The Following recap: Sometimes You Can't Make It (or Kill) On Your Own

Ryan Hardy is tempted to make a friend while trying to save his sister from a killer widow out for revenge in 'Mad Love'
Ep. 04 | Aired Feb 11, 2013

Sometimes I Like To Curl Up In A Ball. (Okay, Maybe Most Of The Time.) Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) once again tries to avoid making human connections and something like friendships while unraveling the latest chapter in Joe Carroll's sinister plot in "Mad Love."

David Griesbrecht/Fox

Meanwhile, in “Mad Love’s” other major storyline, we saw a more successful form of bonding and community, albeit one that was also infinitely more perverse. We left the trio of Emma, Jacob and Paul where we left them, with Jacob and Paul securing the hot mess that Paul had brought back to the house in the last episode following his latest “jealous little bitch” tantrum – Megan the Supermarket Girl. Emma wanted the girl dead. Jacob believed she was Paul’s responsibility. Instead, Paul made it Jacob’s. He wanted to hurt Jacob for denying and now discarding the real relationship they had developed while “pretending” to be “The Gay Neighbors.” Paul intended to inflict this hurt by exposing Jacob’s biggest lie of all: Jacob was a virgin psycho. He had never killed anyone before, despite his claim otherwise. Emma felt sucker-punched when Paul dropped this bit of knowledge on her head. She gave Jacob a chance to redeem and prove himself: He had to be the one to kill Megan.

Alone with the hostage down in the basement, Jacob tried to bring himself to gut her. Megan pitched a counter-proposal: What if he made it just look like he killed her by cutting her enough to make her shed a lot of blood, then let her go, and told the others that he buried her or something? As Jacob considered, he flashed on a jailhouse encounter with Joe from years ago, in which he confessed that he was no murderer. Not yet. Surprisingly, Joe did not shun Jacob or turn him away. He saw something useful for the epic story he was cooking up for Hardy. He told Jacob to keep the secret to himself, and that he would eventually prove himself worthy as a killer, when he was ready.

But that time was not now. Jacob cut Megan's bonds and let her go. In a taut sequence, Megan tried to escape the farm, but Emma and Paul subdued her and brought her back to the house. The work of corralling Megan got the two rivals all muddy. It also brought them closer. They buried the hatched by taking a kinda-sorta chaste shower together. She recognized his love for Jacob – and seemed to suggest she could share him. This was confirmed when Jacob –after seeing that Megan had been recaptured – sought out Emma and Paul in the bathroom to beg forgiveness. He was shocked to see Emma and Paul in the tub together -- and touched beyond words when they asked him to join them. “We’re not giving up on you,” said Emma, and we left them to enjoy the creepiest group hug in recent TV history.

And with that, “Mad Love” seemed to set up a showdown that would bring the first major storyline of The Following’s first season to a head. Or at least, I hope so. While I have enjoyed Emma, Jacob and Paul more than most viewers, I think it’s time we get little Joey saved and expand the saga to introduce new and even more interesting Followers. We also need more Joe Carroll. When are we going to get the inevitable episode in which they have to take him out of jail to investigate a crime scene, or perhaps… help negotiate Joey’s release from his own Friends?  Regardless: Time to bring this chapter to a close. What did you think of “Mad Love,” readers? The message board is yours.

Twitter: @EWDocJensen

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