I’ve spent the last eight-odd hours trying to compose myself so I can write something other than SQUEEEEEE! about this show.
I’ve seen a couple of people say that this episode jumped the shark and was completely unbelievable. While they’re entitled to their opinion, I completely disagree. We knew going into this show that there would be shocks and crazy moments. The entire premise of the show is that you don’t know who is a follower of Carroll.
I’d forgotten, though. It’s been a couple episodes since we’ve had an OMG THEM?!?!?? moment. This episode had a few.
Can I just say that I LOVED Hardy? I finally feel like he’s hitting his stride—or at least he was until the end of the episode. But the conversations between him and the triad were fantastic. Up to this point, Emma and the men have been in control and pretty poised (we’ll ignore the occasional freakouts and, ahem, kidnappings). Then in waltzes Hardy with his nonchalant description of how things are going to go down, and the cracks start to show. I loved how blasé and calm he seemed, which only seemed to further contrast how young and inexperienced these three were. Yes, two out of three of them have killed people, but it’s one thing to attack a (mostly) defenseless person and completely another to deal with a hardened ex-FBI agent. It didn’t matter if Hardy was at the top of his game or not, he was still better equipped going into that encounter than they were. Here, FINALLY, we start to see the man who caught Carroll—and his attention. I was super impressed.
This is the first time we see Emma show even a hint of vulnerability and fear that things might not work out as whatever plan Carroll has in place says they will. She’s still my favorite, though. Even when Jacob and Paul are freaking out, she at least maintained a façade of control. It just reinforced that there’s a reason she’s higher up in the chain of command than they are. And after that phone call? Woman is a cold-hearted lady to up and leave two men she’s slept with (one of whom she says she loves) to die. Maybe she was told they’d be okay, maybe not. Either way, there’s no guarantee. She still followed Carroll’s (or Roderick’s) orders and took Joey and left.
And then, at the end, she abandoned Jacob and an injured Paul a second time by hanging up on Jacob instead of making a plan to scoop him up. I’m not going to lie—it made me love her.
Another female character who knocked my socks off was Debra. Yes, I had wondered how she had come to have such intimate knowledge of cults, and now we have our answer. Those particular flashbacks—especially the ones in the ’80s—KILLED me. I wanted to climb through the TV and commit violence on her parents back when they acted as accessories for what happened to her, and again when they had the audacity to accuse HER of coming to seek forgiveness. Kids are meant to be protected, and the fact her mother shoved her back into that room with that man… GOD. Makes me twitchy even thinking about it now. I haven’t exactly ruled out Debra as part of Carroll’s following, but being raped by a cult leader doesn’t exactly lead to falling into another cult… Or maybe it does. I mean, if she did the same thing that Emma did, transferring her love/emotions/trust from a flawed parent to someone “perfect” like Carroll… I just don’t know. I don’t see it, but this show has surprised me before.
Claire… She fell flat for me this episode. I mean, her scenes with Charlie were pretty tense, but that was more because of him than her. When he said he was HER follower, my first thought was “SEE! SHE IS INVOLVED!” That’s the twist I want out of this show. I don’t think I’m going to get it, but I just don’t believe the relationship between Claire and Hardy. She makes him weaker, which might be a good thing in normal life—that softening against the hard edges—but with current events, he’s going to end up getting shot or something because of her.
Carroll, as always, was pretty flawless with his attorney. I continue to love their scenes together and, from the looks of it, we’ll be seeing many more scenes with Carroll in the next episode, to which I say YAY! FINALLY! The filing of charges against the FBI is fascinating, and I’m eager to see what he plans on teasing out from it. Because the man does have a plan.
And, last, but certainly not least—Roderick. From the comments of those in this episode, I’ve decided that there’s some kind of command center. It might only be two or three people, but Roderick is acting as second to Carroll. Someone answered the phone when Charlie called, so Roderick isn’t alone, but he’s the one everyone seems to take guidance from.
So, who is Roderick? Is he another special forces-type military guy (though, let’s be honest, I kind of hope he’s a SHE)? I don’t think so. The military types in this show are playing to type—great for taking orders. I think Roderick is something else altogether.
You have to wonder how Carroll got started on actually murdering college girls. From my understanding, most serial killers start off and accelerate their violence little by little… Unless they have a mentor. Up to this point, we’ve seen Carroll act as mentor to young person after young person.
What if HE had a mentor?
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Katee Robert is the New York Times bestselling author of the Come Undone series. She is zombie-prepared.