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'The Following' 'Sacrifice' recap: A tragic lesson and a disturbing introduction

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Destroy Lily's family, and she strikes back. That's a painful lesson Ryan and Mike both learn in Monday, March 3's "The Following," "Sacrifice." Meanwhile, Joe, Emma and Mandy get introduced to a disturbing new cult.

The Micah Show

The new cult on "The Following" makes us miss the old one. Looking for a place to stay, Joe turns to Robert, and despite words like "peaceful" and "vulnerable" being thrown around, it becomes clear that Joe should have done a bit more research into this group. They're brought in with bags over their heads and ordered to strip and "cleanse themselves" before being dressed in white, with masks.

The cult's leader, Micah, refuses to let Joe sit at his table and wants to know how pulled off his death. Yes, he faked it, as opposed to… The answer's not clear. He asks how he got people to kill for him, and Joe chalks it up to his "innate ability to connect with people." But Micah also wants to know why he should welcome him into his compound, and Joe says he thinks he could be of great help to him and his cause.

First, Joe has to sit through a glorified lie detector test with Julia, and that includes questions like why he kills ("a need that cannot be denied"), if he's reformed (doesn't need to be), if he's killed this week (yes) and the feeling he gets when he kills ("It's very hard to describe. … Very [sexual]… I'll have to show you sometime."). He claims he wants to start anew with Micah's cult.

That's when things take a creepy turn, as Joe, Emma and Mandy are given front row seats to the show as Micah proclaims the cult members will cleanse themselves of sin with the blood of one and be one step closer to going home (what?!) with one of their sacrifices. Everyone in the cult wants to be chosen, but Julia's "compelled" over to Emma, and Joe and Mandy can only watch as she's strapped down and her wrists are cut. Micah then drinks her blood. "Through her blood, we are saved," he tells his followers.

After, Julia tells Joe Emma's alive and it was "a necessary introduction" to their ways. We can only hope Joe follows through on that promise to show her how he feels when he kills, preferably strapped to the same thing they put Emma on during the "sacrifice."

The Huntsman

Gina's the latest person to hop on the "hey, Joe is alive, someone swapped out the DNA and the FBI can't be trusted" train, but she thinks Ryan should still trust her and tell her whatever he knows about that and who can't be trusted. Instead, Ryan's focused on trying to find a way to talk to Luke, but Mike's not much help there because he's going home. Yes, he lost control with Luke, but that's not all. He admits to Ryan that he thought that coming back would help him because he doesn't respond to normal situations appropriately anymore, and that means he's having problems with friends and family. His father won't talk to him because he doesn't get it. Therapists don't help either. He's done.

As for Max, she's been suspended for six months, and she wants Ryan to just stop hunting Joe and forget everything, go back to teaching. "I have to be the one to kill him," he says, and he knows he's obsessed. "I stopped drinking so I could get clear-headed enough to find him, so I could get healthy enough to hunt him. I started teaching because I knew it would anger him. So this life, you see, it’s all for him. So am I obsessed? Yeah, I am. And I’m okay with it." After failing to get through to him, Max intervenes when she sees a father and son arguing in her garage, only for them to take her. It's a setup, and the son films it so Lily can send it to Ryan. He took from her, so she's taking from him.

Mike joins Ryan and the FBI in trying to find Max, and Ryan takes the photo they get of the driver to Luke, who's not looking that bad for a guy who was nearly beaten to death. "She really liked you, you know," Luke laments of his mother and Ryan's failed connection. She just wants to be loved because no one wants to be alone. As for the driver, "you don't want to find that guy," he advises Ryan. "He's bad news." He's the Huntsman, a known serial killer who targets prostitutes and hunts them like prey in the woods.

With the first name Kurt, they're able to track him down, and while his wife plays the "he's on a business trip, my husband isn't a crazy serial killer," her son shows his true colors when he yells at Ryan and, after Ryan and Mike realize from the angle of the video that he filmed it, asks, "Is she a whore? My dad hates whores. Yeah, gives them what they deserve." So, yes, he's one messed-up kid. Mike locks the door, we hear screams, they get the address of Kurt's cabin and the kid's left on the floor with zip tie cuffs around his wrists.

Meanwhile, Kurt comments about Max's tattoo before showing off a few he's collected – as in, collected off his victims – and framed. She tries to convince him to hunt her like his other victims because she's a challenge, but Lily wants this kill done a certain way. Still, he makes the mistake of getting too close and turning his back because she gets her legs around him, frees herself from where he had her hanging and escapes into the woods, getting the duct tape off her wrists, finding a stick to use and hiding under a rope bridge while he hunts her before Mike finds her. Kurt shoots at them, but Ryan shoots him, and once again, the Hardys are reunited.

Another surprise from Lily

Just as Mike's getting ready to leave (again), Ryan gets another video message from Lily, this one a few hours old, and she thinks that Max is dead. However, Ryan's not the only one who hurt her. Mike did too, and she's in his father's house. But it's too late to call in help, and all Mike can do is watch the video of Mark slitting his father's throat. As the episode ends, Ryan tries to comfort him, but with that move of Lily's, Mike's back in this and he's not going anywhere.

"The Following" season 2 airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX. What did you think of episode 7 "Sacrifice"?

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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