The Following Recap: Another Acolyte Revealed!

The Following Season 2 RecapRyan Hardy, do you have a secret Cray-Date profile we don’t know about or something?

How else do you keep getting so cozy with these minions of your mortal nemesis, these lovely ladies who slink past all of your law-enforcement training and instincts to set up shop in your head and/or bed?

Though Molly seemed like an outlier last season, it appears she was the first in a trend – because, as this week’s Following episode reveals, your latest crush Lily also is hopelessly devoted to Joe Carroll. And if that isn’t enough, you let her get away! (For anyone keeping score, that’s nefarious law-breaking: a million, Hardy “wins”: 0.)

In related news, Joe’s old team meets his new team, and the man himself finds a surprising new follower just before he hits the road. Read on for what took place in “Trust Me.”

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BUSTED | A noise in his apartment wakes Ryan up in the middle of the night, and when he tiptoes into the living room with his gun drawn, a clean-shaven Joe is there to greet him. Ryan fires multiple times into the serial killer’s chest, but it doesn’t faze him. “If I die, you die,” Carroll growls… just as Ryan wakes up from the nightmare. Phew. Oh no wait! There’s someone in a Joe mask right outside his door! Oh no wait again! He’s just nodded off at the FBI, where he’s about to get his tush handed to him.

Mendez and Weston have surveillance footage of Carlos returning to his house during the events of the pilot, which means they also have footage of Ryan following him (and getting hit by a cab, which made me laugh the first time I saw it. I had the same reaction this time. Between that and the way I emotionally handle something we’ll get to later in the episode, I fear that my moral compass is a bit dented.) The FBI lets Ryan go but plans to track both him and his online activity for the foreseeable future.

However, Weston has another plan. He busts into Ryan’s apartment and finds the Carroll Cubby. When Ryan encounters him here, Weston vaguely threatens to turn Max in for helping her uncle, then demands Hardy spill what he knows. “It’s just a theory. It’s a lunatic’s conspiracy theory,” Ryan says, eventually coughing up that he believes Roderick’s men went to England, killed Joe’s half-brother, engineered a lab break-in and swapped DNA samples so everyone would think the remains found in the boathouse wreckage belonged to the good professor.

“Claire’s dead. Deborah’s dead, and so is Joe Carroll,” Mike tells his old pal before taking Ryan’s ill-gotten evidence back to the FBI and promising he won’t mention anything to Mendez.

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MURDEROUS MEET-UP | Meanwhile, Mark is intrigued by the idea of Emma, so he has Carlos lure her via phone to an abandoned construction site. Even though the place looks like every place a Carroll follower killed someone last season, she enters and winds up talking with Luke’s less-styled twin. (Helpful tip: If there’s plastic sheeting hanging all over the place, there’s a 90 percent chance you won’t escape with your life.) During their chat, Mark mentions that he can’t feel fear, but he’s intrigued by it. Then he brings Emma home to meet the family.

What neither of them know is that the FBI is – at that very moment! — raiding Emma’s hovel of hair dye in New Jersey. Most of her fellow followerfugees are gunned down; one survives and is taken into custody. Emma doesn’t find out what happened until she and Mark are back at the hotel where, upon deciding that he likes Joe’s former “right-hand man,” Luke determines that Emma can stay… then abruptly stabs Carlos in the neck, killing him and ticking off Gisele, who’d been so looking forward to doing the deed. (Forget Manic Panic, Ems; you might want to try some actual panic at finding a group of crazies who makes you look balanced in comparison.)

Not long after, the twins get a call that makes them, Gisele and Emma abandon the hotel room for good. What could make them bug out so quickly, you ask?

LILY’S A LIAR | After Mendez finds Ryan skulking around Emma’s place just after the raid, she orders him away from everything involving the investigation – including Lily Gray. But he just can’t leave the gallery owner alone, and she doesn’t want him to. However, something about her story of the subway attack just doesn’t sit right with Hardy, and with Weston’s help, he realizes what it is. Despite saying she was in a hurry to get home the night she was stabbed, cameras in the station show her letting an express train come and go – odd behavior for someone in a rush. (Side note: Though not odd at all if the doors open and some foul stench hits you in the face like a lead-lined two-by-four, which is wont to happen, am I right fellow New Yorkers?)

Here’s the part I don’t get: The moment Ryan realizes this, he stalks Lily around the gallery as she’s showing some of the art. They make eye contact a few times, and then she bolts for the basement, wounds (kills?) an FBI agent she runs into, dons a wig and sunglasses and slips out the door. Pretty soon, she’s gone. How hard would it have been to sit on your dawning suspicion until, I don’t know, you had her within arms’ length, Ryan?!

So yes, Lily is a follower. (Props to Matt Mitovich.) And, as we learn when Luke picks her up, she’s also the twins’ mother. (Additional props to TVLine reader Amy, who brought up that theory during discussion of last week’s episode.) While I’m doling out pats on the head, I should note that I’m happily surprised the show offered up this reveal this early in the season. Good Lily was boring; the real Lily looks like she knows how to have fun. Also interesting: During her goodbye call to Ryan, Lily mentions that his death was to have been her gift to Joe and “now I’ll have to show up empty handed” – giving Hardy even more inclination to believe that Carroll lives.

TWO FOR THE ROAD | Many red states away, Judy comes home to find Joe (still furry) and Mandy trying how to best dispose of Rev. Glenn’s body. Joe looks pleasantly surprised when Mandy – without prompting – suggests rolling the corpse in a rug and dragging it out to the barn. But Judy is horrified that the serial killer she thought she “fixed” is off the wagon once more, and she knows he probably won’t just drive off and leave them as witnesses, so she tries to shoot him when his back is turned. (Too bad Joe already nabbed all her bullets.)

He duct-tapes her to a chair and goes searching for his knife, which Mandy grabs first. Judy pleads with her daughter to kill their hellacious houseguest. No such luck! The teen can’t imagine a life stuck in Arkansas without her surrogate daddy, so she guts her mom like the catch of the day and then eagerly helps Joe set fire to both cabins.

“Thanks for taking me. I won’t disappoint you,” Mandy tells him, chattering away in her happiness at leaving. “I’m very resourceful.” He’s touched, and kisses her on the head. This is what I meant earlier – I was touched by the scene, too, which is beyond messed-up. I’m actively rooting for the murderer and the warped adolescent, everyone. Can we chalk it up to James Purefoy and Tiffany Boone doing a really excellent job in these scenes (and perhaps not delve too deeply into what this all may say about me?) Allrighty then!

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!