The Following Brings Back [Spoiler] - Did You Have a Feeling This Was Coming?

The Following Season 2 Recap Quoth the raven: WTF?

Monday night’s episode of The Following did what many fans hoped for but few thought was possible: It brought back Claire, Joe’s presumed-dead former wife played by Natalie Zea.

Those who watched the show’s first season will remember that Claire escaped a deadly standoff with her murderous ex-husband only to be gutted by one of his minions in Ryan Hardy’s Brooklyn apartment. In this season’s premiere, Ryan tearfully asked Mike if Claire — his true love — survived the attack… and Mike sadly shook his head no.

RELATED | Fox Renews The Following, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Mindy Project and New Girl

The Fox drama saved the big reveal for the final few minutes of the episode, when Mike casually took his leave of the Hardys and was driven by FBI agents to a remote hotel. Once there, he encountered the much-missed Prof. Matthews, who’s now sporting shorter, darker hair.following-recaplet-claire

“Hello, Mike,” she said, and the screen cut to black.

It’s likely Claire’s reappearance is tied to the on-TV reveal that Joe Carroll is, in fact, “very much alive” and bent on social domination. From the events of the episode, it appears he’s going to start with Micah’s cult members, who begin to follow “Prophet Joe” after he kills their insane leader and his wife, Julia.

Elsewhere in the hour: Emma and two cult members named Robert and Lance attacked author Carrie Cooke at one of her booksignings, former FBI analyst/current follower Jana killed herself after stabbing Mendez and realizing that she’d been made, Max accidentally got an eyeful of the full Weston and Ryan and Carrie kissed.

Did you have a feeling that Claire wasn’t really dead? Or did Zea’s appearance surprise the heck outta you? Vote in the poll below, then hit the comments to discuss.

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. JJM says:

    Oh wow, this was SO unexpected. :eye roll:

    • I was suspecting she would come back mostly because she is missing this year on Justified… the less we see of her there, the more we see of her here.


      • Triad says:

        the first episode this season that reminds me of the intensity and excitement of season 1. I was shocked and very happy Claire has been brought back. Did not see it coming. Hopefully now that Joe is ‘back’ we will see much much more of him.

  2. Norma says:

    It pleased me, but I saw this coming from the season premiere.

    • Bryce says:

      I saw it coming, but after about episode 5 I stopped hoping for it. I definitely didn’t think she’d return so late as episode 9 (it really goes to show how long it’s taken this season to pick up steam). Oh well, better late than never! Last night’s episode was amazing.

  3. TVGuide has a lot to learn from TVLine. They completely spoiled it on the first page.

  4. Miranda says:

    This show bores me to distraction. I think I’m over it. I’ve just started the much-hyped BBC series The Fall on Netflix – it’s already miles more compelling. The Following looks an amateurish mess with so many other good TV thrillers around.

    • GuessWhat says:

      I encourage you to quit! I did when the Olympics hit. Took it off my DVR list. And I have NO regrets!

      • MLO says:

        Really? Then why are you bothering to read the recaps?

      • didi says:

        But yet you are reading about the show. Sounds like someone is still hooked!

        • Miranda says:

          Ya’ll know it’s entirely possible (and quite rational) to be over a TV show and choose to not invest an hour a week to watching it but rather a few minutes to catch up on news related to a show you once dedicated hours to. The human brain doesn’t quite see in black and white the way most online commenters would like it to.

          • Michelle says:

            If the show ‘bores you to distraction’ then why waste even one second of your life catching up on it when you could be spending that time focusing on something you DO like? I watched The Fall and didn’t care for it yet I’m not going to go over to that show’s page and trash/complain about it the way that you did here about The Following. Why would I even consider doing that? I don’t care for the show yet I don’t feel the need to go over there and alert everyone that I don’t like it. Believe it or not, just because you don’t like The Following, doesn’t mean the rest of us automatically stop liking it too.

  5. d4h8a15r16m23a42 says:

    I guessed it during the premiere. Not that shocking. Main characters on Kevin Williamson projects are amazing at surviving serious life threatening injuries.

    • LOL At your Comment.

      The problem with Kevin Williamson is that he has great ideas and it starts of well but becomes a hot mess very quickly. Look no further than the scream sequels and every episode after the first season of TVD and after the third ep of the following.

      • Sam says:

        To be fair with TVD that’s because Julie Plec has completely taken over and ruined it. TVD really went off track after season 2 which was the best season imo.

      • Tookie Clothespin says:

        Don’t forget Dawson’s Creek. The first two seasons were amazing and it all was downhill from there.

      • Mikael says:

        He also had nothing to do with Scream 3. They threw out his outline and brought someone else in. They also edited his script for Scream 4 but at least it still turned out decent. He has a habit of abandoning shows, though. TVD used to be so good.

  6. Christina says:

    I was actually surprised mostly because I had accepted the fact that Natalie Zea gets written off every show.

  7. GuessWhat says:

    LOL…who thought she was dead? They carefully never used the word DEAD. You had to be stupid to think she was. BORING. Glad I finally quit in February. Do NOT miss this show.

  8. James says:


  9. Sam says:

    the moment Hardy started making out with the journalist, and they were taking Mike to a secret location, it was obvious that Claire was alive. Glad to see her back though

  10. kara says:

    I was shocked. I mean at first I hoped her death was faked but when ausiello said that she was dead in his spoiler chat I excepted that she was gone especially when they kept saying Claire was dead.

    But I’m happy since their was a huge piece missing without her.

  11. ivy says:

    oh please everybody saw that coming

  12. CK says:

    So now we have to wait in suspense to see whether who is going to get brutally killed this season between her and max.

  13. kirads09 says:

    I really should know better than to read anything here about the Following. Or maybe anything at TV Line period. For the most part all most people do anymore is comment on how much they hate stuff. Then why do you watch and only make snarky comments just to trash something? I HATE Glee and Scandal. Do you see me commenting so negatively on anything about those shows? No, I simply don’t read about them or watch. I simply don’t respond to anything about them. It really becomes tiresome and offensive to read the immature negativity, sarcasm and bickering about things all the time here. Sorry, but strongly feel I have to say my peace about that.

    For the record, NO – I for one did not foresee Claire still being alive. It honestly did shock me.

    I think many haters are failing to see the biggest and best thing about The Following. That is one incredible performance by Mr. James Purefoy. HE is what makes the entire show worth watching if you can’t watch for any other reason. The scenes between Joe and Micah were comical (if they weren’t both such homicidal psychos).
    Both Shawn and Miss Curry also continue to impress. Emma – dare I say it – has actually grown on me a bit this season.

    I LOVE the Following. I will continue to watch as long as it is airing new episodes.


    • tiffanie says:

      Omg I feel and think and have written the same. Get so sick of reading over half of what people write. It amazes me that people cant understand that everyone doest like the same things. Different strokes for different folks. People are so mean and nitpick about every little thing Get off the hate people and btw there is a lot of criminals at large that have been for years it happens.

    • JM says:

      I agree. This should be a place for fans who actually WATCH the show.
      I don’t recall who it was, but a commenter said that she was alive and that Mike knew. When they said that, I thought the person had guessed correctly. Kudos to them!
      I think the show is much better this year, and I am enjoying it.

    • didi says:

      THANK YOU. The Following is one of the best shows on television today. It is continually shocking & suspenseful, never gets boring. Kevin Bacon is amazing as is the entire cast.

    • Mikael says:

      It’s so strange, I actually LIKE Emma this year too! I was actually rooting for this season, against Lily & the twins, and then Micah’s cult. I guess I’ve gotten over her ruining Jacob and Paul

    • Michelle says:

      Very well said, Kirads! I don’t understand why people who claim to hate the show so much feel the need to come to the page and announce their hatred of the show? Why would they want to spend one second of their time commenting on a show that they claim to not like when they could be spending that time on a show they DO enjoy watching? I used to be a huge fan of Glee and then it wore off/ran its course for me and I stopped watching a few seasons ago…yet I’m not about to head over to the Glee page and inform the fans over there that I no longer like the show. Why would I waste my time doing that…and why on earth would they even care to hear me announce something like that? Why would I interrupt their discussion of a show they enjoy with my negative comments?

      Anyway, onward and upward….this season of The Following started off a bit slow for me but boy oh boy did it ever pick up! I’ve made the comment ‘Wow, I didn’t see that coming!’ more than once over the past couple of weeks while watching the show! And now we haven’t seen Luke and Mark for 2 weeks..dare I say I almost MISS those two nutjobs? LOL…I was half waiting for a triplet to appear on the show at some point…

  14. Andy says:

    Didn’t TVLine report that Natalie Zea was returning to the show shortly after they reported on James Purefoy? That’s all I remember thinking after Mike “said” she was dead in the premiere. So I was pleased, but not surprised.

  15. Nicole says:

    Anytime a man moves on from his dead love, she turns out to not be dead. As soon as Joe and Ryan both moved on from Claire, you knew she was going to pop back up very much alive. Hope this doesn’t mean Carrie is gonna bite the dust. I like her amoral investigating snark and oddly like her with Ryan.

  16. jalahyacinth says:

    I don’t even watch the show (I read a review every once in awhile) and I saw that coming….

  17. maryj93 says:

    I’m glad Claire is back, I thought the show was missing something without her. I had thought that scenario would happen, but wasn’t 100%. I think the beginning of the show started off slow, but I think its picking up to be pretty good again.

  18. JM says:

    Max and Mike all the way! These two deserve some happiness, and I love their characters.

  19. Maryann says:

    Bummer they would give us this reveal NOW. I watched the first episode of the season, and when it was confirmed that she was dead for real, I didn’t watch any more, since without her the show lost its main redeeming feature. At this point, it is too late to catch up without buying the episodes. Guess I will just move on and possibly reconsider when it finally comes toNetflix.

  20. Ava says:

    I love The Following. Last night was a great episode with an OMG ending.

  21. Pati says:

    I saw it coming not shocking but I still enjoy the show very much

  22. Matt says:

    It’s one of the worst written shows on TV. I can’t help but watch it. It’s a cliché trainwreck. This “reveal” just means that this show has found a way to jump the shark over and over again and it’s their second season!

  23. webly3 says:

    I guess I probably should’ve seen this coming but I did not. I was just about to leave the show during the episode because it just became too violent but the reintroduction of Claire has now brought me back in for the rest of the season.

  24. AM says:

    I certainly thought it might be possible Claire’s death had been faked, but I doubted it completely. So seeing her again is a complete shock. Now there’s no doubt the same questions on everyone’s mind: will Ryan find out Claire is alive, and will they reunite? I certainly hope so. I don’t like the reporter Carrie. I’m certain if Ryan finds out, he will be shocked, angry (that she didn’t tell him), and so overjoyed. He won’t want to lose her again. Maybe he’ll even have a proposal on his mind.

  25. Dee says:

    Where’s the ….I wish she was still dead choice! I didn’t see it coming but still would prefer she wasn’t back.

  26. LaPiquante says:

    I figured they’d bring her back at some point. I wasn’t really surprised, though, when I realized that Mike wasn’t walking Max out to make a move, but actually had someplace to be. Badges flashing sorta gave it away, but it’s still well-told and well-paced.

  27. Kermit says:

    Say what you want about the rest of the episode but Leslie Bibb pulled off a fantastic crazy in her subplot.

    • Mikael says:

      She went from zero to nutbag in .2 seconds! Great performance from her. I’m surprised her ex survived though. She really stuck that knife in during the 2nd stab.

  28. jenferner8 says:

    With all the “Claire” mentions in this episode and Ryan kissing Carrie it was hardly surprising, a bit of a letdown actually. I vaguely remember hearing something about someone from season one thought dead was coming back, and even though I knew it was in vain, actually held out hope that it could maybe, possibly be Jacob and/or Paul.

  29. Kelly says:

    I was glad to see Claire back I wasnt expecting it at all. I hope Ryan and Claire get back together and Max and Mike. I love this show dont care what you haters say

  30. Blackman says:

    They were US Marshals that took Mike to Claire, not FBI.

  31. Anne says:

    I was sorry to see Claire return, I find her character annoying!!

    • Max says:

      Claire is such an imbecilic character, thinking she can confront Joe and kill him, or that her presence in any way shape or form would help Ryan in doing so. Yea, right!
      In season 1 her stupidity gave the entire show a (probably undesired) comedic dimension that exposed all those other fine characters and actors to ridicule. How can the writers not see that? She is such a TOOL!

  32. macrath says:

    What a dumb choice by the writers. She should have stayed dead.. why is that not an option in the poll?

  33. John Peace says:

    Now that she’s back I just wonder where they’ve been keeping her. Her hair looks like she lives in a dumpster.

  34. John Peace says:

    Also, now that the April 21st episode has aired I have to say I’m about through with watching this because this show keeps killing all the hot chicks. Lily last week and now Emma. Emma was about the cutest girl I’ve ever laid eyes on, and therefore about 50% of the reason I watched the show, just to look at her. Now she’s gone, and so is half my interest. What we’re left with is Detective Hardy and Claire, and Claire looks like she hasn’t washed her hair since she went into hiding. Yuk.