'The Following' Season 2 episode 2: Is Joe Carroll addicted to murder?


We finally got some answers about what Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) has been up to in the year since his faked death on "The Following" on Monday (Jan. 27), and the truth was even more messed up than we thought.

While Joe was hiding out in some backwoods town, living with a prostitute (Carrie Preston) and her daughter (Tiffany Boone), he was going by the name Darryl and attempting a southern drawl. But the prostitute knows Darryl is Joe! She had written letters to him back when he was in prison, a.k.a. she's another one of his followers. He's been living with with them, posing as her brother/a war vet. He even confides in the skeezy town reverend who "employs" his prostitute sister.

What is up with this town? These people are so messed up. The daughter, Mandy, even knows the truth about who Joe is, and wants to know what it feels like when he kills. Unfortunately, she gets a firsthand experience later that night. While watching the news, the reverend realizes Darryl is Joe, and before he can get away, both Joe and Mandy knock him out and tie him up. Joe finally confides the truth in the reverend when he comes to, and call his hideout "a dystopian squalor" and admits he's off his game when it comes to killing. Turns out, he really hadn't killed anyone since the lighthouse fire.

This is when things got twisted. He shouts, "I. Am. Inevitable." and kills the reverend with a knife, the way he shouts and moans as the reverend's life fades was almost like a cathartic release, like a junkie that had gone too long without a fix and stumbled into a drug den. Is Joe addicted to murder? And now that he's got the taste of it after so long, is he about to go on a rampage? While last week saw the "return" of Joe, this week's episode saw the true return of Joe. 

Bonus thrill: Call the number Joe wrote down from his followers (917-829-4091) to hear a special message from him ...

Back in NYC, Sam Underwood keeps on killing it as psychopath twins Luke and Mark, literally. The brothers kill a couple in another homage to "The Gothic Sea," and lure Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) to their apartment to let him find their son still alive. What is up with these two guys? They staged a family dinner with the two dead parents and once again have a conversation with the corpses. This time, they tell their "parents" about the girl they met: Heather, a.k.a. the girl they murdered and danced with. 

Luke and Mark love to make themselves at home in their victims' homes, which is probably an important clue about them. Ryan thinks they're trying to give themselves an identity, a home and a family. Luke did say "I love you, Dad" to the father, so it makes sense. But their action doesn't stop with just the couple. After Ryan sought out Lily Gray, the survivor of the subway murders, to ask if she had any connection to Joe, Luke and Mark call up Ryan to threaten her. He rushes to save her, and although they stab an FBI agent, he'll live. 

Ryan even gets a shot off on Luke, but the pain seems to make him even more manic, as does his glee at being able to reveal to Ryan that he's dealing with twins. Is Luke manic, and Mark depressive? Do they make up the two sides of bipolar disorder? That would certainly be an interesting dynamic, but we'll have to wait until next week to find out more.

"The Following" airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.

Photo/Video credit: David Giesbrecht/FOX