The Following recap: "The Curse"
Carroll's having serious writer's block while working on his Hardy manuscript. So much so that he leaves the house to come face-to-face with Hardy. Well, as face-to-face as is safe for Carroll, which means behind locked doors, bulletproof glass and with a knife at Weston's throat.
Tonight, The Following showed us that nothing is ever black and white. Not that we thought Hardy (Kevin Bacon) was the typical hero, but tonight's episode confirmed he has a darker past than we anticipated.
What motivates you?
Carroll (James Purefoy) is having writer's block while working on his latest novel because he can't figure out what motivates Hardy.
Turns out, our flawed hero Hardy has had a taste of murder himself. From flashbacks, we learn that he witnessed his father's death in a convenience store robbery gone wrong. Hardy then tracked down the drug dealer who committed the crime and forced him at gunpoint to overdose, killing him.
Carroll wasn't kidding when he said he and Hardy were similar. While Hardy's crime was clearly revenge motivated, Carroll's crimes are because he gets pleasure from death. That doesn't mean either is justified in their actions.
Claire has a killer instinct
Meanwhile, Claire's attempts to escape the house with Joey land her with a monitoring band around her ankle, which won't let her go beyond a 50-foot perimeter. That doesn't stop her from digging around on Joe's computer, however. She finds his manuscript and reads about his plots featuring Ryan Hardy.
She is also confronted by Emma who tells Claire that, despite everything, she considers Claire and herself to be friends. Claire tells Emma never to go near Joey again. She gets angry and smacks Emma. When Emma smacks her back, Claire gets violent, threatening to kill Emma. Claire even puts her hands around Emma's neck as if to strangle her. The fight only stops because Roderick shows up.
Roderick's loyalties are questionable
Speaking of Roderick, Carroll isn't too pleased with him. Carroll blames Roderick for the FBI's discovery of the training house. Carroll leaves Roderick at home while he, Vince and Jacob track down a militia man named Daniel Monroe to kill him.
Turns out the FBI is connecting the dots too. They discover that Daniel Monroe, who led the militia group Freedom 13, is connected to the cult. Simultaneously, the cult realizes that Monroe has information they can't allow to leak to the FBI.
Both groups head to the same creepy house at the same time.
The cult is successful in killing Monroe, but not before he lets it slip to the FBI that Carroll is at a house with his followers.
Taking the risk to kill Monroe also puts Carroll, Jacob and Vince in a dangerous position. In fact, Hardy shoots and kills Vince. This leaves Hardy face-to-face with Carroll. Well, not entirely face to face. Carroll makes sure there's a locked door and bulletproof glass between he and Hardy before Carroll speaks with him.
Carroll is also holding Weston hostage while Jacob has Parker.
Hardy answers Carroll's questions for his book. It is through death that Carroll and Hardy live. Carroll then uses Parker and Weston as bait in order to escape with Jacob.
Meet Sheriff Nelson
Everyone but Vince is safe minus a few cuts and bruises.
While the FBI continues to investigate the house where Carroll killed Monroe, Parker calls in the local police to help search the surrounding area for the cult house. Parker introducer Hardy to Sheriff Nelson who turns out to be Roderick. With Weston back in the hospital after Carroll held him hostage, no one readily identifies Roderick as a cult member. Looks like he'll be aiding in the investigation. Perhaps this will spell the downfall for Roderick. Weston is bound to recognize him once he returns to the investigation.
Back at the cult house, Carroll and Claire have both had bad days. Carroll wants to lick his wounds over a bottle of wine with his ex-wife, but she tells him she's been pretending all day and doesn't want to pretend with him some more. She admits she found his manuscript and tells him his plans for Hardy won't work. She even takes a jab that his writing hasn't improved since the last book. You almost feel bad for Carroll. He genuinely looks like he's about to cry.
But then he leaves the room and finds Emma. He hooks up with her, and that small ounce of pity we were developing disappears. We remember just how manipulative Carroll is. That's why Carrollism, as Parker dubs the cult's religion, is so effective.