Welcome back, friends and followers alike!
“The Following” has returned at last. Number one cliff hanger from season 1; did Ryan and Claire survive Molly’s attack?
Of course we knew Ryan would live. There’s not much of a story without him. I can’t say I was surprised to find that Claire didn’t make it. A bit sad, but not surprised. At least Molly didn’t survive either. What about Joe? So far as we know, he’s dead. Forensically identified and all.
Jump ahead one year. Nice time to pick back up if you’re leaving Claire in the past.
It looks like Ryan is getting it together. He’s running, drinking water instead of vodka, going to AA; but still on a lot of medications. For his heart, or the newer injuries, or both? He’s also teaching at least one college class on what looks like forensics. This appears to be going well, Ryan really has the young minds churning along.
He even has a dinner party for his sponsor, the girl who spoke at the AA meeting, and… wait for it… not Jenny, but Max, Ryan’s other sister! I wonder how many sisters he has? (Jenny was in the episode “Mad Love” S1E4). Or brothers? Max also happens to be a police detective. Convenient. The dinner is meant to be a distraction from the anniversary of Claire’s death. Ryan holds together. Apartment immaculate, no booze, good night’s sleep. Ryan sure looks a lot different this season!
Meanwhile, on the subway… it’s Joe Carroll! Or is it? No, that’s a mask made to look like Joe. There’s two of them! No, three! “Resurrection!” The three go on a killing spree, wiping out everyone in this car. No, wait – there’s one lady left. One of the “Joe Carroll”s tells her “Joe Carroll lives! Ryan Hardy can’t stop us! The resurrection is coming!”
Now they finally bring Mike Weston back into the picture. He was also watching the news, in his skivvies and with a mess of Coke cans and trash lying about. Phillips asks him to consult on the possible Carroll cult killings. Is Mike stepping into Ryan’s old position from last season?
Back to Ryan on his way to work, winding his way through the police and crowds. He tells the public, and his class, that he’s not involved, won’t be consulting, and has no information. Except… two agents flash their badges at him. Ryan’s face says it all; “Well, there’s goes that.”
We next meet Gina Mendez, who is apparently replacing Parker. She doesn’t seem too impressed with Weston. Or Ryan either, once they finally meet.
Don’t want to give away too much about our newest followers, but wow. Talk about creepy! You’ll just have to see it to believe it.
Mike and Ryan meet up for the first time in several months. Mike has a flashback and we learn that Joey is safe with his grandmother in witness protection. Sensible way to tie up that loose end. He reminded Ryan of Parker’s last words to him. It seems that they haven’t spoken since.
Ryan goes with Mike and Phillips to the hospital to talk with the living victim, Lily Gray, an art dealer from SoHo. She gives them the men’s message about Joe and Resurrection.
Ah, I wondered when Emma would show up. She’s watching the news too. She thinks there’s a new cult, because it certainly wasn’t them. One girl mentions Carlos in Havenport. Emma looks determined to find out what’s going on.
Back at headquarters, they’re commenting on the professional masks made of molded silicone and hand painted. Somebody really knows what they’re doing. They body scan the videos of the perps for matches to any known Carroll followers. There’s one, Carlos Perez. Suddenly Ryan decides to leave. Mike chases him down, but Ryan says he wants no part of it, it’s over for him, he’s done.
Ryan goes home and gets through a ton of security to enter his apartment and then an inner room. This inner room is full of Joe Carroll notes, pictures, diagrams, and evidence. He starts digging through the papers and finds the information on Carlos. Didn’t he just say he was done and it’s over for him? Methinks he told a little white lie.
Ryan answers his door at home with more security (video of who’s at the door? Wow. Really taking NO chances). Max comes in and helps find info on Carlos, who is using a new alias. Ryan goes alone to track him down. No big surprise there. Even if Max did tell him to go to the FBI with the information.
Once in Carlos’s apartment, Ryan and Carlos fight, but Carlos gets away. Not before revealing very important information about Joe, though. Ryan does a good job of running after him. Guess all those early morning runs are paying off.
Surprise! I thought for sure that Carlos would be hit by a car, not Ryan. Of course this is a good time for a commercial break. How badly hurt is Ryan?
When we get back, Ryan somehow manages to just get up and walk away. Wow. He was hit hard enough to put a major crack in the windshield. They must have installed some bionics in him or something. Will these injuries come back later to haunt him too?
Since Carlos got away, Ryan goes back to his apartment and checks through the mail, garbage, everything, and finds the Joe Carroll mask. As he walks out with a bag full of stuff, Emma sneaks upstairs.
The latest victim has been found, placed to send a specific message by the extra creepy new followers. Mike tries to talk Ryan into coming back, but Ryan says he’s still got nothing and leaves.
What’s up with Ryan? Still obsessed with Joe Carroll, but won’t admit to a thing. Does he want to go rogue, be a vigilante against Joe and his followers? Sounds dangerous, not to mention somewhat stupid.
So what about Joe? We end up at a hooker’s house, somewhere out in the woods. A young girl calls for “Daryl” because of the TV news report of the murders. A man walks in, looks like he’s limping. We get to see the man’s face. It’s Joe! He’s grown a full beard and mustache. He sees Ryan on TV saying he’s not involved, and says, “Well now…”
Any bets on how long before Joe drags Ryan back in to a more official position? How is Ryan going to explain himself when the FBI discovers he’s been holding back information? He’ll be lucky to avoid arrest at that point. Good thing he’s too valuable to the team to be locked away, yes?