*WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!!*Joe Carroll’s power was truly exhibited in last night’s episode. In a previous episode, he managed to lure in his lawyer Olivia into his web. The plan she has unwittingly become a part of came to fruition. First, let’s build to that moment. It starts with Carroll seeking charges against Ryan Hardy for breaking his hand in the series premiere and requesting a transfer to a prison in Georgia. Learning this, Hardy questions the former college professor about his reason for the transfer. Ryan knows Carroll better than anyone. He knows how influential he is which is why he readily suspects there is an ulterior motive to the transfer. After Carroll is led out, Ryan insists on accompanying him to Georgia. Parker denies him so he seeks out Weston and asks him to look into the warden of the prison. It turns out that Warden Montero has a daughter who is being held captive by one of Carroll’s followers. The warden’s daughter is being held by a man named Bo, with the intent of ensuring Joe’s plan goes off without a hitch. With this well-orchestrated plan, Carroll escapes courtesy of his lawyer Olivia whom he kills afterward with Hardy listening helplessly. Joe meets up with two more of his “fans” who help him slip away again with Hardy practically on top of him. It is unbelievable how strong of an influence Joe Carroll has over people. He emits a charisma that is difficult to resist especially if someone is weak hearted. Emma is loyal to Joe and will follow him to no end despite firmly stipulating about making the choice to join Carroll under her own free will. Carroll preyed on her weakness when Emma was lost after killing her mother. He took her, got into her mind and distorted reality to where all she sees is Joe Carroll as her savior. And remember the security guard from the second episode who killed himself by eating the gauze on his shoulder? He felt that he betrayed Carroll when he divulged information to Hardy and thus took his life out of feeling unworthy to Joe. Even those with a strong heart were not invulnerable to words of the Edgar Allen Poe “gospel”. Bo, who was holding Warden Montero’s daughter, appeared to be a strong willed person yet he imprisoned the daughter under Joe’s orders. Another example was Hank who was also a tough person but still, he acted on orders from a man named Roderick who is acting on orders from Joe. And now Carroll manages to get a prison warden and a lawyer to play his game only to dispose of them once they outlived their usefulness.
Joe Carroll has the intelligence that can rival Charles Manson and the influential nature of David Koresh (minus the whole dying together thing). He’s a perfect meld of the two with his elaborate schemes, persuasive and charismatic demeanor and his mastery of words. His ability to generate so many followers over the internet is incredible as depicted in the episode’s end when he is taken to a large mansion where he meets his followers. The man has a small army; are you kidding me?! The mansion is full of people who have all been lulled by Joe Carroll as if her were the Pied Piper and they were the rats being led by his sweet, enticing melody.
For a moment, I was worried about how the series will progress but now that all that has happened to this point was nothing more than a taste of things to come, I am looking forward to see how the series will progress. With his “congregation” answering the call of his gospel, Joe Carroll is set to spread his word and teach it to Ryan Hardy. As Carroll said to Hardy, “Are you ready for the conclusion?”
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