With a Monday that has come and passed, the Following increases in it’s weirdness. I have been keeping a mental tally of who I assume is in the Following, when Ryan is going to pass out again, when Joey is going to miss another chance at running away, and how many near death experiences Mike will get.
“Coming Home” was an episode true to its title. It was very centered on the Following, especially with the FBI still reeling from Joe’s escape. Honestly, blaming Ryan by keeping him off the case and on a leash is obviously an overstep. Everyone can see it, even the operator lady who is hesitant to inform the bossman of Ryan basically running off to go save Mike. But how and why Mike got taken is another story. The introduction and building up to the character of Roderick has been in the books for a while. I expected him to be as charismatic as he is, as he has been the de facto leader of the Following with Carroll in jail, recruiting people where he needs and filling the whole mansion with a culty family. It’s hard to even garner how Joe feels about it, since his reactions to the house seem to be one of overwhelm.
Joe’s homecoming is not complete without his wife, and it seems that Roderick picked the right man to start interrogating first in his Fight-Club-esque approach to beating an answer out of Mike. We had assumed that only protective services knew about where Claire was but with Mike knowing, things are actually going to get interesting. I said it in the last episode, and I’ll say it again, someone in Ryan’s group has to know where she is personally. We don’t ever know who is in the Following or not, so it’s best to trust just Ryan and now Mike. I had a very long sneaking suspicion that Mike would be a part of the Following, even as he remained very genuine in his loyalty to Ryan, it could have been chocked up to good acting, but after this episode, I’m glad we can confirm he’s not part of Joe’s Following, though he’s definitely part of Ryan’s Following.
So no one was revealed to be in the Following this episode, other than us meeting Roderick, which kept some of the gasps at bay. The episode definitely didn’t have the same cat-and-mouse game going on, sure there was Mike’s capture, but Joe and Ryan never even spoke to each other, so I don’t count it. Ryan didn’t pass out again, which I can only count as a plus since that pacemaker’s going to need to be replaced after the shitstorm that is Ryan’s life. Joey’s silent treatment doesn’t seem to phase his father, though Joe might just be waiting for Claire to arrive so they can be one big happy family. That might be hard, since he’s now actually banging Emma.
It seems like the general cult of the Following is getting to be bigger than just Carroll, and his sexual relationship with Emma is definitely not with Joe completely in control. If anything, Roderick seemed more on his feet than Joe in this episode. His heartbreaking murder of Charlie showed us an emotional Carroll and a stone-faced Roderick. The duality of the ending scene, with Roderick and Joe, shows the kind of people that they both are. Roderick, violent, oppressive, ultimately bloodthirsty, strict. And Joe as the tragic gothic romanticist that he essentially is when you strip down the layers of his serial killer self. I anticipate a coming power struggle between the two, since the struggle between the father-and-son trope is inevitable. I enjoy character building episodes, and in this one there was much more of the secondary characters who were shining through and getting a chance at the spotlight. Though, I’m sure going to enjoy getting back to the Joe/Ryan banter that we know and love.