The Following “Demons” Review (Season 3 Episode 11)

The Following Demons Season 3 Episode 11 (3)

In the latest episode of “The Following,” Ryan continued his downward spiral while pursuing a new lead to get closer to Theo, while Theo himself pursued the lead given to him via Strauss’ coded notebook and plotted ways to bring Ryan down so that he and his sister could escape, in “Demons.”

We began with Ryan waking up in bed next to the bartender from the bar we last saw him in, and rudely dismissing her to go home, only for Gwen to figure out what he’d been up to and storm out, leaving Ryan to booze it up some more- and hallucinate Joe in the process.

Mark and Daisy continue to try and track down who has the laptop that has gone missing that they used to monitor Max. She thinks they might have an ally in whoever it is, as they have not come forward to tell the FBI they have it, but Mark is understandably dubious, and is way too focused on killing Mike in retaliation for killing his mother. At one point, he actually goes after Mike, but Daisy stops him at the last minute, pointing out that Mike has an enormous amount of security on him right now, and that they have to wait until the time is right to do it. He begrudgingly backs down.

Gwen warns Max that Ryan is drinking again and she goes over to his place, with new information on Theo’s past that she hopes will force him to get it together. It seems that, as Joe suggested, Theo was indeed “born from violence” in Philadelphia. 25 years ago, his family was slaughtered- or rather, the family of Terrance Jackson, Theo’s real identity. Theo was the only survivor, but was he also the killer? As he was around ten at the time, it seemed unlikely, but it was nonetheless a key bit of information.

Theo and Penny go to the location suggested by the coordinates in the notes Theo decoded, and it turns out to be a ritzy, heavily-guarded mansion in McLean, Virginia. They try to enter the grounds, but are stopped by security and run off. Theo suggests that they may need to adopt a new course of action to get inside, and gets wind of an impending function coming up at the mansion that is strictly invitation-only. He scans the list of invited guests, finds one that somewhat resembles him and they track him down.

Meanwhile, Ryan, after investigating the information Max has assembled, realizes that the MO of Theo’s murdered family fits that of another serial killer at the time, the “Madman,” who was never caught. They travel to visit Lisa Campbell (Diane Neal, “NCIS”), a former associate of Ryan’s, who agrees to help them and let them see the files on “Madman,” so long as she is allowed to be part of the investigation, having been after him for years, not unlike Ryan and Joe.

They agree, and Ryan hatches a plan: by exposing the “Madman,” it will draw Theo out of hiding, as the man likely killed Theo’s parents. Ryan thinks Theo won’t be able to resist coming after the “Madman,” if only to stop him from talking about what he knows about the “real” Theo, aka Terrance.

While this is going on, Erin continues to try and suss out the “mole” at the FBI, aka the person who withheld the laptop from the investigation, which we know to be Tom. Although Tom might have destroyed said laptop, he’s still under suspicion, as he realizes when Erin questions him. At first, it seems like she just wants to tie up some loose ends about the scene, but it becomes clear later on that Erin has a lot of unanswered questions, and isn’t going to let this go.

Ryan suggests that maybe the “Madman” posed as a utility worker, and the team looks into whether or not any were in the areas of the crimes committed by the “Madman” at the times of his murders. He and Lisa head to Philly to investigate some leads, while Max and Mike remain behind to continue their end of the investigation. Lisa warns Ryan this needs to be by the book, and there is to be no dubious actions on his end. Ryan agrees, but no sooner than he does than his cell phone rings and he gets a lead and promptly takes off on his own to investigate, as if on cue. So much for being a team player with Lisa!

Theo and Penny find out where their mark lives, Penny kills the driver and the two drive to the mansion. Shortly before entering the premises, Theo gets out and confronts the man in question, quizzing him about who lives there and what goes on. The man warns Theo that he doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into, but Theo waves him off. They discover that the place is run by a woman named Eliza (Annet Mahendru, of “The Americans”) and that there are a lot of obstacles in the way of their getting to her, not in the least involving the heightened security. Theo and Penny take the man and his date’s clothes, plus a bracelet that gives them VIP access and crash the party.

Ryan goes to the house of Oleg (Robert Sedgwick, “Damages”), the man his team suspects may be the “Madman.” No one appears to be there, so Ryan breaks in to investigate. Sure enough, it’s clear that he is indeed the culprit, what with the typically bonkers serial killer décor and a notebook labeled “Charon” with all sorts of wacky illustrations and scribbling inside. Ryan also finds a tape recording of the “Madman” murdering someone. Oleg arrives and he and Ryan tangle, but Oleg gets away and Ryan finally calls for back-up. Needless to say, Lisa is un-amused.

Back at the party, Theo walks in, donning a mask, while Penny goes unadorned, both of them dressed to the nines. It looks to be one of those “Eyes Wide Shut” type parties the rich have where anything goes. However, Theo spots a cordoned off area that it heavily guarded and which features a check-in post where a man is scanning bracelets like the one Theo nabbed from the man they used to sneak in.

They successfully get scanned and go upstairs and it proves to be a “Hostel”-type area, where people are quite literally killing other people in swanky bedrooms. I’m assuming that the trade-off is that Eliza helps to dispose of the bodies. I wouldn’t be surprised if she also films the atrocities going on, hence the need for the men to wear masks to protect their identities, but not the women.

Theo kills several guards and they make their way into Eliza’s office, where Theo propositions Eliza: he’ll bring Ryan to her, alive or dead, her choice. He doesn’t say what he wants, but one assumes it’s her help to flee the country with the proper falsified identification and new identities. He gives Eliza a card with a website address that he can be reached at, and tells her to contact him when she decides what she wants to do, pointing out that this would keep Ryan off of her radar, too. As he is already exposed, he has nothing to lose.

Ryan studies the “Madman” notebook and figures out that Oleg thinks he is Charon, the ferryman of Hades that transports the dead to Hell across the river Styx. He also figures out that Oleg is unnerved by mirrors, which is why he smashes them wherever he goes, a trademark that is at all of his crime scenes as well. This proves to be true, as Oleg himself goes to the hotel Ryan and Lisa are staying in, smashes a mirror at the front desk and hacks up the man at the check-in desk and looks to see where they are staying. Lisa tells Ryan she’ll let his antics slide this time, but advises him to let Gwen go after she overhears them talking on the phone, saying that relationships and their line of work don’t go well together.

She heads back to her room to take a shower, and Oleg creeps into it, using a key card he stole from the front desk. Ryan goes downstairs, sees the dead clerk and the smashed mirror and realizes Oleg is there at the hotel and rushes back upstairs. He just barely gets there in time to save Lisa and goes ballistic on Oleg, almost killing him. Lisa stops him, but it’s clear Ryan is unhinged. Nonetheless, she allows him into the room when she questions Oleg. Naturally, it doesn’t take Ryan long to go out of control yet again and threaten Oleg, but rather than hitting him, this time all he does is make Oleg aware of the mirror in the room and freak him out with it. I guess that’s progress in Ryan’s book- trauma over violence!

Oleg confesses he did indeed kill Theo’s family, and spared Theo- then Terrance- because he sensed he was “like him.” In fact, it was Theo who asked him to kill his family in the first place, asking only that he spare him and his foster sister Sophia, aka Penny. Oleg did as asked and hadn’t seen Theo since.

Meanwhile, after discovering that the FBI is indeed aware of her laptop and have it, via a guy named Silas who runs a bike shop and is able to hack into the FBI’s website, find out that they need someone with more computer expertise to find out more. Naturally, Daisy thinks of Theo and goes to contact him via a website message he has given her the address to, in case of an emergency. Theo gets the message but isn’t thrilled about it.

After things continue not to add up, Erin goes to Tom’s place to question him further. He walks her through the day’s events yet again, and it seems like she finally gets the answers she needed, but then she gets a look in her eye and Tom realizes the jig is up. He rushes towards her as she draws her gun, begging her that he can explain, but the gun goes off before he can and he shoots her by accident. Whoops! Don’t you hate it when that happens?

As the episode ends, Ryan comes home to see that Gwen has packed up her things and moved out in his absence. He grabs a bottle once again and drinks up, as Joe appears to commiserate with him. Yeah, that can’t be good.

That was about it, overall. It was a decent enough episode. Oleg was an imposing figure and as ever, his serial killer digs were suitably creep-tastic. To be honest, though, I actually found the “Eyes Wide Shut” sex party-cum-murder house to be more unnerving. It takes all kinds, I guess. Pretty freaky stuff.

I’m also a huge fan of Annet Mahendru from “The Americans,” which I also review. As much as I hated seeing her play a person of dubious morals here, I can’t deny that she excels at it, given that her role on that show is nothing if not similar in terms of ambiguous actions of questionable morality. Although, her role here is much less sympathetic, for reasons that will be obvious to those who watch both shows. On “The Americans,” she has to do certain things in order to survive- here, she seemingly does them to profit off the misery of others- big difference. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with her character here, as I suspect we’ve only scratched the surface of it so far.

On the plus side, we probably won’t have to wait long to find out, as next week marks yet another two-hour “The Following” extravaganza. From the looks of things, that will directly lead into one last two-hour episode that will serve as the finale, so lots of “Following” to come over the next two weeks!

What did you think of the latest episode? What did you make of Oleg, the “Madman,” aka “Charon”? Do you think Lisa and Ryan will continue to work together or is she done helping him? What will Tom do, in light of his latest actions? Will he join forces with Daisy and Theo and company to hide his crimes, willingly or not? Will Ryan’s hallucinations of Joe lead him to even worse actions? What’s the deal with Eliza? Will she take Theo up on his offer? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next week, for the big two-hour event!