‘The Following’ recap: ‘Mad Love’… and a threesome!

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"The Following" -- "Mad Love"
Emma (Valorie Curry) hands Jacob (Nico Tortorella) a knife in the "Mad Love" episode of "The Following."

Are you feeling the love yet? Because, by “The Following” standards, “Mad Love” was most definitely a Valentine’s Day episode. It was all hearts, knives and a duct-taped girl on a silver platter.

Metaphorical candy hearts were exchanged back and forth through flashbacks and in the present day between Ryan and his sister Jenny. Ryan gave metaphorical red roses to Claire in flashbacks in the form of her meeting his sister and him telling her all about his backstory (more on that later).

And then there was that threesome.

We’re talking about Emma and Paul making up and making out… and then inviting Jacob to join them in the shower. Yeah, that happened.

Here’s what else happened.

Big backstory reveals

Basically, Ryan Hardy’s life has always pretty much sucked. Or, as Maggie Kester puts it, “Ryan Hardy the early years: It’s a very sad story.” Through his pillow talk with Claire during a flashback scene, we learned that his mother died of leukemia when he was 14 years old. His father, a retired member of the Albany Police Department, was killed when he tried the play the hero during a corner store robbery. Oh, and his older brother was a fireman who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

So it’s really just him and his sister, with whom he’s estranged in the present day. In another flashback, we learn that Jenny was helping him when he was drunk and discovered that he’d been missing doctor’s appointments. “You’re a drunk with a heart problem,” she points out. “Nothing changes if nothing changes….It hurts too much to be around you, so I’m done.”

Well, she’s done until Maggie gets ahold of her anyway. Then Ryan comes to her rescue and is all “save her before you save me” to Mike. In the end, they bond and agree that family is family. Aww…

We also learned that Jacob has a big secret – and it’s not that he slept with Paul while they were posing as a gay couple for three years. It’s that he’s never killed anyone, unlike his cohorts in crime.

Through flashback, we get a glimpse of him telling a tall tale to them about killing a girl and drowning her body, but then confessing this truth during a visit to Joe Carroll in prison. Joe promises that Jacob that he’ll kill in due time, when he’s ready. So patient and understanding, that guy.

The end for many

Maggie totally veered from the official disciple plan and went “off-book,” referring to her tete-a-tete with Ryan as “improv night.” And, for that, she had to go. Thankfully, Mike saved the day this time and shot her. Seeing as we’ve already seen how maniacal she can be – and we learned that she’d had a killing spree eight years prior in Little Rock – we can’t say we’re too sad about it. Plus, now the FBI has her mobile phone, which brings them one step closer to retrieving little Joey.

What is sad, however, is the end of Claire and Ryan as a couple. Seeing them happy and together visiting Jenny was a rare treat – hearing of their demise was such sweet sorrow. As it turned out, it wasn’t Ryan’s drinking problem that got in the way; it was just Ryan.

“I’m no good for her, or for her son,” he tells Jenny in the flashback. “I am a constant reminder of the worst time in her life and she doesn’t deserve that… Because I love her.”


One person who did not meet her demise this week was convenience store girl Megan. Despite Emma’s constant nagging to “do it,” Jacob simply didn’t have the nerve and let her escape. But this is Emma we’re talking about and she wasn’t going to let her lover off that easy. She and Paul caught Megan in dramatic fashion – “Relax, it’s only a flesh wound,” Emma says after stabbing her – and tied her right back up for Jacob to kill when ready.

Lingering questions

Now that this threesome has happened, are Emma, Paul, and Jacob going to be one big, happy family?

And will there be more scenes in the shower?

Will Jacob kill Megan?

What was Jacob’s former life – the one he tells Joe he doesn’t want to return to – all about?

Who has Paul killed?

The cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You,” by Stumbleine featuring Steffaloo, at the end was a little over-the-top. Can we please not be so manipulative with our soundtrack moving forward?

The scenes from next week showed Joey calling Claire – is that kid finally going to make a run for it?

How will Joe react to Maggie’s death? What is his tolerance for his followers going “off-book”?

At the end of the episode, Jenny agrees to make herself scarce and head to Miami. Will the disciples catch up to her?

Will Ryan ever sleep or eat something?

“The Following” airs on Monday nights at 9 PM on Fox.