“The Following” is back and creepier than ever. With eight of Joe Carroll’s cult members still at large, the second episode of the hit Fox series sophomore season picked up with the new batch of followers continuing to make waves in New York City … and Ryan Hardy on their trail.

1. Joe Carroll’s New Life

Everyone thought Joe Carroll died in the lighthouse fire, but last week “The Following” viewers learned that a cult member named Carlos picked him up after the explosion. In episode 2 fans discovered that he’s been holed up in Arkansas with one of his groupie’s, Judy, and her daughter, Mandy.

Judy, a prostitute, believes that she can “fix” Joe, and the pair make a new life for him -- Judy’s Afghanistan war veteran brother named Darryl. And while Joe seems to have grown fond of Mandy, the murders making the news appear to have him “itchin’” to get back in the killing business.

2. The Second Intimate Murder

With the help of Mike Weston the FBI are investigating the two recent murders -- the subway massacre and the park bench girl. While the subway massacre was “theatrical,” Mike tells the FBI that the murder of Heather was more “intimate.”

The creepy twins, Luke and Mark, decided to continue their “intimate” murders, this time visiting the home of a young married couple with a young son. Killing the husband and wife, Luke proceeds to cook them a chicken dinner. Tying them to the table, Luke and Mark sit down to eat and pretend that the deceased couple is their parents. After saying grace, the pair have a conversation with their victims, telling them about Heather and how “family time is important.”

Post dinner the two “set the stage” – putting their victims in lounge chairs by the fire, lighting a cigar for the man and pouring drinks for the two. “I love you dad,” Luke says, kissing him on the forehead. “I hope you know that.”

3. Meeting Ryan Hardy

The FBI were waiting for the killers to make contact but Mark and Luke don’t want to talk to the FBI … they want to talk to Ryan Hardy. Luke calls Ryan’s cell phone to introduce himself and put the wheels in motion for Ryan to find their next victims.

Tracing the phone call, Ryan finds their next “intimate” set up and gets his niece Max to call for backup. Although he finds the son of the victims locked in his closet, Ryan gets reprimanded by the FBI for obstruction.

Refusing to cooperate with Mike and the rest of the FBI, Ryan leaves the crime scene and gets another phone call from Luke. “You’re lonely and you’re searching for an identity,” Ryan says, analyzing the recent murders. “Thinking if you lure Joe out of hiding he will magically become the father you’ve never had.”

Luke’s not impressed though and reveals to Ryan that they’ve been following him around town and know about his little crush on the subway victim Lily Gray. “She looks lovely in red,” Luke tells him while watching Lily at the gallery. “I’d hurry up if I were you.”

Without informing the FBI, Ryan races down to the gallery to save Lily. Getting a phone call from Mark when he’s in the building, Ryan makes eye contact with the killer but loses sight of Lily in the process. Attempting to chase after Mark, Ryan also loses him and is forced to consult the undercover FBI agents for help.

By the time Ryan finds Lily, Mark and Luke have already attacked the man that she was with. After making sure Lily is safe with the FBI agents, Ryan chases after them and manages to physically fight Mark. But Ryan doesn’t realize that Mark is a twin and is shocked when Luke comes to his brother’s rescue.

With the police arriving, Luke and Mark make a run for it … but not before Ryan manages to shoot Luke in the back. The twins drive off with Mark worried about his brother but Luke laughing like a maniac about getting shot.

4. Emma And Carlos

Emma’s been hiding out in Burlington County, N.J., with a couple other former cult members. Turns out Carlos used to work with them but ditched them and made new friends with Luke, Mark and a French woman named Giselle.

Both groups are trying to get in touch with Joe, but Joe’s not contacting either of them. Carlos’s group put a listing in the Baltimore Gazette for a “Lost Heart Shaped Purse.” Both Joe and Emma find the number, and while Joe doesn’t call, Emma does.

Realizing she’s talking to Carlos, her old friend asks if she’s with Joe. But when Emma tells Carlos that Joe is dead, he hangs up on her.

5. Joe Carroll’s First Murder In A Year?

Joe and Mandy are enjoying a nice evening at home watching news coverage of Joe’s murders in the past. “Did you play too many video games?” Mandy asks. “Watch too many horror movies?” Joe affectionately chuckles at Mandy and tells her no. But their quite evening at home is interrupted when the local Reverend stops by to spend some time with Judy. She is out with another client but the Reverend sits down and makes himself at home. Turning on the TV, the Reverend sees Joe’s face flash across the screen and realizes that Darryl is actually the serial killer.

Joe seemingly hasn’t taken up his murderous ways in the past year, but with his safety on the line Joe reverts back to his old ways. Mandy begs Joe not to hurt him, but when the Reverend punches Joe in the face, Mandy comes to his rescue. Knocking the Reverend unconscious with a shovel, Joe manages to tie him up and have a talk with him about what he’s going to do with him.

“I feel as if you forced my hand,” Joe tells the injured Reverend. “I’m rather off my game. It’s been a year.”

The Reverend begs for his life and tells Joe that he must have some humanity in him because he’s considering not killing him. However, Joe proves that he’s still the same man, and stabs the Reverend in the heart.

Joe goes over to console a crying Mandy, who tells him that Judy’s going to be home soon … and “she’s going to be mad.”

6. The Phone Number

A phone number was flashed across the screen a couple times throughout episode 2 of “The Following.” But what did it say?

“If you called this number you must be a follower. I’m Sorry to have been gone so long. Your loyalty and dedication means everything to me. This time I won’t disappoint. The resurrection is coming. Be ready.”

To hear the message for yourself, call the following number: (917) 829-4091.