Previously on The Following: Joe Carroll was in jail. Now he's not. Claire is in protective custody and new FBI guy Nick Donovan is in charge of the case. Lovely Mike got stabbed in the gut, just like Paul, but they're both alive.
Ryan, Parker and the rest of the Richmond-based team are reporting via videoconference to the CIA, Homeland Security, the NSA and the ATF (which Fox doesn't seem to know is actually called the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) on the size of Carroll's cult -- they don't actually know how big it is, but they're guessing there might be up to 100 people. Ryan talks about the varying kinds of killers in the cult and the personality types Carroll has enthralled.
Intercut with all this are cheerful morning scenes at Cult HQ, of Carroll greeting his adoring followers. Ryan updates us: Mike is still unconscious, but they have a sketch artist waiting to take down his impressions of Roderick and the others when he wakes up. Carroll is lecturing his cult about how this moment is a dream for him and how he's so grateful for the sacrifices all the followers have made. There's one woman he keeps making eye contact with, and she's blushing and looking down like the quarterback just made her Homecoming Queen, along with a redheaded guy who's similarly besotted.
Donovan catches up with Ryan and Parker as they leave the building, with Ryan referring to all the people who've died as a "PR nightmare." Jesus, Ryan. Maybe try to be less of an asshole? Donovan asks to speak with Parker privately and tells her control of the operation is being moved to DC. Her job from now on will be babysitting Ryan here in Richmond.
Arrowhead Lake, Pennsylvania. A Volvo pulls up in front of a very nice lakeside house, and when the lady driving it walks into her kitchen, she finds dirty dishes in the sink. Which she did not appear to have put there. She finds Paul sleeping on the couch and Jacob comes up behind her, scaring her, until she recognizes him. She's his mother.
The obsessed girl from earlier is giving her book report to Carroll, and she's so nervous she's gasping and she keeps losing her place. Roderick tries to calm her down while Carroll and Louise smile indulgently.
Flashback to 2007. The obsessive gap-toothed girl visits Carroll in prison. She apologizes for seeming like a groupie, but he's very happy to meet her. She rants to him about how her husband is cheating on her with a woman from work, and quotes a letter in which he told her to "insist on happiness." Her way of insisting: murdering her husband and his lover with a shotgun, and then covering up the evidence by dismembering the bodies, bagging them and dumping them in a swamp in Florida. It's like the first verse of "Cell Block Tango" except even less rational, and also I think Gap-tooth is wearing pants. Now she's scared of getting caught. Now she's scared. Carroll tells her Roderick can help her out with a place to stay.