The Following S03E02 Boxed In
I'm team good, so I'm going to gloss over Mark and his followers. Andrew is in prison so Mark goes to someone with the terrifying name “Spider.” A garage has never been such an ominous place before.
Now, this is more my kind of thing. Sweaty barefoot Bacon working out. His home is now a gym, and I like this sober healthy Ryan. And I think Gwen likes him too.
I ship Ryan with happiness, so if Gwen makes him happy then I am so happy he finally has a girlfriend that isn't a psycho or the ex-wife of a psycho (I hope), although I want to know what happened with Carrie.
James Purefoy's name is still in the credits. I know most people want Joe back, but I want Ryan to move on. I want him to prove that good can win over bad, and that it won't consume him. Joe belongs in his past. Ryan deserves a future.
And hopefully it'll be with Gwen. He's opening up to her. He didn't have to. He had the perfect excuse to rush off to work, but he opens up and makes me love him even more, if that were possible. He sounds like he was a real pre-serum Steve Rogers, never backing down from a fight until his brother taught him a few ground rules. He really is my hero.
Mark bringing the Unholy Matrimony couple breakfast in bed. Eggs. I'm too distracted to focus on the scene because all I can think of is this.
That's much better than the bunch of psychos who seem to all have their own agenda. Mark's followers may not be as loyal as he thinks.
Tom seems a good guy. Mike is kinda acting like a jerk. If he was acting this way with Max, I think she was right to choose Tom over Mike. I may be biased. I do ship Hardston, but with Mike being so much like Ryan now it feels weird to ship Maxton. I can't do what I usually do and just make it a threesome. Again, I'm watching this show for ships and not serial killing. That's not bad, is it?
“I'm not here to make friends.” Mike really is starting to sound like Ryan, but Ryan's actually gotten better at that kind of thing. I hope Mike can follow Ryan's example now that it's a good one, but it might be too late.
Mike and Ryan interview Andrew, who in turn tells them to confess whilst there's still time. Mike replies that his conscience is clean.
I think Ryan's worried about Mike, and so am I. I think Ryan feels guilty over the murders he committed. He killed his own father's killer in cold blood, and now Mike has done the same but claims to feel no remorse over it. There are consequences to his actions, and I can't tell if Mike is oblivious to that, or if he really doesn't care. Scary.
I bet that married woman is going to regret turning down a psychopath.$
Clarke! I feel bad now because I always took him for granted. And now he's getting his episode in the limelight. Clarke still feels bad about covering up Lily Gray's death, but it's the guilty look on Ryan's face that gets to me.
We're seeing Clarke bond with Ryan. This isn't good. Don't you know about his death curse, Clarke?
Clarke feels so guilty over not being by the book, he's become an alcoholic and has chest pains. Who does he think he is, Ryan?
Ryan telling Clarke that this isn't all on him. I'm pretty sure Ryan would try to put it all on himself if he could. “I'll take the hit if I have to.” Yep, that's the Ryan I know and love and want to wrap up in cotton wool and just hug for eternity.
It's hard for me not to see Hardston when Mike practically runs to Ryan whenever he sees him, although he's not a puppy any more. He's a badass dog with a bone about this case, and he's scaring me, but he's still a good Agent, even if I'm not too sure if he's a good man anymore. Hardston tells the FBI team to keep an eye out for Andrew's car.
Oh man. The evil couple is using the woman to get to her husband. I hate it when that happens. It's one of my greatest fears, being used to hurt someone I love.
Spider has some smarts, getting Mark to safety but he stays to fight the feds, paying for that decision with his life. Spider would have killed Mike if Ryan hadn't killed Spider.
At the garage they find photos of Anna, who happens to be...
Clarke's wife. Clarke is knocked out whilst Anna is left to die via suffocation. Of course Ryan is the one to find her.
I'm so relieved he was able to save her, he looked on the verge of breaking down. But the bad guys still have Clarke. Ryan's just not that lucky enough to save two people in a row. Aw man. This is going to be bad.
Very bad. We get introduced to another psychopath, one that even scares the Unholy Matrimony couple. Neil seems like an ordinary guy, caring for his elderly dad who has dementia or alzheimers. I bet he's going to be a real monster.
I love the FBI team so much. They're the ones who protect us from monsters. Ryan is my knight. I like that he doesn't like slaying dragons, but he will do it to keep others safe.
Mark issues his ultimatums. He wants the Hardy bunch to confess on camera how they executed Lily Gray, or Clarke dies. Poor Gina has no idea what this is about. She's got nothing to do with this, so if they hurt her I will be especially pissed. They're not allowed to hurt any of my FBI team. But it might be too late for Clarke. He was friends with Ryan. But they're all close to Ryan. Ouch.
It's a tricky situation they're in though. Mike and Ryan lie so easily to Gina, but I think for different motives. Mike has no remorse over killing Lily, and Ryan is lying to cover Mike, possibly out of guilt, because Mike saw Ryan shoot Debra's killer in cold blood. I'm not so sure Gina is buying it.
And Max is caught in the middle. I think she wants to come forward, to clear her own conscience, to help Clarke, but Ryan knows better than to trust a psychopath's word. To save Clarke, they have to find him.
Wherever Clarke is, he's being held prisoner by a crazy couple, and a man welding a box. Not good.
Ahh, and Max has found a connection between Andrew Sharpe and Joe Carroll. Oh, the look on Ryan's face at the mention of Carroll's name.
Gina tells Ryan that he's got to go visit Joe, but Ryan is done with him, and it doesn't make sense. Mark hates Joe. I think it's partly because of Ryan's determination to avoid Joe that he comes up with the real connection.
Ryan does take a helicopter to visit an old enemy in prison, but on the way there he has time to think about Clarke, when he had to take him to the hospital 11 months ago.
Yep, Ryan knows all about heart troubles, even though his pacemaker hardly causes him trouble since he's decided to take care of himself.
I don't like these flashbacks. Lots of Clarke being adorable and showing how much he loves his wife even though the job gets in the way. Lots of Ryan being concerned and caring about his friend. That's fatal in a show like this.
Gee. Who could Ryan be going to see?
There's like a minute of him inside the prison, just walking, letting the audience believe he's going to see Joe when finally, it's...
Arthur Strauss. Not Joe. Makes sense. Joe has nothing to do with the case, but Strauss was his killer mentor, and Andrew's too. That's the connection. But Strauss taught Andrew better than Joe. Andrew isn't a narcissist, he wouldn't want to draw attention to himself. Strauss concludes it must have been fear that made Andrew so bold. Then he mentions Joe, asking how he is.
Not a name Ryan wanted to hear. Brings up too many emotions. Ryan replies, after a beat, that he wouldn't know. So Strauss pushes it further. “Oh, you two broke up?” The look Ryan shoots him... ouch... unfortunately, it just urges Strauss on. “Do you miss him?”
It's so clear that Ryan does, and that's tragic. He misses him, but refuses to see him because that's what being a good guy means. Also, my Ryan muse is worried that it's been a year, if Joe doesn't hate him by now then, (and this is the most heartbreaking thing my muse believes) then Joe must have gotten over him, and Ryan is scared to see Joe moved on from him when he's clearly still hung up on Joe.
Personally, I don't think Ryan has anything to worry about. Joe spent 10 years obsessed with Ryan, he's not going to stop now. I hope when we finally get to see Joe we see the toll the separation has taken on him. It'd be like Mark without Luke. Gah, Harroll are a codependent mess, but Ryan deserves better.
Clarke manages to break free and he calls... Ryan. Don't call the guy with the death curse! I know this is a Hope Spot, but I'd have more hope if he called the FBI. Clarke is doomed. By association with Ryan. So not fair.
It's not the phonecall to Ryan that exposes Clarke to Neil, it actually helped the FBI narrow down a location, but when he tries to make a run for it he runs straight into a metal pipe wielded by the male half of the married couple.
The FBI does like to utilize its helicopters, but even so, there's a fifteen square mile radius where that call could have come from.
This is horrific. Clarke has to endure being told how his body will fit into this tiny box Neil has been welding, how he will be paralyzed but conscious, and his joints will be disconnected one by one, so his limbs can be folded and he can fit inside the box. Neil is a monster, who hopes Clarke will appreciate the artistry in what he's experiencing. He's a great antagonist, and will probably haunt my dreams until Ryan can bring him to justice.
The deadline is almost upon the Hardy bunch, but nobody has confessed, despite Max urging them to. All thoughts of that get pushed aside when Mike seems to found the location, two minutes away. They're close, but Gina calls informing the team of a video that was posted to the internet.
Mark's followers made Clarke confess, saying that he sanctioned an FBI black-ops unit, led by Ryan Hardy. He confesses that laws were broken, people were killed, and Lily Gray was executed in cold blood. The video has him seeking absolution he “knows [he] does not deserve”
And then the FBI team find the box Clarke was crammed into. He deserved better than that.
Hope you found absolution, Jeffrey Clarke. Gone, but not forgotten. Another name added to Ryan's long list of dead loved ones.
Mark isn't happy though, and his followers aren't as loyal as they seem and the guy seems to be dropping the act. Good. Bad guys don't deserve to be happy.
And good guys don't deserve such angst. We see Ryan in the shower, all battered and bruised, physically and emotionally. We get to see the end of the flashback scene, where the Doctor who came to check on Jeffrey was no other than... Gwen.
It seemed to be love at first sight.
It must have been another 5 months before he asked her out but I'm grateful he did, because she's good for him. I know people are worried they can't trust her, Ryan never seems to be that lucky, but for now, I'm just happy Ryan has someone to hug and comfort him. He really needs it.
Oh my, what an emotional episode. What would you do if you were part of the Hardy Bunch? Would you confess, or would you protect the lie? Do you think Mike should feel remorse for killing Lily like that? What are your thoughts on the episode? I'd love to hear other opinions, I'm aware this recap is very biased.