The Following Episode 9: “Love Hurts”

Kevin Bacon as Ryan HardyThis may have been my favorite episode to date!

The FBI finally—FINALLY—acknowledged that Hardy is a wild card and pretty much needs a babysitter. Which is great, because it means more with him and Debra. She’s much less starry eyed than Weston, so theoretically less likely to ride off into the sunset to save the girl kind of thing. Then again, as this episode proved ONCE AGAIN, it’s always going to come down to a stand-off with Hardy and Follower Of The Week. To this, this is a little frustrating. There is SO MUCH good about this show, and to have it end really similar every week takes away some of the suspense. I know Hardy is integral to the plotting, but STILL.

Carroll still makes me a wee bit cranky because of the whole Emma thing last episode, but he was really on point through this one. The man was meant to be in a teaching-type environment, because he just glows when lecturing in front of a group. I also loved how he’s obviously feeling uncomfortable and perhaps more than a little bit guilty over sleeping with Emma, because he’s blowing her off and calling Hardy to reminisce about the woman they both love.

James Purefoy as Joe CarrollAnd Amanda. It should come as a surprise to NO ONE that I loved this character. I initially dismissed her when she was giving her nervous talk to Carroll about her chapter, but seeing her flashback changed everything. She’s so fan-girly, and then she just matter-of-factly says she took a shotgun to both her cheating husband and the woman he was cheating with, dismembered them, and then dumped them in Florida. The change was astonishing, and then flashing forward to see her say she wants her chapter to have a happy ending…

The woman and I have a different idea of happy endings. It was so bizarre to see this wide-eyed polite woman turning around and killing a woman with a freaking spear gun. And then throwing another out a window. All for the name of love, you know? Because love hurts! She was definitely one of my favorite things about this episode. I love seeing complex characters, and having THIS type of person hide a murderous streak makes me all sorts of giddy. I am so glad they didn’t kill her off, because I look forward to seeing what she’s going to say next.

Also something I hope to see? Amanda have another conversation with Carroll. You see, when Hardy is trying to save Claire Matthews 3.0, Amanda accuses him of being a cheater and demands to know WHY he would do such a thing. For love, of course. And the stickler is that he’s still in love with Claire. What I focused on is that Amanda has a serious thing against people who commit adultery (go figure). So I want to see her find out that Carroll has, for all intents and purposes, done just that. His entire cult believes in his love for his “wife” so discovering he slept with Emma isn’t going to go over well with some of them—namely Amanda.

Emma has gotten slightly less interesting to me. She’s pretty transparent about what she wants—Carroll—so seeing him slap her down politely when she tries to get clingy pleased me greatly. What was better, though, was seeing her interactions with Roderick.

Because he’s a smart guy, and it doesn’t take him long to figure out what happened between Emma and Carroll. So, of course, he confronts her. They get into a conversation about gray area, and Roderick pretty much rips to rug right out from underneath her. Not only does he reinforce that, whatever happened before, Carroll loves his wife like few others, but he also threw Jacob back in her face. Because all this time, while Emma has been making noncommittal answers about their whereabouts, Jacob has been calling her. But why would she answer when him showing up would inconvenience her? She wouldn’t.

Which brings us to Jacob and Paul. I’ll admit to being worried how this would be handled. I mean, they were the weak links of the trio, so it would have been easy to push them to the side. It’s actually their thread, more than any others, that made me giddy as hell for future episodes. You see, we know Jacob has never killed anyone. Paul’s covered up for him and lied for him, and because of that he owes Paul. So when it becomes clear—and seeing Jacob’s mother was fantastic—that Paul isn’t going to survive without a hospital visit, Paul calls in that favor.

It was pretty damn heartbreaking to see Jacob smother Paul. I mean, maybe he didn’t love him in a relationship-type way, but he loved him as a friend at least. So for Paul to be the first person he killed totally broke something in him. Even the way he carries himself when he shows up is totally different. And the fact Roderick brings him home and then pretty much throws him in Emma’s face—GOOD NEWS, EMMA!!!—made me wiggle like a puppy.



  1. Walt Buchanan

    At the end of the episode, when Debra said that Hardy was in love with Claire, Donovan said it was “twisted”. Why would he say that?

  2. Allison Brennan

    This is one of the best shows on tv right now (behind Justified, which is still my all-time fave!) … it’s dark and twisty, with terrific writing and acting. I totally agree with everything about this analysis, except that I think Hardy has become more stable since the first few episodes when it was obvious he was on edge. After he realized that Weston nearly died to protect Claire — that he WOULD have died to keep the secret of her location — I think that solidified him. He realized that Weston looked up and admired him even though he wasn’t worthy of it, and now he’s stepped up. It was a pivotal turning point for him. At the same time that Ryan is pulling himself together over the season, Carroll is falling apart. He started as the stronger of the two, totally in control, and now he’s beginning to fumble. Sleeping with Emma was a mistake. Carroll was drunk, he knows he screwed up, and I loved his rebuke. As far as Jacob and Paul — I really always liked Jacob as a character, as one who could be redeemed, and I’m very curious how that’s all going to play out over the last episodes. And Roderick! What a true sociopath. How he took Louise’s death was totally in character. He’s also acknowledged that things have “changed” since Carroll came to the house. Did he like being in charge? Was it his sense of order and assignments that now he doesn’t know what’s happening that bugs him? They are definitely going to clash big time near the finale.

  3. Allison Brennan

    @walt — I have my suspicions about Donovan. But also, I think he’s a black and white kind of cop, so he thinks Hardy falling for the wife of a serial killer would be weird and twisted.

  4. Walt Buchanan

    @Allison — I think you’re right. Claire is extremely damaged and Donovan probably feels she is beyond being considered in a romantic way.

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