1. A little kid wearing an Edgar Allan Poe mask arrives with a message.
No, he’s not Joe’s tiniest follower. He’s just a boy Emma paid $20 to deliver a phone number to Ryan.
2. Ryan calls the number and reaches Agent Parker, who is, sadly, still buried underground in a coffin.
3. Joe is holding Claire hostage at a lighthouse.
He advises her not to try to escape, and he has a gun, so she listens.
4. Claire realizes that Joe is waiting until Ryan gets there to kill her, because witnessing Claire’s death will destroy Ryan.
Also because if Joe just killed people when he had the chance, this show would be a lot shorter.
5. Ryan and his team find the car used to kidnap Agent Parker, but one of Joe’s followers, Alex, opens fire.
It’s a trap!
6. But Ryan very easily captures Alex and demands to know where Agent Parker is.
Alex is pretty cheeky about having a gun in his face. He doesn’t tell Ryan anything — yet.
7. Back at the house, Claire meets the owner, Neil, whom Joe is also holding hostage.
8. Ryan viciously tortures Alex for information on Agent Parker’s whereabouts.
Alex basically holds out until Ryan jabs a thumb in his eye, like you do.
9. Ryan and Mike let Agent Parker know they’re on the way, but she’s already pretty sure she’s going to die.
Which, like, I get, but if you’re about to be rescued, at least show a little bit of optimism. Instead, she tells Ryan to pass along a goodbye to her sister and parents.
10. They finally make it to her… and she’s dead.
Yep. All that torturing was for nought. RIP Agent Parker.
11. Then Ryan shoots Alex point blank.
Hey, why not? RIP him too.
12. In the coffin, Ryan discovers Joe’s manuscript, which basically describes what just happened.
Is Joe psychic, or does he just know that Ryan and Mike are really bad at their jobs? Either way, it looks like Ryan will have to face Joe alone.
13. To ensure that, Ryan pulls his gun on Mike and orders him to stay put.
Having backup would probably be helpful, but it’s just not in the cards for whatever misguided reason.
14. Joe asks Claire when she realized she was married to a serial killer.
15. So Joe violently stabs Neil to prove what killing actually looks like.
16. Ryan arrives at the house, where Emma greets him.
She orders him to ditch his gun and phone, which he does obviously. And then he gets drugged with a needle to the neck. Just a good showing all around by Ryan.
17. When he wakes up, he’s in a room with Joe and Claire, and Joe is asking super invasive questions about when they fell in love.
18. Joe is all set to stab Claire’s eyes out and kill her, but Ryan manages to talk him out of it.
19. Ryan is quickly able to disarm Joe and rescue Claire.
20. In the ensuing fight, Ryan starts a pretty massive fire.
And he leaves Joe behind to die in it, because apparently, Ryan has never watched a scary movie before. ALWAYS MAKE SURE THE KILLER IS DEAD.
21. And the house explodes. With Joe in it. RIP Joe.
(But not really.)
22. At last, a happy ending! Joe is dead, seven of his followers are in custody, and little Joey is alive.
Claire repeatedly asks Ryan if he’s sure Joe is dead, and Ryan is like, “Yes, definitely,” while he winks at the audience. (He doesn’t actually wink at the audience.)
23. But seriously, Joe is confirmed dead. Even though he’s definitely not.
They used dental records and DNA to prove it. Did Joe just leave his teeth at the scene to trick the FBI? Sounds painful but hilarious.
24. Ryan and Claire kiss as a reminder that true love conquers all.
25. But Emma is still out there, and she’s wearing an awful wig.
She seems pretty torn up about Joe’s death, so maybe he really is dead after all. (He isn’t.)
26. Back at Ryan’s, his ex Molly shows up and reveals that she was one of Joe’s followers by STABBING RYAN IN THE STOMACH.
27. And then she stabs Claire in the back.
Season 2 of The Following premieres Sunday, Jan. 19 on Fox after the NFL game.
- Sixteen people died after a hot air balloon caught fire and crashed in Texas Saturday.