Warning: Spoiler Alert
Ryan Hardy’s trying to fool the world into believing he’s got it together, but viewers of the FOX series “The Following,” realize the FBI agent’s far too close to a complete mental collapse and perhaps losing his grip on reality. His fragile condition caused him to hallucinate, in the middle of trying to find a suspect, in the latest episode entitled “Flesh & Blood.” Hardy thought he saw his nemesis Joe Carroll, who in reality was in a Virginia Correctional Facility, awaiting his execution. He also caused friction with his girlfriend Gwen, by acting badly in a situation, that could affect her career.
The Bureau finally identified the serial killer they’ve chased for the last few episodes, but once again allowed Theo Noble to escape apprehension and they were too slow to stop his latest round of murders. Gina Valdez got reinstated by the Bureau, then resigned, joined Hardy to help him with his search, then quit again, she said for the final time, saying the job takes your soul.
We open with Theo in a grocery store, wheeling a shopping-cart while talking with his wife Cindy, apologizing for running late due to a meeting. He asks if the kids are asleep and she responds she tucked them in an hour before. He says he’s trying to get cupcakes for his kid’s school activity, but he’s actually picking up bleach and rubber gloves. He tells Cindy this store doesn’t have gluten-free snacks so he’ll try another store. In reality, he’s about to grind up the founder of Nanitech Tucker Myers into ground beef in the store’s butcher department.
Nick Donovan’s telling his agents to be on the lookout for Myers, who he believes is their suspect. Hardy tells him he’s chasing a ghost and more innocent people will die. Donovan clears the room except for he and Hardy, says he thought he made it clear that if Hardy wasn’t on board to get off the case, then he says that’s why Valdez is retiring. She’s in her office packing her belongings.
Ryan attempts to convince her to stay, she said she joined the bureau to save lives, lately it seems they lose more than they save. Hardy tries giving her the we’ve done a lot of good speech, then he tells her he’ll help her unpack if she decides to stay.
We head to death row and find Carroll’s in a chair with a pair of handcuffs on when a female doctor and a guard come to talk with him. She asks if he knows why he’s there, he says unpaid parking tickets then says he killed lots of people. We see him trying to slip handcuffs, as she asks him what’s his mood at the moment, he replies hopeful. We hear a scream, Carroll’s gotten free of the cuffs. He kills the doctor and two guards, then kills a third with an ink-pen to the throat. He’s disguised as a guard goes outside, a car pulls up to rescue him and Hardy screams get in.
He comes back to reality and excuses himself for his mind wandering, his real psychiatrist, Dr. Sachs says he asked how’s it feel knowing Joe’s about to die? Carroll’s face grows a bit paler, but other than that shows no reaction to the doctor’s question.
Theo and Cindy are putting groceries in their car in the supermarket parking lot, she asks if he’ll attend their son’s playoff games, he says he’d like to, but work’s crazy. We see she’s got some distrust as she asks how his trip to Philadelphia went, he tells her it was fine, then corrects her and says he was in Boston. Just then Cindy’s friend Nancy drives up, Theo asks if it’s too late for him to run.
Nancy starts questioning Theo, he says he’s going to start-up the car and asks her to remind her husband Bob he still has his shovel. Nancy then asks Cindy, how Theo responded to her trick question, Cindy says perhaps she’s just imagining things, but her friend tells her to trust her instincts.
Max figures out on the net that the actual killer at Nanitech’s Sam Lewis, an intern she talked to when she was the company. They find his address and Hardy and Mike Weston go check out the house. Theo’s alerted by alarms he’s got placed that they found his other house, he monitors the agents via cameras in the house. He’s got C-4 explosives under a kick plate, Weston triggers the explosion but Hardy saves them by pushing them both into the tub.
In addition to trying to kill the two FBI agents, he erased Sam Lewis’ identity from all the national data bases, so they no longer have a picture of him. Donovan grudgingly admits Hardy was right all along and tells Max to sit down with a sketch artist. Gina tells Ryan she’ll come back until they catch his suspect.
Carroll’s in the prison yard in a tiny cage when Sachs comes to talk with him. He tells Joe that since he declined to choose his method of death, the state’s chosen to execute him via lethal injection. He’s then told that Ryan Hardy declined the invitation to attend the execution, and leaves. Carroll scowls and paces the short length of his cage, when the doctor’s gone.
They identify the man who vouched to the FBI for Sam Lewis, he’s named Elden Witt and he’s an attorney. Gina, Mike and Ryan head to the house, Valdez secured a search warrant, they kick down the front door of the empty home. They find a door hidden under a rug to the basement, there they find a bunch of severed ears hanging from the ceiling and eventually a corpse, padlocked to a chair with the top of his skull gone.
Gina realizes Witt’s returned home, he knocks her down and runs to his car, Hardy smashes the driver window and pulls the killer from the car. They then take him to the Bureau office, where Witt exclaims his excitement at getting caught by Hardy. He says his name will live forever.
Hardy wants him to identify Sam Lewis, Witt refuses saying Hardy’s got nothing to offer him to induce him to put himself in that danger. But Ryan plays on the fame compulsion, saying he’ll tell the media he’s the most heinous killer since Carroll. He tells Hardy he’s got a flash drive from Lewis and tells him where it’s hidden.
Theo throws Cindy a surprise birthday party at their house with all their friends in attendance. She’s overjoyed at the surprise and with her husband. Nancy and her husband Bob are in attendance and Nancy starts asking about Theo’s Boston trip. She says that Bob’s friend from college works at the company he went to, he says he never met the guy, but Nancy says the guy’s coming for a visit in a couple of weeks and he and Theo can share stories.
When they get home, Nancy starts ripping on Theo to Bob, saying he’s lying to Cindy, then she says he got so nervous when she mentioned Bob’s fictional friend, her husband didn’t attend college. She quickly becomes silent as they realize Theo’s in their room, he kills her first, then makes it appear Bob killed himself. The police arrive at the Noble’s the next morning, informing Cindy and Theo that Bob and Nancy are dead, apparently Bob killed Nancy and then himself. Cindy falls to pieces.
Theo attempts to manipulate info on Bob and Nancy, but trips up and uses the same code he used to infiltrate the Bureau’s server. Max picks up on the code and starts scouring Bob and Nancy’s Facebook page, she recognizes Lewis’ profile, with his face hidden in a picture next to Cindy. They find out her identity through the DMV, Theo’s alerted. He starts to break down, then suddenly turns into steel. He then tells Cindy and the kids nobody’s leaving the house that night.
Cindy’s tied up on their bed asking what Theo did with the kids, he tells her not to worry then injects a syringe into her neck. She loses consciousness and he kisses her forehead, saying his gift to her is dying without pain. When Hardy, Valdez and Max arrive, Theo’s gone, Cindy’s dead and the kids are unconscious but still alive. An ambulance is called and it appears the two kids will pull through.
Ryan’s cellphone rings and Theo’s on the other end, Hardy says his days are numbered, that he’s going to put Noble away. Theo tells Hardy he’s the guy who’ll tear Ryan’s future apart, piece by piece.
The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.