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The Following Season 1 Finale “The Final Chapter” 

Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/FOX

So that’s the final chapter, now I want the epilogue! Don’t get me wrong, the episode was jam-packed, but it’s what’s going to happen next that really intrigues me. Throughout the day, I’ve read many comments that this episode was predictable — bad guy dies, good guys survive, cult comes back to exact revenge. And well, yes, that could be the case, I’m also not convinced. I think it’s what they do next that really counts…and when it comes to The Following, I’ve learned not to expect the obvious.

Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/FOX


First off, I am convinced that Joe is not dead. There is no way. Yes, his followers are loyal and dedicated and even equally creepy, but I just don’t feel that they could ever carry the show in the way that Joe does. Not to mention, how many times were dental records and DNA discussed?! To most people, the repetition would be a sign that he’s definitely dead, but to me it sends up a red flag telling me that something is fishy. And let’s be honest, Joe is too much of a manipulative mastermind to go down so easily. When he ran from Ryan in the house, I immediately sensed he had another plan. Wandering in to a boat house full of explosives to have a showdown of sheer physical force?! Joe would never. His mind is always spinning and that seems far too primitive for him. Plus, that Neil guy was awfully suspicious. There’s no way he didn’t have more of a role than to simply be the boat owner who died as an example to Claire. Call me crazy, but I’m not yet sold. Although I don’t know that Joe’s followers were necessarily in on this part of the plot….that was the most genuine show of emotion that we’ve seen from Emma thus far, making me believe she truly thought Joe was dead.

Speaking of deaths, I have to admit, I’m actually shocked that they killed off Agent Parker. Not because I thought she was so valuable or irreplaceable, but because from day 1, I thought that there would be something MORE to her. I was immediately suspicious of her and even though I’ve come to trust her more, I’ve also decided I would sleep with one eye open around her. I don’t know what I have been anticipating, but the woman had layers (remember her giving Joe the book in prison…how can you tell me that wasn’t suspicious?!) and I expected them to be peeled back. But like I said before, its hard to predict with this show, so maybe the revelation will come in season 2.

All in all, I did find Parker’s death heartbreaking…more so because of the reactions she evoked from Hardy and Weston, but also because she used part of her dying breaths to make sure Ryan knew that her death was not on him. She knows that he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and that he feel responsible for everything so I thought showing her understanding of that and her compassion was a terrific send-off for her.

Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/FOX

Now, on to Claire and Ryan. After that final scene, I’m just going to say that I will probably never order delivery food again. Every shot and sound in that scene was purely eerie and creepy. And while yes, it was OBVIOUS that something was about to happen (after all, this is The Following, did you really expect a happily-ever-after finale?!), I felt that the suspense was appropriate since Ryan was (or should’ve been) feeling similarly on edge.

I’m just going to say it, clearly Ryan is not dead. And I’m hoping (and imagining) that Claire will also make it to next season. But as for how else the season will play, I haven’t the slightest clue. Instinct tells me that if Joe is still alive, there is no way he’ll stay hidden for long. He’s too driven and determined (and I’m feeling it’s more betrayal/Claire based than ever before) and needs to be seen as a mastermind, rather than hide in the shadows. When he tore Claire apart for taking credit for his deaths, I was partly enviable and partly shocked. Yes, I think he did it to try and make Claire feel like the past deaths weren’t her fault (I do think he still loves her…or the idea of her), but more than that, I saw his pride in having killed and not wanting to let anyone rob him of that honor.

Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/FOX


Furthermore, I’m hoping we revisit the Joe/Ryan discussion from the living room because I cannot for the life of me decide if I think Ryan was telling the truth when he said he was on to Joe and used Claire to get close. Or if he was just playing Joe. I did enjoy that scene, especially when Joe identified the love and connection between Ryan. As I’ve said in the past, I’ve felt that radiating from Joe and it was about time he admitted it….regardless of how twisted it may be. Well, that’s a wrap for this season and Joe’s book. It’s anyone’s guess what he may be cooking up for the sequel.

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