Joe Carroll’s followers make go on a public murdering spree in an effort to lure Carroll out of hiding, consequently bringing Ryan back out of retirement, in The Following season 2 premiere, “Resurrection.”

It’s been one year since the events of the season 1 finale – Joe pronounced dead after an explosion at the lighthouse and Claire and Ryan (Kevin Bacon) stabbed by Ryan’s ex girlfriend/next door neighbor. Ryan survived the attack, but Claire died, leaving Ryan to drown his sorrows in alcohol. A year later, he’s in AA and completely out of the FBI; he now teaches classes on criminology at NYU.

The Subway Murders

On the anniversary of Carroll’s death, three men in black hoodies, wearing rubber Joe Carroll masks, similar to the ones of Edgar Allen Poe used by Carroll followers in Season 1, get on a subway train and find a car with a surveillance camera. They stab all five people on the train, leaving only one alive – a blond, female art dealer. During the killing, they repeat, “Ryan Hardy can’t stop us. Joe Carroll lives. Resurrection.”


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That night, Ryan hears about the murders, but chooses to stay out of it, turning off the television when it comes on the news. Instead, he focuses on a dinner date he has with his niece, Max (Jessica Stroup) and her new boyfriend. Two friends from AA join them for a small dinner party, and Ryan appears to be having fun. The next day, he gets unceremoniously picked up by the FBI to consult on what have been dubbed ‘the subway murders.’

Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) has also been brought in. Mike was suspended as the FBI investigated Ryan’s shooting of a Carroll follower from last season, and now he is being called back. Mike and Ryan’s reunion is hardly a happy one. While Mike is eager to help, Ryan refuses to add anything substantial to the investigation and we flashback to their last meeting. Mike had tried to reach out to Ryan following Claire’s death, finding him drunk at a bar. Mike told Ryan that he would lie for him about the death of the follower, that he would say that the guy was attacking them so Ryan fired – a good shooting. Ryan says he doesn’t have to lie for him. He’s given up, and Mike walks out.

Back in the present day at FBI headquarters, Mike uses his tech savvy to identify one of the masked murderers. It’s Carlos, one of Joe Carroll’s faithful’s that escaped a year ago. Armed with this information, Ryan summons his NYPD detective niece, Max, to his apartment and the two work to find a location on Carlos. This just after Ryan tells Mike flat out that he isn’t interested in anything Joe Carroll-related.

Mike thinks that Carroll’s followers are spreading his killer gospel. This isn’t a copycat; it’s the cult rising up from the ashes. After all, they never caught all of Joe’s disciples. Emma (Valorie Curry), for example, is living in New Jersey with short purple hair as a disguise. She lives with another one of Carroll’s followers, and is baffled when she sees the Subway Murders on the news.

Joe Carroll Lives

Despite Max’s advice that he contact the FBI, Ryan goes to Carlos’ NYC apartment on his own. He finds Carlos and interrogates him. Carlos tells Ryan that he picked Carroll up after the explosion, and he was very much alive. Due to the massive FBI presence in the area, he had to drop Carroll off somewhere secluded and he hasn’t seen him since. Then Ryan understands: Carlos is trying to get Carroll’s attention, to draw him out again. Carlos escapes before Ryan can get anything else out of him, so Ryan takes the opportunity to search his apartment. He takes a Carroll mask and some other documents with him and sneaks out. As Ryan leaves, Emma comes out of the shadows.

Meanwhile, Luke (Sam Underwood), a seemingly innocent young man, flirts with a blond in an apartment building. He strangles her and then parades around her apartment, playing house with her corpse. He cooks for them, they dance, and he does her make up and brushes her hair. She’s too heavy for him to carry alone, so he gets help from his identical twin brother, Mark. Together, they set up the woman’s body in a public park. She is seated, wearing a white nightgown, reading a newly released book on Joe Carroll’s crimes. She is made to look like Gwendolin, the character from Carroll’s novel that was inspired by Claire.

Max tells Ryan about the murder, and Ryan shows up in the middle of Mike and the FBI’s investigation of the scene. Mike tries to talk some sense into Ryan, to convince him to stay and help. Mike knows Ryan is doing more than he’s admitting, and he wants to help. He confronts him about disappearing after Carroll’s death. Mike needed him to deal with Agent Parker’s death, and Ryan ignored him. Ryan turns and walks away.

Luke, his twin Mark and Carlos meet in a motel room where a French girl, Giselle (Camille De Pazzis) sits unwrapping burner phones. Luke acts as a ring leader of sorts and punishes Carlos for almost being caught by Ryan, hitting him in the throat and then forcing him to stand in a corner.

This newly staged murder coupled with the Subway murders make for pretty big news. In a secluded cabin somewhere, a young girl doing homework in front of the television calls out for ‘Darryl’ to come inside and watch the news of the murders. Darryl is Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), alive, and suspiciously pleased to see Ryan Hardy on his television again.

The Following continues Monday, Jan. 27 at 9 p.m. on FOX.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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