'The Following' recap: Ryan takes out 2 followers while Mike finally learns the truth about Joe
The moral of Monday (Feb. 17) night's "The Following:" Never lie to Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon). Giselle (Camille De Pazzis) learned that lesson the hard way.
After Ryan met back up with Max (Jessica Stroup), they cornered Giselle while she was on her way to Lily's (Connie Nielsen) house -- where Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) now is -- and she gave up the location of a warehouse where she was going to get picked up by Luke. Ryan told Max to stay with Giselle while he went off to see what was at the warehouse. Unfortunately, Max underestimated Giselle, and the french woman broke her own thumb to escape her handcuffs, knocked out Max and went after Ryan.
At the warehouse, Luke arrived with another one of Lily's "children," and Ryan shot and killed him. Luke (Sam Underwood) injured Ryan, though, and he ran off and broke into a house to patch up his bleeding torso. It was interesting watching Ryan take the homeowner hostage, since the woman clearly thought Ryan was the bad guy who was going to kill her when he really saved her life by locking her in a closet when Luke and Giselle (who made it to the warehouse) came upon the house. It was an ironic role reversal for a moment when Ryan realized he was ruining the poor woman's life.
Ryan corners Giselle at gun point, and she lies, telling him she killed Max just to get a reaction out of Ryan. Poor move on her part, since he stabs her in the gut in a rage, and she falls to the ground and dies instantly. Seriously, never lie to Ryan Hardy.
Ryan escapes while Luke breaks down, seeing Giselle's dead body. He cries and cradles her body. Clearly there was something big between them -- Luke told Giselle that she was his "number one" over the phone earlier -- so Ryan just made a big enemy out of Luke. Before Giselle's death, Luke was just having fun messing with Ryan. Now it's personal. He even takes her bloody corpse back to Lily's house with him.
Ryan heads back to where Max was keeping Giselle and is afraid of what he'll find in the hotel room, but he's extremely relieved to find Max alive and well. The hug he gives her is so powerful, since these two are all each other has and Ryan can't lose anyone else to Joe and his followers:
Meanwhile, back at the international house of psychopaths, Joe tries to get Emma (Valorie Curry) to forgive his abandonment of her. He tries to explain that he was ashamed of his failures and is sorry for leaving her alone. Since all the other original followers are dead or in custody, he tells Emma it's just the two of them now, and they should give Lily and her "children" a chance. Hilarious how Emma calls them all crazy. Joe just gives her a look like, honey please: Pot meet kettle.
However, looks like Emma was more right than she realized. While on a "date" with Mark (Underwood) in Lily's art studio, when Emma touches his face like he was touching hers (it looked like they were about to kiss, right?) Mark freaks out. He tells her that only he can initiate contact, since he has Haphephobia -- a.k.a. the fear of being touched, the exaggeration of normal tendencies to protect one's personal space, expressed as a fear of contamination or invasion. He tells Emma she needs to "read up on it if this is going to work." Ummmm, good luck with that? Emma isn't as weirded out later on when she strokes Mark's face while she sleeps.
Lily had asked Mark to keep Emma busy so she can finally get some alone time with Joe. She gifts him with a sedated college coed, but at first he looks disgusted at the "gift." She tells Joe she's just trying to encourage his talent, and he later kills the girl almost ritually. The murder table was kind of reminiscent of "Dexter," no? After he kills the girl, he stumbles into Lily's room, still covered in blood, and they hook up. Kind of gross. No, scratch that: Totally gross. Joe smears the blood all over Lily's face. Ew. Something tells us Emma isn't going to appreciate that.
In an interesting twist over at the FBI, while tracking Ryan and Max, another team of analysts discover Mandy and her mom's house burnt down with only the mother's body inside. They track the town's missing Reverend's car and discover photographic evidence of Mandy with a mysterious bearded man, and only Mike (Shawn Ashmore) realizes that it's Joe. But he doesn't tell his fellow agents that Joe is alive. Why? Is he looking to get revenge like Ryan? Will Mike team up with Ryan and Max and work outside the law to find Joe? Or is he just trying to be cautious and confirm his realization first?
"Reflection" was a tense hour that gave a lot of characters new motivations. Ryan and Max are going to work even harder to keep each other safe after almost losing each other. Luke has a new, personal vendetta against Ryan for Giselle's death. Emma is trying to figure out Mark. Lily and Joe have an even more twisted relationship. And Mike now knows that Joe is alive.
"The Following" airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.