The Following Episode 14: “The End is Near”

James Purefoy in The FollowingI loved this episode for so many reasons. Everything played out so freaking well and… Let’s just get into it.

First, though, I still don’t get Carroll’s thing with watching videos of Hardy having sex with that follower (Molly, right?). I just… It skeeves me out in a serious way. I don’t see the purpose behind it, other than pure voyeuristic tendencies. Actually, that said, I suppose it could be chalked up to the belief people let down their barriers more during sex than any other activity. And he’s interested in seeing Hardy for who he really is (and, seriously, are we ever going to come back to the fact Hardy helped the man who killed his father OD?).

Beyond that, Carroll is obviously losing it. As Jacob points out, he’s got to be out of it from the pain meds and the drinking, not to mention I would think the twisting of the knife damaged something internally. And the shoddy job of whoever stitched it obviously isn’t holding up that well because he keeps bleeding through. While I think the injury is a contributing factor physically, it definitely sent Carroll off the deep end to be attacked by his Claire. She was his angel, a woman above all others, and she stabbed him while kissing him—that’s kind of hard to put a good spin on and, from his rambling to the poor couple he takes hostage, he actually TRIED to.

For me Hardy actually almost took a secondary role in this episode. I mean, he’s there and he’s actually looking halfway healthy, and he’s running around, staring down cult members and choking that adorable blonde girl, but… The best parts of this one were the ones with Claire and Carroll and his people. That said, the scene in the community center where the cult members just go wild and start stabbing was truly insane. They’re there, they’re gone, there’s another person dead. Just whoa. It made a pretty damn good distraction, if I do say so myself.

EmmaIt was nice to see Emma taking a more dominant role again. I love her character, I love how she’ll just mow down two cops and kind of shrug, “They knew.” She’s tiny and adorable and kind of freaks me out. But she was obviously in her happy place as soon as Carroll reassured her that he’s just under a lot of pressure and, NO, he never would have raised a hand to her if he weren’t. Uh…I feel like I’ve heard this song and dance before. I don’t blame her for shining under his attention, because she’s young and stupid and he’s like a god to her, but it still makes me kind of sad to see a woman would as the potential to be so powerful pander to a man who only sees her as a tool.

And Jacob, oh Jacob. I think the fact he KNEW what he’d sacrificed and how much of a waste it all was before the end only makes it worse. This isn’t the normal cult member who was willing to hang himself just… just because apparently. This kid is smart and finally has his eyes wide open about the whole thing—and then Emma kills him. I knew she was going to as soon as he said he was leaving, but to be killed by the woman who betrayed him once, only to slip back beneath his defenses and betray him again? Poor Jacob. That was, hands down, the most tragic thing about last night’s episode.

ClaireNow to CLAIRE. We all know how much I despised her through most of this season. When she stabbed Carroll, I definitely didn’t see it coming. Though perhaps I should have. Her child is as safe as he can be, and the biggest threat to him is standing right in front of her… So she went Mamma Bear on his ass.

When Carroll was dragging her around this episode, I was kind of worried that we were back to the Claire who thinks she can rationalize with a crazy man, or who will just be along for the ride until Hardy shows up to save her and then she’ll do something to botch that, too. But, no. When she went after Carroll with the wine bottle my internal dialogue went something like this, “I didn’t think she had it in her! Wait… Why is she picking up a FORK—OH MY GOD, GO CLAIRE.” To stab Carroll with a fork instead of…anything else…right in that wound… Good show, Claire.

And what an ending! Carroll and Claire driving on in a freaking boat. Emma slitting Jacob’s throat and then kind of waxing poetic about how she loves both him and Carroll and that can’t be. Debra being FREAKING BURIED ALIVE.

Suffice to say that I’m twitching waiting for the finale because they’re setting it up to be a great one.

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.

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