by Josh Batchelder
The Following really brings the heat tonight in an episode that is so overcrowded with action that it may as well have been a mid-season finale.
Now that Joe and Lily have done the dirty, she’s suddenly all cozy with him and wanting to take their twisted family to Venezuela. Joe being Joe, he has other plans. Mark discovers a freaked out Luke almost entirely nude, delusional about Giselle’s death even as her corpse rots away on his bed. Even Lily is unable to calm down Luke, who’s totally hellbent on killing Ryan Hardy. Ryan being nearby makes it a danger for the family to stay where they are, so the Venezuelan trip becomes a necessity.
Mike isn’t getting any progress with the FBI believing him about Joe being alive. When Ryan calls Mike to bring in the cavalry since it’s obvious Joe is nearby, Mike shows up alone and fully willing to help track him down. Someone is a mole on the inside (Jana from last episode, methinks) so they can’t even trust the FBI right now. Unstable Luke shows up at the hotel when Ryan is about to check out, but Mike smacks him around a couple times with a plank of wood and all’s good. They capture Luke, tie him up, and give momma a ring. What Luke says to Max about wanting to kill her and then “doing things to her” is entirely creeptastic and brings to mind the first time we met the twins this season. Has necrophilia always been on the back of his mind?
Emma doesn’t have much of a reaction when she hears about Lily and Joe’s sordid lovemaking session, as told by Mandy. Is it just me, or is Mandy annoying? She has the personality of a girl younger than 14, not a budding young adult. Talking with Joe doesn’t exactly do anything for her either, but it’s pretty clear that neither of them wants to make an escape to Venezuela. Joe claims to have an “epic plan”, and promises Emma only his loyalty, which is pretty big coming from him. One has to wonder what exactly is this “epic plan” that Joe mentions? Will we actually see it sliding into place?
Mandy, who eavesdropped on Emma and Joe’s convo, drops the nugget to Lily that Joe might not even want to leave for Venezuela. Consequently, she drugs Joe in an effort to get him where she wants him. When Ryan calls Lily, they arrange a place to meet so they can exchange Luke for Joe. Lily has no intention of giving up Joe, but she puts other plan into motion. She tells her babysitting “family” members to watch Joe and if Mandy or Emma give them any problems, to kill them both. Lily leaves with Mark in tow to rendezvous at the meeting spot, whilst Ryan heads for the house (oh, the joys of tracing a phone call.)
Lily brings an abducted man in a Joe Carroll mask to do the exchange with, and instantly noticed that Ryan Hardy is MIA. Mike, who is clearly spiraling out of control, stabs Luke a couple times but eventually lets him go in favor of Lily not killing the innocent man whose car she hijacked. Mike sneakingly stabbed the tires of Lily’s getaway vehicle, but Lily, Mark, and Luke take off on foot after the exchange has been made.
Emma is able to wake up Ryan using some tactics involving a rag and perfume. The Russian chick attempts to stop them but Ryan stabs her in the chest without a second thought. Emma, Joe, and Mandy escape in a car as Ryan shows up and offs the dark-skinned member of Lily’s twisted family. The FBI, meanwhile, tracks down the airfield and sends in a team and a chopper to try to smash the eggs of the Venezuelan trip long before they can hatch.
Lily and Mark make it to a car nearby, but they get separated from Luke. Mike shoots him multiple times and then beats his face in until he’s covered in blood even as the car speeds away. It’s pretty clear that Lily and Mark think that Luke is dead. Meanwhile on the strip, Ryan and the FBI arrive at virtually the same time, and yet Joe is not inside. Luke has been rushed to a nearby hospital, where he’s currently in critical condition. When we see Joe again, he’s still on the road. From what it looks like, Joe and company are headed for Jana (guest star Leslie Bibb.) Lily calls Joe and he pretty much says his goodbyes, showing zero compassion and seeming to relish the fact that she thinks she has lost her son Luke. Lily freaks out (if you could call that freaking out, I don’t even think that’s a strong enough word for what she does), but according to the promo next week it doesn’t look like she’s going to stay as helpless as she appears for very long.
What did you think of this week’s episode? I can’t wait to see where everything is headed from here. Ryan and Mike killing people left and right and Lily’s sadistic family has definitely elevated this season for me and I’m really excited to see if we are going to find out what Joe’s “epic plan” might be. I’m also hoping for Luke to pull through: even though he’s totally batshit, he’s been one of this season’s highlights for sure.