The Following Recap: Three's Company

The Following Season 1 Episode 4You know the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign? I propose a Following-related tweak: Go Red for Ryan. After all, as the latest episode reminds us, the former FBI agent and his heart need all the help he can get.

Hardy’s busted ticker is at the center of this week’s offering, which is titled “Mad Love” but which, unfortunately, does not involve a mid-’90s Chris O’Donnell trying to talk a butterfly-bedecked Drew Barrymore off the ledge. (The hour does offer a very interesting group-shower scene, though, so we’ll call it a draw.)

So let’s don some red for our flawed hero and review this week’s major developments, shall we?

RELATED | The Following‘s Natalie Zea Previews Claire/Ryan Romance, a ‘Delightfully Weird’ Moment With Joe

A WOMAN SCORNED | The FBI uses details from the video Claire received at the end of the previous episode to extrapolate Joey’s location, but the process takes a while. In the interim, Ryan and Debra discuss how Jordy choked himself to death on his own bandage. (I’ll say it again: That’s dedication.) Ryan gets a call from someone named Jenny but lets it go to voicemail as he interrogates Joe. Hardy taunts Carroll that he killed Rick, but gets ta reaction he doesn’t expect. “Oh, I’m delighted to hear that! You’re getting your mojo back,” the prisoner gushes. Ha! He realizes Ryan wants information about Maggie and, for once, gives it to him: She went on a killing spree of her own in Arkansas years ago and got away with it, and her real name is Margaret Schuller.

Jenny calls again. As it turns out, she’s his sister, a Brooklyn-based chef from whom he’s slightly estranged, thanks to his drinking and generally terrible views on life and happiness. He picks up the phone and is surprised to hear Maggie on the other end telling him, “I’ve gone off-book;” she demands that he come to New York, alone and unarmed, to trade his life for his sibling’s. And because that worked out so well in the pilot, he agrees. Ryan won’t tell Debra the nature of the personal matter that demands his immediate attention, so she sends Mike to follow him. In full-on Jimmy Olsen mode, Weston lets Ryan know he knows what’s going on and that he’s coming along, the eventual dressing-down be damned.

NO SLEEP ‘TIL BROOKLYN | Their road trip is pretty great for two reasons: Ryan’s utter disinterest in bonding with the young agent, and Mike’s fearlessness in calling his car buddy out for being such a jerk. (Though I will have to issue them a demerit for the complete lack of snacks. I know your sister is in grave peril, Ryan, but there are very few situations a bag of Red Vines and a 20-oz. Diet Coke won’t improve.) Once they arrive at Jenny’s restaurant, Ryan blindfolds himself per Maggie’s instructions… and winds up knocked out and duct-taped to a table while his similarly restrained sister looks on from a chair.

Earlier in the episode, we see Maggie kill a guy and steal his car after buying some powerful magnets at a home-supply store. Now she tapes them to Ryan’s chest in order to mess with his pacemaker and kill him – thus getting payback for Rick’s death and completing Joe’s long-ago murder attempt — and it seems to be working. To pass the time while Ryan’s slowly kicking the can, how about flashbacks? We see the first time Jenny met Claire (they hit it off) and Claire asking Ryan for details on his family during a lull after lovemaking. “It’s kind of a downer,” he tells her. He’s not lying. Mom died of leukemia when Ryan was 14; Dad, a retired cop, bit it when he walked into a corner-store robbery. Older brother Ray was a firefighter who died on Sept. 11. The Hardy family, its only remaining son surmises, is cursed.

MIKE TO THE RESCUE In the present, we hear the ever-slowing thump-thump of Ryan’s failing ventricles. (Side note: I’m totally OK with this as long as the show doesn’t only trot out his heart problem when it’s storyline-convenient. For instance, I don’t recall him having a lot of trouble sprinting after the baddies last week…) “It’ll be soon now,” Maggie promises, cutting him loose so he falls to the floor and some of the magnets fall away from his chest. Is she that cocky? On a related note, am I insane, trying to find logic in the actions of a crazy person? (If only I had some Red Vines and a diet beverage to help me figure it out!) But Mike sneaks in though the side door Ryan left open; he shoots Maggie and rips the remaining magnets off Ryan, saving the day.

Ryan and Jenny have a brief check-in, which lasts just long enough for him to tell her to disappear for a while and for him to remember her telling him, after his 2005 break-up with Claire, that he “can’t go through life alone.” Then he’s back in Virginia, letting Claire know that the FBI is narrowing in on her missing kid: Joey is likely in Duchess County, NY. She offers to make him breakfast but – remembering how he told Jenny he doesn’t want to be a constant reminder of her tough times with Joe – he declines. (Ryan, honey? She’s got a far bigger reminder of her tough times with Joe at the moment; girlfriend might just want some support. Take a waffle for the team.)

LIAR, LIAR… | At the followers’ farmhouse, the kidnapped stock girl is alive and in the basement. Jacob sums up the situation with “This is not cool.” Ha! Emma’s worried that Maggie hasn’t checked in, but Paul says there’s an even bigger issue to contend with: Jacob’s been lying to everyone about something really important. “I don’t care how much you fooled around,” she tells him breezily. “Jacob’s not gay.” But Paul’s referring to something darker: “Jacob’s never killed anyone. Ever.” She’s gobsmacked, a development in which Paul revels. “God, I wish you could se your face right now,” he gloats.

Emma instructs her boyfriend to kill the girl (whose name is Meghan) and makes it clear that she knows his little secret. But in the basement, Jacob just can’t bring himself to slit their captive’s throat. Sensing his apprehension, Meghan promises not to breathe a word if he’ll just let her go. He flashes back to a jailhouse visit where he confessed his kill virginity to Joe, who proved an understanding confidant. “I want to,” Jacob says earnestly. “One day, you will,” Carroll reassures him.

But that day’s not today. Jacob cuts the girl free and she bolts from the cellar, nearly clearing the property before Emma realizes what’s happened and calls Paul to help her bring Meghan back. For reasons I can’t figure, Meghan does not make for the road and start beating it back to town. Instead, she loops all over the grounds and winds up in the stables, where Emma and Paul find her. Emma gives her a good one with the knife but doesn’t kill her; Jacob later finds Meghan re-bound and re-installed in the basement.

… PANTS ON FIRE | Upstairs, Emma gets ready to shower off the mud she acquired during the chase. It’s a light moment for the two psychos who just hunted another human being like she was a rabbit. “We both love him, Paul,” she says, starting the shower and beckoning him near. “Don’t freak out. It’s not like we’re gonna get it on,” she jokes. (And that person you hear yelling, “The Following, you are a cruel tease!” is so not me.)

When Jacob makes his way upstairs to tearfully apologize to Emma, he finds her – in her bra – with Paul – in nothing? I can’t tell (and believe me, I checked) – standing under the stream. “We’re not giving up on you,” she says. They welcome him into their shower party, and Jacob launches a thousand fanfics as he steps into their embrace. It’s sweet. It’s messed up. And I really like the way it changes the dynamic among those crazy kids. (No seriously, they’re insane.) Also, um, who’s keeping an eye on Joey?

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Elaine Bondra says:

    If there was something else half-way decent to watch at 9 pm, I think I’d be watching it instead of this.

  2. N says:

    How did the girl get retied up?

  3. ABC says:

    Emma is annoying. I hope she gets killed first.

    • Brendan says:

      Well Emma is one of the first, so I doubt that it will happen. I see Paul dying first among the three… he’s the most violent and unpredictable one. Emma is violent, but she is more controlled – Paul lost his temper and got Meagan involved which could have messed everything up for them. I see Paul losing it one time and making a big mistake that will either get him killed or anger the rest of the group (see: Emma) so much that they have to get rid of him to protect themselves.

  4. DC says:

    Paul rocks! Must keep Paul!

  5. Deion says:

    I was surprised that the crazies’ relationship took this turn this soon. It would have been much easier to get a few more episodes out of the Paul/Emma rivalry than find a way for them to go after deciding to share Jacob. But ok, I’m intrigued.

  6. James says:

    I like the concept and the psychological aspect of this show, but some of it is just stupid. one Weston had the drop on Maggie, two he pistol whipped her something you don’t get right up after, three any trained agent would of controlled the knife and taken her in to custody. I’m already bored of the kidnapped son arc they need to resolve it soon. again I like the show, I personally don’t see how they’re going to stretch it out over multiple seasons, but will still watch it because it is different.

  7. Brendan says:

    Really? So it goes from two straight guys, to two straight guys that hooked up when drunk to suddenly Emma sharing Jacob with Paul because they both love him. Dang, sexuality is so damn fluid in that house. I wonder when Emma will turn lesbian and make the group a foursome. Oh ladies, the shower is waiting for you…..

  8. Steve says:

    what took Mike so long to get inside the restaurant to save Ryan?

    the FBI doesn’t do a good job of having agents watch each others’ backs. You would think by now they shouldn’t leave anyone alone.

    • Ashley says:

      Right?! He was right behind him before they went inside! How fast did Maggie pick him up, set up a table, and tie him down with duct tape? Oh, and move Jenny back into the room?! The whole time, I was like, “where the f is Mike already?”

    • Leo says:

      Then there will be no time for flashbacks! This is TV and it’s not real world. Lol. Although, I keep cursing when Mike took so long to appear and blow this biatch’s head off.

    • S says:

      You don’t think Mike is in on the whole thing? That is the going theory with me and my friend. Especially knowing that he did his thesis on Joe and Ryan and was specifically brought in not because of his tech skills but placed there because of that thesis.
      Then he just happened to come up with Maggie’s phone with all of this info and Ryan commented “I thought it couldn’t be traced?” and he looks like he has to figure out an answer on the fly.

  9. Leo says:

    Promo for the next episode looks very delish! Joey, smart boy! Took him five episodes to realize he’s being kidnapped by bunch of psychos.

  10. S says:

    Kimberly, in the article you said that you don’t remember his heart being an issue when he ran after the bad guys last week? The heart beat sound is played all the time. It seems like every time his blood pressure elevates you hear the beats. I will say that I am not certain they were there specifically during the running scene, but it is a big part of each show…that underlining heartbeat sound reminding him of Joe.

  11. emma says:


  12. Felice says:

    What restaurant was that in Brooklyn?

  13. LynnB says:

    Is it just me, or did anyone else find the narration of this episode really distracting? I don’t want/need some background voice reading the screenplay as the action is taking place. This just about drove me crazy, and I hope they haven’t done it in making the upcoming episodes. So far, I’ve really liked the show, but I can’t enjoy it that way.

  14. j_j says:

    can some one please tell me the name of the song in the background when emma and paul are talking about how they both love him before the shower. please its driving me mad…

  15. Prashant says:

    Does any one know the background song that plays at the end of episode 4 when Claire asks Ryan to stay with her?