"The Following" Whips & Regret (TV Episode 2013) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • After giving herself up, Claire Matthews' abductors take to the house. There she meets Joe and he explains his desire to rekindle their relationship and start over again as a family. She is incredulous but realizes a bit of role-playing may be to her advantage. For his part, Joe makes it clear that killing people gives him great pleasure. Meanwhile, the FBI manage to trace the embedded video they found in an email to servers in Manhattan. They're located in an S&M club called Whips & Regret and the club manager points the finger at Vince McKinley who set up her computer system. He has also been using the club as a mail drop and the manager arranges for him to pick it up. The FBI follow him and end up at the cult's training ground.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Joe goes for a healthy morning jog outside the compound, then calls Ryan to taunt him. He wakes him from a hangover to gloat. Ryan tells him to go to hell and hangs up. Joe calls back to give Ryan a pep talk and explain how he plans to win back Claire's affections.

    Outside the compound, Roderick and Vince arrive with Claire.

    Jacob greets her to show her to her room. Claire demands to see Joey, but he leaves her.

    Debra Parker knocks on Ryan's door to check on him.

    Molly brings Joe her journals. She says she still lives next door to him and they occasionally hook up.

    2009 Molly visits Joe in prison. She's a nurse. "And I've killed more people than you," she says - she's an Angel of Death. She works in the terminal ward. Joe asks her to follow Ryan.

    Back at the compound, she presents Joe with her logs of tracking Ryan.

    Back at Ryan's place, Debra explains that they're tracking the IP of the website portal Joe uses to recruit. She tries to tell Ryan, as a friend, to pull himself together. When she hears that Joe called, she insists they get moving.

    At the compound, Roderick is anxious, wanting to get started -- on whatever it is. Vince the militia man echoes the sentiment. Roderick tries to explain it's selfish of Joe to wait, but Joe shuts him up and sends him away.

    Debra and Ryan join up with a SWAT team -- they've found the website's hot spot, in an after hours club called Whips and Regret. Debra and Ryan go inside the empty club looking for Hayley Mercury, the name on the registration. They end up in an S & M dungeon with people in leather and cages, wearing ball gags and willingly submitting to whipping. They find a woman in the office furiously deleting files.

    Later, with full IT people on location they find the site is hosted internationally. They talk to Hayley, who runs an online fetish house but says she's not a part of Joe's cult. She gives them the name Vince McKinley, who she farms out the hard core stuff to.

    Vince set up her computer and her server. She offers to deliver Vince to them in exchange for a deal.

    Back at the compound, Jacob brings Claire clothes and shoes, including a fancy evening dress Joe picked for her. When she tries to run for the door, he grabs her and violently throws her to the ground. He explains: "I can't cut or bruise your face, but other than that, Joe has given me permission to physically hurt you when necessary."

    Downstairs, Emma tries to talk to Jacob and says he's "being weird. " "The Jacob that you loved isn't here anymore, it's just me now," he says.

    At the S & M club, Hayley gives Ryan and Debra a package that arrived for Vince last week -- it's explosives. She sends Vince a message to lure him out.

    At the compound, Vince gets permission for Roderick to leave for a delivery. Vince sees Roderick is moping and tries to cheer him up. Roderick pulls a gun on him. Vince quickly pulls his own. Vince shakes it off and leaves while Roderick tries to pull his fragile mind back together. On the way out of the room, Roderick breaks the nose of a follower just standing there.

    At the club, they wire Hayley to hand off the package to Vince. The code word is "red" if something goes wrong.

    At the compound, Claire comes down to see Joe, looking fabulous. He can see she's terrified of him. She accepts his offer of a drink. There's a table for two set for dinner in front of a roaring fire.

    At night outside the club, Vince rolls up to pick up his package. When he's in the club, SWAT guys check his car.

    In the club, Vince picks up his package from the back room and asks Hayley to hold the door open for him out front. He tries to get her to get in his car. Watching from across the street, Debra wants to move, especially after Hayley uses the code word "red" repeatedly, but Ryan argues they need to follow Vince.

    The FBI does nothing as Vince pulls a gun on her and forces her into the car. The FBI follows.

    In the car, Vince checks his mirrors to make sure he's not being followed. Debra orders the FBI cars to drop back. She's worried they're going to lose her.

    Vince pulls up to a ramshackle old military armory in the woods and takes out his package. He gives Hayley a flashlight and they head inside. Debra and Ryan pull up and she orders it surrounded.

    Vince leads Hayley down into the basement, explaining that it's a training grounds for killing. "Those who need it, we have to condition them before they can be trusted," he says.

    Vince tries to put the moves on her and feels her wire. Vince addresses the wire, saying she's a dead woman because of Ryan.

    Ryan and Debra run inside and try to navigate the tunnels in the dark. They see Hayley wheeled out on a chair -- she's alive.

    She's angry. Vince said it would take longer for them to help a live person than a dead one, which is the only reason she's alive.

    Over dinner with Joe, Claire tries to make sense of everything. She calls him crazy, but he clarifies that he suffers from a "monomaniacal need to kill that will only intensify over time." He informs her that she will love him again. She takes his hand and asks again to see Joey. He tells her it's the only card he has left to play. She gets up to leave. He tries to kiss her but she stops him. She walks out.

    In the training center they find evidence they were running some sort of boot camp.

    Down in the tunnels, a lone SWAT guy finds three people in a cage. Ryan goes through a training log and finds that two weeks of sensory deprivation is part of the training. They warn the SWAT guy not to open the cage, but he doesn't hear them and as soon as the cult members are out, they pounce on him.

    SWAT and Debra and Ryan try to find the source of the screams in the dark tunnels. They hear gunfire. With only a flashlight to light the way, Debra doesn't see one of the women standing behind her as she investigates. She trips over the SWAT guy's body and the woman attacks her. She fends her off, but the woman has a gun. Ryan comes around the corner and shoots the woman. He sees another follower behind her and shoots her, too.

    At the compound, Joe gets word from Vince that the FBI found the server. He tells Roderick they found the camp. Roderick assures Joe there's nothing for him to worry about. Joe asks Roderick of he gave Vince permission to go to New York. He punches Roderick in the face and warns him that he's not allowed to make decisions anymore, "because if you ruin this for me..." "Don't you mean for us?" Roderick asks.

    At the training center, all three cult members are dead, along with two SWAT.

    At the compound, Joe knocks on Claire's door and tells her he believes she'll love him again. He lets Joey in to see her.

    In front of his roaring fire, with a glass of booze, Joe watches Molly's surveillance footage of her taking Ryan to bed in 2011.

    In the present, Ryan returns home to hear someone in his kitchen -- it's Molly, making herself at home. She apologizes for letting herself in, but he's happy to see her. She hugs him.

    2009 Meeting with Joe in prison, Molly agrees to follow Ryan on one condition -- when the time comes to kill him, she gets to do it.

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