The Following Episode 11: “Whips and Regret”

Once more, I have some seriously conflicting feelings about this episode. So much has changed from the beginning when it was all shock and awe, and not all of it for the good.

Claire. God, I HATES Claire. While I 100% understand her tunnel vision when it comes to her kids (I’d burn the world down for mine), the fact she totally ignores the fact she got so many people killed and then just moseyed on home to Carroll really annoys me. And then her trying to brazen her way through that encounter with Jacob? Dude, he might look like a nice pretty boy, but that sweetie isn’t home anymore. And her thing with Joe… I just don’t know how I feel about it. She’s pissed and scared and self-righteous, and it’s the latter that makes me want to smack her upside the back of the head. To me, she lost the ability to be on the side of good when her idiocy got people killed and injured (BATISTA!). If she was going to play the martyr route, she should have turned herself in AGES ago instead of running around, mucking things up.

Though Carroll kind of had my wheels turning a bit. I was meh over him taunting Hardy—seriously, what are you, twelve? And how he initially dealt with Roderick left a bad taste in my mouth because it smacked of weakness. I was pretty concerned that he was about to become this impotent leader who ends up railroaded (and/or killed) by his second-in-command.

But no. While Claire is at amateur hour, Carroll flat out tells her that love can be conditioned. I’m not sure what it says about me that I loved him sitting there and calmly telling her he was going to brainwash her into loving him again, but I did. I really, really did. Bringing Joey to her (after he told her he wouldn’t) only confirmed that. If there’s one thing Carroll knows how to do, it’s manipulate people. Claire doesn’t stand a chance. And then, after the fiasco Roderick reports, when he just punches Roderick in the face? LOVE. So, there is hope!


As for Roderick, we kind of knew dude has issues (killing people isn’t exactly normal), but I’m starting to think dude has ISSUES. I mean, when Vince barely touches him, he flips out. Pulling a gun for that is not exactly a normal reaction. And, from the looks of things, he’s preparing for a war of some sort. We had the writing on the wall with the militia types, but people don’t need that level of training to be serial killers, right? I mean, I’m sure we’ll see more information as time goes on, but I find the whole thing curious.

Kevin BaconAnd now Hardy. I want to punch Hardy in his alcoholic face. I get it. He hit rock bottom (or somewhere close to it). But COME ON. Hayley might be guilty of a lot of things, but killing people isn’t one of them. She didn’t deserve him to dangle her out like bait—AFTER TELLING HER HE WOULD KEEP HER SAFE. Where’s the guy who’s so willing to run himself into the ground to save someone? Not home anymore apparently.

As for Debra, I’m pissed at her, too. The whole point of her job right now is to handle Hardy. That includes not letting him go (further) off the deep end and endanger more people. She gave Hayley her word that they would come in when she said the code word, and then she just sat by and let it happen. Feeling bad about it isn’t going to do a damn thing if he’d decided Hayley was better off dead than alive. I get it. We have to play dirty to catch the bad guy sometimes, but this is BS. If they were determined to follow Vince back to wherever (and, seriously, they should have realized he wouldn’t take this chick back to the main house out of nowhere), they should have given her a heads’ up.

I really love what they’re doing with Jacob’s character. Definitely looking forward of more of him.

Also, Molly fascinates me. She’s not as starry-eyed as the other women Carroll has surrounded himself with (On that note, WTF happened to Amanda? They caught her and she dropped off the face of the earth). She’s pretty damn cold, and I’m loving it. I get the feeling that she’s (hopefully) more than just a little puppet Carroll planted in Hardy’s life.

And on that note – WHY IS CARROLL WATCHING SEX TAPES OF HARDY?! I don’t… I can’t… I have no logical, non-creepy, reason why this would ever be necessary. What is he, like, comparing moves or something? I don’t even know what to say about this!!!

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Katee Robert is the New York Times bestselling author of the Come Undone series. She is zombie-prepared.

Read all posts by Katee Robert for Criminal Element.