The Following

Episode Report Card
Kelsea Stahler: B+ | 42 USERS: B
Ding, Dong, the Joe Ain't Dead
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

The Following returned without the benefit of Claire and her constant need for Ryan Hardy to rescue her, but instead with something of a four-sided die to play with in season two.

We open with five new deaths in New York City on the anniversary of Joe Carroll's death, and naturally, the media has already assumed the two events are connected. In order to solve the mystery -- which the police assume is either an act of Carroll followers or fans of those followers -- they bring in Mike, who's on suspension after the incidents surrounding Deborah's death at the end of season one. Luckily for Mike and the detective in charge, Gina Mendez, one of the victims is still alive and thus can tell them about the crime… eventually. (You know, when it's convenient for the flow of the episode.)

At the same time, another young woman's fate is a little more grim. A young modelesque man confronts her in her apartment building in a typical meet cute gone wrong situation. It's only moments until we cut to the man in bed with the clearly strangled woman, telling her he doesn't want to have sex. "Touching is more important. If you do it right, you can feel it always -- even after you stop," he says. It's apparently also important to play house in her apartment for the rest of the day and play with her like she's some sort of life-sized doll. He finishes his sick game by dressing the victim up in makeup and putting her in a body bag with the help of what turns out to be his twin, because of course he's a twin. Double the creeper, double the creepy.

After Mike is brought in, the investigation enlists Ryan as well. He's gone into a life of seeming normalcy, simply teaching a college course at a local school. Mike recalls seeing Hardy months prior when he was in a bar, drunk, cavorting with 20-somethings; Mike found Ryan to ask him not to tell the jury about killing Joe's minion while his hands were tied behind his back when they were trying to rescue Deborah. Unfortunately, the newly depressed Ryan was far too drunk to comprehend the significance of what Mike was saying and as a result, their relationship remains strained to this day and if you weren't clear on the season two concept reboot by this point, you may want to go back and re-watch those first few minutes.

Just as Ryan was reluctant to care when Mike confronted him eight months prior, he's reluctant to care about the actual crime at hand. Despite the detective's insistence that his help is essential, Ryan swears there's nothing he can do -- but let's not forget the last time he helped, he lost the love of his life. Still, there's just one major problem: the subway victim is finally awake at the hospital and she confirms the message from her attackers. Shocker of all shockers, it involves Ryan. They said "Joe Carroll lives and Ryan Hardy can't stop us." Somehow, our "hero" still manages to leave the investigators high and dry.

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The Following




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