The Following Conversations: A Different Side of Ryan Hardy in “Freedom”
While “Freedom” gave us a brutal coffee shop massacre, a bloody hospital escape and a gut-churning cult sacrifice, I saw it as the calm before the storm. Obviously, there’s always a storm on The Following but as far as Ryan’s personal life goes, for once, there was calm. He was happy. He was positive. And in what could be the biggest twist of the season, we saw that he could actually smile! It was like watching a whole new version ofÂ Ryan Hardy. He was still focused and dedicated to the job, but there was also a lightness to him. An optimism and openness weÂ haven’t seen before. And we weren’t the only ones to recognize it.
Ryan: You’re going to get through this Mike, we both are.
Mike: How uncharacteristically optimistic of you, Ryan.
Ryan: Hey, I can be optimistic. Sometimes.
Mike: Uh huh. Is this Carrie Cooke’s doing? I know its not my business but I…
Ryan: Yea, I like her. She’s not what I thought.
I’ll be honest, when we first met Carrie Cooke, I did not see this coming. She seemed conniving and manipulative and truth beÂ told, I’m still not 100% convinced we can trust her. But Ryan does. And being with her makes him happy…or as happy as a manÂ hunting down two murderous cults can be.
While Ryan is no doubt good at his job, I can’t help but feel that this new attitude hasÂ made him even better. Sure, he just missed catching Luke, but he was the one to put the pieces together and come *this close* toÂ bringing the hammer down on Lily Gray’s master-plan to rescue Luke. And when it comes to master-plans, Lily is no novice. She’s been one (or two or three) steps ahead of the FBI and Ryan from day 1. Â She played the victim, she seduced Ryan, she lured Joe and she even managed to escape when her best-laid plans went to hell. That’s why I can hardly blame Mike for feeling frustrated and defeated, especially since his father was a casualty in the path of Lily’s destruction. But even the loss of their only lead and leverage couldn’t get this new Ryan down (unlike in the past when this would’ve easily sent him in to a place of dark despair).
Mike: Look at the resources this woman has, she busted in to a government secured hospital. How do you go up against somebody like that? She’s more calculated than Joe, so little regard for human life that she’d seek out a man’s father and kill him. I don’t understand it. I try, but I don’t.
Ryan: It can’t be understood. We’re gonna find ’em, Mike. We’re gonna find Lily Gray and Joe Carroll.
Mike: Yea? I don’t see it.
Ryan: Well I do, the optimism. Hope. And then after all this is over, you and me, we’re gonna have a life. You know why? The universe owes us. You understand that?
And again, there is that optimism. Not just for the current, but also for the future. Who ever thought Ryan Hardy with hisÂ constant speculation and self-proclaimed death curse would envision a bright future? Sure, he could have just been placatingÂ Mike, but that’s more than he’s ever been able to do before. He was able to stand up and be a friend and a mentor to Mike,Â something that has been brewing under the surface of his determination from the beginning.
That’s why the end of this episode made me all the more torn. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ryan and Claire together and cannot wait to see how she thinks she can help him take down Joe, but I’m also not quite ready for what this will do to Ryan personally. The man gets one episode of happiness and hope to have it all dashed away. He’ll inevitably be baffled and rattled by Claire’s survival, but I can also see him pulling away from Mike and Director Franklin for having kept him out of the loop. And when that happens, Ryan retreats back in to himself. Or at least that’s what the old Ryan would do.
I can only hope that this past year has given Ryan the strength to Â take this blow in stride and continue to move forward. I know it won’t be easy after being lied to, but I’m not ready to give up on Ryan’s smile just yet. We’ve watched the corners of his mouth turn down so many times that to see them rise for once gave me the hope that when this is all over, the universe will indeed settle up on its debt and Ryan can have a real life.
Be sure to watch The Following Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
Interview: Henri Esteve on Grown-ish Season 3
An interview with Henri Esteve, who plays Javi on Freeform’s Grown-ish. He talks about his season three experience.
For All Mankind Season 2: Talking with Wrenn Schmidt, Krys Marshall, Jodi Balfour, and Sonya Walger [Exclusive]
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the hooks of For All Mankind is that it’s very much a story about the women of NASA. In Season 2, we explore the journeys of the women in the program, either through their own service or through their family affiliations. Four of those…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Season Finale [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale episodes.] How’s everyone after that finale? I will freely admit I got a little misty in episode eight as John told Sara why he loved her, and later that he wanted her despite what he might forfeit, and then at the end when he…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness [Exclusive]
Hands down, one of the best surprises of The Alienist: Angel of Darkness is that the serial killer this season has been front and center alongside the cast as a fully-formed character. We’ve watched Libby Hatch devolve from a prim, mild-mannered nurse to a woman in a rage hell-bent on…
The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Relationship Recap: John and Sara
[Warning: Spoilers for “Belly of the Beast” and “Memento Mori”] If you’ve read me for a while (thank you!), you know two things — I lean way, way in on the characters I adore and I loathe love geometry arcs. So, I’m torn about where we are and where we…
Louriza Tronco Talks The Order Season 2 [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2.] The Order’s second season is dark yet delightful entertainment on many levels, and one of its biggest sources of joy and snark is the sassy Gabrielle Dupres. Last season, she was assertive and deadly and fairly annoyed with the world. This season, she’s been…
Previewing Netflix’s Virgin River
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] Full disclosure: I have a Netflix account for my Mom, but I’m not a regular viewer. If I get a heads up on something, I’ll go look for it, but I don’t have a wander across its offerings, which, as I understand it, is how most…
Final Thoughts From the Killjoys Team [Exclusive]
This is the day of the week I’d normally hit you up with a Killjoys preview, but now that we’ve put the series to bed and released Team Awesome Force into the wild, I have one more treat for you–some final thoughts excerpted from my conversations with the Killjoys folks….
Michelle Lovretta Talks Wrapping Up Killjoys [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the series finale.] To quote Miss Jackson, “That’s the end?” Yes, friends, it is. And like I promised you, everything would be, was, and is alright. I went to the Killjoys source, series creator Michelle Lovretta, who wrote the last episode, to break down that delicious finale….
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…