The titled of this episode is no joke. The end really is near, with the finale only one week away! We’ve seen Ryan and Carroll play an elaborate game of cat and mouse, one which Carroll always ends up winning. It’s hard to say whether the good guys will get the upper hand in the finale at this point. This week’s episode proved that there are still lots of things Carroll and his followers are capable of doing and it amazes me that the FBI team is always taken by surprised. The episode had just the right about of blood and suspense to keep the viewers entertained. We also said goodbye to a main character and the life of a second central character was left hanging at the end. Let’s discuss!
Previously on The Following…
Ryan and Molly made a sex tape and Carroll got a hold of it. Roderick got busted by the FBI so he kidnapped Joey. Jacob and two other (unimportant) followers killed Roderick. Joey softened Jacob’s heart and he allowed him to go free. Claire stabbed Carroll in the middle of a make out session. Carroll decided it was time for her to die and called Ryan to let him know.
The episode picks up with Carroll watching Ryan and Molly’s sex tape, as he’s nursing his fresh wound. In the tape, he hears Ryan say that he “can’t kill me, I’m already dead.” This makes Carroll oh-so-happy. He talks to Emma about needing a new person to trust, now that Roderick is dead, but she’s a bit untrusting of him after he hit her. Obviously Carroll is Emma’s kryptonite, so she accepts his apology pretty quickly and goes back to being his lap dog. They join the followers in another room, and they begin doing a chant about death giving life, or some twisted thing like that. Carroll tells them that today is going to be special for everyone. The followers assure him that they’re ready to partake in their designated roles. Their plan is to get Carroll and Claire out of the house safely.
Afterwards, Jacob tries to convince Emma that the plan is crazy. He thinks Carroll is only using them and they can’t trust him but in good brainwashed-Emma fashion, she refuses to listen to him. Carroll pays Claire a visit to inform her that her “character” won’t survive, and two followers enter the room and take her away.
After Joey gives the FBI a full and detailed description of Carroll’s hideaway house, Ryan and the team locate it and immediately head there. They arrive with weapons in hand but find only an empty house – well, aside from one hung follower. I guess we know what his role was. The team runs prints and sends out an order to have all cars and boats in the area searched. Ryan finds a note from Carroll saying that the final chapter has begun. Annie tells him he’s the hero of the story and as such will have a chance to save Claire. Ryan thinks Carroll wants him to watch her die. Ryan the eternal optimist, everyone!
Emma, Jacob, Carroll and Claire arrive at a house where a couple is getting ready to leave on what I can only assume was a fun-filled trip. Carroll puts a damper on their plans with the intention of staying there for the time being. The unsuspecting couple is terrified. Carroll ties them up and tells them they’ll only be staying there until night fall. Jacob is disappointed by the way things are turning out. He admits to Emma that all he wanted was to be with her.
The FBI are finally doing something descent and using their brian cells. They begin identifying all the people who ever visited Carroll in prison. Ryan notices a mob of spectators outside the police station and thinks the followers might be part of it. One woman speaks to a news reporter and quotes The Masque of the Red Death before stabbing her. Ryan detains her and tries to interrogate her. She implies that Claire will die and he will grieve her death. He wants to know where to find Claire and uses some unusual methods to get info out of her – basically, he just chokes her until she talks. She tells her Claire must die so he can be reborn.
Back at their new hideaway spot, Carroll makes everyone pasta for dinner. He wants everyone, including Claire to eat – it is her last supper, after all. Meanwhile, Emma comes looking for Jacob in the garage, and admits she feels horrible for leaving him behind. She apologizes, they makeup and make out. Back in the dining room, Claire notices that Carroll needs help opening a wine bottle and offers to help. Carroll decides to trust her and unties her hands in order for her to do it. He asks the owners of the house if they would die for each other. After they both say they would, Carroll tries to remind Claire of their wedding vows and the true meaning of “until death do us part.”
The moment is interrupted when two police men come to the door. Emma tries to play it cool but when she notices that they recognize her, she shoots them both. Carroll hears it happening from the dining room and is about to go check but Claire breaks the wine bottle over his head and then stabs his wound with a fork. It looks painfully agonizing but Carroll should’ve seen it coming, he should’ve known better than to trust her again. Claire and the couple flee the house and Carroll orders Emma and Jacob to hunt her down.
At the police station, Mike explains to Ryan what The Masque of the Red Death entails – because Ryan slept through English class in High School, I guess. They figure out that the cult is the plague who kills those who seek rescue. They assume Carroll will attack the evacuation center and immediately dispatch the team there. When they arrive, they do a sweep for any suspicious activity. Ryan notices a man he saw earlier outside of the police station. He’s about to confront him when he makes a signal that causes the lights to turn off and he begins killing people around him. Other followers who are present, soon begin doing the same. There are moments of thrilling suspense, as the team maneuvers through dark halls and vacant rooms in search of the perpetrators. Annie eventually finds herself alone and at the mercy of two followers. I’m expecting Ryan or Mike to show up and save her, like many times before, but this time it doesn’t happen. Not a good sign.
Meanwhile, Jacob and Emma catch up to Claire as she attempts to get away. They put her in the car and drive away. Carroll meets up with them at a boat dock. He takes her out of the car and puts her in a boat, taking her out to sea. Jacob and Emma stay behind. He tries to convince Emma to forget about the plan and get out of town instead. He says he loves Carroll but doesn’t want to die for him. Emma doesn’t want to go and after telling him she loves him, she slits his throat. She tells him that she also loves Carroll but she doesn’t know how to love them both.
The episode ends with Ryan and Mike realizing that Annie is missing. The followers take her out to the woods, where they bury her alive in a wooden box.
R.I.P. Jacob! I was really surprised that they killed him off, I thought his character had a lot of potential to be great. However, after the 180º turn he did, it was obvious that he was regretting joining the cult in the first place. He couldn’t have gone back to being just a normal person. And poor Annie! She’s living one of my worst nightmares – aside from cockroaches and Carrot Top, that is. What did you guys think of the episode? Are you sad to see Jacob go? What do you think will happen in the finale? Will Annie get saved?