The Following has come to a premature end. Did Ryan Hardy get the happy ending I so desperately wanted him to have? Technically no, and that breaks my heart more than any sad event that has occurred on the show, which includes Joe’s death. So how did things end for Ryan Hardy and gang? Let’s take a look at “Dead or Alive” and “The Reckoning”.
Theo contemplates killing himself while Daisy watches on anxiously, but in the end he’s unable to pull the trigger because his need for revenge is far too strong at this point. Theo and Daisy pay Eliza a visit, who’s not pleased in the least to see Theo at her door-step, and demand her help; she has no choice, but to cater to Theo’s whims. Mike has made it through surgery, but he’s in critical condition; the next couple hours will indicate if he’ll recover or not. Max decides to focus all her energy on finding Theo instead of blaming herself for what’s happened to Mike.
Ryan decides it’s time to turn up the pressure and corner Theo by holding a press-conference and making his face known to everyone; Ryan hopes tips will come in on Theo’s location. As Ryan predicated, tips start to flood in, but these tips indicate that Theo is nowhere near Ryan’s sister which confuses Ryan because he knows Theo will be coming after the people most important to him. Cue the scene cutting to Gina and her family, who are being taken to a safe house. It’s not much of a safe house because Theo is already on the property.
Ryan and Max head over to the hotel Eliza is staying at; they received a tip which claimed two people matching Theo and Daisy’s description were seen coming in and out of the hotel. They question Eliza, who is clearly internally panicking. Eliza avoids suspicion, but she’s not too pleased with both the Hardy’s finding her location.
Gina, poor Gina, is soon cornered by Theo and Daisy who also have her wife Dawn; Gina managed to place her kids out of harm’s way by placing them in a panic room shortly before Theo got to her. Gina is then forced to call Ryan and lure him out to the safe house. Ryan agrees to come, but he’s smart enough to know Theo forced Gina to call him.
Theo becomes increasingly unhinged; even more so after Eliza calls Theo and informs him that she wants Ryan brought to her alive. Theo, in a fit of rage, comes extremely close to killing Dawn, but is abruptly stopped by Gina who makes it clear she won’t cooperate with him if Dawn is killed. Ryan asks Max and Lisa to give him 10 minutes alone with Theo and then they can show up, guns a blazing. Ryan arrives at the safe house and uses the 10 minutes given to him to get captured and stay alive until reinforcements arrive.
Daisy was eager to kill Ryan in order to avenge Kyle, but Theo asks her to dispose of Gina and her family. Dawn is shot, but her and Gina manage to get into the safe house’s panic room with their kids. Reinforcements arrive in the nick of time and Theo makes his escape with Ryan hot on his heels. Daisy isn’t fortunate enough to escape; Max guns her down before Daisy can get a chance to shoot her.
While Ryan is chasing after Theo, Gwen leaves Ryan an emotional voicemail letting him know Mike is in stable condition and goes into detail about her ultrasound, expressing her desire to have him there. The scene switches back and forth between Gwen’s message and Ryan’s pursuit of Theo. Ryan stops to help Agent Barton who was shot in the shoulder by Theo. Barton looks on in horror as Theo silently and swiftly approaches Ryan from behind with the screen cutting to black.
Theo refuses to give Ryan up to Eliza thus terminating their deal; Theo decides to spend some quality time with Ryan and plans on slowly torturing him before he eventually decides to kill him. I absolutely loved the dynamic between Ryan and Theo throughout the entirety of this episode. Their face to face scenes were some of the finales best and it made me wish Theo was introduced way earlier in the series.
A stand-out scene in the finale happened to be between Ryan and Agent Barton after Theo locks him away. Ryan motivates Barton to stay alive for her loved ones and promises her she’ll make it out alive; Barton mentions that her boyfriend plans on proposing to her and she’s going to say yes. Ryan succeeds in keeping Barton awake and aware, making sure she knows she’ll escape along with him.
However, Ryan’s hopes for Barton’s survival soon diminish because shortly after Ryan and Barton’s talk, Theo slits Barton’s throat in front of Ryan after subjecting Ryan to water torture in retaliation for the torture he inflicted upon Penny. Mike, after suffering a set-back, finally wakes up and it’s made clear he’s going to be okay.
Eliza and her men show up directly after Barton’s death and restrain Theo in order to get to Ryan. Lisa turns out to be a traitor who’s working with Eliza, making sure the FBI stays far away from the catacombs where Ryan and Theo are being held. Max manages to figure out the general location of where Ryan might be and lets Lisa know. Eliza believes Ryan investigated her and is determined to find out who Ryan voiced his suspicions to despite Ryan insisting he didn’t suspect her. While Eliza is pointlessly questioning Ryan for information he doesn’t have, Theo is being tortured by Eliza’s men for the code to Eliza’s information that Theo encrypted.
Ryan breaks free from his binds, as does Theo, who soon after finds out that Gwen is pregnant; Theo lets Ryan know he’s going to take his baby and make sure he or she grows up abused and neglected. Lisa warns Eliza about Max and Eliza demands that Lisa handle Max and the FBI or she risks losing not just her job, but he life; it’s a conversation that Theo happens to overhear before he gets a hold of Lisa, forcing her to cooperate with him.
Ryan and Max reunite and Ryan doesn’t inform Max of Eliza’s involvement in the matter. Ryan phones the agents guarding Gwen and asks them to lock his apartment down because Theo is coming after Gwen. Those agents then call Lisa for confirmation on Ryan’s plan and she tells them Ryan has been compromised. Instead of keeping Gwen at the apartment, she’ll be moved to a new location.
Ryan and Max have their last heart to heart conversation while heading over to Ryan’s apartment to check on Gwen. Ryan is convinced he can’t be happy and that he should not have dragged Gwen into his life, knowing full well what the consequences of being involved to him could be. Max tries to shake Ryan free (not physically) of these notions, claiming he deserves to be happy more than anyone else.
While the agents are moving Gwen, Theo and Lisa show up; Theo shoots all the agents, including Lisa and takes off with Gwen. Ryan arrives at the scene in a panic and Lisa, who managed to survive, informs Ryan that Theo forced her to give Gwen up. Theo lies to Gwen, telling her Ryan is dead and tauntingly says they’ll name the child after Ryan.
Ryan tracks Theo’s location, with Max’s help, and the two have one final showdown which leads to Ryan shooting Theo in the head. Ryan and Gwen have a brief reunion which is interrupted by Theo; the bullet grazed past his head, severely injuring him but not quite killing him. Theo tackles Ryan over a bridge with Theo plunging to his death to the icy waters below while Ryan barely hangs on. Gwen, who’s a sobbing mess much like myself at this point, begs Ryan to hold on a bit longer, but to no avail; Ryan proclaims his love for Gwen before letting go, falling to the dangerous waters down below.
Due to the rapid currents of the water, Ryan is presumed dead by the feds and even his loved ones. But did Ryan really die? Of course he didn’t. Ryan managed to make it out alive for the sole sake of hunting down the murderous organization Eliza works for in order to keep his loved ones safe and sound. He pays a visit to Lisa in the hospital and reveals he knew she was working with Eliza. Ryan kills Lisa after she gives him the information he needs.
Ryan gets one last look at Max, Gwen and Mike before leaving the hospital, starting his hunt for the organization. And this is how The Following concluded its killer third and final season; Ryan’s trials have only just begun and unfortunately we won’t be able to see it, instead the show leaves this new chapter of Ryan’s life to our imaginations.
I loved the ending, yet hated it at the same time. I loved the fact that Ryan survived, but in the end he didn’t get the happy ending I hoped he would; an ending where he’s living a happy, danger-free life with Gwen and his baby, but then again that’s an ending that was never meant to be for someone like Ryan Hardy.
The Following is well and truly over; a sad fact because the show had so much more story left to tell. I’m going to miss the twisted and intriguing plot lines and the stellar cast behind the amazing characters. I’m not ready to let go of Ryan Hardy and gang just yet; it’s time to binge watch the series from the beginning!
What did you guys think of The Following’s series finale? Let us know in the comments below!