The Following Review: Crazy, Violent, Love
You know how that Meat Loaf song says that he'd do anything for love... but he won't do that?
Well, throw those rules out the window because Joe Carroll's followers seem pretty comfortable doing whatever they want to do for love on The Following.
"Mad Love" was all about the relationships from the sad, sick and twisted - or just plain unpredictable. This was definitely more of a look into the characters than anything advancing the plot.
More of Ryan's past began to unfold, ultimately piling on the tragedy for the show's hero. Not only are his parents deceased, he feels that he can't be with the woman he loves, he has heart issues and, more recently, a maniac follower captured his sister.
Life isn't easy street.
It's obvious that beneath the brooding exterior, Ryan has a deep care for people, even if he doesn't outwardly show it. He even managed to bond a little with Mike.
That said, his lack of family increases the bond with his sister and he was willing to get himself killed so that she might live.
Interestingly enough, Maggie, the crazed wife of Rick (who Ryan killed in "The Poet's Fire") set up an elaborate ploy to finish off Ryan. Technically, she wasn't disobeying Joe's rules, but it's wild to think the lengths that these people will go through.
I kept expecting a swinging scythe like pendulum, a la Edgar Alan Poe's "The Pit and The Pendulum," especially with Ryan strapped down the way he was, but Maggie took a different route to mess with his pacemaker.
Thank goodness Mike was able to take her out. I really do want to see more of Mike's character and hope that he and Ryan continue to grow as close as they can to buddies.
Yet, the real heartbreaking moment for Ryan was having to walk away from Claire for a second time.
The flashback showed his resistance to staying with her despite his sister's pleas and recognition of their love. And in the present day, I wanted him to stay when Claire said she'd make him food, but he still is too afraid to get close to her again. No matter what, the situation is going to remain personal whether he gets to be with her or not.
The flip side of the episode was the tantalizing trio of Paul, Emma and Jacob. These three have such an odd relationship from Jacob and Paul to Emma and Jacob to essentially the three of them as one big happy family. If you can even call it that.
Jacob's secret that he'd never killed anyone was revealed. The big question is why he chooses to stick around these people when he isn't as violent? In my interview with Nico Tortorella (Jacob), he did insist that Jacob does have that dark side. I'm just waiting to see that.
Having to be confronted with killing the girl was a huge transition from his normal fun and happy go lucky side. There was a definite look of panic and confusion, along with a sense of hope that Jacob might not be such a bad guy.
Which makes the fact that Emma and Paul decided not to get rid of him or ridicule him or even kill him themselves interesting. Rather the three decided to have a Jacob sandwich in the shower.
It felt less like a romantic threesome than it did one that's supposed to represent a loving family. Either way, it's a weird one and one that's bound to fall apart at some point.
All of their emotions, passions and love for each other are going to dominate their actions and I've got a feeling that either Paul or Emma are going to cause that eventual downfall.
The Following continued its dark thriller route, trying to take a moment to open up a little more abut the characters. Was Maggie perhaps a little over the top crazy? Sure. But with the followers slowly dropping, it makes me wonder when more of them are going to pop out of the woodworks.
It can't just be Paul, Emma and Jacob left right?
Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing Ryan succeed and maybe find some semblance of hope for himself, although I doubt he'll ever get that chance.
The Following: "Mad Love"
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.