This is how it ends: Mike and Ryan set out to rescue Parker, who's been buried alive. They capture follower Alex after he lures them to the woods and tries to kill them. They torture Alex until he gives up the location of Parker's shallow grave, but when they arrive, she's already dead. In the coffin, Ryan finds a copy of Carroll's manuscript, which predicted Parker's death (and also Mike's, although he was wrong about that). The last chapter is missing, but the manuscript directs Ryan where to go to complete Carroll's plan.
Ryan ditches Mike in the woods with two dead bodies and goes off to be abducted by Emma and taken to the lighthouse where Carroll is holed up with Claire and some poor bastard named Neil. Ryan wakes up in yet another dark room, where Carroll threatens to start cutting pieces off of Claire in front of him. Ryan gets hold of Carroll's gun, then Carroll flees to the boathouse. They fight some more, the gun goes off, and the boathouse blows up, taking Carroll with it. Probably. Maybe. There's like a 14 percent chance he's dead, totally.
Ryan takes Claire back to his apartment in New York where they snuggle and order takeout and everything seems like it's going to end just swimmingly for Our Heroes, but then follower Molly breaks in to stab Ryan and Claire. They might be dead. They might not. Gut wounds are highly variable on this show.
Previously on The Following: All of this stuff happened! You could read about it here.
Havenport. Mitchell shows Mike and Ryan footage of Alex and the followers shoving Parker in the trunk of a car. They keep trying to muddle through more Poe clues as Ryan sees a guy in a Poe mask approach the barricade outside. An FBI agent brings him toward the sheriff's station. The person pulls off the mask, and he's a little kid. He says Emma gave him the mask and $20 to be a diversion. Ryan finds a phone number written inside the mask.
The ringing phone leads to buried-alive Parker, who manages to answer. She cries that she doesn't know where she is and eventually manages to tell Ryan and Mike what happened to her as Mitchell tries to trace the cell phone signal. As before, the followers are manipulating the signal so it's hard to trace. (Although aren't all the techie followers -- Charlie, Aaron -- dead at this point?) Parker tells Ryan what she remembers of her abduction and the culties who buried her. Ryan promises they'll find her and tells Mitchell to stay on the line with her.
Ryan and Mike figure Parker is buried in the nearby state forest. They guess she has three to five hours of oxygen. Turner pops up and says the police found Alex's car.
Claire wakes up in darkened room, naturally, but she can hear the ocean. She runs outside and finds she's... ugh. At the site of Poe's unfinished last work, The Light-House. "Motherfucker," Claire's grubby face and tangled hair seem to say. "Why couldn't we have just married Steve who worked at the Jiffy-Lube? He was perfectly nice and I'm pretty sure he's never read a book in his life." Behind her, Carroll says good morning and waves his gun around, warning her not to run. Forget running; I'd be happy if she just stabbed him again. In the throat this time. Carroll shoves her back inside the Big Stone House of Usher and Also Metaphor.
Claire asks if Carroll finds the whole lighthouse thing just a touch predictable. He bitches that it's a motif, you ignorant slut, that bookends the story, but she counters that his brilliant teaching never translated to his writing. She taunts him, daring him to just hurry up and kill her already. Carroll settles back into the shadows and rants crazily about how her death will make Ryan go round the bend. "Predictable," Claire concludes. Carroll's had enough, so he locks her in another room -- that isn't empty.