The Following Premiere Recap: Say It Ain't Joe! -- Plus: Double Talk from a New Cast Member

The Following Season 2 PremiereFox’s The Following opened Season 2 on Sunday night by promptly tending to one piece of grisly, unfinished business.

Picking up where Season 1 left off, FBI Agent Ryan Hardy’s “Carroller” neighbor Molly stabbed not just him but lady love Winona Claire, as well. Yet while Ryan survived, we learn that Claire did not.

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Jumping ahead a year, Ryan is living in New York City, teaching criminology at a college and hanging with his NYPD specialist niece Max (90210‘s Jessica Stroup). Five months sober, he has Keith Carradine for a kung fu mentor an AA sponsor. Claire’s son Joey (“Joey?!?!”) is in WITSEC with grandma. When a trio of men wearing (quite nifty) Joe Carroll masks assault several passengers on a subway car — on the anniversary of Joe’s death, and on the No. 6 train, of course — both Ryan and FBI Agent Mike Weston (suspended until review of Ryan’s shooting of the Carroller who taunted them after Parker’s burial alive) are pulled into the case by FBI Agent Ken Phillips (NYPD Blue‘s James McDaniel). Lily Gray (Boss’ Connie Nielsen), a survivor of the subway slayings, reports that the masked men chanted, “Joe Carroll is alive! Ryan Hardy can’t stop us! The resurrection is coming!” But Ryan renders himself useless: “It’s over for me,” he tells a disappointed/suspect Mike.

And yet… it is far from over for Ryan. For it is revealed that a locked room of his apartment is dedicated to the hunt for Joe Carroll, and that Max (somewhat begrudgingly) abets him. Following a lead, Ryan tracks one of the known surviving Carrollers, Carlos, and beats him into confirming that Joe did indeed survive the boathouse explosion. Elsewhere, we see that Emma is currently living in New Jersey (and with a very new ‘do), and was caught off guard by Carlos’ subway stunt.

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Meanwhile, we meet an enigmatic young man named Luke (Dexter‘s Sam Underwood), who flirts with, confronts and then apparently strangles a young blonde. And then he cuddles with her. And dances with her. And sings to her. And primps her. When it comes time to move her body, Luke solicits a helping hand… from his twin, Mark. They pose the corpse across the street, dressed as the Claire-like character in Carroll’s book — in what is considered a “specific message” for Ryan.

Later, the twins meet up with Giselle (Last Resort‘s Camille De Pazzis), and they punish Carlos by stabbing him again and again making him stand in a corner. As the episode draws to a close, we cut to a remote cabin, where a woman named Judy (everything‘s Carrie Preston) has just turned a trick, while a young girl (Southland‘s Tiffany Boone) spies a news broadcast about the subway attack. The lass beckons for “Darryl” outside, and as he lumbers in, we discover that beneath this man’s bushy beard is Joe. And he appears quite pleased to see Ryan on the telly.

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What did you think of The Following‘s Season 2 opener?TheFollowing_SamUnderwood (The next episode airs Monday, Jan. 27 at 9/8c.) Vote in our poll below, after reading our brief chat with new cast member Sam Underwood, who was surprised to find himself pulling “double” duty.

TVLINE | I assume that you knew that it was two roles going in…?
Honestly, no. When I went in for the screen test, it was revealed to me, but at first I was told it was one guy with “many different personalities.”

TVLINE | How are you and the show defining these two guys? What’s different about them?
I really think that [series creator] Kevin Williamson has done an amazing job of not just having these two be crazy, psychopath twin serial killers. You really find out over the course of this season so far, and I’m sure more so in the future, their individual character arcs. They’re not joined at the hip like Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, in that kind of sense.

TVLINE | Well, at first blush, it looks like Luke’s a bit more unhinged.
There is definitely a different quality about them, and what’s interesting is that, a twin relationship thing… Shawn Ashmore (who plays Mike Weston) is actually a twin so I was asking him about that. Luke is definitely the alpha male in personality, but he always checks in with his brother for permission, like, “Can I do this?” So as Mark, I never feel like I’m kind of being led, I always feel like I am leading as well. But we have a different language, different strengths as individuals.

TVLINE | Mark seems much more quiet.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, he’s definitely a lot more reserved publicly in speaking to people than Luke is. Luke’s more of an extrovert in that way.

TVLINE | What’s their respective relationship with the new girl, Giselle (Last Resort‘s Camille De Pazzis)?
Luke and Mark have a very, very strong relationship with her — and you’ll find out more about what that is. But I can’t give too much away.

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. ann says:

    I was irritated that it started 15 minutes early! The rest of it was great, though.

    • Pat D. says:

      LOL, I was irritated when it ENDED early—my listings said 10:30-12, I thought it was one of those 90 minute premieres. Didnt mind it starting early, I was still watching the NFL Postgame at the time.

      • DYS says:

        It listed an hour and a half for me as well earlier in the day, but by night the guide changed it to show an hour starting at 9:30 central time. It didn’t affect me either but I wonder how many people missed out on part of it.

    • Vi says:

      Missed the whole subway scene. My guide also showed 10:30-12:00. Not a football fan so my DVR started at 10:30. Hope it’s on demand so I can catch what was missed. Not all shows are on demand and some aren’t available for days. 🙈

    • Alex says:

      It didn’t start early. Times following live sporting events are always approximate, but I guess sometimes the networks overestimate the intelligence of viewers by assuming they should know this basic fact by now. *eyeroll*

      • Nat R says:

        Everyone, Alex is right. Something starting BEFORE the DVR says it will, and should be set to record, is not starting early.

    • DaveATX says:

      I’m in the Central time zone, and my TV Guide said it would be from 9:30pm-11pm. It started exactly on time but then ended at 10:15pm. Who the heck ever heard of a 45-minute season premiere? Weird.

    • Diana F says:

      Irritated doesn’t come close to what I went thru. The show was start at 7:30PM PST and end at 9:00 PM, per the official guide. SO, fans that we are and given the extended, 90 minute “premiere”, we decided to have a “Premiere Party”. Yah, that’s right, went all out with a party for 15 family and friends…$150+ on food that I slaved over for 2 days, plus another $150+ for wines. We billed ourselves as the anti-football, pro-murder group, DYING to see this episode.

      So when we tune in EXACTLY at 7:30, something seemed…….amiss. Hmmmmm. Strange looks all around….proverbial head scratching around the room. But the Scrolling Guide still said 7:30 to 9 so we couldn’t have missed something……figured maybe the show was not yet mentioning what happened on the last episode with Claire & Ryan quite yet because, well….it’s The Following. AHA! I’ve got it! Bet they planned on Flashing Back! Whew. Relief. About the time we all decide on the Flash Back Idea, and I was serving another tray of Goat Cheese rolled in Cocoa Nibs served on Garlic Bruschetta, I look up ……. after a commercial to see something so not The Following. We thought, well….maybe it’s one of those odd extended commercials? More head scratching and quizzical looks all around. THEN WE REALIZE THE EPISODE IS OVER…at 8:15!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8:15…no friggin way…..the guide STILL said 7:30 to 9, but….it ended, then called itself a PREVIEW……….and said “be sure to tune in NEXT MONDAY for the SEASON 2 PREMIERE of THE FOLLOWING”, and told us that what we just saw was a PREVIEW. We eventually figured the damn episode STARTED EARLY as well……Total buzz kill……………
      WTF times infinity!!!!!

      It’s a week later and I am still pissed!!!

  2. Pat D. says:

    A rather cliched way of Joe surviving the blast, but at least they got his survival definitively out of the way ahead of time rather than drawing it out for the whole season.

    Not sure how I feel about this premiere—on one hand, this ep kinda worries me that the writers didnt learn anything from the absurdity or continuity errors of last season, what with Ryan in full foot pursuit of a suspect, with no pacemaker problems in sight—did he get some kind of bionic heart upgrade since last season?

    • neums says:

      My takeaway from him not having problems is that, since he got sober, he’s taking better care of himself, i.e. jogging in the morning helps his endurance and his heart which was able to have him chase down Carlos like he did with little issue until, well, the whole cab hitting him part.

    • GuessWhat says:

      Ryan is not human. How else can you explain he survives everything? It’s laughable!

  3. enri says:

    It was alright. I’m bummed about Claire. They got rid of so many good characters.

  4. A.D. says:

    Not happy that this started 10 minutes earlier than scheduled and missed the first 10 min. epic fail FOX!

    • Alex says:

      The schedule following a live sporting event was approximate, duh. Epic fail, A.D.!

      • r0ckmypants says:

        No, the schedule following the live sporting event was The OT. Which stands for overtime. Which means Fox had planned for that show to end at 10:30 and The Following to begin. That’s not what happened.

      • Katherine215 says:

        When has that ever been the case? Yes, sometimes shows following live sporting events are later, but I can’t recall any starting earlier. And really, it was more a fail of Fox to schedule the NFC game for 4 hours – games typically last 3ish hours with some yapping after. Most people are used to scheduling DVRs for longer, but my DVR didn’t even give the option of starting a recording more than 10 minutes early.

  5. A says:

    I can’t even make sense of this recap. I imagine the episode was the same.

  6. Dave says:

    Pissed about Claire, but I like the addition of Jessica Stroup. And the twins are freaky and HOT!

  7. Et al. says:

    My DVR cut off the beginning. Fox really screwed this up.

  8. Kristen M. says:

    Not sure what to make of Ryan putting on that Joe mask at the end. Symbolic or just plain weird?

  9. Allen says:

    Would have been easier to digest if they didn’t kill off basically all the cast last year. Hopefully this new season brings together writing.

  10. Kevin says:

    I missed the start too but I do see they are replaying the premiere right before the second episode January 27.

  11. Gilda says:

    Though I appreciated that the stakes are high and no one is safe, I have trouble getting invested in any characters when they’re almost certainly going to die or be evil.

  12. Meredith says:

    Love, love, love the addition of Jessica Stroup and can’t wait to see how Carrie Preston is integrated! Looking forward to seeing how this season plays out.

  13. wrstlgirl says:

    I missed the beginning too because FOX started it early. Thanks a lot FOX :-(

    • Alex says:

      It did NOT start early. It followed a live sporting event, which clearly indicated that the start time was approximate, and viewers should plan accordingly. *eyeroll*

      • DYS says:

        It is only clearly indicated to those who watch other shows on fox, including football to see the advertising that made that clear. To most others planning accordingly involves relying on what their guides tell them. If you want to assume that everyone had that awareness and look down on those who didn’t, then all power to you. To you and I, it is common sense but common sense isn’t universal sense.

      • r0ckmypants says:

        How many times are you gonna say it, Alex?!

      • Jazz says:

        Please stop “eye rolling ” Alex. The OT was supposed to come on after the game. You know, the show that has old football players yapping about the game when it ends. Yeah. They were supposed to be on from when the game ends til 10:30. FOX actually did blow this, and now most people did miss the beginning. Know it all…

      • Morgan says:

        Crawl back under the bridge, troll. The OT was scheduled after and game and The Following was scheduled after that. The OT never surfaced, and The Following started early. Luckily I watched the game was was able to watch the entire episode. My DVR was useless since it was scheduled “on time”.

      • Rick says:

        Knock it off Alex!! We’ve seen your snotty comment and “eyeroll” several times now. A lot of us missed the beginning of the episode and are tired of these sporting events knocking the entire evening schedule off.

      • Jellymoff says:

        I don’t have time to research when each and every show is airing and how the network is deciding to air it. I rely on my DVR because I am busy and want to watch TV on my own schedule. I don’t watch sports, so I missed the first 10 minutes just like many other people. It does not make us stupid, it just makes us unlucky. “SMH”, “eyeroll”, “shrug”, “glare”…..

        • benis says:

          not “unlucky” just unprepared and used to having everything spoon fed to you. it was heavily advertised that the show would start after the game ended. this is hardly a new premise. the game ended, so the show started. the end.

  14. sasha says:

    I’m upset about Claire! You kill her off 3 seconds into the episode then expect us to root for Ryan in a new romance? Just because a yr passed in the show its to soon for us!

  15. Shelly4490 says:

    Who was singing bad moon a rising at the end of the show?

  16. With Ryan putting on the mask at the end, I thought he was behind the attack and orchestrated the killings in order to draw Carroll out. I guess that would be too much.

  17. Molly says:

    Jessica Stroup is a FANTASTIC addition. So, naturally, she’ll be killed off by the end of the season while the always insufferable Emma survives yet again.

    • Julie says:

      Ugh Emma really is awful. Of all of the characters last season, I really wanted her to die a horrible death.

      • Mikael says:

        Emma was my most hated character last year (I still miss Jacob and Paul!!) but I love seeing her not in control anymore. Seems like there is going to be a rival cult. I can’t wait to see Emma beaten at her own game. And I actually like her new look.

  18. Vin says:

    Stupid stupid FOX replay you idiot’s

  19. Katie says:

    I understand it’s part of the show, but I can’t deal with this show killing all the lead females. I’m not even over Deb’s death and then Claire dies, only to be replaced with the Claire-esque Lily.

  20. EKathryn says:

    Is it just me, or does anyone think Claire could possibly be alive, in WITNESS PROTECTION? Remember Weston was the only one last time that was trained and had the knowledge when she was in protection (even enduring a brutal beating)…or maybe I’m just grasping at straws?

  21. Diz says:

    I set the DVR to run over 2hrs NOT start early. Since when do they not just bs forever after some dumb football game to fill time? My 90 minutes was just a half hour more of commercials. I shouldn’t have to go seek the episode in its entirety, but that’s what I’m going to have to do because everything just jumped into something new without much explanation since I missed the first part of the episode. Just stupid Fox. They’re lucky I even bother watching this show anymore.

    • Alex says:

      It did NOT start early. It followed a live sporting event, which clearly indicated that the start time was approximate, and viewers should plan accordingly. *eyeroll*

      • DYS says:

        Instead of rolling your eyes, how about opening them to the fact that it was only clearly indicated to certain people. Do you really think that the world revolves around the specific viewing habits that you have that make that clear? Like I said earlier, I knew, and millions of others knew, but that doesn’t make the ones who didn’t idiots like you seem to think.

        • Alex says:

          It’s common sense! It only just happens every single year with a HUGE number of live sporting events. So yeah, the people who are whining are not very bright, IMO.

          • Katherine215 says:

            Shows following games typically start *late* not early. Plus, Fox scheduled the OT until 9:30, a separate program. Maybe read the schedule before you eyeroll and call everyone else not bright. I was watching the game and only knew to start the recording 10 minutes early because of that little clock they had going.

          • DYS says:

            Common sense is that a lot of people base their viewing and recordings off of what their guide says, not what a network that they may not watch for other shows says during other broadcasts. Those people have the common sense to know that a show may run later if it follows football but don’t have the awareness that it may start early since it doesn’t happen nearly as often as you claim. The fact that Fox had a lot of companies allocate 90 minutes for the show to accommodate extra possible time, and had them state that it started at 10:30 Eastern, shows that they originally assumed that it would start late.

      • CJ says:

        Enough with this comment, Alex. It’s obvious from the volume of comments about the start time confusion that is was NOT clearly indicated, and being rude and rolling your cyber eyes at people for what you perceive as stupidity is pointless. Perhaps these people have lives that don’t revolve around television and internet trolling.

  22. Cory says:

    Haven’t seen it yet because it started too early and it was already into the first commercial break when my DVR started recording. Lame.

  23. MP says:

    I flipped over at 10:25 to make sure there was no overtime and to program my DVR. Imagine my surprise when I saw the show had already started. I watched every episode last season, but by the end it was more of a hate-watch situation.

    I really like Kevin Bacon and enjoyed seeing him in a regular TV series, but I hate the Emma character and the story lines turned ridiculous. The past few months I’ve grown weary of some of the violence on TV and when I tuned in tonight there was a subway stabbing scene. I decided not to bother at all. If I read good reviews in the next few weeks maybe I’ll give it another shot and catch up then.

  24. Josh says:

    What was the song Luke was singing with the dead girl

  25. TVMAN says:

    Thanks FOX for airing it early….

  26. driveuntilyoulosetheroad says:

    Calling it now –

    Lily is a follower.

    Claire is alive and in witsec with Joey.

  27. sarah says:

    i still think Claire is alive maybe even ryan doesn’t know it
    Why is Emma still alive ? all the critics say she is a fan fave,, well not in my house she is so annoying.

    • Julie says:

      How is she a fan fave? I haven’t seen one post here, or anywhere for that matter, where people seem to like get. Not killing her off, and killing off Debra instead, are my biggest complaints from last season. Emma deserved to die a slow, painful death. Horrible character.

  28. KC says:

    LOL….I didn’t even know it was on! Thanks FOX

  29. Joey says:

    Season premiere was good, a bit intense and a bit creepy. can’t wait to see how crazy it gets for rest of season. great interview with Sam.

  30. ScorpionGlow says:

    Excellent episode, but now I have to ask why Natalie Zea isn’t on Justified because originally it was said that she is committed as a series regular to The Following this year. Phased out of two shows? I imagine we will still see flashbacks on The Following, as we do of most of the characters.

  31. GuessWhat says:

    Not sure I am up for another season of the same.
    I enjoyed season 1 early, then it got way too silly.

  32. nlc6868 says:

    Mark my words, the Lily Gray character (survivor of the subway attack) is part of the new cult. You don’t hire a major actor for a throw away plot point.

    • Max says:

      Last season every two people Ryan met was part of the cult and the other half of the people not in the cult would die. Hope they make it a little more unpredictable this season.

  33. Derek Johnson says:

    Okay, call me crazy, but I’m not totally convinced that Claire is dead. They didn’t exactly show a body. (Although admittedly, the stab wound to the neck did not look great.)

    I like the episode. While the show isn’t great, they at least set up a storyine that can last 15 episode. Last year’s premiere gave a story line that really was only good for 6, and then wasted a good cast with dumb stories and more preposterous stuff, like Carroll escaping in a helicopter. Hope this year has a better payoff.

    • Pat D. says:

      Haha, yeah, that helicopter scene still bothers me—after 9/11, who on earth would buy that a rogue airship was not pegged by Homeland Security and had 4 F-16s after it in 10 minutes?

  34. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    WTF?! So is Emma (that stupid bitch) she has her own group of followers BUT doesn’t know who the new people are…Who’s responsible for the subway event? And yeah i agree w/the first 15 mins. of the show it bored the hell out of me. I knew there was a twist about Joe NOT being dead in the S1 finale. Lets see how this season turns out……

  35. Wendy says:

    Not only did it start early, but all day they called it a preview to season 2. Since when is the first episode a preview? And why give it a 90min slot if you start it early (even if it was late) when you don’t care about slots anyways and air the programming whenever you please? Stupid Fox, way to screw up a premier

  36. neums says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but this was just a special preview of the premiere. Everyone will be able to watch the entire episode plus the second one next week.

  37. queerbec says:

    I’m already buying flowers for Mike’s character whose earnestness will be rewarded by a torture death by one of the bros. and I’m prepared for James Mc Daniel’s intelligence to drop progressively as the season moves on as well as the rest of his colleagues. Yea, Connie Nielsen’s character is a deep cover cultist who is going to be very jealous of the obsessive relationship between Joe and Ryan. And Max should probably keep auditioning as well as since the target on her back could be sensed through her uniform. I will hesitate watching because of the arbitrary killings of characters we begin to be interested in. I do hope there are more twists in store, like the creepy twins. Perhaps there will be cultists who are really pissed that Joe is alive.

  38. yukkm says:

    It Started Early ! Fox made a big mistake with that !

  39. Sandy says:

    I have read soooo many times, on other sites, that people hate Emma and to get rid of her. If those opinions are so strong, that simply means that Valorie Curry is doing one hell of a job being a baddie!!!

  40. Caroline says:

    So what’s different from the first season? The writing is terrible this show is going nowhere. Yo writers have you seen breaking bad? That is how to write suspense, story construction, continuity between the seasons. No mention at the Emmys no big surprise there,

    • TJ says:

      Caroline,You’re absolutely right. Even though I want to like this series the writing and directing is horrible. Unlike Breaking Bad or “24” as far fetched as the plots may be at times they make it very believable and leaving you yearning for more. How many scenes have you watched in the following that left you thinking “how stupid was that”?

  41. jill wiechec says:

    Was so bummed that Claire was gone. I thought her murder was covered up for Joe. I wanted Ryan, Claire, & Joey to be together. Joe is the best bad guy ever. Didn’t care for Strauss. Like Theo. The war between Joe & Theo is gonna be mind blowing.

  42. sorry Its Mourning Rituals

  43. mournful rituals lol

    this band is kind of hard to find