Warning: Spoiler Alert
Logic states that most FBI agents have a pretty low opinion of the Fox series “The Following,” as the series, now in its third-season, rarely shows the Bureau in a flattering light. The FBI agents portrayed in the show, starting with the self-loathing Ryan Hardy, come-off as reactive rather than proactive. The Bureau basically stood helplessly on the sidelines watching people die, during the first two campaigns, courtesy of former college professor Joe Carroll and his ever revolving band of cult-members.
Carroll’s now in a maximum security facility, scheduled for execution within a month, however Hardy and fellow agents Mike Weston and Ryan’s niece Max Hardy, are still incapable of stopping a lunatic from murdering innocents, early in season three. Mark Gray, son of another cult-leader Lily, whom along with Gray’s twin brother Luke were killed last season by Hardy’s crew. Bent on vengeance, while nuttier than a peanut plantation, Mark’s channeled his dominant brother’s character into his body, making for some creepy discussions with himself.
Mark’s the first character we see as he drives Andrew’s truck to a locked up warehouse storefront, he bangs on the bars, an older man with a mop of curly hair opens the garage-like type door. Mark tells the man named Spider, that the truck’s Andrew’s whose now in FBI custody and they need it off the street. Spider tells him to park it inside, then shows Mark his array of torture toys, Gray says cool, but he’s not into torture. Spider says he realizes that, but he’s got something Mark will appreciate, then unveils an electric-chair he bought in Nevada, last year. He laughs as he says they’re going to fry themselves an FBI agent.
Back at the New York City Bureau office, the agents have determined Andrew’s identity, following a call, apparently from Mark (which we found out in the first episode, actually happened) he left his wife and kids to go out for a carton of milk and never came back a year before. Andrew admits the family was just a front to fit into society, an associate of Lily’s, he stayed in character until getting the call from Mark after Luke got shot to death.
Andrew asks Hardy and Weston if he can offer a little advice and both agents smirk at his audacity, then say sure. Their prisoner says confess before it’s too late, Weston responds he’s got a clean conscience and Andrew says more innocent people will die. Somehow Mark’s aware that Mike killed Lily in execution-style, after she had one of her sons slit Weston’s father’s throat on videotape, then sent it to him. Hardy covered things up in an internal investigation, but the story started fraying at the edges last week and now looks on the verge of collapsing. The only three aware of the situation are Weston, Max and Ryan.
Mark has sent his unhappy assistant’s on a mission to kidnap an Asian woman, Kyle awkwardly tries picking her up in the grocery store and she says she’s married and buzz off. When she arrives home, she thinks her husband’s home early from work as the stereo’s playing, two glasses of wine poured and a negligee’s laid out on the bed. She carries her glass of wine into the bathroom, as she hears the shower running, but the shower’s vacant. She turns around when she sees Kyle and his girlfriend Daisy in the doorway, the glass falls from her hand. Kyle says his feelings got hurt at the grocery store.
Hardy’s pulled aside by Jeff Clarke, the man that ran point for the Black-Ops program Hardy utilized last year to kill the Grays and capture Carroll, as well as destroy his cult, either by death or arrest. Because Gray’s accused Hardy’s team of lying, the Bureau’s Internal Affairs Division, want to question Ryan again. Jeff says he can’t go through the interrogation again and Hardy says, if things go South, he’ll take the bullet.
We then see a flashback from eleven-months earlier as Ryan and Clarke are about to get questioned the first time. Jeff starts having a major panic-attack, then develops chest pains and Hardy tells him he’s taking his friend to the ER and to relax.
Back at the woman’s house they’ve got her duct-taped to a chair, Daisy tells her she’s going to call her husband and do whatever she can to make him come home. The woman refuses and Daisy says, either you call him, or he’ll get your face in the mail and pulls out a knife. The woman tells her husband, she’s got a really bad-migraine and says she needs him home. He buys the story and Daisy tells the woman she’s a fabulous liar.
The character of Kyle’s rather one-dimensional, a guy with demons, somewhat intelligent, but he allows his emotions to dictate his actions. However Daisy portrayed by Ruth Kearney’s a great new addition to the cast, as she plays Daisy as a cross between Faye Dunaway’s Bonnie Parker and Amy Acker’s Root from Persons Of Interest. She’s the brains of the duo, but she seems to get an erotic thrill out of the violence they inflict.
Mark’s not nearly as clever as Joe Carroll, or even his mother, so the Bureau’s pretty close on his tail. They trace Andrew’s truck to a warehouse and show the footage of Mark driving into the building. Hardy and Weston head an FBI SWAT team as they raid the building, Spider sends Mark out through a sewer pipe to safety and tells him to not worry about him. He grabs an automatic weapon and engages in a shootout, but he’s soon shot to death, as they look through the office, they see pictures of the Asian women, tacked to the wall near the desk. Max gasps it’s Anna, the wife of Agent Jeff Clarke.
Clarke comes home and Kyle attacks him, Jeff says do what ever they want to him, but leave his wife alone, Kyle says they don’t make deals and knocks Clarke out. Daisy then ties a plastic bag around Anna’s face to suffocate her, she says asphyxiation’s a turn-on but they need to go, then kisses Anna on the mouth, leaving red lipstick marks on the outside of the bag.
The trio of agents arrive at the Clarke’s to find Jeff’s gone and Anna’s not breathing. Ryan performs CPR on her saving her life, she tells them that the couple knocked out Jeff and took him away, then pleads with them to save her husband and Hardy assures her they will.
Mark calls Daisy, tells them not to head to Spider’s and asks Daisy about her Plan B, her face goes white as she says she really hesitates to call him as she’s scared of the guy. Mark tells her to make the call. She’s visibly shaken when she hangs up and Kyle asks what’s up, she says Mark wants us to call Neil.
We head to a kitchen, as a heavy-set balding man in his forties, is feeding a man he calls Pop. The man, obviously senile, asks if he knows the man feeding him, the other man says he’s his son Neil, but the man says his son’s much younger. There’s a look in the younger man’s eyes, that’s too cryptic to read, is he upset that his father doesn’t recognize his own son, or is this man really Neil? A nurse’s aide interrupts them and tells Neil he’s got a phone call and she takes over the feeding.
Back at the Bureau office, when the Bureau Chief Gina says they’ve got a Skype message coming in from Mark and they put it on the big screen. Gray’s happy to see that the gang’s all there and tells them they’ve got until eight that night to come clean about executing his mother, or Clarke dies. After some unproductive back and forth, he disconnects the feed. Gina asks why Mark keeps talking about them lying, Mike says that Gray’s a psychopath and it’s hard to predict what he’ll say.
Max pulls the three of them aside and says they should come clean, Mike of course adamantly disagrees, as he stands to lose the most. Ryan says that Mark’s going to kill Jeff whether they confess or not, the only way to get Clarke back is rescuing him. They find that Andrew and Joe attended a class together while in school, Gina tells Hardy he needs to go talk to Carroll to save Clarke’s life.
We see Ryan in a chopper and the graphic tells us we’re looking at a super-maximum correctional facility in New York. Hardy gets off the vehicle, walks through a series of doors with a grim look on his face, that last door looks like a mile away. He goes into the holding room, we see a pair of padlocked hands and then realize, it’s not Carroll, it’s Joe’s mentor Dr. Strauss whose indicted as an accessory to murder. Turns out the class that Andrew and Joe attended was taught by Strauss.
After some give and take Strauss admits knowing Andrew, but remains silent when Hardy asks if Andrew’s one of the professor’s followers. He does say that if Andrew’s done something to attract the attention of the FBI, then he’d need strong motivation. Ryan asks like a cause and Strauss responds fear’s the likely reason.
Clarke’s now duct-taped to a chair, while Neil’s working with welding equipment building something out of metal. Kyle asks if he’s going to be much longer and Neil gives him a look like he could crush his skull that second and says he hates being rushed. Kyle’s smart enough to say, everything’s cool and take as long as you need.
While the three are talking, Clarke’s slipped the tape of his wrists and feet and makes a run for it, running blind as he has no idea how the building’s laid out. All three split up and start looking for him, Jeff ducks into an office and hides behind a desk. Neil walks right past the office without glancing inside, Clarke grabs a cellphone and calls Hardy and the FBI are able to trace the call. Unfortunately they hear the conversation and as Jeff tries to break for it, Kyle knocks him out with a metal bar.
The calls been traced to a 15 mile radius around Reading, Pennsylvania, the three agents hop on the copter while Gina tells them she’ll have a swat team ready to meet them there. When they arrive, they’re told by the head of the local law enforcement they’ve got a lot of locations where Clarke could be imprisoned.
Jeff comes to and Kyle asks him if he wants to hear the bad or good news first? Clarke says he doesn’t care, so Kyle tells him it looks like his FBI friends let him down and won’t make their eight o’clock deadline. Daisy says however the good news is he can save himself, by confessing, he looks at her and says that’s not happening. Daisy truly looks concerned and says she hopes he changes his mind, then Neil comes over, just finishing his work, it’s a box he’s going to put Clarke in. He then shows them a blade used for slaughtering cattle, he says this will paralyze Jeff, but he’ll remain conscious, then Neil’s going to dislocate every joint in Clarke’s body, to fold him into the box.
Mike’s found the location and Ryan and the SWAT team are there in two-minutes, just as they’re about to burst in, Gina calls Hardy. She says there’s a video coming in and he should see it. We then see Clarke admitting that he was in charge of a Black-Ops Unit, led by Ryan to take out Joe Carroll and Lily Gray, then he says Gray got executed. He then begs for absolution he doesn’t deserve and the feed ends.
They break in, but it’s too late, Clarke’s in the box with his FBI Shield opened in top of it. When the ambulance comes, Hardy asks the EMT if Jeff suffered much, he replies hopefully Clarke lost consciousness quickly.
Kyle and Daisy bring home the video to show to Mark, he’s disappointed he wasn’t there. Kyle says he’s lucky he’s not dead like Spider and Mark grabs him by the throat and pulls out a knife. Daisy begs him to stop telling Mark he needs the both of them to carry out his plans. He lets Kyle go.
Hardy’s back at his apartment showering and thinking back to Jeff’s hospital visit, as that’s where he met Gwen, she was the attending physician who told Jeff he didn’t suffer a heart-attack. Ryan and Gwen smile at each other, back in the present, Gwen walks into to shower with her clothes on to comfort Hardy. He breaks down and weeps in her arms.
The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.