Monday night’s episode of The Following appropriately titled “Sacrifice” was not only surreal but I would say mentally disturbing, not to mention downright awesome!
If you haven’t seen the latest episode of The Following…WARNING! SPOILER ALERT! I would suggest you stop reading now. Otherwise Grissom has come out of the deep dark closet to write the recap! Enjoy!
The evenings episode begins with Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), Emma (Valorie Curry) and Mandy (Tiffany Boone), driving through the woods and arriving at a gated area to meet up with one of Joe’s former followers Robert, who is now part of a new cult. Joe admits to Emma that he is winging it in hopes of finding out who the leader is and if there are any weaknesses among the followers. The three, however, are unexpectedly greeted at the gate by a woman named Julia (Jacinda Barrett) and her gun toting thugs who not only tie the three and put black sacks over their heads buts make it a point of telling Joe, “I know out in the world you are a big deal with a bunch of followers, but in here you are the follower,” before bringing them into the compound. Should you be worried now by the animosity shown on Joe’s face at that moment? If you are smart, yes.
Mike (Shawn Ashmore) and Ryan (Kevin Bacon) arrive back at FBI headquarters for a debriefing after the capture and shooting of Luke (Sam Underwood) where Agent Mendez (Valerie Cruz) confirms with Ryan that not only does she now also believe the Joe is alive but that someone in the FBI is an informant for Joe, and that no one can be trusted. Ryan states that by her own logic how can he trust her and unless she wants to arrest him he’s outta there. Ryan ends up running into Mike in the hallway and asks to get in to see Luke. Mike announces that he is leaving the bureau and going home to VA. He tells Ryan how his behavior has become more aggressive over the last year since Havenport and Debra’s death to points where he can’t even control himself appropriately even around his family and friends. It has gotten so bad that even his father is not speaking to him at the moment. That this is for the best. That’s right Ryan, you should feel guilty after ignoring every attempt Mike made to reach out.
No sooner are Joe, Emma, and Mandy through the gates they are taken into a room where they are told to strip, cleanse themselves, put on white robes and given plain white face masks that they are to wear until they have earned a new identity.
Due to her involvement in Ryan’s rogue operation, Max (Jessica Stroup) had been suspended for six months from the force and pleads with Ryan to give up on his obsession of Joe Carroll. Ryan tells her he has to be the one to find and kill Joe Carroll that everything he has done to this point is because of this…obsession. Max begs him to rethink about everything she said before heading home.
Joe meets the real leader of the cult – Julia’s husband, Micah (Jake Weber), and offers his help with the cult in exchange for a place to stay. Micah wants to make sure Joe will be loyal and trusting before allowing them to stay. Joe, getting an idea of how the game is played, gets on his knees and pleads for sanctuary. You see right off the batthat Micah is more like a Jim Jones type and less like a Joe Carroll. Micah looks at himself as a king and even states, “This is the Micah show,” to Joe. He’s the crazy kind of psychopath. What’s the difference you ask? Joe, on the one hand, is methodical. He can get his followers to do his bidding by making them think it was their idea in the first place. Being a sociopath, Joe can acclimate to his surroundings whatever they may be and play the game, subtlety undermining and planting little seeds here and there to cause friction, doubt, anything needed before he has turned the tides and goes in for the kill. You won’t even see it coming. This is definitely going to be interesting.
Max arrives back at her apartment and comes upon a man being abusive to his son in the parking garage. Stepping in, she realizes too late it is a setup as the little psychopath in the making pulls out a camcorder and says, “Smile Ms. Hardy,” as she’s chloroformed, thrown in the back of a truck, and tied. Both father and son look on proudly at their handy work.
A short while later Ryan receives a video message from Lily (Connie Nielsen) who, believing her son Luke is dead, states to Ryan, “You take from me, I take from you.” Ryan looks on horrified as he watches the video attachment of Max’s kidnapping.
Joe is subjected to a lie detector test run by Julia who tries her best to undermine him but in the end he is deemed to have passed. It is evident that she still doesn’t believe him and later that evening, in one of their cult rituals run by Micah, Julia is guided by a divining rod that chooses their next sacrifice. Julia feels compelled to pick Emma who is dragged up on stage, as Joe is restrained. She is then tied to an altar, her wrists are slit and, as her blood gathers in cups at the bottom of the altar, Micah picks up one of the cups and drinks the blood. He claims that all will be saved, and his followers go wild. Afterwards, Joe accuses Julia of choosing Emma on purpose. She doesn’t deny it, instead she claims some things are necessary. Joe can see she is afraid of him and now knows where the weakness lies. Before she leaves, she confirms that Emma isn’t dead and will be returned to Joe soon.
Ryan turns to the FBI for help in finding Max and is thankful Mike is there. Through camera surveillance footage they are able to get a photograph of the abductor. Shortly thereafter, a handcuffed Ryan is permitted to speak with Luke in the hospital. Luke more than happily tells Ryan the name of the man they are looking for is Kurt but that he is also known as The Huntsman who is notorious serial killer that usually targets prostitutes. Lily met him while in search of her perfect match, Luke explains, but he was a little too crazy and she uses him only as a last resort. Using the info from Luke they get an address and head out.
Once awake and realizing who her tattoo loving capture is, Max goads and proceeds to overpower him, thus making her escape into the woods. Let the hunt begin.
Meanwhile Ryan, Mike, and the feds arrive at the Huntsman home surprising his poor wife who tells them he’s on a business trip. It took only moments for Ryan and Mike to exchange looks once the son entered the picture. Yep they figured that one right. Meeting up with the boy in his bedroom it doesn’t take long for him to show how he is a chip off the old block by asking Ryan if she is a whore because his daddy knows how to handle them. The door is then closed and locked and after we hear a bit of screaming and Mendez arrives on the scene to find the boy hog tied and Mike and Ryan calling for backup as they race to the cabin where Ryan’s niece is being held.
Speaking of Max, you can tell she has a lot of her uncle’s traits as she races through the woods in hopes of eluding the Huntsman and finds herself a nice little hiding spot. As Ryan, Mike, Mendez, and the feds arrive at the cabin it doesn’t take them long to realize there was a struggle and both hunter and prey have headed into the woods. Mike locates Max and just as the Huntsman takes aim, gunshots ring out killing the Huntsman who falls to ground. Ryan got there in the nick of time to save both his niece and his friend. A nice reunion was had by all.
The victory is short lived. As everyone arrives back at FBI headquarters Ryan receives another video message from Lila time stamped a few hours prior. He thinks that Max is dead and goes on to say Ryan isn’t the only person to hurt her. Another was involved and he must pay as well. As they quickly try to locate where the video was filmed the camera pans wide and Mike recognizes it as his father’s house, grabs his phone and calls for reinforcement to his father’s address.
On video Lila walks across the room telling Mike’s father who is bound to a chair to say hi to his son. Mike watches in horror while Ryan is screaming for the team to turn off the video. His father spits out his final words, “Go to hell,” before his throat is slit by Luke’s twin brother Mark (also played by Sam Underwood). An inconsolable Mike runs outside where Ryan finds him sobbing on the steps, and knowing there are no words to comfort him, takes Mike in his arms and holds him as the camera fades to black.
Kudos to Shawn Ashmore (Mike), in that final scene. My heart broke watching the raw emotions of grief, guilt, and loss that ran through him in those final moments. He really demonstrated what an amazing actor he is. I look forward to the next episode as I have always loved the chemistry between Mike and Ryan, and I believe a new bond has formed where they now share these horrible tragic losses in their lives. They will truly be an unstoppable duo in their quest for revenge!
Promo for next weeks episode 8 “The Messenger”
To catch the full episode of this weeks The Following” go to: The Following