Warning: The following recap contains major spoilers, since it’s recapping Monday (March 17) night’s episode of “The Following.” Do not continue reading if you have yet to watch “Unmasked.” All others, please proceed …
Claire’s back from the dead! Bet you didn’t see that twist coming.
Well, to be more accurate, Claire’s just back on “The Following,” since she was never really dead. While the episode didn’t explain much about her fate — since it was only revealed in the final moments that she’s alive and Mike knew about it — here’s what we can put together. Claire survived the attack on her life in the Season 1 finale and went into Witness Protection with Joey (who’s probably not actually with his grandma, now that we think about it) to stay hidden from the rest of Joe’s followers who were still at large. Mike knew about it and kept it a secret from Ryan this whole time.
Since the audience now knows about Claire’s status, you can bet that Ryan and Joe will find out their mutual love is still alive and kicking pretty soon. Secrets don’t stay secret for long. Exhibit A: Jana.
When Ryan, Max and Mike were secretly working to uncover the mole inside the FBI, they narrowed it down to six women, including Gina Mendes. Ryan decides to accuse her outright and see how she reacts. So they tail her, bug her and follow her when she starts acting paranoid, ditching her cell phone and her car and taking a cab somewhere.
Gina heads straight to her ex Jana’s and brings her out into the garage away from the kids and their friends to confront her, suspecting that Ryan suspects Gina because Jana was using her FBI clearance. She brings up Jana’s psychotic break when she killed the neighbor’s dog after she gave birth to their first kid, and Jana tries to brush it off, calling it postpartum depression. But Gina knows that they only said that for FBI purposes. But now Gina realizes that Jana’s still not okay, and puts it together that she’s obsessed with Joe and is the mole inside the Bureau. But before she can do anything, Jana freaks out and stabs her, leaving her bleeding out on the floor while she tries to make a run for it.
When Ryan and Mike arrive at Jana’s — since they were following Gina — they find her bleeding out in the garage and realize what’s going on. They corner Jana, but she has another psychotic break (serious props to Leslie Bibb for playing this disturbed, unhinged mom so beautifully) and shoots herself in the head. Whoa.
As Gina’s being wheeled away on a gurney (she made it through the day alive!), she apologizes to Ryan. “I’m really sorry, I thought she was okay,” she says. At least Ryan can rest easy knowing he was right to trust Gina. Max, Mike and Ryan comb through Jana’s computer and figure out that author Carrie Cooke’s being targeted next … and her book signing is today. Uh oh.
Who was targeting Carrie? Why that would be Joe’s new holy army. Yeah, Joe’s got himself an army. As if he wasn’t terrifying enough already. Emma heads to Manhattan with two of Micah’s men, Robert (a pretty cute guy with a thing for Emma) and Lance (a psycho killer who’s disturbing), where they attack and kill a bunch of people at the signing and threaten Carrie, telling her to share a video with the world or they’ll come back for her. The video was supposed to be Micah’s spiritual message but Joe hijacked it for one of his own, announcing that he’s still alive and it’s now “the age of Joe Carroll.” Lance gets left behind by Emma and Robert and tries to blend into the crowd, but Ryan takes him out later when he realizes all of the blood on Lance isn’t his.
When Micah realizes that Joe just used him to share his own message, he gets angry and tries to hurt Joe. But Joe had already poisoned Micah’s wine glass with the same poison Micah used on his doubters. He dies choking on his own blood as Joe, Emma and Robert stand above him. This was also after Joe manipulated Micah into letting him strangle his wife Julia. Robert seems pretty okay with Joe’s mutiny and uses the opportunity to get the rest of the cult to follow Joe. Hence, Joe’s new holy army. They literally start to worship Joe, which means absolutely nothing good for the rest of the world.
But back to Claire. After Mike watches Joe’s message play on national TV, he meets with agents who black bag his head and take him to some nondescript hotel room where Claire is waiting. He must be coming to tell her about Joe, now that the rest of the world knows that he’s still alive. How will Ryan and Joe take the news that Claire is also still alive since they’ll clearly find out soon? Joe had just confessed earlier in the episode to Micah that Claire is his “one true regret.” Plus, Ryan and Carrie are still hooking up because he can’t not develop feelings for the women that he saves. Things are about to get super complicated.
Did you expect Claire to come back? Did you believe she was truly dead this whole time? Does this mean we’ll have to see Joey again? Also, Max saw Mike naked in the apartment! That’s like their first date, right? They can just start hooking up now and skip all the other awkward parts, please and thank you.
“The Following” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.