Resurrection Boulevard: [SPOILER’S] Alive, The Following “Unmasked”
When it comes to TV and The Following specifically, I am always suspicious. I’ve been tricked, twisted and surprised too many times not to be. I often see (or think I see) twists that never come and I rarely trust new characters until they’ve repeatedly given me reason to do so. That being said, The Following got me once again tonight. And it’s not so much what happened that threw me for a loop (because I do tend to abide by the “they’re not dead unless you see a body” rule) but how it was done.
First and foremost, when Mendez was stabbed in the first 20 minutes, I figured that the writers had to be planning something big. That would normally occur towards the tail end of an episode, but to put it that early meant they had something more shocking up their sleeves. Less than 5 minutes later, they delivered another blow when Mendez’ ex and Joe’s dedicated inside-man put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. Yes, two deaths and we’re still only in the first half of the show. And then it’s only mere minutes before Joe takes out Julia with a piece of wire and Micah’s blessing. Time – 31 minutes. Body count – 3.
Shortly after, they give us a bloody massacre at a bookstore followed by Joe poisoning Micah and revealing to the world that he was very much alive and then appointing himself the new head of the cult. At this point, my brain was scrambling to figure out what could be more worthy of a final act than this?! But despite knowing that I was heading straight for something big, I still didn’t see this reveal until it was right under my nose. So let’s relive how these exceptionally executed final minutes played out.
Ryan invites Carrie Cooke over for dinner while Mike simultaneously seems to get in to some shady business, being transported from one vehicle to another, the last of which he enters with a bag over his head. I’m not going to lie, I was undeniably worried about what Mike could be getting himself in to. After all that he’s been through the past few weeks, I realize his head may not quite be on straight and was anticipating him walking in to serious trouble.
Simultaneously, we are also seeing Ryan as he gives in to his attraction to Carrie and appears to invite her to stay the night. What does this have to do with Mike being shady, you ask? I was thinking the exact same thing, I couldn’t see how these two incidents were in any way related. And yet, I should’ve known better. So Mike’s final stop lands him in a parking lot with other FBI agents and it’s only a matter of moments before he’s led in to a motel where Director Franklin answers the door. I’m relieved he’s safe, but what does this mean? Is Mike turning on Ryan? Is this whole mission some ruse?! Again, my suspicions were on over drive. That being said, the final reveal definitely took me by surprise as Director Franklin led Mike in to the adjoining room and there, very much alive, was Claire. Brilliant.
Don’t get me wrong, I initially had my suspicions about her being dead since we only got a quick peek of her on the gurney and the fact that she never really had a proper send off. (In fact, I think I may have complained about that in my first article of the season). But that being said, I chalked it up to some kind of scheduling conflict with Natalie Zea’s calendar and after this many episodes, figured it was a moot point. That’s what make this show so good. Even when I think I know something, it makes me question myself to the point of convincing me I was wrong just in time to shock me with my original assumption.
Nevertheless, this brings up so many questions! Director Franklin is obviously in charge of keeping Claire safe, but he’s also in charge of Ryan’s “Joe Carroll task-force” so did he tell Ryan? I doubt it since Ryan is currently making out with Carrie. And what about Mike? Did he know where he was headed when he took that call from Director Franklin? And did he know who he would find? If Ryan doesn’t know, will Mike be able to keep this from him? And what will this do to him once he finds out? This was an exceptional cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see more of Claire, who has long been one of my favorites, and how they explain her survival in the coming weeks.
Also a quick nod to the fantastic Max and naked Mike scene in Ryan’s apartment. These two have great chemistry and I’m hoping to have the chance to write more about them in the near future.
The Following airs Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.
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