For at least two characters, Monday's episode of The Following could be a game-changer.
First up, there's Jacob (Nico Tortorella), who was last seen standing menacingly in the doorway of the Followers' mansion and giving an ominous greeting to his (ex?)-girlfriend, Emma (Valorie Curry). Tortorella says his character's steely glare is a byproduct of Jacob killing his best friend Paul (Adan Canto). "I really feel like everybody should consider him a threat now at this point," he tells TVGuide.com. "He's got blood on his hands now and I feel like Jacob just wants more at this point."
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Committing his first murder — even if it was a "mercy kill," since Jacob was honoring Paul's wish to die — is "definitely a huge turning point for Jacob," according to Tortorella. "Emotionally, [killing Paul] just completely broke him down," the actor says. "But at the same time he recognized that's what he needed to do. ... As much as the threesome [among Jacob, Paul and Emma] wasn't about sex, this kill isn't really about killing. It's about love."
Still, Tortorella adds: "He's definitely out for revenge, to make everything right in his world." To that end, viewers will see a shift in Jacob as he starts to play more of a significant role among Joe Carroll's (James Purefoy) group of followers. "Jacob's motivation at this point is to be a follower to Joe Carroll, in every sense," Tortorella says. "It's time to step up and do his duty."
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With that in mind, Jacob's relationship with Emma will become complicated, to say the least. It's clear that Emma only has eyes for Joe at this point. But for Jacob, Emma's sexual relationship with Joe is nothing compared to the larger betrayal of her abandoning Jacob and Paul after the FBI raided their safe house. "He still loves Emma," Tortorella explains. "Even though she did what she did, they've been together for a long time. There's definitely some interesting scenes that happen between the two of them in the next episodes. She should watch her back."
Also watching her back in Monday's episode is Joe's estranged wife, Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea). On Monday's episode (9/8c, Fox) Joe learns Claire's location and sends a team of Followers after her. As usual, Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) tries to protect her and enlists the help of an old friend to do so. "There's some pretty nasty mayhem that goes down," Zea teases. "In the end, there's a surprising ... move on Claire's part. This episode begins a major shift for her. [It's] sort of the beginning of New Claire. She begins to embody a kind of strength that wasn't quite as apparent before. She begins to take control and she realizes that she has to get in on the game, and she has to learn how to play the game. ... She gets a little fierce."
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Though Joe's primary objective is to reunite with Claire and bring their entire family (including son Joey) back together, Zea "can't imagine a world in which it's even a possibility" that Claire would fall back in love with Joe. But what about Ryan? "I think there will always be something [between Claire and Ryan] on both sides," Zea says. "There are a lot of unspoken issues that need to be resolved, and in the most inopportune moments. ... What's great about this episode is that we get to kind of see them sort of let down their guard a little bit, for just a second."
But only for a second. Even with all the Ryan drama, Zea emphasizes that Claire's main motivation is rescuing Joey, who is presumably still at the mansion, even though he wasn't seen in last week's episode. "That's all she thinks about," Zea says. "That's the only thing that's motivating her to do anything right now. ... She would do anything to get Joey back. Absolutely anything."
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Do you think Claire will get Joey back? What do you think her "surprising move" will be? And what's in store for Emma and Jacob? Weigh in below, and check out a sneak peek of Monday's episode below.
The Following airs Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.