The Following Season Finale Recap: Boom Goes the Denouement [Updated]

The Following Season 1 Finale Recap The following recap contains spoilers for the season finale of The Following. If you haven’t watched yet, be gone! Everyone else, read on…

Remember the The Following‘s pilot, when a really evil, highly intelligent man slayed several prison guards in his intricately planned scheme to break free? Remember how shocking it was when one of his spindly limbed female followers showed up and shishkebabbed her own eyeball just to ensure that a note of terror would ring in the FBI’s ear for as long as her idol was alive?

RELATED | Season Finale Scoopapalooza: More Than 100 Spoilers on Your Fave Series’ Endgames

That version of The Following was scary because it gave off a sense that nothing was safe, that evil was better, smarter and faster than us, and that it lay in wait absolutely everywhere: In short, there was no haven from The Raven. This week’s season capper is just as expertly acted (if not more so) than the season premiere, but the fright it conveys is derived from jumpy moments of shock instead of the all-encompassing dread the series so beautifully built in its first outings.

Will that type of fear be as compelling in the series’ second season? And will our protagonist even be around to find out? Let’s review what went down in the season finale, “The Last Chapter.”

DEB IN A BOX | As Ryan’s peering out the sheriff’s office window, a kid wearing a Poe mask approaches the building and is stopped by an officer. For reasons I cannot fathom, no one makes the twerp take off the rubber mask until Ryan and Mike come outside – and even then, it doesn’t happen fast enough. Guys, this is the exact mask you saw in the followers’ hideout! Who’s to say that’s not just a really short insane-o? When the mask comes off, the kid inside tells them a woman named Emma gave him $20 to wear it to the station. Ryan finds a number written on the inside; when he calls it, Debra answers, because the followers left her a cell phone when they buried her alive.

She, understandably, is NOT OKAY about being interred by nutjobs in the middle of nowhere. Ryan asks a series of soothing questions to try to discern her location; Mike guesses she has, at best, five hours’ worth of air. Hardy, Weston and some backup ride off to where the followers’ car has been found. Soon after they arrive, though, Ryan realizes it’s a set-up… and that’s when Alex the follower begins shooting at the group. Hardy eventually creeps up on the sniper and stops him, then informs Captain Turner (you’ll remember him as the man who did not want Ryan connected to the case in any way) that they’ll transport Alex in their car. Unspoken by Ryan: “Because we’re going to beat the poo out of him until he gives up Debra’s location.” Actually spoken by Turner: “Do what you need to do.”

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE | Once they get him to an abandoned warehouse or something of the sort, Alex’s “I’ll never tell” ends the moment a lead pipe hits his legs and Ryan’s thumb enters his eye socket. (Ick. I will never get used to the eye trauma on this show.) Alex sings like it’s the Knockout Rounds, and as Ryan and Mike are on their way to the location he gives them, they talk to Debra again. She weakly asks her colleagues to tell her sister and parents that she loves them, then tells Mike “you’re a good man, don’t lose that” and informs Ryan “This is not on you… I am not your fault.” Mike is nearly crying as he promises that they’re almost there, which makes me love him all the more.

At the site, Alex watches while Mike and Ryan dig to save Deb. (Side note: Did anyone else think, from the way things were going, that this was going to be a fake-out site, with Deb actually languishing elsewhere?) But no, she’s actually in the crate – and she’s not breathing. For the love of God, will someone call for an ambulance or backup or anything? I’d settle for a well-outfitted AAA truck at this point. Ryan does about two seconds of CPR on his boss before deciding it’s a lost cause. Both men weep as Alex watches with a smile on his face, calling Deb’s death a “bummer.” His snarking is the only incentive Ryan needs to walk over and put a bullet through the acolyte’s forehead – woah – and then (nicely) threaten to shoot Mike if he tries to follow. See, the followers slipped a copy of Joe’s manuscript into the box with Debra, and Ryan knows exactly where he’s going.

TO THE LIGHTHOUSE | After a brief rendezvous with Emma that ends in him being drugged, Ryan wakes in a house near a lighthouse on the small island where Joe is keeping Claire. Earlier, we saw Joe’s ex needling him about his literary overkill (“It’s a motif, Claire” was my favorite part of that exchange) and meeting another captive, a poor guy who was hired to bring a boat to the island and then was hobbled so he couldn’t run. I’d care more about getting you that guy’s name if Joe hadn’t stabbed him violently in an odd bid to make Claire realize that she wasn’t responsible for the deaths of Joe’s college-student victims. “I earned them. I own them. They are mine,” he asserts.

Anyway, Joe’s still drinking and taking pain pills as he quizzes Ryan on when he first fell in love with Claire… and somehow turns it that Ryan was kinda sorta in love with Joe, too. It’s an interesting hypothesis, and not without basis: Whether it was romantic or just brotastic, Ryan looked quite happy the night that Joe invited him in for a drink, remember? I just wish it had been explored more before Joe was a sweating, half-drunk, whacked out loon with a gaping wound full of silverware festering underneath his natty turtleneck.

There’s lots of back-and-forth and Claire-threatening before Ryan manages to grab Joe’s gun and chase him out into the night. The men eventually do battle in a boathouse full of combustible materials; soon after a bullet pierces a fuel tank, the structure is aflame. Joe and Ryan exchange one last look before the place collapses, ostensibly killing Carroll. Yay?

The next morning, Mike and the FBI are on the scene. Dental records and DNA say the partial remains that have been recovered are Joe, but both Claire and Ryan look wary. He takes her back to Brooklyn, where they’re allowed exactly one relieved kiss before Molly breaks in and slices Ryan, outing herself as a follower as she tells him “You were always my chapter.” Claire exits the shower and finds Hardy gasping for air on the floor… then soon she’s down beside him after Molly stabs her, too! And… bloody scene!

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Are you wondering what happened to Ryan’s alcoholism and heart problems? Do you think Ryan and/or Claire will make it through to Season 2? And the biggie: Is Joe really dead? Grade the episode via the poll, then sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Pat D. says:

    Wow, pretty good ending, especially considering the disaster that was last week’s episode. Looking forward to a hopefully more even season 2, although I sure hope the “big bad” isnt emma—she doesnt seem capable of carrying a season like Joe Carroll.

    • Neanie says:

      Obviously joe is not dead. Emma will play a role next season, don’t you think? Iam so glad there is to be a second season. I was afraid this was the end. Yay!! Joe will never give up until he bests Ryan. Love it!!!

      • marie says:

        I think Joe has to be dead, or why would we have seen Emma in disguise watching the news over her diner dinner and bursting into tears? She’s big enough in Joe’s clan, and close enough to him – she seems to be one of the few he consistently trusts – that were there a scheme to have Joe disappear to safety while his captive (or a dentally-altered follower) stood in for Joe’s corpse, Emma would surely be aware of it. We’d have seen a demented, demonic little half-smile on her twisted face when she saw the TV news of Joe’s “death” instead of tears. Plus, how could the clan and Joe have known that his faked “death” would come down exactly as it did, i.e., with his “dying” in a convenient accidental fire, rather than in hand-to-hand combat with Ryan / Claire/ other agents? No, he’s dead all right. And Emma just MIGHT have enough “heft” as a character to carry the next season as the cult leader; in fact, that would be a rather novel idea, wouldn’t it, given her youth and gender?

        • B says:

          I don’t think it’s at all clear that Joe is dead. They mentioned finding “a” body – not two. Had Joe not somehow escaped (notice all that conveniently located water), they would have found him AND the other guy he stabbed to death.

          • Kris says:

            But…the body he stabbed was in the house, likely moved out of the room where he was stabbed, but it is not stated that Joe brought the the body to the boat house. So there should only be 1 body associated with the boat house. Unless I missed something.

        • KB says:

          The partial remains could be the guy that was stabbed by joe. Although I don’t know how Joe would have gotten him down to the boathouse in his condition. But assuming he did, the DNA results and dental records could be falsified by a Follower that works in the morgue.

        • Jennifer says:

          She may THINK he is dead, yes. I always had the impression, or maybe it was said or implied that Followers are not all privy to all parts of Joe’s plans. I think Rodrick or Jacob even commented on it once. They only know enough to do their part and I don’t care if the little hoe (Emma) was sleeping with him, I don’t believe she knew anything more then what Joe wanted her to know. If she is the new season two “psycho” I will probably not bother much with the show.

          • Janet Lippis says:

            I’m with you on that. I wanted Emma killed from the beginning and was disappointed when it didn’t happen last night. She is a very unlikable character and could never measure up to an evil guy like Joe.

        • Rambo, John Jay says:

          You make a very valid point in regards to Joe’s death and Emma!
          Thank you for your thoughts.


      • Pat D. says:

        Thats what I’m worried about—-it *seems* like they are setting up Emma to be next season’s “Joe Carroll”, and from what I’ve seen, neither the actress nor the character has the chops or charisma to fill that void. Of course, no matter who they get to replace Carroll, they have a HUGE act to follow, given Purefoy’s series-saving performance. Maybe they can get Trinity from Dexter, LOL.

        I really hope they dont pull that “He’s really not dead, whisked away in the nick of time” nonsense, it would be horribly cliched, and I’m also *hoping* the writers learned something from this season’s uneven nature.

        • Susan says:

          I agree. Please don’t have Joe live–don’t have it be a dream or something like that == that is soap opera stuff and would be a disappointment. I hope season 2 is as good as season 1, I am looking forward to it , but it will have a lot to live up to…

    • Brendan says:

      Emma did not die, so this episode was a fail for me.

      • Dave says:

        agreed. that beyotch needs a bullet between the eyes. and a couple more for good measure.

      • Michaelangelo says:

        I agree. It isn’t even fun to hate her character. She is just a nasty b1tch who deserved to die painfully. I’m not sure that I can watch a second season if she plays any role of significance in it.

        • Pat D. says:

          Agreed mostly—I dont mind her so much being on the show, but to be the main antagonist next season would REALLY be stretching it.

        • Mikael says:

          Exactly! Cersei from Game of Thrones is a good example of a character who’s fun to hate. Emma is just altogether unlikeable and needs to die. I’d like it if Joe did fake his death and didn’t clue Emma in because he’s just done with her. I wanted Claire to kill Emma too, but who knows if Claire is alive or not.

      • MaryAnn says:

        I don’t love to hate Emma, I just hate her, period. I could barely tolerate the scenes she was in this season, so I certainly don’t want her back next season.

        • Jennifer says:

          WOW, get out of my head! That is almost verbatim what I have been saying since first episode! I don’t know what it is with the women in this show but most I can barely tolerate, Emma least of all and I really don’t care much for the actress either. In Claire’s defense I will say I like Natalie more in this role then on Justified.

        • Layla says:

          She would look better and might have more charisma if she grew her hair out. Right now, she is just unattractive, but I can see how she might look better with more creative, feminine style

    • Dartgirl says:

      Remember when joe was watching video of Ryan and Claire in bed when Ryan said “you can’t kill me, I’m already dead”. Thought then that joe was setting up a fake death.

    • Paulus says:

      To make this series better they need to get James Patterson onboard as a writer, then maybe we could see life in The Following beyond Joe Carroll dragged into another series…..

  2. Jake says:

    I am a little disappointed. Coming off last weeks ep, I expected more.

  3. Tvfanatic says:

    I do like Kevin bacon in this Ryan role but is it wrong that I like joe better?! What does that say?!

  4. EJ says:

    Why didn’t they just bury Alex alive, instead? That would have been sweet justice.

    • John says:

      That’s exactly what we said!

      • Mickie says:

        Probably because the FBI would show up to pick up Debra’s body, and they’d hear him in there. They probably wouldn’t condone Ryan’s actions and they’d take him into custody.

    • The Beach says:

      That is so what I thought they were going to do. Fooled me.

    • SK says:

      That’s what I thought he would do. It would have been better – make him suffer as Debra did.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      That’s what I thought would happen as well. Why Ryan was kind enough to just shoot him is beyond me.

      • marie says:

        Ryan was reacting in the heat of the moment, I think, to Alex’s sneering comments; he was extremely outraged and just lost his cool, and reacting totally on instinct, he felt, Enough of this guy, and shot him.

        • MaryAnn says:

          Not to mention he could pass shooting him off as something necessary to other investigators. That certainly wouldn’t happen burying him alive. And Ryan only did it in the heat of the moment, as I think someone else already mentioned.

    • says:

      That is what I said lol

    • meme says:

      Uhhh, because they’d already alerted the rest of the FBI to the location in the woods, and if they’d shown up and found Alex buried in there, not only would they just dig him up, Mike and Hardy would be in DEEP doo doo. Hardy can explain having to shoot him. Having to bury him alive? Not so much.

  5. Doug-H says:

    Poor Annie Parisse… another show she leaves getting killed… I thought maybe she might last… Maybe she’ll find a show she can survive… otherwise a good ending… can you imagine if this show got lousy ratings and wasn’t picked up… its fans would get ticked… they were all done filming this before it started…

    • Gary says:

      I’m wondering if her sister isn’t a TWIN sister.

      • Jennifer says:

        Oh, dear God I hope not! Though the thought that Joe had a twin occurred to me after the explosion.

        • JakeK says:

          Hope not? It sucks for the actors when there killed off. They get all excited, steady job on a great show, and them bam buried alive. Twin sister sounds good to me.

          • Jennifer says:

            She was also murdered off of Law & Order years ago by a serial killer. I don’t know why but I’ve never been crazy about the actress. If the “twin” is fraternal I’d be ok with it.

      • Julie says:

        No twin. Remember, Debra specified her younger sister, Beth.

    • lll says:

      I just feel bad for Annie Parisse. Person of Interest killed her off because she had another show, and that other show (the Following) kills her off. Crying shame. Maybe Person of Interest will write her back into the storyline–that she survived the blast after all.

  6. N says:

    I’ll bet Joe is still alive!

    • Anon says:

      They confirmed his death though. With DNA testing of the teeth and all. Given that Kevin Williamson is the man behind Scream where the killer always pops up alive again before the end, they made sure to mention in tonight’s episode that they had to be sure it was him and he was dead.

      • Morgan says:

        It is not a stretch that a follower altered the results.

      • Jennifer says:

        I don’t care if they did have body, DNA and dental records, I highly doubt Joe is dead, a little burnt maybe but not dead.

      • Carrie says:

        Obviously you missed the “Body of Proof” episode where the burnt guy’s dental records and DNA checked out to be a 100% match only to discover the guy’s teeth were put into the real dead man’s body and a piece of his tibia taken out of his leg and left at the burn site, where nothing else was left of the body which left people to believe the guy was dead. Low and behold, said bad guy was alive and well ready to have his face changed before the cops nabbed him.

        If Ryan would have read the last chapter of the manuscript, he would have read how Joe chases him into the boat house and it explodes, DNA and dental records matching. He disappeared under the floor boards into the water before it exploded.

        Of course, as soon as Ryan said he was taking Claire back to his house and you still had 10 minutes left of the show, one would realize that the neighbor was waiting for them… Da…

        • David S says:

          That’s because no one else watches Body of Proof.

          Anyway, wouldn’t be surprised but I’m personally done with this show. It’s not on Hannibal’s level despite a great start, it dropped off really quickly. Well acted but so poorly written.

        • maggie says:

          That’s why Joe needed a body and the man he killed just short time before the explosion was it.

          • B says:

            That was my thought too. They mentioned finding “a” body – not two. Had Joe not somehow escaped (notice all that conveniently located water), they would have found him AND the other guy he stabbed to death.

          • MaryAnn says:

            No. They would have been talking about the boathouse fire, as in one body in the boathouse. The body in the lighthouse was a separate issue, and he would have been obvious.

        • Janet Lippis says:

          There was no last chapter. Remember Joe telling Ryan that they were writing the last chapter when he came to rescue Claire at the lighthouse.

        • Marty says:

          There was no final chapter – just the words ‘Final Chapter’ followed by blank pages. Joe said as much, when he mentions to Ryan & Claire,
          “We are writing the final chapter right now”…

        • Lorraine says:

          Any proof of death,as Dental, DNA, is Not proof, are we forgetting…NO ONE…is to be trusted, so therefore anything, such as proof , can ,and most def is planned …….

  7. Alichat says:

    GAH! I saw that ending coming from a mile away! Sheesh. I would have preferred that Claire killed the psycho neighbor. THAT would have surprised me. This….meh. And am I the only one who is wondering why Agent Parker didn’t try to untie her hands?…..use your teeth woman….or kick her way out?….she was only buried about a foot deep….something….why not feel around in the box for something, anything to cut her restrains….find the book…read the ending, which probably said exactly where she was buried? Could we have had a moment at the end when Ryan at least said out loud that he didn’t bring Mike because he didn’t want him to die?

    • Snark says:

      uh, hello, Agent Parker had her cell phone. Why didn’t they triangulate her position – always seems to be automatic when they are tracking the bad guys on other shows. Could have found her alot quicker that way. Silly, silly show.

      • Kayla says:

        I appreciate good snark, Snark, but they addressed this as they were trying to trace it. Silly Snark.

      • brendan says:

        they tried to but said they (the followers) were bouncing the signals off a bunch of different towers.. the phone was left on purpose, the number inside the mask the little boy had on was the number for the phone in the coffin…. it was all done to frustrate ryan.

      • Steven Meredith says:

        They said they were bouncing her signal off of a encrypted site or something…it was covered…they couldn’t triangulate.

    • Mortisha says:

      The phone was from Joe’s side, so they couldn’t trace it since the cult is very good at routing their devices through lots of different cell towers.

      • BB says:

        The phone was a blackberry. Was GPS and data disabled? At least open the map app and see if the phone would pinpoint her

        • Atria says:

          I can’t get GPS to work in my house what makes you think its going to work underground. You actually have to have a decent view of the sky to get in touch with the satelites

        • Mary Carlson says:

          They said something about the way the calls were routed.

          • Doug says:

            They explained that the inbound call to the cell phone was elaborately routed to avoid trace. But why didn’t she just hang up the phone and CALL THEM DIRECTLY? Then they could have easily traced the call. I hate these little lapses of logic.

  8. dude says:

    very good ending bring on season 2

  9. CG says:

    They have to stop killing off the folks I like. I get the power of losing dear characters (hello, Whedonverse), but you can’t kill everyone.

  10. Deb Saine says:

    totally predictable …

    • tripoli says:

      Hate to say it, but I have to agree. Cannot disagree more with this review and comparing this not at all suspenseful epsiode to the awesome pilot. Knew they’d be too late to save Parker. Knew that we wouldn’t really be 100% sure that Joe is dead. Until I see a corpse, there’s still a chance he pulled another expert move. Was also rather annoyed that Ryan and Claire just went back to his place, with not a care in the world. Joe may be “dead” but plenty of followers are still out there. Was just waiting for Molly to pop in and cause some damage. Yup, there she is. And she managed to take down Ryan and Claire. Of course. Was really expecting so much more from the finale. I will probably tune in for season 2 but if it doesn’t remedy some of the obvious flaws from season 1, I won’t stick around for long.

      • Katherine215 says:

        It’s not like they went back to his apartment alone. They had guards on the building. How was Ryan to know Mad Molly was waiting for them? They can’t assume every single person in the world is a follower.

        • tripoli says:

          No, they can’t but it seems pretty stupid to go back to a place that is known to the followers. At this point they should have a pretty healthy suspicion of anyone and everyone.

      • Susan says:

        I so agree with you, hoping Claire and Ryan survive. I knew the neighbor was still around and just waited till she showed up and of course she does. There were some really stupid moves in the finale episode, but I will give season 2 a try to see where everyone ended, but if it starts with all new characters then Im done. All those weeks watching for a final episode like that, well that STINKS!!!

      • Wilbur says:

        Them going back to Ryan’s apartment in Brooklyn made NO sense! They were in Maryland. Her son Joey was in Washington. Ryan says they will fly to D.C. on Monday. They drove 4 hours from Maryland to Brooklyn for the weekend so they can fly back to Maryland?

  11. Tom says:

    Anyone think that they gave up giving Debra CPR rather quickly?

    • Em says:

      For real! So after like 5 chest compressions and 2 breaths we’re just going to give up? I hope Ryan Hardy isn’t around if I ever need CPR

      • Xarias says:

        That is EXACTLY what I thought, and who has someone keep talking, (using up the air), when they are BURIED?????

        • Angie says:

          Wonder if someone did actually get her to start breathing again (after Ryan left). I didn’t see the show after this part, so not sure if they addressed her or showed her body again. She could actually pop up in Season 2 still. I was proven wrong (so far) when she didn’t turn out to be part of the cult following. I thought all along that she would be revealed to be a big part of Joe’s group.

    • Morgan says:

      Not just that. Mike just crouched there when he could have assisted Ryan and given her a better shot. Although, I’m not gonna miss her. Her character was dumb as hell.

      • Kathleen says:

        I think Joe is still alive – & that the info relative to DNA & his supposed death is from an inside “Follower”.

    • She was probably cold already. CPR is only good for keeping blood flowing into the brain during cardiac arrest. The longer the brain is deprived of oxygen, the more damage is done. She was long brain dead and you just can’t restart a heart without a defibrillator, or at least have Jacob touch you with island magic.

      • Tom says:

        Nice lost reference. As for her being cold, they were just talking to her 5 minutes before, correct? She may have been gone, but at least give a couple more minutes CPR to try.

    • Susan says:

      Yeah think, and where was the ambulance. They new she was buried when they went looking for her. So much that didn’t make a pound of sense.

  12. George2k says:

    Epic fail …. wow the FBI on this show Suck lol

    • gigi says:

      AGREE!!!!!!! & the absurdity of the FBI blunders just totally lost me. this show needs a law enforcement consultant STAT!

  13. Tanner says:

    Good ending. My prediction is in Season 2, It will show Ryan and Claire getting shanked again by Molly, but Ryan will wake up in bed next to Claire because it was all a bad dream. I hope. lol.

    • MCrane says:

      That was my first thought – That it was a dream … BUT, last thing Ryan knew before he passed out in the barn was that Emma and some other guy were there … Soooo … How come he doesn’t seem more concerned that “THE FOLLOWERS” are still out there ???

    • Mark says:

      I thought that too, but he doesn’t know that she is a follower, so he wouldn’t dream about her stabbing them.

    • I never thought about the dream but how would Ryan know to dream about Molly? Because I don’t think he knows Molly is one of Joe’s followers yet, does he?

    • marie says:

      A dream? That particular “twist” is stale and a cop-out. I know the writing on this show is often sub-par, but I hope they wouldn’t stoop that low.

  14. Tom says:

    I guess I just thought that it was a typical, predictable Kevin Williamson/ Scream-like twist ending. The kind of ending that would have been shocking 10 years ago, but now that we come to expect. I enjoyed it, but like most, totally called the nurse being in his apartment the minute he said that they were going to his place. BTW, was that a random FBI agent at the door, or was it someone we had seen before?

    • dee123 says:

      Well this is all basically a Scream movie. If 5 was to of gone ahead it would of been a cult of Ghostfaces after Sidney.

  15. Barney Fillher says:

    How do they extend this another season? Is Mike the lead agent? Emma can’t carry a second season. There must be a twist of some sort. Bacon and Claire get rescued before they die of the stabbings.

    • Wilbur says:

      I was thinking the same thing as soon as I finished watching it. I was even wondering if there would be a second season! I Googled the show to see if there was an info and found this site. There has to be some twist. I agree with everyone that Emma can’t carry a second season. Joe could still be alive. Maybe, he did plant the body of the man he stabbed in the boathouse or maybe someone in the coroner’s office is one of the cult and altered the results. They make the point of says the results are preliminary. Did anyone else think that was pretty fast DNA and dental results?

  16. laurak says:

    Joe had that guy captive for the sole purpose of using his body as a stand-in for him when he faked his death. His followers would have easily replaced Joe’s dental records. The show needs Joe!

    • Morgan says:

      My thoughts exactly. Joe just happened to run into a building loaded with gasoline? Come on! They kill everybody. They kept that guy to use a stand in for Joe.

    • courtney says:

      thank you!!! that’s exactly what I thought. plus, am I the only one who thought joe looked like he was watching ryan when the garage or whatever burst into flames? it looked like he was laying on the floor, watching ryan, and then started screaming to make ryan think joe was dying, leave, and then joe could run out too. maybe I was imagining things?

  17. Jack D. says:

    Really predictable ending-would have loved to see Claire have been the one who snapped and knifed Ryan in the end-but geez-Hardy and this section of the FBI are SOOOOO ineffectual-I wouldn’t want this team trying to help me out, esp Ryan Hardy(at least the little boy survived, but that was more due to the serial killer than to Hardy-maybe the little boy comes back in season ten to pick up where daddy left off)

  18. John says:

    Can’t believe Agent parker is dead. The guy cop got his life threatened at least 4 times but when she gets her threatened once she dies right away.

  19. Mike says:

    The people that did the the teting of the dental records and the dna records are followers im willing to bet. I believe joe is still very much alive. There is no way this show can continue on with him dead. That will be the cliffhanger to start season 2.

  20. Mike says:

    ^^ correction the testing of the dna and dental records are followers

  21. hrp says:

    love the show but really was dissapointed with this ending,.. they really cant have another season without joe. i was hoping for a twist, like parker being one on the followers..oo well, until next season

  22. Henry M. says:

    This show fails big time and is so predictable. It depicts thr FBI as real dumbos and the cult as being the smart ones. How can a a whole cult of people live in a big big house and the law can’t find them but the cult can find Claire and Joey anytime they want. Come on writers, make this a little more real please. I even told my wife that his ex girl friend was in the house. Fail fail fail

  23. Have to admit, was slightly disappointed. I just felt the story… didn’t really improve much from the overall season, and I was given even fewer reasons to go through into season 2. (Or, at least, wait week-by-week for season 2 episodes instead of just marathoning them after the season is over.)

    I am skeptical about Joe Carroll being dead because we have seen his followers do things the FBI seemingly never can work out. And we were told only seven were captured, yet we know the roots Roderick was growing (and it really was his operation, with Carroll acting as the figurehead) went deep and went far.

    But the entire “Is Carroll dead?” question feels flat. I was a little surprised they killed Agent Parker but I didn’t really connect with her as much, even though we’ve had her for 14 episodes. I don’t know, because she came in afterwards, and all the people who came in afterwards suffered horrible fates, I felt distant from her. Now, if they had killed Mike, I would have been far more shocked. It would have been much more shocking than the death of Agent Parker and even the coldblooded execution of the Follower who led Ryan and Mike to Parker in the first place.

    I also thought them not showing or even mentioning Ryan’s neighbor slash shagbuddy was a clear indication she was coming up in the last scene. I honestly thought we’d see her slit Claire’s throat instead of stabbing her in the non-general back (if she comes back alive, will Claire be paralyzed now?)… you obviously can’t kill Kevin Bacon, this isn’t that kind of shock-TV. And so much for the boy Joey being so integral – all we got was an off-screen reference to the character who DOMINATED the first ten or so episodes of the season.

  24. Christine says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the CPR efforts for Debra were a little stunted? I mean, they were only about ten minutes away- who knows how long she had not been breathing. Maybe try for a little longer than 15 seconds…

    • Jennifer says:

      Me too! I couldn’t believe when he stopped! It made me worry for a minute that maybe Mike really was a Follower which thankfully he isn’t as of yet. I half expected the book to tell Ryan something about Mike besides Mike supposeding being dead.

  25. Mike says:

    I think they killed off to many of the main characters, parker,jacob,joe and etc. tho i still believe joe is alive. The whole show is centered around ryan and joe so how could they continue on with him dead. I just cant see emma or anyone else carry a whole season as the leader of the cult

    • Morgan says:

      I don’t have a problem with them killing off a lot of main characters. They used to do it on OZ dang near every episode. I’m used to it and I think it adds to the unpredictability of a show.

  26. Mel says:

    So i really love this show…But the thing i really like about tv shows, that you never get in movies, is character development. The problem with this show is as the characters develop they get killed off.

  27. Jerry says:

    I was actually secretly hoping the creators were going to pull an American Horror Story on us and wrap this up in a bow and present a new story with the same actors next year.

    Because really, where do we go from here? Cult serial killer of the week? Zzz. I figured that would be the plot of season 2 weeks ago but I was hoping Joe would be in [a real] prison this time and have to help track them down

  28. jrogers13 says:

    No way Joe is dead – complete setup – and who is the Alabama girl?

    • kate says:

      pretty sure that was Emma in a wig.

    • Mike says:

      I agree. There is noway that joe is dead. He will be back next season wrecking havoc on ryan. its a major setup. The only way i see him dying is in a series finally not a season final or at least not a season 1 final.

      • EMO says:

        I think for season 2 they will make it so that Joe is alive, but of course, it’s totally implausible that he could survive the two stabbings, the infection and loss of blood he must have from the stabbings, and that fire! Yet I think they wanted you to believe he died because they threw in that scene with Emma in her bad wig (she’s been watching the Americans apparently!) crying at the bar. Another option is that season 2 becomes Weston and Roderick’s Revenge!

  29. Mike says:

    If joe is really dead i doubt if i will watch much of season 2 it would be like having a whole new cast.I can see replacing some of the followers but how do you replace the leader of the cult and the second in command (Rodrick) after just 1 season

  30. Dave says:

    I hope Joe really is dead, he was just a rambling, annoying mess by the finale. Good riddance. And I think Emma is crazy enough to plan her revenge on Ryan & Mike. I’m guessing Ryan & Claire will survive Molly’s attack – Ryan being superhuman and all, he will have a struggle with Molly and kill her. Claire will be hospitalized, or, depending on Natalie Zea’s schedule – she is on a lot of shows! – dead. I felt bad for Agent Parker but I won’t really miss her come Season Two.

  31. bob says:

    I really was upset with how poorly this episode was done in all manners. The comments about how deep she was buried is a good point and bad directing the cell phone I get they might not have been able to triangulate it but at least attempt for story. And if you didn’t notice when Ryan pulled the gun on his partner when he went “alone” he shot at his foot with last bullet but still pointed it like was loaded , bad directing… The entire ending was pathetic. The whole scene was very poorly done from visuals to story to even acting. I was extremely bored with this show and it started off so good. It does not deserve a Season 2 there is way to much competition in Television in 2013 to have this many mistakes in story and directing.

    • cargirl says:

      How and why did they bring ambulances and police cars to an island? Give me a break!

      • Insomnoir says:

        Ryan drove there with the directions from the manuscript. When Claire first ran out of the house and noticed the lighthouse and the beach, I also assumed it was an island. However, it could have just as easily been a coastal lighthouse, which it turned out to in fact be.

  32. Jennifer says:

    I don’t care if they have body, DNA and dental records, I’m not convinced Joe’s dead, a little crispy maybe but not dead. I’m thinking whoever “confirmed” the body is a Follower. Mike said they had a hand full of Followers in custody, but those are the ones FBI knows about. An explosion on water can lead to great season two surprises. It’s funny that I care more about the Joe thing then what Crazy ass Molly did to Claire and Ryan.

  33. MaryAnn says:

    So are Ryan and Claire dead? I just can’t believe that they are. How soon will we know casting for season 2 so we can confirm who is actually coming back?

  34. david says:

    I felt that it was a very well done finale. I feel that this is what a finale should have. However, I still feel that this show would have been better as a 12ep season cable show.
    (and it will probably suck nevermore, err i meant next year)

  35. bob says:

    As for a Season 2 since I guess there is going to be one. The one way that will even make sense or work that could make sense is Joe is Alive, I mean think about the guy who was at the lighthouse with them. What was his purpose? He was there for a reason. Him being the body they find for Joe and something pre planned for dental would fit. And it was a big topic how bad of a storyteller Carrol is and he is so “predictable” so what better way then to shock everyone with such great execution and trickery . Just a thought. Because no one else as everyone says can make this show work. Joe’s character made this show even work the way it did to hold an audience a whole season with crap directing. This show was covered up by Carrols amazing acting and violent acts that we lost sight of how horrible of a job they did on it. You see it clearly towards the end of the season when things tone down a bit how bad this is Directed.

  36. Susie says:

    Joe is not dead…that is all.

  37. kavyn says:

    Was that cliffhanger not predictable to anyone else? The moment they were back at Ryan’s place the first thing that popped into my head was “That crazy neighbour that wanted to kill Ryan is there”, and when the FBI agent knocked the door for the first time I thought “Someone’s going to break in.”

    And lo-and-behold, both things happened. With Emma not being set up as season 2’s big bad, it’s pretty obvious to me Joe Carol isn’t gone. I have no real desire to tune in for season 2 considering the only thing I cared about was Jacob’s storyline, everyone else is too over-the-top.

    • Thank you – that was indeed so very predictable in every way. Almost as if they wanted to stay true to what Ryan’s almost final words to Joe were: I’m sooooo bored with you.

      Also: Ryan killed that Alex guy, but he’s getting away with it? No investigation? No questions? He just gets to go home?

      • gigi says:

        and WHO opens up a take out flimsy take out bag w/ a 10″ chef’s knife??? DUH!!! the pilot was so good & it just got stupider & stupider as the season went on…so disappointing…

    • I still like the fact that, after all the trauma, instead of showing Claire going to her loving son Joey (the major plot point for so long), we see her go to Brooklyn to hook up with a guy that kinda ditched her a few years ago. And then she gets stabbed.

      Poor Joey, now that I think about it.

      • Wilbur says:

        Exactly! And they drove 4 hours from Maryland to Brooklyn when Joey was in D.C.? Why? To have sex in Ryan’s dump of an apartment? That made no sense!

    • thejazzyman says:

      Predictable… I was expecting Molly attack was in his future shortly prior to joes death. Maybe the FBI agents heard the scream and break in just in time… Oh wait, that would only happen if they were competent… Why would that change now, I mean they know how well the cult infiltrated places, why did they not have the guard posted outside the door in an apartment building.

    • Wilbur says:

      The show has been renewed for a second season. After the ending, I wondered if there was going to be a second season.

  38. Mike says:

    ^^ Very good points

  39. BamaEd says:

    I’m so glad this season is over. I didn’t love the premiere episode but stayed with it and it turned to hate watching around halfway through the season. The FBI was made out to be the lamest set of law enforcement this side of the Keystone Kops. How were the followers smarter than them? They were mush brained idiots led astray by someone with all the charisma of wallpaper paste. Don’t get me started on the buried alive scene. Finally they should have killed Emma. The most annoying character always seems to survive though. Glad I’m done. The actors deserve much better than this show.

  40. Anonymous says:

    It was so good. It kept me in suspense. I think that Ryan and Claire will be alright and I don’t think Joe is dead. I think in the next season we will see Joe along with Emma and the rest of his followers.

  41. bob rice says:

    The FBI can track cell phones to within 10 feet. I guess the writers didn’t know that.When the audience is smarter than the cops, it’s a big let down and screaming at the TV.

    • thejazzyman says:

      That was the first thing they tried, the signal was bouncing off towers across the world like all of the other cult phones

    • Jennifer says:

      I’m surprised she even heard the phone ring with all that screaming she was doing. I mean, seriously?? I realize she’s in a really bad situation but God-almighty, knock off the screaming banshee act, get a grip and at least save your oxygen! If that is how Quantico trains FBI it’s no wonder they were chasing their tails for so long. Another thing, just how long does a blackberry screen stay lit when in use?

      • Daniel says:

        When the phone started to ring the display lit up, being in the coffin with no light at all the phone would have made a noticeable difference. I’m willing to say that she might not have necessarily heard the first ring but the change in light.

      • Katherine215 says:

        Seriously? Go get nailed into a coffin and BURIED ALIVE and see how logical you are. Of all the things to nitpick, you chose her being frightened?

      • CountryQueen says:

        Sooooo, you think that being thrown into a coffin, in the middle of nowhere, wouldn’t cause YOU to scream your butt off? Right. How callous of you to say “get a grip.” That was very realistic, and stayed with me the entire week. Being buried alive would be one of the worst ways to die.

  42. Michael says:

    Matching dental records make me think of James Stenbeck and how he got his stooge Nick’s teeth ‘fixed’ on AS THE WORLD TURNS; I’m sure Joe found a ‘follower’ who was willing to undergo some dental surgery to have matching records made.

    Joe will be back and it’ll be a huge shock in the last minutes of the season 2 finale. That’s my guess.

    I wasn’t surprised Annie’s character was killed off and I doubt Natalie’s will survive. Both are great actresses who like to go from project to project. I really liked the cast of this show, but all the surprise stabbings got old and predictable.

  43. Flo says:

    “Kill him! GO KILL HIM!” … what is it with the bad writing in most finales?!
    But I gotta give them 2 things: First, I really thought Debra wasn’t in that crate, so it made for a good surprise. And second, the final 3 minutes were, not awesome, but good.
    Sadly, no more then that.

  44. okay Claire and Ryan have to pull out of this alive!!!! it already sucks that Debra died and I do so hope Joe is dead there is Emma who’s still alive n can cause mayhem

  45. thejazzyman says:

    Who was the Asian girl in the restaurant, was this the first we saw of her? Maybe she’ll be the start if season two.

  46. darcy's evil twin says:

    I think I am finished with this program. Stupid law enforcement continually walking alone into dark buildings and getting captured, tortured, and even killed by even stupider, bumbling serial killers, only to either escape or get rescued to be captured and tortured another day. How many times to FBI agents go wandering into dark buildings and hallways by themselves before they figure out it really isn’t a good idea? And WHY would Ryan and Claire go back to HIS place for crying out loud? And how does an entire army of serial killers hide out and remain unnoticed in Maryland? Maryland, of all places! Of course those “Blair Witch” idiots got lost in the vast wilderness in Maryland.

    finally, I’m so upset that Annie Parisse was killed off – she was killed off in “Law&Order” – a much better program!

  47. Dave says:

    It is plausible that when Joe killed that guy in the lighthouse in front of Claire, that he may have been stabbing him the same place on his body where Claire stabbed Joe… Hmm that would be another identifier also, even if badly burned. With the doctored dental records its plausible…

  48. Frankie says:

    The scene was very dark so I couldn’t tell if joe stabbed the poor neighbor/body double in the exact spot he was stabbed by Claire to make the charred remains even more believable. Anyone able to she’d light on that?

    • tripoli says:

      Didn’t think of it at the time, but you (and Dave above you) raise a good point. I am not convinced Joe is dead and we didn’t get a clear reason for the other guy being there, so that idea seems pretty plausible.

      • Didi says:

        I agree. That guy being there seemed out of place, so there must be more to it than we saw so far.
        Plus, the series can’t really be carried by Emma as big baddie. Roderick maybe, but they killed him off. So Joe has to be alive.
        Or they hire Clooney and turn it into a medical drama about Hardy recuperating from his wounds in the hospital.

    • Pat D. says:

      No way…IIRC, Joe stabbed that poor guy like 10 times—dont think that would be a good double for forensics, LOL. But you do bring up a good point—why did Joe keep that guy there in the first place?

  49. Taylor says:

    It wasn’t expecting this show to drag-on to a second season, or an ending like this. I came in tonight wanting closure.

    They killed off all my favorite characters: Paul Torres, Roderick, Charlie (the follower who Carol stabbed) and Vince (the militia follower who was dealing arms).

    Hopefully season 2 delivers more memorable characters like this, and on a side note I believe Joe isn’t dead either. The show would be weak without him, and Emma just doesn’t have what it takes to lead a cult.

    Sucks that Ryan Hardy and Claire got stabbed in the end, but I’m sure season 2 will kick off with the FBI kicking the door down and killing Molly.

  50. Insomnoir says:

    I do not believe that Joe is dead. Emma and the man who injected Ryan were two of the followers left at the lighthouse. Emma in the wig sobbing over the news story of Joe’s death seemed to be actual grief, so perhaps she was not in on his escape plan. Roderick mentioned contingency plans and such earlier in the series. Being that there was time to set up the lighthouse as a final battleground, there was plenty of time to devise an escape plan. Joe lured Ryan into the lighthouse filled with explosives and ended up trapped on the far side of the room away from Ryan’s grasp. There could be an escape route built into the other side of the lighthouse, and the man that drugged Ryan could have been waiting there to get Joe to safety. If the lighthouse had exploded with both Ryan and Joe standing there looking at each other, I would assume they were both dead. However, Ryan had plenty of time to get clear of the blast which left a possibly charred Joe time to escape. If Joe was as brilliant as he was supposed to be, he would not have backed himself into this corner without a plan to escape.

    Others have brought up that Followers could be doctoring the tests. This is a fairly solid theory since they seem to be everywhere and the FBI, in TV Land, has completely incompetent screening procedures. However, it could also be the corpse of a relative of Joe’s doctored up a bit and brought to the scene as part of the elaborate escape plan. Unless they ship the pieces of the corpse to the Jeffersonian and have it confirmed by Temperance herself, I wont be satisfied that the “preliminary dental and DNA records” from a corpse that was in the epicenter of a massive explosion are those of Joe Carroll.

    Hopefully they finish the final scene in the beginning of Season 2 and then give us a time jump into the future after the characters have had time to heal back up before Joe or someone seeming to impersonate Joe reactivates the members of his cult. Assuming that he lives, I’m sure Ryan’s heart can use the downtime.

    During the scene in which Joe explained that he had been stabbed with a knife and fork, I was waiting for Ryan to ask him for a spoon.

    • Dee says:

      How about this. Next season starts 7 years later when Joe’s son is grown and turns out to be like his father! He is the new “Joe”. Ryan survives!