The Following Season 3 Finale Recap – Lots of Death, a Little Life: “Dead or Alive/The Reckoning”

The Following Season 3 Finale Recap - Lots of Death, a Little Life: "Dead or Alive/The Reckoning"

Tonight on FOX their hit psychological thriller, The Following returns with an all new Monday, May 18 season 3 finale called “Dead or Alive; The Reckoning,” and we have your weekly recap below. On tonight’s episode, in the series finale, the FBI’s hunt for Theo [Michael Ealy] intensifies as some of their own are attacked, suspicions mount, alliances crumble and no one appears safe.

On the last episode an increasingly reckless Ryan continues his search for Theo, as Mark and Daisy discover information that lead them closer to the FBI than ever and puts Mike in a dangerous situation. Then, a deadly deal was made, but things don’t go as planned, and Ryan made a decision for his future. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it, we have a full and detailed recap right here for you.

On tonight’s episode per say the FOX synopsis, “the FBI hunt for Theo continues and the stakes are higher than ever as some of their own come under attack. As suspicions rise, alliances are shaken and no one is safe in the harrowing final heart-stopping moments.”

Tune in at 9PM on FOX for another exciting episode of THE FOLLOWING! We’ll be blogging it right here for you so check back in with us. In the meantime, hit up the comments and tell us your thoughts on the second season of the show!

Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!

#TheFollowing series finale begins with Mike being loaded into an ambulance after the violent stabbing attack by Mark. Max is at the hospital with him and she asks if he’s going to live but they wheel him into trauma and she can’t follow. She watches from the door as they work on him. They roll him and pull his shirt off and she can see the stab wounds. They start a massive transfusion. Ryan shows up and Max hugs him still covered in Mike’s blood. She cries and he holds her tight.

He tells her it will be all right. Max paces the waiting room when extra security shows up to guard Mike and protect him from Theo. Ryan tells the FBI guys that Theo hacked their system and that he has to be off book and none of this information can go on the FBI systems. Gwen is there under guard as well and she asks how Mike is. Gwen takes Max to go get her cleaned up and check on her. Ryan thanks her for coming as she leads her off.

Daisy listens to the news about Mark’s attack on Mike and his death while sitting in the van. She looks around but doesn’t see Theo. He’s sitting in the woods by a tree saying his sister’s name over and over like a mantra while holding a gun in his hand. He’s devastated. He puts the gun to his head and his finger on the trigger. Daisy gets out of the van and sees him about to kill himself. He’s clearly lost it. He stops and seems to gain some clarity.

He takes the gun away from his head. He sneers and then looks determined. He marches out from the woods and tells Daisy he knows what he has to do and says they will be free tomorrow if all goes as planned today. Gwen comes back and updates Max and Ryan on Mike’s injuries. She’s not sure if he’ll make it but says he has great doctors working on him. Ryan steps aside to speak to Gwen alone. He wants her to stay in a secure location – at his house – and says her apartment is a security nightmare.

Gwen says she’s going to stay at the hospital for now to keep an eye on Mike. Ryan asks how the pregnancy is going and she says some morning sickness. Ryan tells her he went to a meeting last night and she says it’s a good start but it will take a lot more than that. Ryan says she and the baby mean everything to him and says he’s leaving the FBI as soon as this is over. He says he wants them more than that job. Gwen says she wants to believe it for the baby’s sake but isn’t sure yet.

Ryan asks if he has a shot and she tells him that she has an ultrasound later and will call him once it’s done. Daisy and Theo go to a hotel and kill Eliza’s guards. She asks if Theo is crazy and he says a little bit. He tells her they need to talk. Eliza says she should have him killed right now. He tells her she brokered this deal and they’re in it together. She tells the reinforcements to stand down and asks Theo if he can get Ryan. He says he needs a couple of guys who know how to handle a gun.

He says he needs someone the Feds won’t recognize. She says she can’t risk exposure. Theo pushes back on her threats and says this will only make her look bad if it falls through. He says he can’t wait to see where her body turns up. She smiles and thanks him smugly for his concern. She tells him he can have two and says she expects results. He says hardy will be dead by the end of the day and he’ll call her when it’s done. He apologizes for the mess and says he hopes she has an amazing housekeeper.

At the FBI, Lisa tells Ryan he doesn’t have to be there. She says Donovan thinks Ryan is the best hope to find Theo but she wants Ryan off the case. Ryan admits he’s been off the rails but can do this. He says Theo won’t run because he’ll want revenge for Penny. Ryan says they need to turn up the pressure and they hold a press conference. Ryan shows photos of Theo and Daisy saying they’re traveling together and that he has many aliases and different looks. He asks everyone to call if they see them.

Max is at the hospital in Mike’s hospital room. He made it out of surgery but looks bad. He’s on a ventilator. The doctor tells Max the damage was extensive and his condition is touch and go. He says the next 12 hours are critical. Gwen is there with her and Max says it happened so fast. She says Mike saved her life and she just sat there. Gwen says some things are out of your control and says Mark did this and it wasn’t her fault. She encourages Max to get some rest and promises to call if anything changes.

Max heads to the ops center and Ryan asks how Mike is. She says it’s a waiting game and says she wants and needs to help. They’re told the tip lines are being flooded since the press conference and show hits all over the country. Ryan looks and says none of these are right. He says the target will be someone close to him since he killed Penny. In Hudson Valley, an FBI SUV pulls up at a large house and a woman and a child get out. Theo watches from the woods.

Max tells Ryan they got a match on Theo and Daisy in an elevator on the Upper East Side. She says the surveillance video went dead right after they showed. Ryan says it sounds like Theo. Ryan says something important must be in that building and they roll out. Theo is outside Dawn and Gina’s house. Gina looks around outside at the guards then plays with the kids. One of the FBI guys gets out to do a sweep. The other stays put in the SUV.

He heads out back of the house and looks around. He hears a noise in the woods and creeps up to look around. Theo sneaks up and garottes him. He tells one of Eliza’s guys to get dressed in the uniform. Gina comes out with coffees for the FBI guy. He says his partner is doing a sweep. She tells him to stay warm. Theo creeps up and stabs that guy in the head efficiently. The kids are playing with Dawn. Gina looks out the window and sees the two coffees on the dash then sees one guard on patrol. She isn’t alarmed.

Theo and the two henchmen leave the dead FBI guy on the ground and slip into their uniforms. Ryan runs right into Eliza at the hotel. He asks to come into her room and she says she was just leaving but lets he and Max come in. Max shows photos of Daisy and Theo. Eliza acts scared and says their photos are all over the news. She lets them take a look around. She says it’s just her there. The signs of the killing have been all cleaned up. She says it’s her boss’s place – a hedge fund guy. She says she’s there to check on it and water the plants.

Max clears the place and Eliza says there’s a few empty units on the floor then offers to take Ryan’s card and call him if she sees them hanging around. They leave. She’s not pleased. Gina and Dawn play with the kids then Gina goes to put them down for a nap. Gina hears the sound of breaking glass and calls out to Dawn but she doesn’t answer. Gina tries to call but her cell network is out. She tells the kids to be brave and takes them to the panic room. She says they have to go inside and not open the door except for her or Dawn. She goes to get her gun and calls out again for Dawn.

She creeps downstairs and looks around. She sees Dawn in the kitchen with Daisy holding a gun on her and Theo then gets the drop on Gina. She says she’s the one she wants and to leave Dawn alone. But Theo says he wants her entire family.

At the FBI, Ryan calls Gwen and gets her voice mail. He leaves a message asking about her doctor appointment. Max is talking to a tech and has him search for Annie Bruchard. Gina calls Ryan and he says he’s busy. She says she went over some case intel on Theo and says she thinks she knows how he met Strauss and asks him to meet her at the safe house. He says he’s busy but she says it’s worth it and he says he’ll be there as soon as he can. Theo tells her good job.

Ryan tells Max to come with him. They go talk to Lisa. Ryan says to take the SIM cards out of their phones now. They all do. He says he thinks Theo has Gina. Ryan says Gina called to tell him she had a lead and wants him to come to the safe house. He says something was off and it’s a trap for him. Lisa says she’ll get an HRT team but he says Theo is watching them and listening to their communications. Ryan says he’ll kill Gina and her family if he thinks they’re on to him.

He says they need to recruit agents face to face they can trust and roll out with just them. They all go to recruit. Theo asks Gina where the kids are and she says they’re safe where he can’t get them. Daisy says she put them in the panic room before she could get to them. Theo says wow and then tells her that a panic room is truly useless when the house around it is burning down. He chuckles evilly and says if she tips Ryan off, he’ll keep her alive long enough to hear the kids screaming in the fire.

The henchmen come back inside and Theo goes to chat with him. They tell him the property is clear and he says to take positions to wait on Ryan. He says he’ll kill him and if they mess up the plan, he will make them suffer. Eliza calls and says there’s a change of plans. She says they want Ryan Hardy alive. He wants to know why but she says alive or the deal is off then ends the call. Theo is frustrated. Gina watches him twitch. He looks back at Dawn who is bleeding a little.

Theo runs at her and goes to stab her. Gina says Ryan could call back and if he hurts Dawn, she won’t help him. Theo says she, her wife and kids will die when he decides. He holds a knife right by her eye and shouts – no one else. Daisy sees him coming unglued. He walks out of the room. The team assembles off the property of the safe house and Ryan tells them it’s a bad scenario. They don’t know how many or there or how much surveillance there may be.

Ryan says he has to go in alone and try to get Theo away from Gina and her family. He says all of them need to set up a perimeter around the property, wait 10 minutes then come in weapons hot. Ryan asks for a watch from one of the agents. Max asks what he’s doing and he says it’s his job. She says it’s reckless and he says he just wants Gina and her family out of harm’s way and says he owes Gina that. He starts the timer on the watch and drives up to the house.

Theo sees the headlights coming. He tells Gina if she makes a sound, Daisy will cut her wife’s throat. Daisy stands poised to do so. Ryan stops the car and gets out. He sees the SUV – an “FBI agent” gets out and greets him. They tell him there’s no trouble and the family is safe and sound inside. Ryan knows something is off. One walks in front of him and one in the back. Ryan shoots one, then knocks the other down and takes off running. Theo comes out in a panic.

They tell him that Ryan knew they weren’t FBI. Ryan runs up into the woods. Theo and the other guy go running past. Ryan checks his watch and there’s almost seven minutes left. He runs for the house. Only Daisy is in there. Gina gives her wife a look. Daisy tells them not to think about it. The front door opens and Daisy calls out for Theo then pulls her gun. She goes to see who’s at the door. She calls Theo’s name again. She looks around the large foyer. Ryan grabs her and bashes her head into a wall.

Theo is back in the house and has a gun to Gina’s head. Theo says he can kill Daisy. One of the henchmen gets up behind Ryan and has a gun on him. Ryan tells him to let them go and Theo says it’s taking all his patience not to kill them all. He presses a gun into Gina’s head and says he loves the idea of going down in a fiery blaze of glory now that Penny’s dead. He tells Ryan to drop the gun. He does. Daisy steps away from him and picks up her gun. She aims the gun at Ryan and says – you killed Kyle. Theo talks her down.

Theo then goes to confront Ryan and tells Daisy to kill the women and kids then she’s free. Ryan begs them not to do it. Theo strikes him hard and says to save his breath. Theo says they’re taking Ryan for a drive. Gina tells Daisy she doesn’t have to do this. She says she knows she’s not a child killer but Daisy says she has no choice. Gina says she has a choice and they’re just babies. She asks Daisy what Kyle would say knowing she was going to kill two children.

Dawn takes a run at Daisy who shoots her in the gut. Gina knocks her down and runs upstairs calling for the kids to open the panic room door. Daisy fires at them but they made it into the panic room. Theo gets distracted by the shots and Ryan runs. Then the backup pulls up lights and guns blaring. Theo runs into the woods. They uncuff Ryan and he grabs a weapon and the chase is on. Theo is up in the trees bounding through the darkness. Ryan and a bunch of Feds are hot on his trail.

Max is out in the woods too. She seems to be alone and Daisy creeps up behind her. Max puts her down with several shots to the chest. She walks over to her and looks down at her bleeding form. Max snatches her gun and looks pleased with herself. Gwen looks at her ultrasound photo with a small smile. She’s at Ryan’s place. Ryan is hot on Theo’s trail. Looks like he ran right past him. A car patrols the road and Theo creeps up close. Ryan is after him.

Ryan’s phone buzzes – it’s Gwen. Theo gets off several shots at him. Gwen tells him that Mike is doing better and the ultrasound went well. The agent stops her car and says she heard something but then Theo shoots her through the window. Gwen plays the baby’s heartbeat for Ryan on the message. Ryan runs for the road. He sees the agent gasping for life, shot and left on the road. She says he took her car and is headed North. He calls for help. Gwen finishes the voice mail.

Ryan says he sees a sign and reads off their location. Gwen says it felt wrong with him not being at the doctor today. As Gwen ends the message, the wounded agent looks panicked. Theo is standing right behind Ryan!

Theo shoves Ryan in the back of the car. He stops and pops the trunk open. It’s daylight now. Theo has a gun on him and tells him to get out. He does. He asks Theo where they’re going and he says – your grave. Ryan says he’s not the guy that will end him. Theo asks if he’s sure and Theo says both of them won’t make it through the day and he can’t wait to see who survives. Max and the FBI techs work the kidnapping scene. Agent Barton is also missing.

Lisa says Theo disabled the Lojack and they wonder why he didn’t just kill Ryan there. Max says it’s so he could take his time with him. Ryan asks Theo where Barton is and he says that’s how he got the drop on him and says passion makes you weak. Theo says he’s going to show Ryan how much he cared about his sister. He says that’s why they’re there. He locks Ryan into a large concrete room. He finds Barton there and she says she thinks the bleeding in her shoulder stopped. Ryan makes her stand to help her wound.

She says she thinks they’re within four hours of the safe house. Max is back at the FBI and the techs are working video. She says Theo likely switched cars and they need to find that. Lisa tells Max to get to the hospital. She heads over. Gwen says Mike took a turn for the worse and is fighting sepsis. Gwen says she called Ryan but hasn’t heard back. Max lies and says he’s in the field. Theo takes a call from Eliza who asks if he has Ryan. She says she’ll give him a location. He asks why she wants him alive then he says too bad, he’s keeping him.

Theo says with his sister dead, she has nothing to offer him. He says he watched his sister’s eyes when Ryan gunned her down. Eliza says she understands his loss. She threatens him but Theo says she’s the one who sounds scared. He says he’ll send a souvenir and says he’ll send Ryan’s pace maker to her after he rips it out of his chest. Ryan tells Barton to keep fighting to get back to the people she loves. He asks about her dad and boyfriend and says he’s going to propose – she found the ring. She says it’s a yes and Ryan tells her to hang on. Theo comes into the room with his gun out and tells Barton not to quit on him.

Then he tells Ryan to come with him. Max paces the waiting room while Gwen sits with her. Max says Mike told her he loved her right before he was attacked. She says she didn’t say it back. She says she thought she would have more time to tell him later. Gwen says Mike knows. She picks up her phone and says she thought Ryan would have called back by now. Max says she’s not supposed to tell her and was hoping for good news but says Ryan is missing. She says she has no details but they’re all looking for him. Gwen and Max get word that Mike made it out of surgery and that he’s hanging on.

Gwen says it’s a good sign. Gwen asks if Theo has Ryan and Max says they’ll find him. Theo says Ryan got off on killing Penny but Ryan says Theo was the one that killed him. Theo holds a gun to his head and Ryan says kill him or shut the hell up. Theo shoves his head into a tank of water and says first he’s going to make him suffer like he promised. He pulls his head up and then back in several times. He asks if this is what he did to Penny since he knows she’s scared of water. Ryan asks what he expected.

Theo asks how he’ll protect his family once he’s gone then shoves his head back in the water. Lisa and the team are hard at working trying to find Ryan and Theo. One calls Lisa over and says he found Barton’s car. They see Theo’s face on the toll road camera. Max is with Mike stroking his face and talking to him. Her phone rings and Hopkins tells her what they found. He says Lisa didn’t want him to call but he wanted to give her an update. She asks him to send the video to her tablet. She ends the call.

Mike groans a little when Max strokes his hair. His eyes flicker open and he says her name. She says hi and smiles at him. Ryan comes to and chokes out some water. He sees Theo drag in Barton. Ryan says it’s not about her but Theo says she’s another casualty in the Ryan Hardy crusade. Ryan asks what he can tell him to get him to stop. Theo says he’s powerless to do anything about it and Theo slits her throat while Ryan watches and screams no. Theo says he’ll be powerless to save Gwen once he’s done with him.

Men rush in with guns out and surround him. Eliza says she got there in the nick of time. She says when they want something, they get it. Theo is held at gunpoint. Max stays with Mike tending to him and brings him some water. She tells him about Ryan being taken and says they still can’t find him and wonders where he stopped with him but says she can’t find it. Mike tells her to look again at the highway cam. She starts the footage and then says he went off grid at mile marker 244.

Then she spots what looks like a glitch in the feed. She finds something. She says Theo switched cars. Eliza says she had a tracker placed on Ryan. Then she calls in to her secret FBI source – it’s Lisa! She asks Eliza if there’s anything else she can do for her. She tells Lisa to keep the Feds away from the location for awhile and says she needs to make sure Theo’s remains are there for them to find. Eliza agrees and says she wants Lisa to be promoted to keep helping them.

Max calls Lisa and tells her about the glitch in the video feed and says she found where he swapped cars. Lisa says she’ll come pick up Max at the hospital. Lisa then lies to Hopkins and says they found nothing. She says she has to go. Eliza is ready to kill Theo but he says he cracked her encryption and if he dies, a download of all their info will be released to all news organizations. Eliza tells her men to get the code just in case. They start torturing him with electricity.

Eliza asks Ryan what he knows about her. He says nothing. She thinks he’s lying. They continue shocking Theo until he sizzles but he doesn’t give them what they want. He screams in agony. Eliza says she hates torture. Eliza says she thinks Ryan started asking questions then asks who he tasked with researching her. She threatens Gwen and his unborn child. She says to give him the names of who he told and she’ll kill only them or she’ll have to kill everyone. She says it’s Ryan’s choice.

Max and Lisa ride out to the area and Lisa says first Mike, now Ryan but says driving aimlessly isn’t productive. Max spots something and tells her to stop. Lisa discourages her actively but Max is off and running and spots the swap car. She says to call for backup but Lisa pulls her gun. Max says to split up to cover more ground. She’s off and running and, of course, Lisa didn’t call for backup. Ryan manages to work his bonds loose and jumps Eliza then cracks her head into the wall.

He calls her a dumb bitch and says he didn’t know anything about her, but he’ll sure as hell be sure to find out now. One of the guards comes in and Ryan gets a drop on him. Theo tries to get loose. Another of the men takes a shot at Ryan. Theo works his bonds loose and Eliza grabs a gun to go after Ryan. Theo hobbles room to room in bad shape looking for a weapon. He grabs up something from the floor – a paper of some sort and takes off. Ryan is dodging Eliza’s men and taking them out as he can.

He takes out a couple more and then Theo is off and running but has to stop and fight some of her men too. Theo runs up a ladder to get out and Ryan is close behind him. He takes a shot at Theo then follows. Ryan is out of ammo. Theo waits at the top with a branch and says he found the ultrasound and says he’s going to take the child to be away from him. He says the good news is Gwen will survive until she gives birth then says he’s going to take the child and make sure it’s abused and neglected. He slams the lid down on Ryan and walks away.

Eliza is in the woods with her gun. Lisa is there and says Max traced the car. Theo creeps nearby. Lisa says she had to call for backup and tells her to get out of there. She tells Lisa to kill Ryan or she’ll have Lisa killed. Eliza takes off. Theo watches the exchange. Lisa looks around. Eliza takes off. Theo steps out of sight then grabs Lisa as she comes by. He says she’s working for him now and drags her off at gun point. Ryan runs out of the bunker and then sees a guard but Max shoots the guy. Ryan says they have to go now.

Ryan calls to warn the guards to protect Gwen. That agent then calls Lisa. Theo puts it on speaker. Lisa says Ryan has been compromised by Theo and says to get Gwen ready to move. She says Theo hacked the FBI and she’ll call and to only move on her orders. Gwen asks if that’s about Ryan and the guard says they have to move her and he asks her to pack a bag so they can leave. Max asks what’s going on and Ryan says the guy she shot must be working for Theo. They roll out.

The guards escort Gwen out of Ryan’s apartment. Ryan and Max rush to Gwen but Ryan is still worried. He says he never should have asked her to move in. He says she didn’t understand the danger. Ryan says this will never end and says – look what happened to Gina. He says he can’t bring a kid into this chaos then tells Max that Gwen is pregnant. She says it’s great but he says he doesn’t get to be happy. He says that’s not the world he lives in and says he knows that now.

Gwen is taken downstairs and she asks why this way. The guard says a secondary exit is standard protocol. Lisa is there with Theo. He kills the guards and Gwen takes off running. Max and Ryan show up and race in the front door. Gwen hides in the basement. Theo creeps around looking for her. Theo gets hold of her and holds a gun to her head. He says they have to take care of the little one. Ryan runs into his place and sees Gwen is gone. Max says maybe they moved her to keep her safe.

He calls one of the guards but that guy is dead. There’s no answer. Ryan says he thinks Theo has her. Max gets info the phones are pinging in the basement and they run down and find guards dead and Lisa knocked out. She comes to and says Theo jumped her and made her compromise the security vehicle. Gwen tells Theo he’s broken and he says he knows exactly who he is but most people don’t. He says he enjoys the irony of living fake lives to be himself. She says he had a family and kids and he says they weren’t real and Penny was his only real family.

She asks how he can feel so much love for one person and nothing for anyone else. He tells her Ryan is dead and she cries. Theo says not to worry, she can name the baby after him. Ryan is in a chopper and Max updates him on where the car is headed and where the roadblocks are. Theo u-turns to avoid a roadblock and Max tells Ryan she lost him. They spot the roadblock and Ryan wonders if he turned off the main road. He spots headlights. Theo speeds up and Ryan gives chase in the chopper.

Theo drives through a barricade over a damn. The chopper cuts him off. He backs up and then he’s blinded by chopper headlights. He gets out and starts shooting at the chopper then yanks Gwen out of the car. Theo holds a gun to her head and Ryan says to let her go. He says he knows no matter what, Theo is a survivor but Theo says he’s ready to do and says to pull the trigger but he’ll still kill Gwen. Ryan says he wins and lowers his gun. Then Theo relaxes a little and Ryan pulls his gun up fast and shoots him in the head. He runs to Gwen and hugs her.

But then Theo is up – the bullet just grazed his head. Theo knocks he and Ryan off the bridge but Ryan manages to hand on by the tip of his fingers. He can’t hang on and tells Gwen he loves her then he falls into the water. Next day, techs with dogs search for bodies at the dam. Max is on site and looks sadly down at the briskly moving water. They have divers working the scene and the news reports that it may take weeks to find Ryan or Theo’s bodies.

Eliza calls and says it’s over for now and they’re ready to move on Ryan’s people if they need to. Max goes to see Mike at the hospital and tells him Ryan is gone. He hugs her while she cries. A guy limps into the ER and avoids the cops. He dodges FBI agents. Gwen comes to see Mike and Max and hugs Max. The guy keeps limping down the hall. He goes into a room and closes the door. He locks it. He’s in Lisa’s room and puts a hand over her mouth. He says – I know who you are and I know you planted the tracker and that’s how Eliza found us at the catacombs.

Lisa tries to defend herself but he says two agents are dead because of her and says so is he. He says it’s the only way his family will stay safe. He threatens her and the people she works for. She tells him the people she works for are rich serial killer psychopaths. He says first she’s going to tell him everything she knows. She asks what’s next. Her monitor flat lines as Ryan limps out of her room. He passes a cop and heads into a restricted area. He walks past Mike’s room in the ICU then steps out of sight.

Max asks about the baby and Mike is stunned to hear it. She says she doesn’t know if she can do it alone and Mike says she won’t have to. Ryan lurks watching them all together. Ryan walks by the room and no one notices. He limps out of the hospital, stops limping and marches resolutely off. That’s it – the series finale of The Following is done!

THE END!

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