When Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) snuck into an unsuspecting suburban housewife’s home and stole her baby to wait outside in the backyard, fans expected the worst. Would Joe kill the baby? Steal it and go on the run? At best, he’d leave the baby alive and just murder the housewife (not exactly a “best” scenario).
But when Joe turned around and showed his face to the scared woman, instead of screaming she smiled and ran to give him a hug.
Yup, this woman was yet another one of Joe’s followers.
Meet Jana Murphy (Leslie Bibb), the cult member who was waiting for Joe to show up a year ago so she could give him a new passport and money to help him escape into that good night. Of course, now we know Joe never made it to the meeting since he was hiding out in some backwoods hovel with Mandy (Tiffany Boone) and her now-dead mother (RIP Carrie Preston’s hooker).
But he came to collect a year later, with Mandy in tow, and revealed another one of his pawns in place to cause all kinds of trouble. Not only was Jana good with faking new identification, but she was also the ex of the lead FBI agent in charge of the new Carroll investigation, Gina Mendez (Valerie Cruz). When Gina called her later that night to tell her she couldn’t pick up the kids, it was revealed that at some point in their relationship, Jana gave up being in the FBI to raise the kids.
So who is Jana? Was she a follower planted in Gina’s life to play the long game? Or did she become so disenfranchised with the FBI that she turned to Joe after quitting and breaking up with Gina?
While we’ll have to wait a week to find out more about this new foe, it definitely adds a new layer to the previously one-note Agent Mendez. Before this reveal, all she was good for was acting frustrated about Ryan Hardy’s (Kevin Bacon) disinterest in helping the FBI. Now, she’s a real, sympathetic human with a complicated relationship — and in for the biggest shock of her life if and when Jana’s true loyalties are revealed. Because you know they will be.
“The Following” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.