"When the student is ready, the teacher always appears"
Dr. Arthur Strauss is a character in The Following. He was originally a professor at Lightford Academy, where he encountered a young Joe Carroll and taught him how to effectively remove eyes in his victims. Strauss acted as his mentor, as well as the teacher to various other killers including a young man named Cole, who appeared to be his most recent "student".
Dr. Strauss was teaching at Lightford Academy, when the 17 year old Joe Carroll attended his school. Carroll, like others before and after him, became a "student" of his, more so than just on an academic level. He tutored the youth on how to remove eyes with precision from his victims, but also states that Joe wasn't even his "best student". He does, however, mention that Joe knew who he was but just needed to be told "it was ok" to kill, which makes him partially responsible for molding Joe's serial killer nature (though he also says that he did not teach him how to kill, that was encoded in his DNA since birth).
A second report by Cooke's sources claim he again visited the University on June 12th, 1999.
He along with two Followers Wyker and Douglas met with William Halston in Oxford, England. William was Joe's half-brother from their father's side and was necessary for Joe to fake his death later this year. It's likely they kidnapped him here and were either responsible for his death or had Joe do it.
Halston's body was in the boat-house when it exploded, providing the body necessary for Joe's confirmed "death". After the explosion, Joe met with Carlos Perez whom brought him to Strauss's house for recovery. He spent a month here, lamenting on his hatred for Ryan.
After discovering of Strauss's home an hour away from the lighthouse Joe supposedly died at, Ryan goes to Strauss' home and questions him about Joe while planting a microphone in his living room. He leaves after Strauss insists he has no involvement. Carrie comes to Strauss' home for interview questions but is captured upon entering the house, which Ryan hears over the audio receiver and rushes back to the house. One of Strauss' students, Cole, sprays a chemical into Ryan's face, causing him to temporarily faint. He wakes up tied to a wheelchair, across from Carrie who is strapped to an operating table. Weston finds Cole as Cole was looking for tools and shoots him. Ryan frees himself and then Carrie. Ryan and Weston tie Strauss to the table and whip his hand until he reveals that Joe had a connection to a female in the FBI. Afterwards, Strauss is put in custody by the FBI.
During Mark Gray's revenge period, Arthur was visited by Ryan for information on Andrew Sharp, who was a student of his. Strauss gives him nothing pretending he doesn't know him.
It would later be revealed that Mark's desire for revenge on his families death was all a ruse, and that Daisy and Kyle, Marks followers, were really former students of Strauss and when his attorney informs him of their slowness, Strauss shows rage for the first time.
During the day of his appeal, the only witness, Carrie Cooke, was later abducted by his students and killed thereby giving him freedom, to which he easily brags to the press. As he prepares to flee the country, he is visited by a heartbroken Daisy to reveal that Kyle is dead but Strauss easily overpowers her and forces her to join him or die. They are found by Ryan but they escape leaving Max injured.
Strauss then goes into hiding with another of his students to await for his "star Pupil": Theo Noble. After the latter finds him, Theo, knowing Strauss was just using them all to save himself pretending to be a father to his children, Theo brutally murders Strauss solely because Strauss forced him into the public to find him.
- Arthur Strauss is the only character introduced during a season who became the next season a main character.
- Arthur Strauss was the first main cast member to die during season 3.
- Arthur Strauss was the first Main Antagonist who was killed by another Main Antagonist (Theo).
- Arthur Strauss's portrayer, Gregg Henry still got credited after his character's death, despite this, he hasn't appeared yet in any form after his death.