By Abby West
April 30, 2013 at 11:27 AM EDT
Barbara Nitke/Fox
  • TV Show

Spoiler Alert: Do not read any further if you haven’t already watched the season finale of  The Following.

I don’t know which was more of a surprise: that Ryan’s sidekick Agent Mike is actually alive at the end of the season or that Claire very possibly isn’t. The last scene of the night shouldn’t have truly been a surprise, what with the tension ratcheted so far up after the big confrontation between Joe and Ryan, but I had managed to forget all about Ryan’s sleeper agent neighbor/ex-girlfriend until she popped up in the kitchen. (I was, however, yelling at the TV for Ryan not to leave the knife on the table  to answer the door because that just seemed like a bad idea.)

For a show that specializes in violence, last night felt particularly horrific. Maybe it was because in his desire to save Agent Parker, Ryan just lost it. He dug his fingers into that cult member’s eye to get him to talk!! And then very deliberately put a bullet into the culty’s head once they realized Parker was dead. Even for Ryan, that was crossing a line. Meanwhile, we witnessed one of Joe’s rare murders, as he coldly, repeatedly stabbed a hostage just to prove a point to Claire.

For all of us who were wondering how they could plausibly set up a second season, this is how: we’ve yet to confirm that the remains found in the debris of that most excellent explosion are actually Joe’s (I’m not trusting that bit about the dental records and early DNA). There’s a distraught crazypants Emma running around in a red wig. And we need to find out what happens to Ryan and Claire after they’re attacked in the kitchen. Now that’s a cliffhanger.  And for a show that hooked me from the first episode and stayed overall strong throughout despite some bumps, it was a satisfying finale.

How about you? Did you like the fake-out ending? Did you enjoy watching Joe unravel at the end? Was it a good payoff?

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