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Can Ryan Hardy’s life get any worse? Clearly, it can. The episode opens with a severely hung-over Ryan who can’t get the event of Joe’s death out of his mind. Oh, and he also happened to cheat on Gwen while getting reacquainted with his ol’ buddy known as alcohol (oops!). The plus side is, Ryan comes clean about his relapse and one night stand; the downside: Gwen is done being a part of Ryan’s life which is a pretty smart decision on her part, but we know it’s not going to stick especially since she’s pregnant with Ryan’s kid. Gwen may currently be done with Ryan, but Joe is ever-present by Ryan’s side.
Daisy and Mark have teamed up once more and I must say, I like this dynamic duo quite a bit. Both are on the stake-out for Mike because Mark has hardly any patience left in him. He wants Mike to pay and he wants him to pay sooner rather than later. As soon as Mark spots Mike, he heads right towards him, fully intent on putting a bullet through his skull only to be stopped by Daisy; she cautions Mark and lets him know that there is a time and a place to exact his revenge and today isn’t it.
Gwen, who looks worse for wear, calls Max and lets her know that Ryan has fallen off the sobriety bandwagon and she can’t be there for him any longer, but somebody else needs to be. Max immediately heads on over to Ryan’s apartment in order to get him in check. She decides to give him something to focus on by letting him know that Joe’s hint in regards to Theo has panned out and they now have solid information on Theo’s childhood. According to Max’s information, Theo was abused by his mother’s boyfriend; the same boyfriend who allegedly ended up murdering everyone in Theo’s family.
We switch over to Theo, who has tracked down the location coded in Strauss’s notebook and it becomes clear that whoever owns the property is extremely powerful and filthy rich. Cue Theo and Penny heading out to check out the property themselves. This episode makes it abundantly clear just how much Theo loves and cares for his sister. It’s sad really because there’s no way these two are getting any form of a happy ending. Upon arriving at the property, Theo and Penny immediately notice how heavily guarded it is; its more guarded than usual due to a party that’s taking place there later in the evening. Theo decides then and there they’ll have to get creative in order to get a look inside.
Mike shows up at Ryan’s apartment and lets Ryan know right off the bat that he can confide in him his problems and concerns. Ryan, as usual, compliantly accepts Mike’s friendly gesture. Since the start of The Following
, Mike has constantly tried to stem a deeper connection between himself and Ryan; a bond where they can be there for each other and share their grief and troubles. Ryan and Mike have a strong connection however; Ryan has never truly opened up to Mike. It’s something that I hope changes before the seasons end because if anything Mike at least deserves to have Ryan open up to him.
Ryan, Mike and Max take a look at Theo’s family’s murder crime scene photos. Ryan automatically notices something odd about one of the pictures. One photo shows a broken mirror yet none of the victims had any glass embedded in them which means the killer broke the glass himself; with this in mind. Ryan comes to the conclusion that this could be the work of a well-known serial killer known as The Mad-Man.
Courtesy of tvafterdark.com
One of Ryan’s colleagues, Jill, happened to be an investigator on the case and they decide to pay her a visit to get some further information. While the photos with Jill, Ryan notices a Philadelphia Department of Water and Power van parked outside in a crime-scene photo and Jill points out that pervious Mad Man cases mentioned the victims having a power outage. Ryan believes an utility worker would have been the perfect camouflage for The Mad Man. Ryan and Jill decide to head on over to Philadelphia.
Theo starts lecturing Penny and keeps reminding her that she needs to grow up and start taking their situation seriously. Penny deflects Theo’s concerns in favor of coming up with a plan on how to get into the highly fortified property. Mark and Daisy are bonding even further while trying to figure out who has Daisy’s laptop which gave them surveillance to Max’s apartment.
These two lonely souls are bound to get together sooner or later. Daisy is grieving for Kyle whereas Mark is still mourning the loss of his sadistic twin brother Luke. Mark remarks that he doesn’t know who he is without Luke by his side. Daisy takes that moment to compliment Mark and reassure him he’s fine just the way he is.
Ryan and Jill arrive in a hotel in Philadelphia where Jill immediately cautions Ryan and lets him know she wants to bring The Mad Man to justice in the right way since she’s aware Ryan likes to “color outside the lines” when it comes to apprehending a killer. Ryan receives a phone call from Mike, informing him of a possible suspect whose address and photo has been sent to Ryan’s phone. Ryan heads off on his own, leaving Jill behind, after being “whisked” away by Joe.
Theo and Penny corner two attendees of the mysterious party in their limo. The man in the limo informs Theo he hardly knows anything about who’s holding the party except for a name: Eliza. He also cautions Theo, warning him this isn’t somebody he should plan on messing with. Ryan arrives at the suspect’s house and discovers his creepy basement that’s filled with eerie drawings, an audio tape of screams and a notebook filled with even more creepy illustrations.
Ryan hears a thud upstairs and goes to investigate only to get attacked and thrown down the basement stairs (ouch!). After Ryan clears the stars from his eyes (seriously the guy just got heaved down flights of stairs) he immediately goes to pursue the suspect, but he’s already disappeared into the night which leads to Jill giving Ryan a hard time. Ryan, whose already off his rocker, demands Max and Mike find further leads as to where The Mad Man could be hiding.
Mark and Daisy manage to find out that the laptop is in possession of somebody at the FBI. Careful Tom, your peeping days may be over but your death warrant has just been written. Speaking of Tom, this episode he’s been having a particularly hard time because Agent Salone won’t stop pestering him about details of the “raid” where Tom confiscated Daisy’s laptop. Uh-oh Tom, Salone seems to be closing in and she isn’t the only one. How far will Tom go to cover up his mistake?
Theo and Penny arrive at the party as planned and then shit gets downright weird. After entering a private hallway, both notice that the rooms are occupied by patrons who have a thirst for killing. One man was strangling his date while another had a slew of weapons laid out for his unfortunate companion. Theo and Penny, after disposing two body-guards, finally find the elusive Eliza. Theo cuts straight to the chase and makes her an offer: help him kill Ryan Hardy because it’s only a matter of time before Ryan finds her as well. He leaves Eliza his card and it was clear that Eliza will more than likely assist Theo. So now we have Theo, Penny, Mark, Daisy and possibly Eliza all gunning for Ryan Hardy. This year’s season finale is bound to be bloody and downright insane!
Jill decides to let Ryan’s solo mission slip ass if he promises to never do something like that again. The two discuss The Mad-Man case further with Ryan claiming The Mad Man’s fear of mirrors comes from his belief that a mirror is the gateway to hell. Ryan leaves Gwen an apologetic voice-mail and Jill offers Ryan some friendly advice: let Gwen go, she’s better off without Ryan in her life. The Mad-Man emerges at their hotel and tries to kill Jill; luckily, Ryan shows up just in time and proceeds to beat the man repeatedly. Ryan even tries to kill him with a machete, but is stopped by Jill. In their interrogation, The Mad-Man reveals that Theo was his only friend who asked him to kill every member of his family except his foster sister Sophia (aka Penny) because he truly loved only her.
Back at Tom’s apartment, Salone figures out that Tom was lying in his incident report. She pulls her gun out on him and Tom desperately tries to explain his side of the story. The two have a brief struggle which leads to the gun accidentally going off, killing Salone. Tom has no reached a point of no return and honestly, I feel extremely bad for him despite his voyeuristic ways.
Yes, Tom was wrong and should not have continued watching Max through the laptop, but she DID cheat on him and lie to him several times after that. Does that justify what he did? No, but it also goes to show that circumstances have led Tom down a dark path. He was a genuinely good guy before all this began; he did nothing to deserve his current predicament. I like Tom’s character, but I don’t see him living or staying on the good guy’s side much longer.
Daisy reaches out to Theo despite being deathly afraid of him in order to find out who in the FBI has been watching Max via Daisy’s laptop. Theo receives Daisy’s message and it’s made clear (even without the next episodes preview) that they’re all about to team-up. Ryan finally arrives home to discover that Gwen has taken all her belongings from his apartment. He contemplates calling her, but instead decides to listen to Joe who tells him he’s better off without Gwen and that he needs to have a drink. Even though Joe is dead, he’s still proving to be a problem.
Next week’s episode, which is a two-hour event, is bound to result in someone’s death. This is The Following
, you can’t have a two-hour episode that doesn't kill a character in its run and based on the preview, Mike and Penny are in the biggest danger. I’m leaning towards Penny being the one who gets killed. Theo has proven how dangerous he is, but how dangerous will he be if his beloved sister is killed? That’s a question that will be answered in next week’s episode’s titled “The Edge” and “A Simple Trade”.
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