The Following – The Messenger – S2 Ep 8

Still in shock after last week’s ending? I know I am. It’s been pretty obvious that they were setting Mike up to follow in Ryan’s footsteps, but I had no idea they’d go that far with it. Yep, they went there. I’m impressed.

For once, Emma makes sense. She wants to leave Korban because “these people are crazy”! Pot, kettle… She said that about the twins, too. Speaking of which, when will Lily and her twins be back in the mix? Surely it won’t take too long for her to poke her nose into Ryan’s business again. As for Joe, he tries to convince her to stay. He tells Emma that they still have so much work to do, and that this place, with a little finesse, could be their’s. Now how does Joe plan to manage that, I wonder? He’s talking about taking over from Micah. The others follow Micah and would kill for him, but can Joe get them to switch their allegiance to him?

Then there’s Micah. He looks to be about the craziest of the Korban crew. Does he really have to make everything such a production? I wonder if he has a fanfare every time he goes potty…

Anyway. As Ryan and Max are leaving the funeral, a woman approaches Ryan. He then has a flashback to eleven months ago, drinking with her. Back to the present, Ryan accuses her of lying in print, and tells her to go to hell. So what’s their story?

At the compound, Mandy goes off with Eric (a fellow – Korbanite?) for the day. Ah, young love.

Julia brings Joe to Micah. On the way, she insists that Joe have respect for their “religion”. She tells him that Micah is the leader, but she runs things here. However, once they reach Micah, he sends her off, then asks Joe for help. It seems he wants to learn how to kill people. Um, what?

Back at the funeral, FBI director Tom Franklin asks Ryan for help. He believes Joe Carroll is still alive, and he knows if anyone can find Joe, it’s Ryan. He also says that the FBI must be compromised, and until they find the mole, they can’t take any chances. Smart man. Franklin wants to set up Ryan with everything he needs, but off the books. Ryan agrees as long as he is the one calling the shots so he can run things his own way. Franklin nods, promises this will be the case, and hands over a thumb drive. It contains the latest information on the case, including the smuggling of the body of Joe’s half-brother into the States. Handy information to have, yes? Not to mention the backing of the DIRECTOR of the FBI promising Ryan everything he needs to track down and catch Joe. Ryan must be in FBI heaven right about now.

Max helps Ryan with the thumb drive, and Ryan recognizes one of the men as a doctor who mentored Joe from age thirteen to college. Max finds an address, notes that it’s less than an hour from Havenport, and Ryan is off to find him.

“Home” is the planet Pluto? Wow, Micah really is crazy. He says he wants to kill “to save souls, and etc.” Okay, sure. Then he says he wants a book written about him, like the one about Joe (The Havenport Tragedy), and he wants Joe to write it. That would be one interesting book, to be sure.

Ryan finds Dr. Arthur Strauss and gets him to grudgingly agree to five minutes. He lies to Ryan about having been to Oxford, England, and Ryan leaves. Ryan is then on the phone to Max, who says she has the doctor’s phones bugged already (Franklin moves fast). We find out that Ryan also planted a bug in the living room. The reporter chick from the funeral now shows up, and the doctor finally lets her in. Ryan listens to the living room bug and hears her scream, so of course he goes in with his gun drawn. The doctor is dragging Carrie downstairs, tells Ryan he should have stayed away. Another man suddenly attacks Ryan and sprays him in the face with something that knocks him out. Not Ryan’s smartest move to date. It’s generally considered a bad thing to get caught by the people you’re trying to catch.

Meanwhile, Joe and Micah take a stroll through the woods. They come across a group of people locked into an underground cell. They’re all reaching out, yelling “pick me!” He cuts the wrist of one of them, calls him blessed (sending him home to Pluto?). He explains to Joe that he isn’t the first killer to come to them for help, and Julia feels better with them down there. Joe wants to know why he wasn’t down there too. Micah says, “trust me; it was a conversation.” I can only imagine!

Mike shows up to ask Max where Ryan is, “and please, don’t lie to me…” It’s a good thing, too, since Ryan could really use a little help about now.

Speaking of Ryan, he wakes up in the basement with the doctor. Carrie is unconscious, strapped to an operating table. Ryan realizes that the doctor is the one who trained Joe. The doctor says he only trained Joe on how to remove his victim’s eyes with precision. He tells Ryan that Joe already knew who he was. Killing was in his DNA. “He just needed to be told it was okay.” Am I the only one wondering why a doctor would think that being a serial killer is okay?

Micah wants to start a killing spree in LA, lots of lost souls in LA, he says. Like Manson, he wants to target celebrities, but Joe tells him they’d be upstaged if they killed anyone too famous. Joe suggests that NY is closer and more accessible, to which Micah readily agrees. The only flies in the ointment are Micah’s doubters. Most of his people are with him on this new path of killing people, but not all. Joe tells him that he doesn’t want doubters, they could ruin everything, and suggests they pray on it.  Micah loves the idea and immediately kneels with Joe to pray, so he doesn’t know that Julia sees him and Joe praying.

We get a quick look into the basement as the doctor has Cole (his trainee?) wake Carrie. He is making Ryan watch, strapped into a wheelchair. Even though Ryan all but begs the doctor to operate on him first and leave Carrie alone, the doctor says no, but Ryan is next. It didn’t matter that the FBI knew he was coming here, the doctor says he’ll just tell them that Ryan never arrived, and promised that their bodies would never be found. Creepy, creepy, creepy.

Another quick look back at the compound where Julia tells Micah that they need to be careful around Joe. Micah tells her that “Joe needs us and we don’t turn our backs on people in need.” It’s more like Micah needs Joe, but we’ll let that slide.

In the doctor’s basement, he admits that Joe came to him, injured, after the lighthouse and stayed about a month. Then he announces that they’re going to operate on Carrie. Cole wants to start by removing her hands, but the doctor says “let’s start with her feet instead.” Evil, evil, evil. He sends Cole to get a sledge hammer to hobble her ankles as this would make it easier to then remove her feet.

Just an aside here; the writer’s are pulling off some brilliant stuff here. We don’t need anyone to tell us that he intended to keep Carrie alert enough to know, and feel, what he and Cole are doing to her for as long as possible. Put yourself in Carrie’s place. Now imagine someone taking a sledge hammer to your ankles so they can cut off your feet. The worst part? You know that is not going to be the end of it.  Sick, evil man, this Dr. Strauss, and Cole right along with him.

Back to the action; Mike catches Cole and, although there is a brief struggle, Mike is able to drop him. The doctor hears the commotion and starts to hurry things along. Ryan tries to stop the doctor before he can kill Carrie, and ends up falling over in the chair. This is a good thing, as Mike and Max hear him fall over, and he is also somehow able to get himself loose in time to stop the doctor before he can hurt Carrie. Mike and Max come in and take over with the doctor for a moment as Ryan lets Carrie loose. *Phew*! Another close call, and (to me, at least) it didn’t feel the least bit contrived. It all flowed in a perfectly logical sequence. Kudos to the writers *and* the actors who pull this off week after week.

As for Dr. Strauss, he is now strapped down to his own table. Ryan has Max take Carrie out so she can’t see (and then report) on what happens. Mike smashes the doctor’s right hand with the hammer meant for Carrie, and gets him to admit he helped with the half brother, but he doesn’t know where Joe is. He tells them that Joe was trying to reach a friend, a girl in the FBI, and she knew Roderick. Mike says Franklin called in the CIA, and they have to find that woman fast. That’s not as bad as it sounds; Mike points out that this should lower the number of suspects by 80% since the suspect is a female.

We have a bit of a head start on them though, don’t we? We already know that Jana is an ex-FBI agent *and* she has access to the person running the “Catch Lily Grey show”. Anyone taking odds on Jana not being the mole in the FBI? It wouldn’t be the first time the show throws us a monkey wrench, right? But my vote’s still on Jana.

After, Carrie tries to get information out of Ryan,  but he refuses. He says it would jeopardize a Federal investigation. She finally thanks him (for saving her from being tortured to death) and leaves. Ryan then tries to tell Mike why he didn’t want him here, but Mike cuts him off. He knows that Ryan didn’t want him to become like Ryan. Too late. Mike is now obsessed with finding Lily the same way Ryan is after Joe. So season two now has two major plot lines to follow. Will there be a third one in season three? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. There’s plenty to still cover in season two anyway.

That evening there is some sort of party at the compound. Micah goes around handing out communion, but gives poison to several of his followers that kills them. He calms the crowd, and gets them to “send them home with shouts of praise”. Emma and Joe join in, but Mandy looks horrified. Eric (her crush) was one of those who died. Julia is, of course, equally horrified. She points out that only the doubters died, and declares that this is all Joe’s doing. Micah says first that it was God’s will, then asserts that he, himself, had made the decision, not Joe. He has Julia taken away, and tells the men dragging her away to make her comfortable. Ain’t that nice of him?

Toward the end of the episode we find that Mike is now staying at Ryan’s. Max helps him get settled in, asks if he’s okay. “Not really.” So she asks “Want to talk about it?” “Not really”. Very believable scene, and a nice exchange between Mike and Max. I think I see where this is going, and if I’m right, I like it. A lot.

Of course, the writers will now scrap that whole potential storyline. *sigh* Hey, I tried.

In the last minutes of the episode, Emma tells Joe she doesn’t know how he does it, but it worked. She is amazed that Joe somehow managed to get Micah to lock Julia away, removing their largest obstacle.

Now in his special “Joe Carroll room,” Ryan looks at the back of “The Havenport Tragedy” and, surprise! It was written by Carrie Cooke. Yes, that Carrie. He has another flashback to five months ago. Essentially, Carrie told Ryan that Joe won, and he should sober up and get his life together. Behind every good man, there’s a good woman? We’re meant to think he wants nothing to do with her, but he did follow her advice. It will be interesting to see if they pursue the romantic angle there, too.

Last scene; Emma asks Joe what he plans to do next. He says it’s time to tell the world that Joe Carroll is alive.

I’m not so sure that the whole world cares, to be honest, but there is certainly a corner of the world that cares very much. It will be fun watching where the show takes us next.

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