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The Following, episode 15, The Final Chapter

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Well, here we are, folks. It’s the end of season one of The Following. Things aren’t looking so good for Hardy and especially Agent Parker and Claire. And with Carroll severely wounded, this is anyone’s game. Let’s see how it will play out, shall we?

“The Final Chapter” opens with Hardy and the FBI review footage from the attack on the center, they ID one of the followers, Alex, and also make the connection that Carroll has brought to life some of Poe’s better known literary creations. But the real treat is when Hardy turns to see none other than a “Poe-Head” walking briskly up the sidewalk toward FBI headquarters. His look mirrored my thoughts exactly on the matter. The creepiest thing is when the mask is taken off, it is a kid under it. It turns out that Emma paid the boy $20 to put it on and go to them. There’s a phone number written on the inside.

Agent Parker luckily has her cell phone on her and picks up when Hardy calls. Her pitiful cries are heart wrenching as she tells Hardy she’s in a coffin, buried alive; another one of Poe’s signature plots. The FBI can’t trace her signal, so Parker tries to recount what she remembers of the route they took her on.

Meanwhile, Claire wakes up and finds that she’s in a, wait for it, a lighthouse with Carroll. I saw this one coming as it alluded to Poe’s last unfinished novel, and Carroll’s one pubbed novel. Even Claire nails his predictability with the lighthouse. Carroll thinks he’s so damn clever. Pffft. Carroll believes that seeing her death will do Hardy in for good. After Claire smarts off to him again, we get to see his even more deteriorated mental state with his childlike behavior. He throws her into a darkened room with a mysterious figure. I also have to mention that Carroll has undergone quite the transformation from episode one until now. His handsome good looks are now a flop sweat covered, mind addled, blood stained mess. His mental decline has mirrored his physical decline. Yet Hardy looks as good as he did on day one, minus the hangover, of course.

Hardy and the team come up on an abandoned car with a knifed tire in the forest where they are looking for Parker. It turns out to be a trap as Alex lies in wait, decked out in camo and sporting a sniper rifle as the gunfire begins. Hardy soon takes Alex down and they get him in custody.

The guy in the room with Claire, Neil Meyer, tells her the story that a couple of kids broke his ankle and threw him in there. Claire tells him it was Carroll who did it.

Hardy and Weston take Alex to do a little questioning to find Parker. We get to see a determined and violent Hardy attack Alex, forcing him to tell them where Parker was. I like this Hardy. In fact, I want to see him push this further.

Claire and Neil try to find a way out, but Carroll comes back to take Claire with him, carrying his trusty gun. Claire tries to convince him to let Neil go, but Carroll wants to kill him instead. Claire talks him out of it, and Carroll starts talking about their lost love.

Hardy and Weston take Alex with them as they race to find Parker. Hardy gets Parker on the phone and she wants them to tell her friends and family goodbye for her. It’s a tough scene, and you can see how hard it is on everyone’s faces. Parker absolves Hardy of the blame for her death because she knows he will take it on himself. They quickly get to a place that appears to be a freshly dug grave. It still doesn’t feel right, but they soon find a wooden crate, and once opened, it is indeed Parker. She’s stopped breathing, though, and Hardy desperately performs CPR on her, but she’s already gone. Alex mocks them with a bloody smile, and Hardy loses it, shooting him square in the face.

In the bottom of Parker’s coffin was Joe’s book. Hardy skims it and finds that everything was written, down to Hardy’s attempt to revive Parker. But in the story, Weston died when Alex shot him in the woods, so the story can be changed. The story says for Hardy to go to an abandoned building, alone. Hardy forces Weston to stay back, shooting the ground to make his point.

Back in the lighthouse, Carroll asks Claire when she knew that he liked to kill people. She said it was when he was arrested. She also admits that she loved him before all of that, and that she should’ve seen it coming. As Claire is a crying over her guilt, Carroll tries to show her that it’s not her fault, that she is the victim and he is the killer by dragging Neil out of the room and stabbing him multiple times until he’s dead. Hell of a way to prove a point.

Hardy makes it to the abandoned building and finds Emma there. She tells him to follow her directions because this is the real deal and she has been instructed to shoot him if she needs. Another follower comes up behind Hardy and injects him in the neck, leaving him unconscious. When he wakes up, he’s in the dimly lit lighthouse with Claire and Carroll. Carroll says the book is still being written. Carroll goes on to compare himself with Hardy, believing them to be the same. Hardy reigns him back in by asking about the ending of the book, but Carroll wants to know when Hardy fell in love with Claire. It’s always about Claire. Jealousy has been eating Carroll up since he’s been incarcerated it seems. We find out how Carroll has perceived Hardy’s involvement in his case from the beginning. Again, it’s all about Claire. His jealousy-fueled rage has him pointing an ice pick at her eyes. Hardy tries his damnedest to bait Carroll into attacking him instead. After he takes jabs at almost everything about Carroll, the ball is dropped when Hardy trashes Poe. What happens next is a fumbled attempt at going for Hardy that leaves Claire escaping and Hardy and Carroll fighting in the boathouse and find themselves in another dark room. These dark room action scenes are in almost every episode now it seems. A fire is started when the many barrels of fuel are spilled and Carroll gets trapped. Hardy retreats and Claire shows up in time for the both of them to watch the building explode in a ball of fire.

The episode concludes when the sun is up and the FBI are crawling all over the lighthouse property. Both Claire and Hardy insist on a positive ID on the partial remains that have been found. They also have seven of the followers in custody, but we’ll never really know how many there were all together, so the possibilities are endless. Hardy plans on taking Claire with him. Later that night, through dental records, the FBI identifies the remains as Carroll, and Claire and Hardy have a much needed and long awaited embrace. We see a very upset and incognito Emma watching the news report of Carroll’s death. She runs away in tears, I would guess, heartbroken. Hardy hears a knock on the front door, but it’s only FBI who have been assigned to watch him and Claire, bringing them food. Or is it? He hears another noise, but there’s no one there. When Hardy turns around, crazy ass Molly is in his apartment. Hell bent on carrying out her chapter, she stabs Hardy and when Claire comes in, rushing to Hardy’s side, she stabs her, too.

It was a helluva ending for the season, and it leaves me wondering, is Carroll really dead? I think I’ve been programmed to doubt everything around Carroll. Also, I have to wonder how this will end for Hardy and Claire. Will they kill Claire off to harden Hardy even further? I’m not quite sure how I feel about Parker’s death. They tried to develop her character, but only a little bit. She only became more human and emotional near the end, so I wasn’t as committed to her. She was important to Hardy, though, so I see it as another way to toughen him, make him edgier. Hardy’s losses were many this season, and I hope to see him come back rougher, grittier and more aggressive. He always had a bit of a soft side to him that never rubbed me the right way. If Claire dies, or is at least mortally wounded, it will surely change him. And perhaps one of my most favorite moments through the season was tonight when Hardy admitted to being sick of Poe. He said it! It was like that line was written for all of the fans that have stuck with the show. They heard our complaints and cleverly wrote in a caustic reply in a witty retort by Hardy. Brilliant!

Goodnight to Hardy and goodnight to Carroll, and, of course, goodnight to all of you amazing people out there who have read my recaps throughout this season. Thank you and I will see you again soon.

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Posted by on Monday, April 29th, 2013. Filed under Dark TV, Headline, Images. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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