THE FOLLOWING Season Two is scheduled to premiere Sunday, January 19, 2014, on Fox. Before you jump back into the story surrounding the life of Ryan Hardy, take a few minutes and let us remind you of the major events of Season One.
The first episode sets the tone for the first season; Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) is a puppet master with a very specific story in mind that he aims to play out in real life, a sequel to Ryan Hardy’s book. A book Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon), retired FBI agent with a savior complex after he watched his father get shot in a corner store in his youth, wrote after he captured the serial killer, Carroll. The case that ended Hardy’s career with the FBI; both because he was stabbed in the heart by Joe Carroll causing him to live off of a pacemaker and because of the personal relationship that developed between he and Joe Carroll’s ex-wife, Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea), after the trial and their divorce.
When Carroll breaks out of prison, in the first scene of episode 1; Hardy is called out of retirement to “consult” as an expert with the FBI to find Joe Carroll and put him back in prison, where he was planned to be executed within the next month. His first escape from prison is short, just a day, long enough for him to complete his “unfinished work”, something that Edgar Allen Poe was not able to do before his death. Before he was caught, Joe Carroll was an English professor, obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe. The women that he killed were his works of art, using symbolism from Poe’s literature, such as gouging their eyes out because the eyes are the essence of one’s identity. His unfinished work, was his last victim, Sarah, that lived through her attack the night that Ryan Hardy caught him the first time. This time, Hardy did not make it before Sarah was killed, but he did catch Carroll again.
Through the use flashbacks from before he was caught and it is found out that during the time that he was in prison, the charming and intelligent Carroll preyed on weak individuals that lacked something in their lives. He manipulates and brainwashes these people into becoming his following. These people will do anything for Carroll. The first example of this is in the first episode during the time that Carroll is out of jail, a woman walks into a police station under the guise of reporting information about Joe Carroll. While she is in the waiting room she gets a text that says, “do it now”, she stands up in the middle of the lobby takes her clothes off to reveal Poe quotes written all over her body, she says, “Lord help my poor soul.” Then proceeds to stab herself in the eye with an ice pick.
Several of Carroll’s followers have lived under cover for years, until their plans were set into motion mostly by cues through the media: Paul and Jacob live as gay lovers next door to Sarah; to help Carroll abduct her during his first brief escape in episode 1. Emma Hill – lived with Claire as a nanny, Denise, for her and Joe’s son, Joey, she abducts him during the first episode and cares for him until and after Joe escapes again and they move to the compound. Molly – Ryan Hardy’s neighbor and a woman he had a relationship with and is now just a good friend.
He has people in beneficial positions: a sheriff, – Tim (Roderick) Nelson, who prepared the compound for Joe and the rest of the followers. A prison guard – Jordan (Jordy) Raines, who has been practicing by killing dogs in his garage and after the events of the show copy-cats Joe and kills several girls in a sorority. A police officer in the town where the first hide away is with Joey – who helps them escape with Joey to the compound prepared by Roderick.
For the first few episodes, Joey is convinced by his nanny that his mom sent them away for safety. At the beginning of episode 5, Joey is able to make a phone call to his mom, which tracks the location that the followers are keeping him.
It is also at the beginning of episode 5, he asks his legal counsel to read a Poe quote in a press conference, an encoded message to let his followers that its time to move on and others to abduct Claire. Although, by the end of episode 6, Claire is saved without Joey.
In episode 7, when Carroll is being transferred he deploys another planned escape from prison using the warden, his lawyer, and other various prison employees as pawns. By the end of the episode he is reunited with his son and several of his followers at the compound that Roderick prepared for them. But his plan is not complete, because he does not have Claire.
Once Carroll has joined his followers in person at their compound, in episode 9 his main goal is to get Claire to join him there, so their family can be whole. He targets women with the name Clair Matthews to scare the FBI into moving Claire and compromising her safety.
In episode 10, Ryan Hardy does his best to keep Claire safe, by going to the home of an old friend that is in witness protection. But Claire voluntarily goes with one of Carroll’s followers with the promise of seeing her son, after nearly getting Hardy’s friend killed in an attack.
The big break in episode 11, is that the FBI cracks Joe Carroll’s method of recruitment of followers through an encrypted website along with a strict screening process and they find the testing/training center for the followers, which ultimately helps lead them to the compound.
The turmoil within the group of followers starts early, but things stay relatively in hand because Joe Carroll maintains his control; that is until episode 13 when Roderick is almost caught by the FBI, and Carroll does not have an answer to resolve the problem. Roderick kidnaps Joey from the compound and ends up in an interview room with Hardy using Joey as a pawn to negotiate his freedom. Hardy is able to save Joey in this episode, and when Claire sees on the news that her son is safe she tells Joe that she will try to love him again if he will stop trying to get Joey back again. She uses this manipulation to get Joe to drop his guard and she stabs him and attempts to escape. At this point, Joe Carroll’s plan has completely fallen apart and he must quickly come up with a rewrite.
This is when Joe decides that Claire must die. Joe leaves Ryan a trail of bread crumbs to find him and Claire in a house by a lighthouse by the sea. After the battle of wits and fists comes to an end, Claire and Ryan escape from the house just before it is engulfed by flames. They find a body inside that is suspected to be Joe Carroll, but they are awaiting forensic evidence to prove it as such, as there had been another man inside the building as well. Preliminary results show that the body was that of Joe Carroll. But his followers are unhappy with that ending. Molly shows up in the last minute of the episode and stabs both Ryan and Claire in his apartment…
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