"The Siege" was a nail-biting episode of The Following that drew Ryan Hardy mere feet away from rescuing Joey.
It was nice to see Ryan and the FBI make progress and put a potential snag in Joe Carroll's master plan, especially because Joe's usually been so many steps ahead.
Even behind bars, Joe's the ultimate manipulator and he's easily becoming the villain you love to hate. The difference in his lawyer's demeanor between the past and present was a complete shift from confident and in control to fearful and obedient.
And maybe it's because Joe has the accent that adds to his menacing and sophisticated personality, but it's becoming clear with each episode that Carroll is television's Hannibal Lector. Minus the fava beans, chianti, and eating people, of course.
But even with Joe's scheming and Poe references to call upon the next stage of action, sometimes a bit of luck and circumstance can change everything.
It's great that Joey isn't a stupid kid and was trying to find his way back to his mom. So often, shows have child characters that make all the wrong choices or can be just plain useless, but Joey not only had the smarts to call home secretly, but run away, and even get innovative to escape when he was locked up again.
At the same time, the episode really gave the characters a chance to not make eye rolling decisions.
The couple that found Joey not only recognized him but called the police. Hank, the new follower, was able to see the cop in the mirror and hunt him down. The FBI guy that was escorting Claire didn't dumbly wait outside the bathroom but rather immediately checked in.
These types of actions instantly made the episode that much more compelling.
Maybe you could argue that Claire ditching the FBI and jumping in the vehicle with Roderick was a bad move, but I take it more as her desire to do anything to get her son back. Being her mother and wanting him safe blinds her from making every rational decision.
Each move made and the prospect that Joey might escape really made the hour an edge of your seat thriller. I knew as soon as the couple found Joey they were in for trouble and I've got no problem if Paul gets his comeuppance.
At least Jacob has managed to avoid killing anyone, so there is hope for him, but I've got a feeling his dark path is just beginning.
But, wonderfully, Ryan was deputized and given his own gun. Good idea by the FBI? Maybe not because people seem to drop around him wherever he goes, but great idea for viewers because it reinforced how much of a bad ass Kevin Bacon is when hunting down the clues.
With that gun, Ryan is definitely a shoot first/ask questions later kind of guy. And that works for me.
Of course, the episode ended on a fantastically frustrating cliff hanger with Ryan so close... yet so far away. With the great pacing and build up to cut off where it did, The Following definitely has me wanting to come back for more.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.