The Following 01.11 ‘Whips & Regret’ Review and Recap

The Following 01.11 ‘Whips & Regret’ Review and Recap

Every week, I begin The Following with hope. This time, I tell myself, it will be different. At the end of the hour, I’m left worse off than where I started. As if they know my dedication to them is wavering, the interviews start pouring out over the internet. These Joe Carroll like taunts declare “Monday’s all new episode of The Following will be the scariest ever!” or “We’ll be meeting a new Claire” but come Monday night, I’m left unsatisfied. I am the real life Ryan Hardy.

‘Whips & Regret’ teeters between predictability and making no sense at all, committing fully only in it’s ability to be unremarkable and boring.

The New Claire

Claire has no plan.

Claire has no plan.

Last week, Claire surrendered to the Followers without a plan, but secure in this course of action as it would get her to Joey.

Surprise, Claire is wrong! Bet you didn’t see that coming.

Instead of a mother son reunion, Claire is forced to go to her room, wear a new black dress and do her hair.

Joe Carroll knows his wife. After all, this is the woman who emptied out her closet to go into witness protection.

Off the Wagon

After yet another loss, Ryan’s hit rock bottom and goes on a bender. Carroll knows the FBI agent well and gives him a wake up calling, gently reminding Hardy that an alcoholic ex-FBI agent is a bit trite. Carroll needs Hardy to be a stronger hero, or at least a functioning alcoholic for their book, but Ryan’s uninspired.

Agent Parker shows up and tells Ryan to put on his pants. There’s a bit of an awkward pep talk and they discuss the fact that Hardy is still important to the case and that Parker needs him to defeat Carroll. Oh, honey, the only way you’re defeating Carroll is if Roderick leads a rebellion and the followers turn on him.

The Roderick Rebellion

Joe lays down the law.

Joe lays down the law.

There can be only one Sheriff in town and at Château Carroll, Roderick doesn’t want to turn over the badge. Now that Joe has Claire and Joey, Roderick demands they put their plan into effect.

What exactly is the plan by the way? Beside Joe’s book that I hope he has a ghost writer for?

Carroll’s not interested in moving the plot forward; he wants to work on character development for his family. Roderick is insistent, but Joe is as bored as I am, and shuts him down.

Roderick stalks off, with Militia Man Vince at his heels. When Vince tries to sympathize, Roderick loses it and the two draw their guns, with some chatter about Roderick possibly being beaten as a child. Huh? Despite their fight, Roderick lets Vince leave Château Carroll to go pick up a package that is waiting for him in New York.

Whips and Chains Excite Me

The FBI somehow manages to do something right and uses IP addresses to discover  that the recruiting website for Followers is coming from a New York BDSM club. The newly sober Hardy and Agent Parker make quick work of its mistress and she gives up that Militia Man Vince is in charge of the site and offers to get him to come to New York if they agree to let her off.

Kids, only on TV can cops offer you a deal. Get that shit in writing from the district attorney’s office.

When Vince does show up, fresh off the Roderick incident, he forces BDSM lady to come with him. Hardy and company show how serious they are this time about finding Carroll because they don’t come to her rescue and instead follow them.

Dungeons and Dragons

Hardy and Parker to the rescue! Don't you feel safe?

Hardy and Parker to the rescue! Don’t you feel safe?

Hardy and Parker think they’re on the way to Claire, Joey and Château Carroll, but instead Militia Man Vince takes them all to an underground training field filled with explosives and weapons. You’re a fun date, Vince!

Looking to get off with some sexy time fun, Vince discovers that BDSM mistress is wearing a wire and the cavalry is forced to come in and save her while he flees. When the FBI searches the tunnels, they find prisoners in a cage, who turn out to be Followers they’re training to kill. The would be Followers make quick work of a few officers and get the upper hand on Agent Parker before Hardy shoots them and saves the day.

Apparently the whiskey-vodka diet is good for his heart.

Daddy’s Not Happy

Back at Château Carroll; Joe tries to seduce Claire with a nice dinner date. He promises she will love him again, she bitches more about wanting to see her son and the insanity of bringing a child (and Claire herself) into a house filled with psycho killers. Joe refuses to produce Joey, but goes in for a kiss. For a guy who has fooled so many people, and who has so many Followers willing to die for him, he really isn’t very good at reading Claire. She rebuffs his kiss and storms out.

The hits just keep coming for poor Joe when Vince makes contact that the FBI has found the training ground and they need to shut down the site. Roderick gets slapped around a bit for making the decision to let Militia Man leave the house and bringing the FBI down on them. “If you ruin this for me,” Carroll threatens and Roderick reminds them it’s supposed to be “us.” I don’t know which of these two are dumber; Carroll for thinking that Roderick would ever be happy going back to number 2 or Roderick for thinking that Joe Carroll ever thought of us instead of me.

Fighting with Roderick is enough turmoil in the house for Daddy though and he decides to give into Claire’s tantrum with a surprise visit to her room with Joey. Mother and child are finally reunited, tears and all, and Carroll feels left out. Shoulda brought s’mores with you, Joe.

Why I’m A Follower…

  • Joey continues to be adorable and I’m looking forward to watching him save himself (and Claire).
  • Though they had little screen time, and only one scene together, new Jacob is kinda hot and watching Emma having to find her footing with him is amusing. The actors have chemistry, even if the story is a bit played out.
  • Carroll vs. Roderick. The dialog and back story may be as trite as Carroll worries his alcoholic hero is, but it will be nice to see Carroll have an opponent who may force him to do more than make early morning phone calls.

Why I’d Turn Over My Copy of Edgar Allan Poe…

  • Nurse Molly. I didn’t even mention her in my review, that’s how little I like this development, but Hardy’s ex-girlfriend being a Follower just put me over the top. I don’t care about this mission killing nurse who trolls the terminal ward to get her jollies. Nor do I buy for one second that Carroll will let anyone else kill Hardy. Not at all surprised Carroll likes to watch Hardy porn though.
  • For a guy who doesn’t trust anyone, or let anyone in, Hardy can pick ‘em. The serial killer’s ex-wife and the Follower girlfriend.
  • Claire continues to be the worst. You’d think she have at least decided to yell for Joey when she walked through the doors of Joe’s mansion instead of going alone to her room with Jacob and trying to make a run for it. That never works for you, Claire! Pay attention and do better.
  • No Mike Weston this episode. Again

Did you regret giving ‘Whips & Regret’ an hour of your time? Let me know if comments or head over to the forum to discuss.