In this week's episode of The Following - "The Fall" - Hardy comes face to face with Emma, Paul and Jacob, while the next chapter in Joe Carroll's twisted tale is revealed.
After coming within feet of Claire's son, Joey, Hardy's rescue goes south and he becomes a hostage of Carroll's three main followers, while the police surround the house and attempt to find a way in. But when Jacob's house guest, Megan, is used to a negotiating tactic, Emma escapes with Joey, leaving Jacob and Paul to take on Hardy alone. Meanwhile, Claire has a "helpful" follower of her own.
After six episodes, The Following has still proven itself to be the midseason darling many fans had hoped it would it be by throwing Bacon into an episode where his character, Hardy, is able to share scenes with his main antagonists, allowing for some of the most suspenseful and most playful scenes of the series so far. And although the seriousness of the hostage situation Hardy finds himself remains throughout, the constant remarks poking fun at the odd love triangle of Joey's captors were great comedic relief to the show's dark tone.
Keeping with the "everyone could be a follower" theme, "The Fall" showed, yet again, that anyone could a follower – an element that still provides for some twists and surprises; of course, this is something could easily become stale as the series ages. But like any good series, The Following has decided to throw another twist in to the series logic with the introduction of one of Claire's followers.
Although not much is really known about what it means to be one of Claire's followers at this time, the fact that the foundation of the series and its characters appears to have been developed with their own support characters (helpers) to help them progress through Carroll's plans means that the series' core characters always make it the next chapter, no matter how ill-prepared. That is, until it's time for their story to end. Generally, it gives viewers a (somewhat) good feeling in knowing that there are (somewhat) helpful - though admittedly creepy - followers out there.
At this point, six episodes in, The Following has truly taken on a life of its own. Instead of having its audience always questioning and wondering about what mystery could lay ahead, the series has cemented itself as one that's always revealing, always evolving, always changing. Although the series itself is essentially a mystery, Carroll's plans have been executed so successfully that the audience, like Hardy, has no option but to accept the story that's being told.
As The Following continues to air its eleven remaining episodes, the repercussions of followers betraying followers should reveal the true strength of Carroll's plan and the people he chose. And if quality the first six episodes is an example of what fans expect to see throughout the entire first season on the air, there's no doubt that an exceptional season 1 finale will soon be approaching.
The Following returns next Monday with "Let Me Go" @9pm on Fox. You can check out a preview of next week's episode below: