HOLLYWOOD—It seems like I’m being flooded with murder mystery shows this season. A past favorite of mine, “The Following” has returned for its next chapter, and let’s just say Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) is not at the forefront of the craziness. For starters Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and the rest of his crew, Mike (Shawn Ashmore) and Max (Jessica Stroup).

What seems to be all peaceful soon turns tragic, as bodies begin popping up. Is Joe at the root of it, not this time around? The audience is well aware that Mark (San Underwood) found a way to escape the madness at the end of season two, even though his mother and twin brother became casualties. The episode amply titled ‘New Blood’ saw Ryan and Max celebrating the marriage of Jean, but sinister forces were working behind the scenes. Mike arrived to the party, but was a bit thrown seeing Max with a new guy.

Ryan’s lady friend was startled by a host who had a bit of an obsession with Mr. Hardy, so much to the point that he decided to splatter blood on the hero causing a scene. The bureau was on high alert to prevent any threats that could emerge because of Joe Carroll’s impending death.

Like that we transition to meeting a married couple looking to spice up their marriage with a third party. Unfortunately, Daisy is a sociopath who murdered them both in cold blood before her lover Kyle arrived on the scene. A flashback revealed the fracture in Max and Mike’s relationship was his inability to let go of his quest to find Mark to avenge his father’s death. Surprise, that mystery guy who crashed the wedding was not the father of the girl that Ryan killed, he was working with Daisy and Kyle, for a bigger bad.

Mike, Ryan and Max were horrified by a graphic crime scene with the message “Ryan Hardy Lies.” So what did he lie about? Andrew decided to attend a support group meeting to grieve for his ‘daughter’ and bonded with a stranger, just as Ryan got a tip on the mystery guy. The tip led the gang to an abandoned building where they discovered two more bodies staged precisely as the first crime scene, this time with the message “Max Hardy Lies.”

They discovered the murders were linked to Mark, who has dyed his hair and is still staging dinner scenes with his dead brother Luke. Creepy. It’s apparent that he has taken on the identity of his dead brother, dissociative identity disorder. At a lavish gala, Mark and his crew took action, just as Ryan and the others arrived.

He staged an elaborate crime scene to pay ‘tribute’ to his mother’s demise. Ryan, Max and Mike arrived on the scene of the third crime scene that read “While You Lie More Will Die.” Te finger was pointed right at the FBI, so it’s just a matter of time before the bureau gets wind of what is truly taking place.

The episode culminated with our survivors living with guilt, just as Mark found himself venturing more into becoming his brother and planning the death of one of our protagonists. Hmm, this show looks to be going in quite a dark place and I fear that a major player will indeed bite it rather sooner than later this season. “The Following” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX.