The Following 1×02 Chapter Two Synopsis: Hardy, Weston and new team leader, Parker turn to Carroll’s ex-wife-and Hardy’s former lover- while digging into Carroll’s psyche. In other events, Emma, Jacob and Paul keep Claire’s son Joey at a house in the country.
Review: This episode kept me on the edge of my seat. The Following has not disappointed me yet. It is an adrenaline rush as you realize from moment to moment that you have no idea who can be trusted. The plot twists haven’t slowed down and as I listened to the characters interact, the lines between right and wrong and good and evil began to blur. I am not saying that anyone should sympathize with a serial killer, but I did learn that it isn’t all black and white; there are many shades of gray in between. The people who are most influenced by Joe Carroll have had their own disappointments and find him to be a hero who is teaching them to be stronger. In the first episode, Ryan Hardy says that Carroll believes he is making art, but it seems to be more than that, he seems to be trying to release the living from their bondage, both by killing them and setting them free, and by teaching others to kill, thus setting them free in a different way. It’s all very sick and twisted, yes, but in a way I feel there is a statement here almost as beautiful (and ugly) as the story of Hannibal Lecter. Joe Carroll is a very charismatic villain, and Ryan Hardy is a hero with feet of clay. If you haven’t caught The Following yet, I suggest you catch up, because the ride has just begun. In case you missed it, The Following 1×02, “Chapter Two” play-by-play Recap is below.
The Following 1×02, Chapter Two, starts where 1×01 left off; Jordy is in uniform at Delta Gamma Rho Sorority, telling a co-ed that he’d like to check the doors and windows just to be safe. She comments that she heard the killer was caught, but she lets him in anyway. She tells him that everyone is probably asleep and he assures her that no one needs to be wakened. He says they should start at the end of the hall. She says that Jesse is still out; Jordy says he knows, he’s studied the house a lot. He opens a window and grabs a black bag. Jordy tells her that he threw it up there earlier; it’s his kit, a man can’t work without the right tools.
Outside of the Matthews’ residence, a reporter implores the viewers to call in with any information that will help find Joey Matthews. There’s an Amber alert; Hardy shows up inside and Claire rushes into his arms. Claire says she knows Denise and checked her out herself; Hardy tells her that he believes Denise was her nanny because of Joey. He asks to see everything she has on the woman. Weston informs Hardy that he found a drug residue on the kitchen counter; she probably drugged the guards. Hardy speculates that she may have drugged Joey too. Claire hands him the file folder on Denise Harris, but even as she answers his questions, she realizes that she was blind. Ryan tells Claire not to blame herself. “Find my son.” She tells him.
The silver SUV pulls up in front of a huge country house and Joey runs away into the yard, screaming; Will runs after him and catches him; Joey is hysterical with laughter. It’s obvious that Denise introduced him to Will and Billy before kidnapping the boy. Joey asks if he can call his mom, but Denise says she doesn’t want them to call her. She has the boy convinced that his mother sent him away for his own safety.
Will goes to help Billy with the luggage; Billy tells him that he hates kids. Will tells him to love this one. Billy says he would rather snap Joey’s neck. As Joey and Billy head into the big country house, Denise wraps her arms around Will and kisses him. “It’s good to have you back.”
Weston introduces Ryan Hardy to the FBI team that is working on getting Joey back; they have discovered the true identities of Will Wilson and Billy Thomas. Jacob Wells and Paul Torres have records, including false IDs.
Hardy overhears the FBI agents arguing over whether or not he should still be consulting on the case, and learns that Agent Mason has been sent back to Quantico; she left him alone with Joe Carroll and he broke three of the man’s fingers. The FBI frowns on that sort of thing, so now he will have to deal with Agent Debra Parker.
Hardy asks Parker for a gun; she counters by asking how long it’s been since he had a drink. Hardy insists that he should have a gun if he is going to continue on the case; she asks about his heart. Barring any further conversation, Parker badgers Hardy about the suspects and refuses to allow the word cult to be spoken. She even brings up the letter that Carroll sent to his ex-wife and asks if Hardy and Claire Matthews had an affair. He doesn’t deny it, but says that their relationship has nothing to do with the case. Parker is not convinced.
Three murder victims are discovered at the sorority house; Jordy cut their eyes out, trying to emulate Carroll. Parker will only allow the word accomplice to describe Carroll’s Followers. Jordy was messy, left his fingerprints everywhere, in blood. There were nine girls in residence, but when they heard the screaming, they woke up and Jordy ran away.
The team decides that Carroll may not tell them where his son is, but he might tell Claire. Hardy is against it but relents and tells Claire to just try to engage him about Joey. Before she goes in, Hardy asks Claire if she’s sure she wants to do this. He has a flashback to a time when she was in her own apartment, after the trial, and she just never wanted to see Joe Carroll again. He had promised that she’d never have to.
Joe Carroll’s hands are shaking so much that the handcuffs are rattling as Claire approaches the table. “My hands are shaking; you’re so beautiful; you’ve always had that effect on me.” I must admit that I am moved by the statement, but Claire only asks “Where’s my son?” Joe says “He’s our son.”
Claire tells Joe about how much their son has grown; about the books Joey reads, about the ones he likes and the ones he doesn’t. Joe asks her if she got his letter. The back and forth at this point makes one wonder if he was acting when his hands were shaking. He refuses to tell her if Joey is okay until she answers the questions he posed in the letter.
Hardy tries to get the agents to bring Claire out of the room, but they just let the conversation continue.
Yes she slept with Ryan Hardy; the relationship lasted two months, but it was after they were divorced. That seems to anger Carroll even more; he asks if she liked it, was it good, did she tremble at his touch. Claire says that yes, she did. Then he asks about the last question; Claire says she doesn’t know before exploding. “How could I ever love anyone again after you, you son of a bitch? Where’s my son?”
Joe grabs Claire by the throat and starts to choke her as Hardy yells for them to get her out of there. The guard finally brings Claire out, gasping and sputtering. Hardy checks her neck and asks if she’s alright as she apologizes for what she said in there.
Meanwhile, back at the country house, Joey is excited that Denise made his room so much like his bedroom at home; his teddy bear is even there. He asks to call his mom. Denise says his mom doesn’t want them to call yet. “Why is my dad such a bad man?” Joey asks Denise. Denise says that maybe he isn’t. She flashes back to a lecture and a book signing. He dotes on her, pushing her hair away from her face, saying not to deprive the rest of the world of her beautiful eyes. Her mother interrupts and starts flirting with Carroll; she asks if he signed Emma’s book yet. “Emma, hopefully yours, Joe.” He says as he signs it for her.
The FBI team finds footage of Jacob and Paul visiting Carroll and catches one scene of them with Denise. When the sign in sheets are checked, they find out Denise Harris signed in as Emma Hill. While Weston locates an Emma Hill in the area, Parker says it’s a longshot that it’s her real name. Agent Weston and Ryan Hardy follow the lead anyway. No one answers when they knock, so Hardy tries a window; Weston says “We can’t do that.” “You can’t” Hardy replies. He tells Weston that he’s going to check the back. He breaks in and checks out the darkened house.
There are a pair of eyes drawn over the fireplace, and writing all over the walls. Hardy goes through the house alone and finds a room with rubber Edgar Allen Poe masks lining a shelf. He spots a copy of his book on a chair and picks it up, just before he gets jumped by a guy wearing a Poe mask. They grapple, but the assailant has a gun; “You shouldn’t be here.” He says. “You know you’re gonna die, just not today.” He knocks Hardy out with the gun and disappears.
As the FBI photographs the entire house, Weston tells Agent Parker that it’s time to use that word she doesn’t like. She looks over the writing on the wall and says that Carroll uses Poe like a religion. He conditions them to believe that the only way to truly live is to kill… She catches herself being watched and adds “or something like that” then drops the bombshell; she specializes in cults.
At the country house, Jacob, Emma and Paul talk about the three girls killed at the sorority house; Paul says “Score one for the village idiot.” Emma asks him to watch Joey so she and Jacob can have some alone time. I guess one of them should have told her that Paul hates kids. Anyway, she says that this is what Joe wanted; she has a flashback to a visit with him, after she cut her hair. He told her that he had someone he wanted her to meet; she should make new friends, go out, and have a good time. Jacob met her and said that she was just his type; special.
Later Paul tells Jacob that Rick sent them a message; the FBI found Emma Hill’s house. Jordy wasn’t there. He says that Emma is supposed to call, because she’s the boss. Jacob says she has just been in this longer. When Paul tells Jacob that she’s out of his league; Jacob has a flashback of meeting Emma’s mother. The woman asked what he did and then went on that she couldn’t believe he was interested in Emma. She said he must like the no fuss, plain Janes that most boys don’t want. Emma stabs her mother in the back as Jacob watches. “You did it, you really did it.” He said in awe. He and Emma share a knowing look as if Paul isn’t even there.
At Emma Hill’s house, the crime scene investigation finds that nine different people completed the writing on the wall; four clean sets of prints, and upstairs where there was a laptop and evidence someone was still living there, Weston pulls boards from a wall and a body falls out. Hardy and Parker notice a picture of Claire on the ceiling; all of the other women in the room whether depicted in photographs or the in names of Poe’s lost women; are dead. The two have the same thought; she calls for agents to go to the Matthews’ house and check on Claire.
At Claire’s house, Hardy fills her in on Emma Hill. An officer checks Claire’s room before she gets ready for bed; then patrols the hall and checks on her frequently. As she is brushing her teeth, Jordy drops from the ceiling in the hallway and takes the officer out. He approaches Claire’s door, but he’s in uniform so she doesn’t think anything of it. Then she sees him in the mirror, closing the door behind him.
Meanwhile, Hardy shows Parker the blueprints that were on the wall in Emma’s house. They are of Sarah Fuller’s house and show the path through her closet. Then he notices that one is the basement of the Matthews’ house and runs across the street to check on Claire. He finds Jordy in her room holding a gun to her head. At Jordy’s instructions Hardy tells the agents to stay away. He closes the door behind him and asks Jordy to take the gun away from Claire’s head. Jordy tells him that’s against the rules. He either has to kill Claire, or Hardy has to kill him; Jordy assures Hardy that he’s ready to die. Hardy tells him that he doesn’t have to die, they can call Joe; there’s a phone by the bed. As Jordy is distracted for an instant, he gets shot in the leg and falls into a chair. The agents pour into the room and take him away, while Hardy sees to Claire.
The FBI scrambles to figure out how this happened and speculate that the Nanny may have given Jordy a key to get past the locks on the casement windows; but the fact that he was in uniform means that anyone who isn’t an FBI agent can’t be trusted.
Hardy is told that the guard is in surgery and will be questioned when he gets out; he says he wants to see Carroll. Parker asks if he’s going to break his other hand, but she lets him go anyway. Parker watches as Joe and Ryan Hardy meet again. Joe says that Ryan needs to take care of himself and get some rest. He says that he orders lots of books, reading helps him sleep. He tells Ryan that this is all a game; that he was sure Hardy would save Claire. He asks how it felt to finally kill the bad guy. Hardy says that he didn’t kill Jordy; in fact he’s down the hall in his own cell. Joe says “He’s a half-wit; he knows nothing.”
Hardy replies “I’ll be sure to tell him that when I question him. How does that make you feel? Sleep well Joe.”
At Claire’s she refuses to go to sleep unless Hardy is watching over her; she doesn’t trust anyone else. Meanwhile, at the country house, Paul looks in on Joey as he sleeps, the goes to watch Jacob and Emma as they make love in the other room. He heads back toward Joey’s room.
A guard unlocks a narrow door, then a heavy lock opening the hand through window to the cell. Agent Debra Parker enters with a thick hard bound volume and slips it through to Joe Carroll.
In the morning, a man goes to a street vender and makes his order. A man in an Edgar Allen Poe mask comes up behind him and douses him with fuel, then lights him on fire.
Follow Faye Constantino on her blog faybebay.hubpages.com or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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