The Following “Evermore” Review (Season 3 Episode 10)

The Following Evermore 2

Well, it finally happened, and I, for one, am kind of surprised the show finally went through with it, and yet here it is. Big-time spoiler alert: Joe Carroll is dead! Yep, on the latest episode of “The Following,” Joe Carroll finally met his maker, just as it was intended, via lethal injection, in “Evermore.” Of course, this being the show it is, we couldn’t have things go exactly according to plan, so naturally there were a few wrinkles along the way down death row.

As we saw last week, Joe had nabbed a pair of sunglasses off the guard who Theo sent to talk to him. Once he was led into the execution chamber, he put those to good use- or evil use, I should say- and promptly stabbed any number of guards and bystanders, leaving only a small handful alive, including his lawyer (Mouzam Makkar, “Matador”), the doctor in charge of the proceedings and an unlucky congressional aide who had the misfortune to be there on behalf of someone or the other. Taking them hostage, he then demanded to speak to Ryan within two hours or everyone dies.

Ryan begrudgingly goes and manages to get Joe to release the doctor before handcuffing himself and going into the execution chamber, where Joe promptly tasers him and ties him up. As this is going on, Theo goes into what appears to be a crack house and absconds with his sister Penny (Megalyn Echikunwoke, “24,” “CSI: Miami”) after killing her protective boyfriend. She wakes up in his Newark, New Jersey location and is not too amused to find the mess her brother has gotten himself in, not to mention that he killed her BF.

Urging him to drop the whole Ryan thing, as well as being dubious of his decoding obsession with Strauss’ notebook- he’s currently kidnapped a cryptologist to try and help with it- Penny wants to run while they still can. Clearly, she knows about her brother’s proclivities, and while understanding, isn’t too keen on going down with him when Ryan inevitably catches up with them, knowing full well who he is.

Back at the penitentiary, Ryan comes to and is confronted by Joe. He has the government aide strap down the lawyer in the chair intended for his execution, and threatens to take out her eye with a scalpel if Ryan doesn’t talk to him honestly about their “relationship.” Ryan finally admits he dreams about Joe and that they are friends in his dreams and Joe is teaching him how to kill. Ryan also admits he occasionally takes some satisfaction in killing people, though he isn’t afraid to point out that a lot of that is because of Joe and people like him leaving him no choice.

Joe scoffs, but is adequately satisfied and surprisingly lets Ryan go anyway, and Ryan punches him and handcuffs him. Ryan leads everyone out of the execution room, but Penny, after discovering that Theo has hacked into the prison’s system and has control of the facility electronically, lets out all the prisoners on death row, wanting to put an end to this once and for all. She also keeps the cops from coming in for good measure. Needless to say, all hell breaks loose, and the aide is stabbed, while two of the prisoners nab the lawyer and head outside.

Ryan knocks out several prisoners and runs to help the lawyer. From the looks of things he kills both of them, and goes a bit off the hook in doing so, which does not go unnoticed by the horrified lawyer. As this is happening, a prisoner Joe mouthed off to earlier is about to kill Joe when Ryan returns and sees him about to finish Joe off. He could have let him do it, but intervenes and knocks the man out instead, saving Joe in the process.

Thankfully, the cops come in and grab Joe and cuff him before any more insanity can ensue. It turns out that Theo intervened on Ryan’s behalf, letting the cops in because he needs Ryan to broker a deal with some mysterious source that Theo needs for him and his sister to escape in earnest. The problem is, the identity of the person is a mystery and it’s in Strauss’ notebook.

However, Theo takes a second look at the books Strauss has in common with Joe and somewhat randomly fixates on a H.P. Lovecraft tome. (I would have thought it would be Poe, all things considered, but whatever works, I guess.) Using a famous quote from the author- “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die”- Theo finally cracks the code, only to discover it’s not a name at all, but a location: longitude and latitude. According to Map Quest, that would put it in the vicinity of Lovecraft’s old stomping ground, the Northeastern region, probably around Connecticut or New York, though who knows how accurate these things are, I suppose.

Side note: I got a kick out of the Lovecraft thing, as it also coincidentally served as the quote at the beginning of the last book I read, Stephen King’s “Revival.” Might the show be switching gears from the more cerebral leanings of Poe to the more fantastically mad approach of the decidedly bent Lovecraft? I would have to say I would be completely onboard with that, though they might want to stop short of dragging the Old Gods into things. Paging…ahem, make that calling Cthulhu! (Lovecraft fans will understand…)

After that, it was finally time, and as we knew he would be, Ryan was indeed present at Joe’s execution, which this time was successful, albeit much more heavily guarded! Naturally, Joe’s last words were a Poe quote: “Quoth the Raven: ‘Nevermore’.” Loyal Poe fan to the bitter end. Apparently, Joe was more resigned to die than he let on. Despite his actions, all he really wanted was to ensure that Ryan kept his tradition alive, as it were, which, from the looks of the end of this episode, might be all too true. As we saw, Ryan is back to drinking again, and he’s not alone, in a sense, as Joe was right there alongside him. Eek!

This was about as good as an episode to send off the main villain as one could have expected. We had the brief, bloody fight for freedom, followed by acceptance and resignation, with just the right hint of Joe dying feeling that his work would nonetheless continue, through Ryan. Whether or not that proves to be true remains to be seen, but Ryan certainly has a ways to go before he’s back to normal- if he ever is. Starting drinking again is probably not the best way to start, perhaps needless to say. Hopefully, he doesn’t let “ghost” Joe start telling him what to do in his drunken stupor, though many have predicted that’s exactly where this is inevitably headed.

Personally, I think that the whole hunt for Theo (to which Joe conveniently pointed Ryan in the direction of Philadelphia before his demise, also adding that Theo was born “of violence”) will help keep Ryan focused after his initial falling back on bad habits. It might also help to finally find out he’s due to be a father. Nothing helps many people get it together like impending parenthood. Then again, maybe Ryan’s too far gone. We shall see, I suppose.

All in all, though, I really liked the episode. The idea that Theo has a sister that’s on the same page as him is an interesting one, and I also enjoyed the hard left into Lovecraft territory. Hopefully, it’s one the show will continue to pursue now that Joe (and, by extension, Poe) are done. I actually wouldn’t mind if the show went into more occult-oriented territory.

I get that some people would be disappointed if it took a turn into the fantasy/paranormal, but haven’t we sort of exhausted the serial killer thing? Why not go for broke? The show may not make it for another season anyway. I say go off the rails if they want- I certainly wouldn’t mind it. But maybe that’s just me. Anyway, definitely curious to see what happens next. We’ve still got five episodes to go, and a lot can happen.

What did you think of the latest episode of “The Following”? Were you happy with Joe’s send-off? Are you surprised he’s actually dead? Did you think he might worm out of it yet again? Or were you relieved he didn’t? Will Ryan go bonkers and pick up where his “friend” left off? What will Theo and his sister get up to next? Do you think the show will go into Lovecraftian territory? Let me know what you think down below, and see you next week!