Plot: After taking matters into his own hands, the FBI is officially fed up with Ryan Hardy’s (Kevin Bacon) vigilantism. Will Ryan be able to resolve his differences with Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) so they can work together to accomplish a common goal? Meanwhile, Joe Carroll’s (James Purefoy) life is unraveling down in Arkansas and Emma (Valerie Curry) makes contact with the splinter group.
Shit really hit the fan last night on The Following. “Trust Me” was filled with so many twists and turns that my head started spinning. As you can probably assume from the episode title, last night’s episode was all about trust between people and groups. The fractured trust between Ryan and Weston and the growing trust between Joe and Mandy (Tiffany Boone) took center stage for example. But perhaps the biggest question of the night was, “Who can you really trust?” Is the person you care about who they say they are? We got the answer to this question and more in a very big way, making last night’s episode the best so far this season.
“Trust Me” started off with the immediate fallout from Joe’s murderous actions in “For Joe.” Reverend Glenn (C.J. Wilson) is dead and Joe doesn’t have enough time to hide the body before Judy (Carrie Preston) comes home. Judy, immensely distraught that Joe has killed again after a full year, is convinced there’s no more she can do for him. He’s basically a rabid dog that needs to be put down. She tries to kill Joe with a pistol she had in her house, but Joe naturally had the foresight to take the bullets out. Her attempt at murder was in itself a death wish as Joe consciously decided he had no more need for Judy. She became a useless addition for him and subsequently became useless baggage for us, the viewer. This all eventually led to Judy getting brutally stabbed to death…by her daughter Mandy.
Mandy’s murder of her own mother was probably the second most shocking event of the night. It was easy to see that Judy was doomed to die from the beginning but to have her go by her own daughter’s hand was unbelievable. It was brutally obvious by this point that Mandy has an unwavering amount of love for Joe and has the potential to be his most dangerous protégé. Her youth makes her an easy serial killer’s apprentice. I also liked the subtle connection between Mandy and Emma in the fact that their respective mother’s were their first kills, but that’s also where Mandy’s path to murder sort of derails. When Emma murdered her mother, it was a premeditated and desirable event. She wanted to do it for a while. Mandy however gave no signs that she wanted her mother dead before it actually happened. In fact, she even expressed her hesitance to kill only one episode prior. I understand the reasons for Judy’s death but having Mandy do it just seemed too much too soon.
Things weren’t going that well for Ryan up in New York either. His yearlong investigation into Joe’s death was officially put on hold by the FBI. Mike demands to know what Ryan knows and even breaks into Ryan’s apartment to do so. I do believe that Mike didn’t have a warrant or probable cause to search Ryan’s apartment, basically meaning he’s an FBI agent who violated federal law on a hunch. But I guess since he’s not arresting Ryan, the two can enjoy breaking laws at the others expense. Mike’s discovery of Ryan’s planning room forces Ryan to come clean about his theories, which unfortunately Mike refuses to believe at first. Thankfully it looks like he started to come around near the end.
The FBI was actually able to do some great work last night too. After they started giving Carlos’s (J.D. Williams) apartment another search with security cameras, they spot Emma going to meet him. They then follow Emma to a house which retains the six other followers she is living with. Agent Gina Mendez (Valerie Cruz) rallies the troops and the house is swarmed, killing five and arresting one. Emma is only one to escape because she went to meet with Mark (Sam Underwood) in a construction site beforehand. Evidentially Emma has no idea who Mark is or how Joe can be alive, further deepening the rift that is now appearing between her and everyone else. Emma is now part of their group, but it’s clear that she doesn’t trust them and vice versa. Like I’ve said before, I’m all for the division of these followers. Also, Carlos was killed too which is fine considering he served his purpose in the premiere. He was a waste of space by this point.
The real crazy moment of night came at the very end with the most shocking revelation of all: Lily Gray (Connie Nielsen) is both a follower and the mother of Mark/Luke. A lot of people online predicted the follower angle last week, but her being the mother?! Now that’s awesome. Ryan figured this out in an great way too by taking a seemingly inconsequential statement made by Lily and connecting it to why she was on the deadly subway car. Turns out the whole thing was staged with the intent of luring Ryan in with another gorgeous blonde. What a change up from keeping her as the typical damsel in distress like Claire (Natalie Zea) last year. It’s clear that Lily is the ringleader behind this separate group too. Seriously, this was such an awesome upset and I can’t wait to see where this goes.
But of course, it wouldn’t be The Following without the followers showing they really aren’t as smart as we’re lead to believe. Even though they’re able to plan elaborate murders in moving subway cars, apparently they don’t understand how security cameras work. Am I seriously to believe that, after a full year, NO ONE in Emma’s house noticed that there was a camera right outside their door? It’s amazing how liberally these writers use security cameras as easy plot devices. Also, I understand the symbolism of Joe and Mandy burning down Judy’s house but that’s so impractical. If they wanted to sneak out in the dead of night, why would they literally create a beacon to attract people from miles away? It’d get even more people to notice the fact that there are two bodies instead of four. They’re also in a dry forest filled with flammable trees. Smokey the Bear was face palming hardcore last night.
“Trust Me” was easily the best episode so far of Season 2. All of the twists and turns peppered throughout the plot made this an incredibly gripping episode. The potential behind Lily as the new arch-nemesis is immense and I’m very excited for what else is in store. Showing that the FBI has clearly learned from their mistakes last season (fool me ten times shame on you, fool me eleven times shame on me?) and actually took down a small group untrained killers with near perfect precision. It’s clear that this season is moving at a much quicker pace than last season and I’m totally game for that.