TV Recap: 'The Following' Episode 115 - 'The Final Chapter'



the followingThe Following Episode 115
“The Final Chapter”
Written By: Kevin Williamson
Directed By: Marcos Siega
Original Airdate: 29 April 2013

In This Episode...

A child wearing a Poe mask shows up outside the FBI command center. The kid was paid $20 by a woman named Emma to deliver this mask. He takes it off and hands it over to Ryan. A phone number is inside. The call goes to a cell phone in the coffin with Debra. They can’t track the signal (naturally) so Debra describes what she can remember about where they took her. In the meantime, local cops spotted the car that Debra was abducted in. Mike and Ryan arrive, along with half the FBI, and discover it is a trap - they wanted the car to be found. Alex is laying in wait in the woods, and opens fire. Mike and several other agents lay down cover fire so Ryan can sneak up behind Alex. He is arrested without incident. Nick gives Ryan and Mike the OK to transport him in their vehicle, and to “do whatever needs to be done.”

So Mike and Ryan take Alex to a warehouse in the middle of nowhere where they promise to question him the same way Alex’s guys “questioned” Mike. Alex laughs, assuming that since they are with the FBI, they won’t actually harm him. Ryan and Mike prove him wrong, brutally, with a barrage of kicks and punches and a pipe to the knees. Alex is still pretty confident - he knows they won’t kill him. And they won’t, but they “will get pretty damn close.” Ryan gouges Alex in the eye, and this is his breaking point. He gives up Debra’s location.

Ryan and Mike call it in, then race out to the woods on Alex’s directions. He was not lying. Mike leaves Alex on the ground while he and Ryan dig into the freshly turned earth. They dig up Debra, but she is not breathing. Mouth-to-mouth doesn’t help. Debra is dead. Alex mocks them and their dead friend, so Ryan marches up to him, calmly, and shoot him point-blank between the eyes, execution-style. While the guys are waiting for backup to arrive, Ryan notices something in the bottom of the coffin. It is Joe’s manuscript, and he describes this scene detail for detail, as if he were narrating while watching the scene play out. Mike asks what comes next, and Ryan lies, saying there isn’t anything written. It actually says the next part requires Ryan to go alone.

Claire wakes up and finds she is no longer on a boat. She is in a large seaside house that has fallen into disrepair. It shares the property with an enormous lighthouse. Joe finds it fitting; Claire finds it predictable. She keeps pushing his buttons until he is fed up, and locks her in a bedroom. There is another man in there, but he is also a victim, Neal Meyer. Joe had hired him to bring the boat to this house, then broke his ankle and locked him in the room. Joe soon becomes “lonely” and brings Claire back into the main room with him. There he grills her on when she knew that Joe liked killing “things,” and when she fell in love with Ryan. This turns into a pity-party where Claire blames herself for not knowing earlier that her husband was a lunatic, and feeling responsible for the coeds he killed. Enraged, Joe drags Neal into the room and brutally stabs him to death in front of her. “This is what it is actually like to kill someone. You killed no one. I earned this.”

Ryan follows the directions in Joe’s manuscript and finds Emma. A guy catches him from behind and sedates him, Dexter-style. When Ryan wakes, he is in the seaside house with Claire, Joe, and Neal’s corpse. It is time for Joe’s ending, in which he kills Claire. Ryan begs him not to, insisting that it is a hackneyed ending that will ruin the story; Joe insists Claire must die to “honor Ryan’s death curse.” Ryan pushes all the right buttons, getting under Joe’s skin and causing him to attack Ryan instead of Claire. Ryan’s wrists may be bound, but he is still able to grab a gun and get a couple shots off. Joe runs. Claire assures Ryan that she is okay and encourages him to “go kill Joe.” Ryan pursues him to a small shed right on the water. Ryan’s shots miss Joe - but they hit some barrels of flammable liquid and start a fire. The decrepit structure begins to crumble almost immediately, trapping Joe behind a wall of flames. Ryan decides Joe is as good as dead and escapes before the entire shack explodes.

It seems that every government agency in the country shows up at the crime scene that morning. They have human remains, but neither Ryan nor Claire will be at peace until there is a DNA match to Joe. Claire speaks tearfully to Joey over the phone. She will go with Ryan to his place that night, then they will meet up with Joey in DC the next day. Nick puts several agents on their detail.

Once at Ryan’s apartment, he gets a call from the agency: dental records and preliminary DNA tests match the remains. Joe is dead. Claire and Ryan share in a well-deserved kiss then she showers while he orders dinner. His agents deliver the food, but while Ryan is trying to cut the knotted bag open, he hears something at the door. He goes to check - nothing. So he goes back to the food. He barely has time to register the fact that the knife is gone before Molly jumps out and stabs him in the gut, screaming “Joe promised me you would be my chapter!” She wasn’t expecting Claire, and hides when Claire comes out in a bathrobe. She sees Ryan, panics, and Molly jumps out and stabs her in the back. 

Dig It or Bury It?

Well, that was an ending. I was a little concerned because it felt like a very rote episode. I hope that Joe stays dead - while I love James Purefoy, the only way to end the season is to kill Joe, and the explosion on the water is a very convenient way to say “oops, all a joke, he’s really alive.” Ryan, clearly, won’t die, but Claire might. She is a wild card. Kevin Williamson has no problem killing off main characters in his shows (The Vampire Diaries) so you can’t count anything out. I feel like the cut to black after Claire was stabbed without actually seeing her dead means that she will return next season. Molly getting stabby wasn’t a surprise, if only because the “previously on” mentioned her portion of the story, and there was no need to show that if she didn’t show up.

Another obvious death was Debra. Frankly, I couldn’t get torn up over her death. I wasn’t a fan of her character (actually I don’t really care for her as an actress; she was one of the worst district attorneys on Law & Order) so seeing her die was a kind of, “yeah, well, that was bound to happen.”

Aw hell. If Claire is dead, does that mean Ryan will play daddy to Joey?