[SPOILER ALERT: This story reveals key plot details from Monday's episode of The Following. Read at your own risk!]
The FBI is within striking distance of Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) on The Following, but the greatest threat to Carroll's plan may be his own right-hand man, Roderick (Warren Kole). Though Roderick has FBI agents Debra Parker (Annie Parisse) and Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) convinced he's nothing more than a local sheriff heading into Monday's episode (9/8c, Fox), he won't be able to maintain the ruse for long.
"Roderick is a big threat to Joe," Kole tells TVGuide.com. "Roderick may be the mouthpiece for the rest of the cult, or he may be working of his own accord. ... As the pressure mounts on him and as his expectations are being denied, he's being more distilled to who he really is. ... He's a power-hungry guy and he has his own intentions and motivations."
The power struggle between Joe and Roderick began to emerge in last week's episode, when Joe tapped Jacob (Nico Tortorella) to accompany him on a mission rather than Roderick. The moment was "a big turning point" for Roderick, according to Kole.
"Joe has a will and Roderick is the guy who makes it a reality in a lot of ways," Kole explains. "And for that to be unrecognized, and to constantly be berated and be told that [he's] not doing a good job ... it's just nothing but displeasure. There's no pleasing [Joe]."
And Roderick isn't the only one who's feeling impatient and disillusioned. With the show heading into its final three episodes, many of the cult members are feeling a bit antsy — to say the least.
"They're all starting to get frustrated," creator Kevin Williamson tells TVGuide.com. "The thing that Roderick has picked up on, clearly, is that Joe, like any true narcissist, has been using this cult selfishly. They were all promised that they would be able to go out and kill and sort of tell their own stories, and have their own chapters be part of this book. And right when Joe Carroll got to the cult house, he instantly began his selfish pursuits of his child and his wife and reuniting his family. And then he started writing his book. Roderick is like, 'Hey, I've spent the last eight years putting this all together, for what?...The whole point was to bring unity and insanity together and be a family of killers. And now it's not happening, because you're just sitting in here writing your book.'"
A bit petulant, no? There's no question that a parent-child dynamic exists within the relationship between Roderick and Joe. Kole likens Joe to a father who's been absent for most of his son's life and returns out of the blue.
"While the father's gone you can mythologize who this guy was, because it's all in your mind and you can build him up," Kole explains. "When you have the real guy in front of you, of course you're going to be disappointed because he is, after all, a human being. Roderick has grown since he last was face to face with Joe. He is his own man now, [but is] being thrust back into the child role, and he doesn't appreciate it. ... That dynamic of wanting to have a father, but also not wanting to have a father in your life — it's a psychotic take on it, but it's all very Freudian and Oedipal nonetheless."
Williamson has a more blunt take on his character. "He's a baby," he says of Roderick. "At the end of the day, he's kind of a crybaby. And he can't confront the person that he's really mad at, so he strikes out sideways. ... He's a crazy psychotic, but he's also a little bit of a daddy's boy."
As seen in the teaser video below, Roderick's cover is blown within the first minutes of Monday's episode when he crosses paths with FBI Agent Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore), who remembers Roderick well from the near-fatal beating he suffered a few episodes prior.
Roderick and Weston are "on the same track in a weird way," Kole says. "They mirror each other. They're both a little crazy. They're both erratic right now. They're both doing unpredictable things, and it makes them both a little dangerous."
So what will the fallout be? "There's a big turning point this week that just sends [Joe] off the deep end," creator Kevin Williamson teases. "A lot of things happen at the cult house that turn the tables on Joe Carroll. ... Something happens this Monday that Joe decides his book needs a rewrite, and he decides to change the ending of his story."
Check out the opening scene from Monday's episode here:
The Following airs Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.