Indeed, in many ways, Lily is the more logical successor to the Joe of Season 1 than is the Joe of Season 2. The Season 1 Joe was secular, and went for Edgar Allan Poe when he needed a little mysticism. The Joe of Season 2 has taken over an annoying cult, has wrapped himself in its nonsense, and is even attracting the ire of another, non-murderous cult leader. I of course get why Joe thinks he has to do this, but I'm with Emma in wondering about its ultimate value.
In contrast, Lily just goes about her murderous business, with no religious overlay. Further, she has an abiding loyalty to her family, which Joe never quite had. Most important, Lily murders for logical reasons - sick, but logical. She did it first to re-establish Joe's cult and meet Ryan, and now she's doing it to save one of her deranged twin sons.
If Joe dies - really dies - at the end of this season, Lily would be a good person to take the story forward. But it's hard to say what will happen in terms of who will survive this season.
Mike, Max, Carrie, and the newly revived Claire are all likely candidates, among the good guys. At this point, the only one of those I wouldn't mind departing would be Claire, although I'd hate to see Ryan going through her death a second time. As for the bad guys, it's pretty clear that either Emma or Mandy won't survive, but it's tough to call which one.
Just two more roller coaster episodes left this season - I'm looking forward.
See also The Following Is Back for Its Second Season ... The Following 2.2: Rediscovering Oneself ... The Following 2.3: Coalescing ... The Following 2.4: Psycho Families and Trains ... The Following 2.5: Turning Tides ... The Following 2.8: Coalescing? ... The Following 2.9: The Book Signing
And see also The Following Begins ... The Following 1.2: Joe, Poe, and the Plan ... The Following 1.3: Bug in the Sun ... The Following 1.4: Off the Leash ... The Following 1.5: The Lawyer and the Swap ... The Following 1.7: At Large ... The Following 1.9: All in a Name, Or, Metaphor in the Service of Murder ... The Following 1.13: At Last Something of a Day for the Good Guys ... The Following Season 1 Finale: Doing Dead
Like a Neanderthal serial killer in the current world? Try The Silk Code