Michael Irby

All posts tagged Michael Irby

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

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.

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The first two seasons of the FOX series “The Following,” revolved around a cat and mouse game between FBI Agent Ryan Hardy and serial-killer/cult-leader Joe Carroll. However as we rejoin Hardy and company for season three, Carroll’s been behind bars for a year, with his execution scheduled for the following month. Hardy’s especially proud that he’s moved on, now involved with a beautiful dark-haired Emergency Room doctor named Gwen (portrayed by Zuleikha Robinson, who appeared in the final two seasons of LOST.) We join the couple along with Ryan’s niece Max at the wedding of FBI Agent Gina Mendez and all are blissfully happy, except for a mysterious looking waiter working the affair.

Fellow agent Mike Weston arrives late to the party, just arriving from the airport. He’s no longer involved in a romantic relationship with Max Hardy, after spending the last eleven months looking for Mark Gray, the only surviving member of Lily Gray’s murderous clan. Ryan introduces Weston to Gwen, who tells the agent her boyfriend talks about him constantly. There’s an awkward reunion between Mike and Max, as she introduces him to her new boyfriend, a member of an FBI SWAT team from New York.

Ryan and Gwen go out on the balcony to talk about her possibly moving in with him, when he dodges the question, by saying he’s got to get some cake. She smiles and looks out at the skyline, when she turns back towards the room, the waiter’s almost on top of her, then apologizes for startling her. He asks Gwen if that’s Ryan Hardy and she responds it is. He says he arrested Joe Carroll and now everyone calls him a hero, she excuses herself, says she’s got to get back inside.

Hardy’s giving the wedding toast, standing next to the two brides and talking about how amazing love is and the way it makes us feel. Many times when we aren’t even looking for it, it enters our lives, healing our wounds and turning our fortunes around. Gina starts getting teary-eyed, when we see the waiter reach into his jacket pocket, for what at first seemed like he was grabbing a pistol, instead it was a bottle filled with blood that he throws on Hardy and the formerly happy couple.

The waiter then breaks into tears and calls Ryan a murderer, says his daughter got killed in the raid on the Corbin compound last year. He said his daughter Sherry was so beautiful and didn’t deserve to die, then just really starts crying. Hardy tells the two FBI agents holding him to let him go, they ask if he’s sure and then the waiter leaves the room.

The next morning Ryan asks Gina how her bride’s holding up and she says as well as can be expected, after getting doused in blood on her wedding day. She then says they’re not taking a honeymoon until after Carroll’s execution. Hardy says she’s learning quickly she’s married to the FBI. Mike and Ryan quickly talk, Hardy mentions that Carroll’s getting executed in a month and Weston asks if Ryan’s gone to see him. Hardy says no, that he’s moving on with his life.

Weston’s not following that course, obsessed with catching Mark Gray, mainly for vengeance, as Lily slit Mike’s Dad’s throat and sent the tape of the execution to his cellphone. In one of the most shocking scenes from season two, Weston lost his Boy Scout morals forever, as he executed an unarmed Lily Gray. Hardy took the blame for the shooting, saying that Gray forced him into it.

Mike briefs the rest of the bureau’s agents on his basically fruitless search for Mark Gray, although he says that Gray’s running low on funds and will likely surface soon. Mendez reminds the agents that Carroll’s getting executed in a month, they should monitor the situation vigilantly, so they don’t get caught with a surprise attack.

We move to a hotel bar and see a couple sitting at a table when a woman with long jet-black hair, whose dressed to advertise walks in and sits at the bar. The man says to his companion her, and she walks over telling the woman they’re celebrating their second anniversary and would she have interest in celebrating with them? The woman says of course, but she charges more for couples.

Up in the room, the husband’s all over the hooker, while his wife just kinds of stands and watches, the woman tells the husband this need’s to be fun for her as well, then proceeds to take off the wife’s dress and they tie the wife’s hands with some silk scarves. The husband starts making out with the call-girl again when a knocking sound starts and she asks what it is? The wife says it sounds like it’s coming from the closet and when he opens it, he finds a hotel maid bound and gagged inside. He turns around and the Brunette stabs him to death, then walks over to the bed and takes the wife’s life as well. She then pulls off the wig, revealing her to have short blonde hair.

The door opens, it’s her teammate and lover Kyle, he asks if he arrived too late and the woman, named Daisy says there’s plenty for him to do.  The door opens again and this time it’s the waiter, he tells the couple that this is all wrong, if we don’t get it right he’ll kill us.

The FBI investigate the room in the next scene, the couple have wires attached to them to put them in certain positions, the husband has a knife in his hand. The couple was Natalie and Kenny Brooks, in from Greenwich, the bartender saw them leave with a hooker, but Hardy says, she had some help. On the shower stall, reads Ryan Hardy Lies written in blood, the maid’s body got discovered as well.

Kyle and Daisy are making out at the house they’re staying at when the waiter, whose real name’s Andrew enters and asks if “he” said anything. Daisy says no, he’s in one of those moods. Andrew says it’s time to pull their next job, but Kyle tries to get the older guy to wait a while. Andrew says he’ll handle this one himself.

Ryan gets the information on the waiter’s daughter, she was Sherry Miller, a 19-year-old young woman from Queens. Hardy heads to the house and rings the bell and Sherry’s mother answers, he says he apologizes for her daughter’s death. She responds that she loves her daughter, but she was always troubled and she doesn’t blame Hardy for her death. He asks to speak to her husband, but it’s not the waiter, Andrew merely said that Sherry was his daughter.

Andrew heads to a grief counseling meeting next and starts the waterworks with the group, crying over the loss of his beautiful Sherry. A young man approaches him after the meeting and says he just lost his sister two-weeks-ago and Andrew asks him to join him for coffee.

Gwen shows up at the bureau and Ryan reacts the way he always does with women, try to push them away in crisis situations and she calls him on it. He denies it, but she tells him they’ve got something special going  and she’s not going to let him screw it up.

Andrew’s picture matches up with a man identified as Adam Jacobs, Max, Mike and Ryan head to the home that he’s said to live at. They drive over and there’s all sorts of fencing and wiring around the place, but Weston gets them through. They get inside and the place is in shambles, with walls falling down, blocking their way, they find a staircase leading up from the basement and an entire walls covered with snapshots of Andrew in various stages of crying, from floor to ceiling. They head into the kitchen and find three more bodies posed, this time with Max Hardy Lies, written in blood on the wall.

Mike says these seems eerily familiar and Hardy says, it is familiar, they lived this moment. Andrew, Kyle and Daisy had posed the bodies to reenact the moment that Max killed Luke Gray, he says the one in the hotel room got staged to show when Ryan killed Luke’s stepsister. Mike then announces the obvious, that Mark Gray’s behind all of this, Hardy says and the next victim will resemble Lily.

If you haven’t gotten creeped out enough yet, the next scene will certainly satisfy you, as we get our first appearance of a now orange-haired Mark Gray, who’s gone completely loony-tunes. Both Luke and Mark were psychotic, behavior encouraged by their adopted mother Lily, but with Luke and Lily gone, Mark’s gone completely around the bend. He’s eating dinner with either a headless corpse, or a mannequin in a suit, with a vanity mirror as the head, so he’s still having dinner each night with his twin brother.

Mark’s adopted Luke’s more dominant personality, when he speaks in his brother’s voice, while crying and showing his weakness when speaking as himself. Sam Underwood, who portrayed both brothers last season’s doing some incredible acting in each scene, having arguments with himself as he takes on the roles of both he and Luke.

The next evening’s when they’re going to kill their Lily Gray doppelgänger and Andrew asks Mark if he’ll be joining him on this mission, but Mark says no, he’ll stay at home and the three of them can handle it. As soon as Andrew leaves the room, Luke tells his brother that they’re going and Mark has to get through it. Just as Kyle, Daisy and Andrew are about to leave, Mark comes downstairs wearing a fake beard and glasses and says let’s go have some fun.

A surveillance camera picks up Andrew coming out of the Lincoln Center subway station, dressed as a waiter, they quickly deduce that he’s headed to an event at the Arts Center five blocks away. Inside that soiree Mark finds the woman he wants to portray his mother in his next project. He picks out a woman and Andrew spills champagne on her dress, then directs her to the restroom on the lower floor. As she attempts to blot out the champagne, she sees Mark grinning standing right behind her.

Hardy captures Andrew, but he tells the FBI agent that Mark and the woman are gone. We see Mark driving in a car and we hear the woman’s muffled screaming from the trunk. He stops and then fights things out between Luke and himself, agreeing to kill the woman. He gets her from the trunk, we see Kyle and Daisy are there, also each holding a pistol. Mark starts to cry, then says I’m sorry mom and then kills the woman with one shot, he instantly cradles the corpse crying, please don’t leave me mom, I’ll be all alone.

Hardy’s questioning Andrew back at the bureau, when he asks Ryan the time, the agent asks if he has somewhere to go and Andrew says you do. Max, Mike and Ryan find the final reenactment, but instead of having the Hardy character killing Lily, it’s setup that Weston’s substitute, shot Lily. The message this time says, While You Lie, More Will Die. But only the three of them are aware of that fact, how could Mark know?

The final scene’s back at Mark’s house, as he and his Luke stand-in have dinner, Luke tells Mark how proud he is of him. Mark says and the next one’s going to be easy, but Luke corrects him, saying the next one’s going to be awesome, cause one of them dies.

Oh by the way, we have yet to meet this season’s “Big Bad” yet, Michael Ealy, whom you may remember as the Android in last season’s FOX series “Almost Human.”

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.