or Mark, does it really matter?) to the Met, where Lily is supporting some ambiguous "wonderful charity organization" that's not important because she's about to be murdered. Ryan shows up just in time to save her and fight the twins, but of course, Mike tells him everything is his fault and he's getting in the way.

Over on Joe's country compound, we find his lady love Judy is a prostitute servicing the local creepy reverend and that Judy's daughter knows Joe is a killer and loves him anyway. He seems happy and tells her that he doesn't plan to kill again, but that all changes when the reverend finally makes the connection between the man in the comically large beard and the serial killer all over television. Judy's daughter asks Joe not to kill the Rev, but after an overdrawn bout of soliloquy, Joe cuts the reverend's throat and holds Judy's daughter while she cries and utters a line straight out a February horror movie made for no other purpose than scaring girls into their dates' willing arms: "Momma's gonna be home soon. She's gonna be mad."

So, Joe's addicted to murder and Ryan's addicted to Joe. The world apparently does keep spinning.

The Following

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