Every time I think I know where this show is going, they prove me wrong and I love it! This episode of The Following gave us lots of catch-uppy goodness and character development on multiple fronts.
Letâ€™s start with Ryan. The man breaks my heart. He is so damaged and broken and Joe knows this and uses it to his advantage. I loved seeing Ryan with his one true friend, Tyson, especially in flashbacks. Donâ€™t get me wrong, I spent the whole episode waiting for Tyson (David Zayas, Dexter) to be one of Joeâ€™s followers (you canâ€™t deny that he had â€œsuspiciousâ€ written all over his every line and look), but nope, he was a true friend and I couldnâ€™t have been more pleased. Ryan needs and deserves true friends and people close to him, even if he doesnâ€™t believe it himself. Ryan and Tyson have been friends for 20 years and as Tyson pointed out â€œhe hasnâ€™t lost him yetâ€ and I hope he never does.
Zayas was so phenomenal in this role that I found myself desperately hoping for Tyson to return in the future. His insight in to Ryan is uncanny and what he shares with Claire is gut-wrenchingly accurate. Ryan has trouble letting people in. And as we later saw, with good reason. The only other girl who potentially came close to comparing to Claire in Ryanâ€™s mind was Molly. Molly was sweet, Molly was cute and Molly is a follower. Yep, a plant.
It kills me to see how much Joe has manipulated everything in Ryanâ€™s worldâ€¦he is a puppet-master and Ryan is his puppet without even knowing it. But why? Joe admitted as much when he spoke on the phone with Ryan when he said “This is your story, Ryan. Your rebirth. Every day you come just a little bit more back to life. You can’t quit now. You’re not yet quite the man you need to be.” â€¦so what kind of man does Ryan need to be? And what is Joeâ€™s motivation? Is it as simple as payback for putting him in prison? Or for falling in love with Claire? Or does Joe truly just enjoy the mind games and watching other self-destruct? Hopefully weâ€™ll learn more before the season wraps.
Now, on to Claire, who I was so eager to see again this week. For more on the screen scorching chemistry between Claire and Ryan, check out why our Too Much Chemistry article. Â I completely agree that I want Claire to trust Ryan to get Joey back, but I also canâ€™t blame her. As weâ€™ve seen, Joe is always one step ahead and always gets his way so when she got in the car, I felt like she was finally done denying the inevitable. This is Joeâ€™s world and weâ€™re all just living in it. Iâ€™m eager to see what he has in store for her next.
As much as I loved all the Ryan drama, I was also a big fan of Jacob in this episode, which is saying a lot. Lately, Iâ€™ve felt like Jacob is a bit of a patsy and I was glad to see him finally stand up for himself. And donâ€™t get me wrong, Iâ€™m not saying that Iâ€™m glad that heâ€™s killed and now has a taste for it. Or that Iâ€™m glad heâ€™s having horrifying dreams and hallucinations and learning to deal with them. Iâ€™m saying, Iâ€™m glad he got a spine and no longer bends to Emma and her every whim.
Letâ€™s be honest, Emma basically left he and Paul for dead and as far as Iâ€™m concerned, Paul is right, there is no reason to forgive, or trust, her. When he stood up to Emma at the bottom of the stairs, saying â€œwe donâ€™t need to talk,â€ I secretly smiled inside. But it was really at the end when he threatened her and told her to watch her back that got me. We have never seen Emma cower in fear before. She is a stone-cold manipulator and always seems to be confident and in charge, which is why I so loved this scene.
Granted, I didnâ€™t expect Jacob to kill her right then and there, but I definitely enjoyed seeing her face that possibility in her own mind. And I canâ€™t wait to see how that dynamic pans out and plays in to Joeâ€™s grand master plan. I have a feeling (as we saw a bit this week), Joe does not approve of discord. In addition, I found the reunion between Jacob and Joey unexpectedly delightful. Each one of their scenes together felt genuine and authentic, it was no longer him being nice because it was part of the plan. He really likes the kid and the kid really likes him.
Lastly, yes, I know heâ€™s a killer and master-manipulator, but I have to say, Joe is actually pretty good with kids. I found his attempts to warm up to Joey through sâ€™mores endearing and for once, I actually felt like he genuinely just wanted his family to be a family again. I canâ€™t deny that heâ€™s going about it all wrong, but like I said, this seems to be Joeâ€™s world and weâ€™re all just living in it.
The Following airs Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.
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