The Following “The Edge” Review (Season 3 Episode 12)

The Following "The Edge; A Simple Trade" Season 3 Episode 12 & 13

On the first of two back-to-back episodes of “The Following,” Ryan found himself pushed to “The Edge,” when his drinking got more and more out of control, his hallucinations of Joe became more frequent, and his determination to catch Theo by any means necessary reached new heights- or lows, depending on how one looked at it.

We began with a fateful meeting between Theo and Penny with Daisy and Mark. Neither Theo or Mark were too crazy- if you’ll pardon the terminology- about working together, but the ladies managed to wrangle the guys into settling down to hear each other out. Daisy told Theo about the possible way in to the FBI and how if they could track down whoever had covered up the whole laptop thing, they might be able to use that person to their advantage- but first, they had to find out who it was. Theo agreed to help, on one condition: they had to help him with the whole Eliza thing.

Ryan went to the hospital to ask Gwen for a second chance, and she said she’d think about it, while Tom went to Max’s seemingly to reignite their own romance, but really he was just there to cover his tracks and snag the cameras hidden in her apartment, which he successfully managed to do. All concerned met back at FBI headquarters, where Mike told Ryan to get it together and focus, before someone else got hurt because he was slipping.

Though he would continue to drink throughout the episode, he did come up with the gambit of looking for hard copies of Penny’s background, realizing that there might be some, as her records preconfigured the widespread use of computer files. When they get a lead, Ryan goes to investigate, but Max insists on coming along, wary of his going off the rails again. Mike stays behind to investigate another issue: the disappearance of Sloan.

Meanwhile, Theo and company go to meet with Eliza, with Daisy and Mark serving as back-up to him and Penny. As he predicted, it was a set-up, and the team was forced to take out any number of bodyguards before meeting with the man Eliza sent to take him out. He, of course, wasn’t talking, so Theo killed him and the rest of his men and took his phone, assuming that he’d be able to get Eliza’s phone number from it, encrypted or not. He wasn’t wrong, so the faux meeting ultimately paid off in the end.

Theo then, as agreed upon, looks into the laptop matter and they discover it’s Tom. He has one more condition, though, before he allows them to go their own way: he wants them to somehow get a flash drive into the FBI server room that will allow him access to the FBI again. Obviously, they will have to use Tom to do it, which isn’t necessarily a given that he will cooperate, so Mark isn’t amused by this condition. However, it proves to be much easier than they thought, as when they arrive, they find Sloan’s body in his bathtub, shoot footage of it and him with the body to blackmail Tom with when he arrives and he is subsequently forced to comply with their demands.

Ryan and Max talk to a fellow junkie friend of Penny’s, who points them in the direction of another lead, albeit after Ryan tosses him out a window! So much for behaving himself! Though, to be fair, the guy did try and attack Ryan with a knife. Mike is clearly closing in on Tom, but has no hard proof of anything yet, but things take a turn for the worse when Sloan’s body is found shot in the trunk of her own car, having been dumped there by Tom. While most everyone is out dealing with that, Tom sneaks into the server room at the FBI and plugs in the flash drive, once again giving Theo access to the FBI. He just barely gets out of there without getting caught, but as it turned out, Mark wasn’t done with him just yet.

Staking out a potential location that Penny might be hiding out in, Ryan and Max wait patiently to see if she’ll duck out for drugs to satisfy her craving. Theo makes the mistake of leaving Penny alone and goes out to meet with Eliza, evading Ryan and Max in the process, but Penny isn’t so lucky when she sneaks off to meet her connection- or so she thinks. Though Ryan has to hang up on Gwen to do it, potentially scuttling their reconnecting later on, he catches sight of Penny, signals Max and they give chase. She sees them coming and runs off, ducking into a nearby building, while Max and Ryan split up to cover more ground, calling for back-up.

Neither seems to find her, and after getting word from Mike on Sloan’s death, Max goes to meet with him while Ryan sticks around to look for Penny. Only Ryan has pulled a fast one and has already captured Penny and tied her up in a room, only to retrieve her after Max leaves and take her back to his apartment. Theo sees that a BOLO is out on Penny and calls to warn her, but she doesn’t answer.

He successfully meets with Eliza this time, and she agrees to his terms- as I suspected, she’ll use her resources to help Theo and Penny disappear and leave the country with new identities and a clean slate, and he’ll in turn, deliver Ryan up on a silver platter. In addition, he’ll keep her out of the entire process and thus, unexposed to Ryan and the FBI. Unfortunately, by this time Penny is already in Ryan’s clutches, as Theo discovers when he hacks into the video feed of cameras in the area of the apartment they were laying low in and sees Ryan grabbing her.

Ryan, naturally, lies to Max about having Penny, and then proceeds to question her. Perhaps needless to say, she’s not very forthcoming. Although, she does admit that she had some bad Foster home experiences and that Theo owes her, and that he will come for her. Ryan hallucinates Joe, and continues to swill booze, as Joe tries to talk him into going further with his interrogation with Penny and into outright torturing her.

Penny doesn’t exactly help her cause by calling Ryan out on being loaded, and he threatens to water-board her, having found out from her files that she has a fear of drowning from a bad experience at one of her Foster homes. She does eventually admit that Mark and Daisy have been helping them out under duress.

Mark contacts Tom again and demands he bring Mike to him, threatening to expose him with the evidence he killed Sloan to the FBI. So, he lies to Mike, telling him he has a lead on what happened to Sloan and takes him to the prearranged meeting place where Mark directed him. Mike realizes, all too late, what is going on, and Tom pulls a gun on him, just as Max figures out Tom was the one with the laptop and calls Mike to warn him, also too late. Mike tries to talk Tom out of what he’s about to do, but Tom says he knows that Mike slept with Max behind his back, and that he killed Lily and covered it up, so it’s just desserts, as far as he’s concerned.

They meet with Mark and Daisy and Mark hands over the blackmail footage in exchange for Mike, but then they double-cross Tom and toss acid (or what have you) on his face and Daisy shoots him. Mark goes to kill Mike, but Theo arrives at the last minute and a Mexican stand-off ensues, with Theo demanding they turn over Mike. Mark clearly isn’t happy about it, but Daisy points her gun at him, too, and he turns Mike over. Theo then calls Ryan, just as he’s about to water-board Penny in earnest- he’s already started, in fact- and tells him he has Mike and either they make an exchange or Mike dies, and that is when the first episode ends. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long for a resolution, as the next episode aired immediately afterwards.

This was a tense episode, with lots of back-and-forth double-crossing and twists and turns. As the saying goes, there’s no honor among thieves- or serial killers and FBI agents, either, apparently. At least on this show, that is. Whatever the case, it made for an exciting episode, and I was definitely glad we didn’t have to wait a week for the resolution of the story, as it would have sucked to have to have waited. The same goes for you, dear readers, so feel free to join me for the second of my two reviews of tonight’s episodes in my take on the- if you’ll excuse the expression- following episode, “A Simple Trade.” See what I did there? Join me here, and see you on the other side!