Just in Time for Valentine’s Day: The Following’s “Mad Love” Review
REVIEW OF “THE FOLLOWING”: Episode 1:04 “Mad Love” by Carol Tacker
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, “The Following” brings us a view of love, Kevin Williamson style. Appropriately named “Mad Love,” the fourth episode of the series begins with poor, bound up, kidnapped Meaghan in the cellar of the white house with Jacob and Paul (Nico Totorella and Adan Canto). Turns out handsome, bisexual Jacob has never killed anyone despite lying about that to the others. He told Paul the truth and Paul tells Emma, who instructs Jacob to kill Meaghan and is none too happy about his lies. Is that romance in danger due to Jacob’s virginity as a killer? When the whip comes down, he can’t do it. He cuts Meghan free and tells her to run. She does, but Paul and Emma catch up to her.
The next time we see Paul and Emma, they are muddy and getting in the shower, mostly clothed, because this is not cable, to clean up. Emma is warming up to Paul. She says they both love Jacob, kisses him, and they seem to be finding a common ground. We assume they killed and buried Meaghan, but no. She is bound again in the basement and Jacob sees her there. He goes upstairs to apologize to Emma and finds them in the shower together. Instead of being angry, they invite him to join them for a clothed three-way shower with kissing and hugging and maybe more. Meaghan’s ultimate fate? Not yet clear.
Meanwhile the hunt for Maggie (Virginia Kull) from last week continues. Hardy (Kevin Bacon) gets a call from someone named Jenny. She turns out to be his sympathetic sister who is a chef. Before he calls her back, he meets with Joe (James Purefoy) and tells him this following of his is amateur hour with a few unstable freaks, not worthy of his brilliance. Joe tells him he is delighted that Hardy killed Rick, and is getting his mojo back. He also informs him Rick’s widow, Maggie, was madly in love with Rick and is an interesting girl who killed six people in Arkansas and was never caught. When Hardy returns his sister’s call, Maggie comes on the line to ask, “How do you want me to kill your sister?” She instructs him to come unarmed and alone to Jenny’s closed restaurant if he wants her to live.
Young Agent Weston (Shawn Ashmore) intervenes before Hardy can leave and convinces him to let him come along. Mad Maggie hits Hardy on the head while he is blindfolded and he wakes up duct-taped to a table, Dexter-style, while his sister is tied to a chair nearby. Maggie tapes big magnets to Hardy’s chest to interfere with his pacemaker and thus allow Joe to be his real killer, since Joe was the one who injured his heart. She tells him he doesn’t understand real love, which we know is wrong because we have just seen flashbacks of his affair with Claire when things were heavy between them. Turns out Hardy broke up with Claire because he felt as long as he was in her life, Joe would always be there, too. He wanted she and her son to have a new start. In flashback he explains to Claire how his whole family is dead, other than Jenny. Mom died when he was 14 of illness, dad died being a hero in a robbery situation, brother died as a NYC fireman. No wonder Hardy is so morose. Just as Hardy’s failing heart seems to be giving up, Agent Weston breaks in on the scene, shoots Maggie as she attacks him and saves what’s left of the “cursed” Hardy family.
Hardy is fine, they have Maggie’s cell phone, and hope to find the threesome by tracking calls to upstate New York. When Hardy tells Claire this, she tries to get him to stay, rest, let her feed him but he goes. As he told his sister in flashback when she says he can’t leave Claire, he loves her, he is leaving her because he loves her. Mad love, indeed. Mad Maggie fails to avenge her husband, our demented threesome seems to be heading for kinky bliss and Hardy’s tragic love for Claire is still unsatisfied. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Body count this episode, eight: Maggie, man in parking lot who Maggie stabbed, six unnamed victims Maggie killed in Arkansas. Jordy is confirmed dead by suicide from swallowing bandages. Forgot to count Graffiti Girl’s suicide from the pilot, so add her to the total tally of forty. Number of known followers still alive is now down to three. I expect new followers will soon be revealed.