The Following: Trust Me, review

Trust Me was a major move forward in The Following.

Okay ladies and gentlemen, might as well get to it now, as “Trust Me” was a big episode plot-wise. SPOILER ALERT ahead. Avert your eyes, if necessary.

All set? Good.

At the beginning of “Trust Me,” Ryan is haunted by Joe, apparently unable to sleep without having dreams of the sadistic killer. I found the image of Joe coming to Ryan in his dreams very intriguing and poetic: on some level, Ryan does fear that his life has no meaning if Joe is dead. Of course, the kicker is that no one in law enforcement seems to believe that Joe survived the lighthouse explosion. As the audience knows, clearly he did, but more on that later.

Early on in “Trust Me,” the romance between Lily and Ryan is played up, and personally, it feels forced. Yes, we realize that everyone targeted by Carroll has died and Ryan has latched onto her because she is the only survivor—but for the first two episodes and a bit of this third episode, Kevin Bacon and Connie Nielsen had almost no chemistry on screen. Then, everything changes. But again, more on that later.

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We finally see one of the twins—Luke, Sam Underwood with non-gelled hair—take a chance on Emma, and finally answer one of her many phone calls. Luke, devoted to Joe’s method, vouches for Emma, pointing out to his twin Mark—Sam Underwood with gelled hair—and the others that Emma was one of Joe’s first followers and that she could be of use.

Let’s just say that the second she arrives, one of the five is offed. You can guess who.

In Arkansas, stemming from last episode, Mandy’s mom Judy comes home to find that Joe and Mandy have murdered the reverend. Not that it’s a surprise but Mandy doesn’t exactly side with her mother on this one. Personally, as a fan of the show from the beginning, I think Mandy is an important character. One issue I had with the first season was believing how the followers could grow so attached to Joe. Yes, sure, we saw it with flashbacks, fragmented memories here and there, but with Mandy, we saw her attachment to Joe grow in real time. Finally, I understand how these lost kids latched onto Joe Carroll. Also, bonus points to the writers of The Following for having Mandy’s story echo Emma’s from Season One. I guess you’ll just have to watch the episode to see how.

Another place where Season Two improves on Season One is with the FBI. The FBI is having none of Ryan’s crap, plain and simple, as he’s on thin ice from the get-go. Shawn Ashmore’s Mike breaks into Ryan’s secret room and unleashes on him—but unfortunately, doesn’t arrest him. I actually think an arrest of Ryan would be intriguing; the cat and mouse game between them can only go on for so long.

Here’s where the lighthouse explosion comes back into play, and ties up a loose end of Season One in deft fashion. When Mike breaks into Ryan’s secret room, Ryan tries to explain why he can’t let go of the case: because he still believes Carroll to be alive. When Mike laughs it off, Ryan explains that Carroll‘s father had an illegitimate son who happened to go missing right around the time leading up to the lighthouse explosion. Ryan believes that Joe discovered this illegitimate brother of his, tracked him down, killed him, and put his body in the lighthouse, ergo explaining how the body that was discovered had Joe’s DNA (it must be said that I’m no genetic theory expert, but I bought it).

And now, if you’re still reading even though you haven’t watched the episode—shame on you—spoiler alert again.

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Not that it should be a surprise, but Lily is revealed to be in cahoots with the Subway Murderers, as she is the mother of the twins. I found it brilliant, and a testament to Connie Nielsen’s skill as an actress, that she and Bacon only begin to have any chemistry when Lily’s ruse becomes apparent. The second she takes off with Ryan close behind, it was like watching a chameleon change colors, and suddenly Nielsen and Bacon were fiery on-screen. How poetic is that, for Ryan, that Bacon only has chemistry on The Following with the characters that are either doomed or completely wrong for him?

The Following takes a leap forward this week, plot-wise and in terms of suspense. I love tuning in each week to see where they go next. It’s an immensely enjoyable hour of television, and if you’re not watching it, you should be.

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4 out of 5