The Following Episode 12: “The Curse”

The Following: Debra with a gun

By now you all know that I’ve more or less written this show off. The last few episodes have been MEH at best, which is incredibly sad to me because I was SO excited about the first few.

That said, I truly enjoyed this week’s episode.

Claire… The running off thing at the beginning had me throwing up my hands, “REALLY, CLAIRE?!” What did she think was going to happen? Things wouldn’t have escalated to this point if not for how well planned and executed this group was. A group like that isn’t exactly going to leave the front door open. But, later on, I was kind of digging how homicidal she got with Emma. Choking her and screaming, “I’m going to kill you!” Nice, Claire. You fit right in with the house of crazies.

While I was so happy to see Weston again, I’m kind of sad panda because he’s turned into Hardy 2.0. He got messed up and now he’s out for vengeance… Or something. While not totally disappointing, it was still… Expected. If that makes sense? This entire show launched on the concept that we’d never know what was coming, and now it feels like a lot of things have fallen back onto tropes and character arcs we’re familiar with. Weston is one of those things.

Kevin Bacon and Shawn Ashmore in the back of an ambulance

Interestingly enough, now that I think about it, his journey and Jacob’s are almost perfect mirrors in their own way. Both started out as shiny-eyed kids, looking up to their respective heroes, and both have gotten kicked in the face (Weston literally, right?) by circumstances. Now they’re disillusioned and all grown up and damaged. Hmmm. It presents some interesting possibilities (though none that I think the show will capitalize on).

I keep waiting for Roderick to just flip out on Carroll. I think it would be fantastic if he ends up being the one to kill his mentor, whenever that ends up happening. Of all the people who are followers, Roderick is the one of the only ones who got a taste for leadership and I do believe he likes it. Emma is the other, which is part of the reason why I think Roderick enjoys messing with her. They’re both dominant personalities (no matter how docile she acts around Carroll), and he’s doing the equivalent of demanding she show her belly and expose her neck. Roderick acknowledges Emma as a threat, I think, by taking the time he does to single her out. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t caught on to that—yet—but I do believe she will.

Mastermind or mouse?
On Emma’s note, I am so TIRED of her acting like a mouse. Obviously it’s an act, because her claws came out when Claire hit her, but I don’t get the WHY of it. Because she was a badass chick when she was running the show with Paul and Jacob, and then she shows up, spends half a second in Carroll’s presence, and is suddenly his wine wench and occasional bedmate. I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. I think the writers are doing her character a huge disservice, and I keep hoping that something will happen to change that… And nothing does.

Carroll was all over the place this episode, which I believe is consistent with how he’s supposed to be. His plan isn’t quite working out as he wanted it to. The most interesting thing, to me at least, was watching him try (and fail) to write. I know that he’s been saying this is all for a book and people get their own chapters and whatever, but I guess I never really thought he actually intended on writing a book. Which is foolish, since he idolizes Poe, and wrote that other book. But his sitting there and struggling over the words hit me right in the gut because I realized Carroll believes his own hype. I mean, I doubt he 100-percent believes in the cult and what he’s doing there (personally, I think that someone else’s pushing at work—probably Roderick), but he believes he’s going to get his family back, and he believes he’s going to publish this fantastic sequel to Hardy’s book and… It’s almost sad.

We knew he planned on using Hardy as inspiration, but it was slightly shocking to me that Hardy is actually his MUSE. They have such a twisted relationship, which was delved into even deeper at the end of the episode. Much in the same way Jacob and Weston are mirrors, Carroll and Hardy are as well. But the problem with mirrors is that they aren’t really displaying the exact opposite—just flavors of the same thing.

And, I have to admit, the ending of this episode surprised the hell out of me (THANK GOD). We all knew Hardy was touched by death and believed he had a curse, but the fact that he forced the man who killed his dad to OD…

It sort of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? If he’s killed once before out of vengeance… How many of his other kills in the line of duty HAD to be kills? And, beyond that, how many kills does he have that no one even knows about?


ed. note: We particularly enjoyed this episode because it featured our very own Leanna Renee Hieber! Check out that crazy cult chick in training!

Keep up with all our coverage of The Following.

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.


  1. Doreen Sheridan

    I actually think the show has gotten better with each episode. The first two were “okay, whoop, a serial-killer procedural” but the show keeps flipping the script on us. I agree with so much of what you said about this ep here, except that I can understand Emma’s behavior. She’s an alpha female, and Carroll’s the alpha male she wants, and as long as she isn’t sure of having him, she’ll do whatever she can to make him happy, to make him choose her. Roderick gets to her because he’s the only one who’ll call her on that, even as he tries to challenge Carroll for supremacy himself. It doesn’t help that Jacob is no longer as pliable as he once was either. I can see where that would leave her unsure of herself. I also loved her confrontation with Claire, even if I still hate Claire and kinda want Emma to kill her.

  2. Allison Brennan

    I agree with most of what you say — except that I haven’t been disappointed in the show. Like dvaleris, I was skeptical after the first two episodes, but once I got into the show, I was hooked.

    I agree on the parallels between the characters, particularly Weston and Jacob, and the mirror of Hardy and Carroll … except I also think that they were both changing from day one. Hardy was at the bottom when the show started, and Carroll was at the top … Carroll outwitted Hardy every step of the way. He proved he was smarter and more ruthless, and that his peak of success was when he escaped (the second time) and went to the house and all his followers were there. He was the king. Hardy had lost him.

    At some point, Hardy gave up drinking (as much) and regained his balance. Now Hardy is growing stronger and more confident and Carroll is slipping … Carroll didn’t truly understand what he created, and now he has to deal with his creation.

    I totally agree about the book, and Carroll’s frustration, and Roderick! What an amazing character. Totally agree about Roderick knowing that Emma is the other alpha leader in the house. The Claire/Emma cat fight was fantastic.

    But don’t get me started on Claire. I know, Carroll had her son, but REALLY. She just goes off to join him and jeopardizes Hardy and her own life as well as her son? She’s made so many bad decisions that I want to strangle her. Except when she went after Emma. That woman totally betrayed her and lived under her roof for two years then took her son. I would go ape-shit crazy on her, too. I think that was the most realistic of all Claire’s reactions so far.

    I think that the truly great testament to this show is the quality of acting. Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy are amazing.

Comments are closed.