Television: The Following, "Mad Love"

Also known as: the episode with people strapped into chairs.

But seriously, folks. Here we have that crazy Maggie girl from the previous episode trying to get revenge on Hardy for the death of her husband Rick. As it turns out (thanks, Exposition Joe!) Maggie is that rara avis known as a female serial killer. Joe Carroll didn't find her so much as she came looking for him. And apparently this girl really loved Rick because she was willing to toss all those carefully laid plans out the window for a shot at Hardy.

Which is surprising since I never really saw or felt the love between Maggie and Rick. Note to the writers: you gotta makes us see and feel the relationships, too; we're not just going to take your word for it.

In any case, this episode introduced us to Jenny, which the writers cleverly (no, not really all that clever) tried to first make us think was an ex-girlfriend before springing the whole "It's his sister!" thing on us. Maggie's idea of revenge is to hold Jenny hostage so that Hardy must go to Brooklyn to save her. Then Maggie plans to stop Hardy's pacemaker so he dies slowly. For someone who usually just stabs people, it's a wonder Maggie has the patience for this scheme. But it does give Weston time to skulk in and shoot her, then save Hardy and Jenny.

We assume, of course, that Maggie is dead? We don't see her body and only have her cell phone for evidence. The episode ends with the FBI narrowing down the location of phone calls to possible places Joey may be being held. Yeah, remember? This whole show is really just about finding a little boy? With a lot of crazies on the way? I'm so over the find-the-kid plot that I do hope they finish it in the next few episodes.

Oh, but back at the ranch . . . The girl Paul kidnapped is in the basement and it's down to Jacob to do the dirty deed of killing her and burying the body. Why? Because as it turns out, Jacob has never actually killed anyone. So he's not an official member of this "kill club" yet. Honestly, it's like there's a CW show happening half the time over here while the grown ups are doing big boy (and girl) stuff over there. Long and short of this whole plot for the evening is: Jacob can't do it and lets her go, Emma and Paul track the girl down, and kidnapped girl ends up right back where she started, tied to a chair in the basement.

There's more to it, like the fact that Joey overhears some stuff and Emma makes a move on Paul, but whatever.

And questions continue to linger over Parker's true loyalties, but now I have to also question Weston. I want to like him, but Parker asks at an odd moment, "How are you doing?" in such a way that suggests maybe—just maybe—he's on Team Carroll. (Assuming Parker is, of course. Hard to tell.) If so, one has to guess Weston's job is to bond with Hardy—he even mentions it in passing, saying to Hardy, "But we both know you don't bond." And yet still Weston continues to work his way into Hardy's good graces, tagging along, trying to draw Hardy out and talk about family.

Certainly we have to go into this story working under the premise Carroll will have put people in place within the FBI, people who can work with Hardy and keep tabs on him, guide him where Carroll wants him to go so the book is written the way Carroll wants it to be. Yes? Otherwise he'd be just about the worst mastermind ever, going to all this trouble but overlooking a huge hole plot hole. So maybe Parker and/or Weston are his people. Because someone has to be.

Just a thought.

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