By using our website, you agree to the use of our cookies.
Moment of Goodness

Moment of Goodness: Joe Becomes Ryan’s Disease, The Following “Kill The Messenger” 

Before I jump in to this week’s Moment of Goodness: Prison Cell Bromance Edition, I have to say wow, next week looks AMAZING! But this week was pretty exceptional too, especially the scene between Joe and Ryan where Joe used his newfound knowledge of Doctor Gwen to throw Ryan off his game and in to full on attack mode. Ryan has chosen to spare Joe’s life before but apparently when Joe hits below the belt and goes personal, all bets are off.

Photo Credit: Giovani Ruffino/FOX
Photo Credit: Giovani Ruffino/FOX

Obviously Ryan didn’t kill Joe, but if the guards hadn’t been there to pull him off, I don’t know what would’ve happened. Ryan was clearly past the point of rational thinking, which is exactly what Joe wants from his dear friend. That being said, I don’t know why Ryan thought it was a good idea to send Donovan to take Joe’s call in the first place. I mean, yes, I know he was trying to put Gwen first and make it appear (or ultimately convince himself) that Joe does not take priority in his life. But obviously that’s not what Joe wanted and Ryan had to know that wouldn’t end well. Nevertheless, it ended well for us because we got an incredible scene. After Joe kills Theo’s stand-in, Ryan shows up to drill Joe and get the scoop that he could’ve gotten had he just shown up earlier. But of course, being ignored previously didn’t sit well with Joe and has left him feeling abandoned and unloved, which he uses to toy with Ryan in a way that only he can.

Ryan: So, you know Theo.

Joe: I tried to tell you but you insisted on sending Agent One-Eye in your place.

Ryan: What did Theo want from you? What’d you tell him?

Joe: You know, I have to say, Ryan, I’m very disappointed in you. It almost feels like you don’t want to be friends anymore.

Ryan: I’m NOT you’re friend. I am the guy who killed all your Followers and put you on death row, now tell me, tell me where the hell he is.

Joe: Why? Why should I? You’re not exactly being very pleasant. I tell you what, why don’t we have a sleepover? They built this wing just for me so you could bunk up next door and we could chat the night away. We could chat about Gwen. I gather she’s a looker. And a doctor.

{Ryan attacks Joe and attempts to strangle him}

Ryan: Alright, I’m good.

Joe: Oh such passion! It just goes to show how much you really care about me. Why was I getting all worried?

Ryan: I can’t do this anymore.

Joe: Yeah, of course you can. All you have to do is accept that I’m the most important relationship in your life.

Ryan: No, you’re not. You’re a disease. Tomorrow night when they kill you, I’ll be cured.

Ouch! I mean, I can’t blame Ryan for feeling that way. What does it say about you as a person if you admit that a serial killer is your most significant relationship? Obviously nothing good and it’s nothing that Ryan wants to identify with. Nevertheless, these two truly do complete each other. Joe is Ryan’s driving force and Ryan is Joe’s only real interpersonal connection. And as a result, they know each other better than anyone else, which is why Joe knows exactly what buttons to push and how to get a reaction out of Ryan. And that’s all he wants, a reaction. Indifference is the one thing that would hurt Joe more than anything; therefore, if he can get any kind of passionate response out of Ryan, regardless if it’s based in love or hate, he’ll take it since it means that Ryan cares.

Okay, but let’s go back. Before Joe hits below the belt in this scene, he is downright funny and charming, which is a large part of what I love about this character. I mean, a sleepover in a prison. Joe and Ryan chatting the night away. You have to admit, the mental image is amusing. And obviously, it just sets to rile Ryan more, despite the fact that he is desperately trying to not let Joe know how much it rattles him. Just as the first time he visited, Ryan tries to shove all his feelings deep down and play it cool, but the mention of Gwen sets him off and all those emotions come flying out (much like the vomit did the first time). Of course, that little outburst isn’t the end of it. Joe really affects Ryan in a way that no one else can and as soon as he gets home, he turns to his tried-and-true coping mechanism, alcohol. But it’s not even like he thinks about it, as soon as he spots the bottle, he is drawn like it to a moth to a flame. Joe pushes him. He turns to alcohol. It’s instinct. Luckily, the sound of Gwen in the bathroom stops him before the glass hits his lips.

So how would Joe feel about this? My guess is thrilled by the fact that his words impact Ryan enough to drive him to this point. Also, I’m guessing that the little dig about Joe being a “disease” left him pretty pissed, so the idea of Ryan sloshing through a bottle is probably extremely satisfying. Not to mention that alcoholism is also a disease, so to know that Ryan can’t give up drinking makes for an apt metaphor for him not being able to give up his other disease, Joe. And like with alcoholism, admitting you have a problem is the first step…so is it even really possible for Ryan really let go of Joe without admitting that he’s attached to him? I don’t think so. Which also makes Joe wanting him to recognize their connection all the more ironic since Joe clearly values their “friendship”, but forcing Ryan to admit it may just be the real “cure” and what gives Ryan the power he needs to walk away. But until that time comes, it looks like Ryan is only one Joe-related incident (or possibly one failed execution attempt, if next week’s promo is any indication) from falling off the wagon and spiraling back downward into his all-consuming Joe Carroll obsession.

The Following airs Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.