Ryan Hardy, Agent Mike Weston and FBI Specialist Debra Parker, who is brought in to lead the investigation into Joe Carroll and his followers, dive deeper into the history of Carroll’s psyche. To do so, they enlist the help of Carroll’s ex-wife, and Hardy’s former love, Claire Matthews. Meanwhile, Emma, Jacob and Paul keep Claire’s son Joey at a house in the country as they prepare for their next move.
Joe Carroll's prison guard protégé Jordy talks his way into a sorority house in West Virginia. He walks upstairs and recognizes the room of a girl named Jess when he gets there. "I've studied this house a lot," he says.
He opens the window and grabs his kit from the ledge, telling the young woman he's been planning this for a long time.
Ryan goes back to Claire Matthew's house. He explains that "Denise" the babysitter probably faked her identity to get near Joey. They find evidence Denise drugged the guards with zolpidem, a fast acting hypnotic that can cause amnesia or fainting when taken in high dose.
Claire gives Ryan the background check she ran on Denise, who lived with her.
Joey has a grand old time with his kidnappers as they take him to a big house in the country. He wants to call his mom, but Denise gently explains that his mom doesn't want anyone to know where they are. Joey thinks they're on an adventure.
Paul is annoyed by Joey, but Jacob tells him to fake it. Jacob and Denise are a couple.
At FBI HQ, Ryan learns Denise is a fake ID, as they suspected. He meets Agent Debra Parker, who's in from Quantico and will be leading things. She objects to his use of the word "cult" to describe Joe's acolytes. He overhears Marshall Turner arguing that Ryan shouldn't be on the case.
Ryan explains that Joe has been building a following on-line.
They're called to the sorority house, which is full of victims. Jordy removed their eyes.
They ask Claire to go talk to Joe about where Joey might be. Ryan suggests she try to bring out Joe's parental side.
2004 Claire unpacks at her new house. She doesn't want to go to court or have to ever see Joe again. Ryan says she won't have to.
Back in the present, she goes into talk with Joe in an interrogation room at the prison. Joe tells her she's beautiful. She tells him Joey is reading beyond his age and growing up fast.
Joe asks a follow up to his letter. Claire says yes, she had an affair with Ryan for two months after the trial and divorce.
He asks if the sex was good and she tells him yes.
As for the third question, she tells Joe she doesn't know if she'll ever be able to love anyone after what he did to her. She starts slapping him and he grabs her around the throat. Agents rush in and pull him off her.
Ryan assures her she did a good job.
Joey explores the big country house and finds a room decorated exactly like his at home. He asks to call his mom again, then asks why his dad is such a bad man. "Maybe he's not so bad, maybe we just don't understand him," Denise tells him.
2003 Denise listens to Joe Carroll read from his book, "The Gothic Sea" at a bookstore. She says her name is Emma and has him sign a copy. She's clearly transfixed, but her mom interrupts and embarrasses her. He signs it "hopefully yours."
Back at FBI HQ, they find footage of the trio visiting Joe at the jail. They find Denise is really Emma Hill of nearby Petersburg, Va.
Ryan, Mike and Troy head to the address on her license, a rundown old house.
Ryan breaks in and finds writing and gothic paintings all over the wall, and a shrine to Edgar Allan Poe. There's also a portrait of Joe Carroll and other generally creepy paraphernalia.
Ryan finds four Poe masks on a shelf and his own book on a chair.
As he's looking at the book, one of the Poe masks runs at him. It wasn't on a shelf, or a mannequin, but a person. Holy crap.
"You shouldn't be here. You know you're gonna die, but not today," the Poe says before knocking Ryan out.
Later, Parker thinks Carroll is using Poe's work as a new religion. She's against the word cult, but it's starting to look more and more like it. He conditions them to think the only way to truly live is to kill.
Parker reveals she runs the bureau's alternative religion unit -- cults are her specialty.
Paul, Jacob and Emma celebrate for a minute that Jordy, "the village idiot," killed three sorority girls. Emma sends Paul away, she thinks he's acting jealous, but he'll have to get use to it "because this is what Joe wants."
Cut to Emma visiting Joe in prison, where he suggests he might know someone for her. He wants her to make more friends.
Cut to Emma and Jacob meeting on a blind date. They immediately hit it off.
Back at the house, they're doing what Joe wants.
In Emma's old creepy house, they find eight or nine different handwritings on the wall.
2005 Claire pours Ryan wine, celebrating Joe's sentence and their divorce. She tells him to kiss her.
At the country house, Paul gets an update from Rick that they found Emma's house. Rick got away. Jacob is pouty about Emma being in charge. He tells Jacob he's way out of Emma's league and Emma hears him.
2006 Jacob has dinner with Emma and her mom, who is tipsy and hits on him. She calls Emma "no fuss Plain Jane" and Emma stabs her in the back and stands over her to watch her die.
"You did it, you really did it," Jacob says with awe.
At the house, there's a room with the names of women in Poe's life who died, including a photo of Sarah and Emma's mom, with "Nevermore" written under them. Mike notices a loose wall board and pries it off. A body falls out. Ryan recognizes the hiding spot from several Poe stories.
They see a photo of Claire on the wall.
Ryan goes back to Claire's house and tells her about Emma. Parker watches as Claire takes his hand for reassurance. The house is swarming with cops, but Ryan chews two out for taking a coffee break.
Claire follows a young officer upstairs. He checks things out and turns on lights for her, pronouncing it safe.
In a mobile unit outside, they confirm the dead body was Emma's mother and there were nine handwritings in the house. They wonder how Jordy, a disorganized killer with a low IQ could just disappear.
In Claire's house, the officer investigates a noise in the hall. Jordy drops from the ceiling and attacks him, then walks in on Claire brushing her teeth, shutting the door behind him.
In the trailer, Ryan looks at the blueprints to Sarah's house that were drawn in Emma's house. He scrolls to the next shot and recognizes it as a drawing of Claire's basement.
He runs back in the house and busts into Claire's bedroom, where Jordy is holding her at gunpoint. He only wants to talk to Ryan.
He shuts the door, nodding to Troy in the hall. As Ryan shuts the door, Troy sticks a gun in Ryan's waistband.
"I have to kill her and you have to watch. Those or the rules...or you have to kill me," Jordy says, crying that he's not sure he's ready to die. He says it's how Joe wants it. Ryan suggests they call Joe and ask him.
Ryan nods at Claire and she dives for the floor as Ryan pulls out his gun and shoots Jordy in the shoulder.
Later, the FBI points fingers. Emma gave Jordy keys to the padlocked storm windows and told him to hide in an AC unit no one knew about.
Jordy's in surgery, but will live. Ryan tells Parker he wants to see Joe. "So you can break his other hand?" she asks.
Four guards file in with Ryan as he visits Joe.
Ryan tells Joe that Claire nearly died. Joe was hoping Ryan would get there in time for "a royal victory by the leading man that cements the love story."
He says Jordy was a mere puppy compared to some of the games he has in store for Joe. "I have so many surprises waiting for you," Joe says.
"Jordy was the first step in your return to form. You saved the day, how does it feel to be victorious? To kill the villain?" Joe taunts.
Ryan smiles. "I didn't kill him. Jordy's alive and well, he's in a cell down the hall. That wasn't part of the plan, was it?"
Joe dismisses Jordy as a halfwit who doesn't know the plan. "I'll be sure to tell him that when I speak to him," Ryan says.
The FBI re-secures Claire's house. She asks Ryan to stay. "I don't trust anyone but you," she says. He's not going anywhere. Claire snuggles on Joey's star sheets with his stuffed monkey.
At the country house, Joey's on the same sheets with the same monkey.
Paul checks in on him, then watches Emma and Jacob naked in bed.
In prison, Debra Parker brings Joe his reading material -- the complete tales and poems of Poe. He is intrigued.
Ryan pulls up a chair and sits watch over Claire as she sleeps.
On a street somewhere, a man in a Poe masks walks up to a man about to buy coffee from a food cart. Poe douses him in gasoline and lights him on fire.
- Many fans thought that Debra Parker was a follower from Joe when she gave him a book. She was eventually confirmed not to be a follower in The End is Near.
|The Following -- Season 1|
|#01 "Pilot"||#09 "Love Hurts"|
|#02 "Chapter Two"||#10 "Guilt"|
|#03 "The Poet's Fire"||#11 "Whips & Regret"|
|#04 "Mad Love"||#12 "The Curse"|
|#05 "The Siege"||#13 "Havenport"|
|#06 "The Fall"||#14 "The End is Near"|
|#07 "Let Me Go"||#15 "The Final Chapter"|
|#08 "Welcome Home"|