'The Following' Season 2, episode 14 recap: The penultimate hour ends on a major cliffhanger after a major death

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the-following-silence-recap.jpg The penultimate hour of "The Following" Season 2 was filled with so much drama, bloodshed and death that it felt like it the season finale. Even the final seconds ended on such a huge cliffhanger that for a moment, it felt like the finale. But thank goodness there's still one episode left before Season 2 ends, because we need some answers.

Is Mike Weston dead?!? Say it ain't so! In the final second before the credits started rolling, a gunshot rang out. Did it come from Joe's gun which was aimed point-blank at Mike's head? Or did Ryan shoot at Joe from his hiding spot to save Mike? Or did someone else entirely fire a gun? Please don't say Mike is dead!

the-following-silence-recap-emma.jpgIf Mike is dead, that wouldn't be the only major character to bite the dust on Monday's (April 21) episode, "Silence." RIP Emma. That's right, Joe's second-in-command finally met her end after trying and failing to kill Claire. Their fight scene was long, brutal, ugly and in the end, a victory for Claire for the two years Emma spent as Joey's nanny, and for all the pain and suffering she caused Claire in the year that followed.

So how did all this game-changing action go down? The hour began with Luke and Mark driving away from the Korban compound, and Luke is in major denial that Lily is dead. But Mark makes his brother realize that they're truly alone now, and Luke promises to make them all pay for destroying their family: Joe, Ryan and Mike. And based on the promos for the Season 2 finale, Luke and Mark might turn out to be the real villains to be feared.

Back at the Korban compound, Ryan, Mike and Max all agree to lie and say that Lily was armed when Mike shot her. Max looks uncomfortable with the plan, but goes along with it. Mike tries to get Ryan to admit that if Lily was Joe and Ryan was Mike, he would have done the same thing and shot him. But Ryan tells Mike that Mike's better than him.

Meanwhile, Claire's message to Joe had its intended effect and Joe splits up from Emma. She angrily tells Joe that if he's not over Claire and if he falls apart again, then she's done. She knows Claire's "message" to Joe is just a trap. But Joe tells Emma there's a certain amount of closure he needs in regards to Claire, and he sends Emma and Robert to scope out the place where he proposed to Claire (when they wrote their poem together) to make sure it's not a trap.

Before they split, Joe tells Emma to "let Robert be the hero" if need be, meaning he wants her to be careful. He also tells her he's utterly devoted to her now, and it's not like before where he cared about Claire more. He says the world will always know Emma as the woman behind the man that was Joe Carroll, and those are the words she needs to hear to go along with his plan. They both cry, kiss and hug, but was it sincere on Joe's end? We'll never truly know, will we?

Pastor Kingston Tanner gets a call from Joe on a burner phone, telling him to leave the FBI's protection on his own to save his son, Preston. Tanner's bodyguard put a tracker on him without his knowledge, though, and gives the GPS to Ryan and Mike.

Joe and his followers ambush a church in NYC with Tanner and Tanner's son as hostages. Mike and Ryan manage to get inside the church before they wired all the doors with explosives, locking them in with everyone. Joe gloats to Kingston with a video of Preston murdering a follower the day before, and he then forces Kingston and Preston to kill each other to prove that there is no god. He even live streams the whole thing on the internet to prove to Tanner's followers that only "death is inevitable." But Kingston kills himself to save his son.

While all this is going down, Claire continues on her one-woman mission to kill Joe. Even though Ryan begged Claire to go home and stay safe in protective custody, she steals some tear gass and pepper spray from his apartment and slips her protective custody. She heads to where Emma and Robert are watching for her, where Joe sent them because he knew that's the meeting spot Claire meant in her message. Joe told Emma and Robert to call him before doing anything, but Emma clearly has her own plans when it comes to the woman the man she loves is obsessed with. Emma shoots and kills Robert and tries to kill Claire, but their fight ends in Emma's own death.

While Emma was one of the villains who deserved everything she got, it's still like a punch to the gut to see her die. She's one of the few characters left from Season 1, episode 1, and it truly proves no one is safe on this show. Plus, she was manipulated by Joe so much that it's hard to put all the blame on her for her actions. Even her final moments with Joe were just more manipulations and lies.

Claire didn't get away scot-free, though. Luke and Mark were waiting just outside the building to ambush Emma, and kidnap Claire instead. Mark is visibly upset over the fact that Claire killed Emma, so things aren't looking too good for Claire.

"Silence" left so many characters' fates up the air and ended on such a huge cliffhanger that we seriously screamed at our TV when it ended. Is Mike dead? Did Ryan save Mike? What will Luke and Mark do to Claire? And of course, did Emma finally achieve her silence in death that she wanted?

"The Following" airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Photo/Video credit: FOX