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The Following, Episode 11, Whips and Regret

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After he lost Claire, Hardy fell back off the wagon. Carroll gives Ryan a wake up call and calls him out on drinking again. Hardy hangs up on him, but Carroll calls back and brings up their famous book again. He’s calling him to rub his renewed family in Hardy’s face, effectively hurting Hardy. At the same time, Roderick pulls up with a hooded Claire. Agitated, she only wants to see Joey. Jacob leads her to her room and locks her in, promising her that Joey is all right.

Molly, Hardy’s old romantic interest, is meeting with Carroll, updating him on her and Hardy’s relationship, and through a flashback to 2009, we learn that she was known as the “angel of death”. She was a nurse that killed her terminal patients. She boasts that she’s killed more people than Carroll. She willingly agreed to get close to Hardy.

Agent Parker visits Hardy at his apartment and shows him how Carroll has been recruiting his followers. There’s an encryption code that allows access to a website showing a quick flash of a raven, followed by someone dressed in black, wearing one of the Poe masks. After the website, a real meeting is conducted, followed by a test of dedication. They believe the location is in lower Manhattan. Parker flat out asks Hardy if he’s an alcoholic and he doesn’t deny it. She seems genuinely concerned about his health, and she admits she needs him for the case. Parker corrals him to get cleaned up and back at the headquarters.

Roderick pushes Carroll to start their plans as he had agreed to do once he had his family back together. He’s not quite ready yet, but Roderick toes the line on who’s really in charge.

The FBI has pinpointed what they believe is the location for the cult recruitment center, an after hours bar called “Whips and Regret”. Parker and Hardy enter and run right into an S&M scene. Dark hallways with flashing lights make for a tense scene as they try to locate the bar owner, Hayley Mercury, amidst a sea of mostly naked fetishists. When they find the center of operations, they also find Hayley, who appears to be tampering with possible information on the computer.

It turns out the FBI is not able to access the club’s server information due to a ghost server and Hayley has fourteen felonies. Parker and Hardy interrogate Hayley who says she doesn’t know Carroll, but she does know one of the extremists, Vince McKinley. She agrees to give them information if they cut her a deal. She uses McKinley for freelancing, and it turns out that he’s using her system, piggybacking Carroll’s messages on her hers. Hayley says she will deliver him to them, if they have a deal.

Jacob brings Claire some clothes, including a cocktail dress for dinner later. When she tries to run for the door after Jacob refuses to let her see Joey, he throws her on the floor and explains that Carroll gave him permission to hurt her, as long as he doesn’t cut or bruise her face. She must play along. What has Claire got herself into?

Emma and Jacob have another tense moment that culminates in Jacob telling Emma that the Jacob she loves is no longer there. I fear he may turn out to be the nastiest follower between him, Emma and Paul.

McKinley was receiving deliveries at the club. Parker and Hardy find a type of black market chemical nitroglycerin. Hayley sends McKinley a message telling him he has a delivery, and McKinley asks Roderick if he can go. In a strange moment, McKinley reaches out to Roderick who responds by pulling his gun. McKinley leaves to go to the club. We see an angry and unhinged Roderick attack a follower as he walks out of the room, but he does say he’s sorry, which makes it all right, I guess…

Establishing that they need a safety word at the club as they wait for McKinley to arrive, they decide to go with ‘red’.

Claire puts on the tight dress and a face full of makeup to meet with Carroll at dinner. She looks like a scared rabbit staring in the face of a hungry cat.

McKinley arrives at the club and the FBI goes in. Donovan is inside at the bar. McKinley leaves with a box as Hayley walks him to his car. He tries to force her in the car and Hayley uses the safe word. Hardy doesn’t want to intervene just yet because he won’t be able to follow him back to Carroll. McKinley pulls a gun on her and makes her get in. Hayley repeatedly says ‘red’, but no one stops them. Parker and Hardy follow them when they leave.

Inside the car, McKinley won’t tell her where they’re going and Hayley is visibly upset. Parker instructs the others to drop back as he watches for followers. McKinley reveals that he cares about Hayley. He takes her to an old armory. Parker calls for SWAT. McKinley tells that this place was the cult’s training grounds. McKinley starts taking Hayley’s clothes off and finds her wire. He tells them that he will kill her and he blames Hardy for it. Just another way for Carroll to get to Hardy where it hurts, it seems. Parker and Hardy traverse the darkened passageways and come up on Hayley tied to a rolling chair, alive. McKinley is gone.

At dinner, Claire isn’t eating. She questions him about the followers living there. He calls them friends and family and she fires back with psychotic killers. Claire’s rational is lost to Carroll’s deaf and sick ears. He says he brought her and Joey there because he loves her. She tells him she doesn’t love him, though. He thinks she will love him again. When she asks to see Joey, Carroll refuses and tells her he’s the only card he’s got to play. Claire stands her ground and tells him she will never love him unless she can see Joey.

The FBI finds people alive being held in the basement of the armory, caged up. It turns out they are cult members, but before they can relay the message, they are let out in full on attack mode. Now Parker and Hardy are stuck in the pitch-black basement of the armory with three bloodthirsty killers loose. Not good. Hardy saves Parker who is ambushed by the killers.

McKinley has told Carroll about the compromised server and that the FBI found their camp. Carroll confronts Roderick and finds out that he gave McKinley permission to go to the club. He breaks Roderick’s nose, telling him that he doesn’t get to make decisions, but Roderick still shows the twisted cult loyalty. Carroll comes to say good night to Claire and brings Joey to her. Claire and Joey’s happiness at their reunion is both sweet and pitiful as Carroll shuts the door behind him and goes to watch a video of Molly and Hardy having sex. Is he going to steal some moves from him to use on Claire? Either way it’s pretty pathetic and sleazy.

Molly visits Hardy and we see through another flashback that she told Carroll she would move to New York to be near Hardy if she could be the one to kill him.

It’s nice to see Claire and Joey together, but it’s also awful that they are in the middle of the cult and being hovered over by an unstable Carroll. Hardy is feeling the failure of losing both Claire and Joey, as well as the compiled deaths that he carries on his shoulders. His attempt to drown out the pain with a drink is not going to work. Parker had a close call tonight and we got to see her normally cool appearance shaken. There is dissention between the followers and Carroll, but what do you expect with a house full of mentally unstable and violent people? There are four episodes left. Will Hardy be able to rescue Claire and Joey, keep himself safe from Molly, and capture Carroll, all while watching out for Carroll’s cult? We shall see.

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Posted by on Monday, April 1st, 2013. Filed under Dark TV, Headline, Images. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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