Review

Review

TV Recap: 'The Following' Episode 109 - 'Love Hurts'

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the followingThe Following Episode 109
“Love Hurts”
Written By: Adam Armus and Kay Foster
Directed By: Marcos Siega and Adam Davidson
Original Airdate: 18 March 2013

In This Episode...

Joe invites his followers to finish “our” story and wants to know what inspires them. First up is Amanda, a woman in her early thirties who reacts to Joe like a teenager at Justin Bieber concert. Her first kill takes place at a diner in Union Hill, Pennsylvania. Two women are having lunch at a diner. One of them gets up to go to the bathroom, and Amanda takes her place at the table, startling the blonde. She needs a favor - she wants the stranger to tell Ryan Hardy that love hurts. The second woman gets back from the bathroom and slides in next to her friend. She is scarcely there for a few seconds before Amanda shoots her, under the table, with a spear gun. Amanda leaves, giggling, before the stranger can even comprehend what is going on.

When Ryan shows up, he is alarmed to hear the victim’s name is Claire. Her last name is Duncan... but her maiden name is Matthews. The FBI immediately sets about locating every Claire Matthews in the country. There are 87 nationwide, but, for now, they are concerned about five in the immediate area. One is dead. One is “our” Claire, already in protective custody (she is relocated and kept sheltered from all media at Ryan’s insistence - if our Claire knew about this, she would insist on coming out of protective custody in the hope of saving the other Claires). They find another and get her to safety. That leaves two left. Amanda gets to one of them first. While the first Claire’s death was quick and quiet, the second was much more violent: Amanda pushes her way into Claire’s apartment by pretending to be a cop, struggles with her victim, and throws her off the balcony. She lands at the feet of the police officer who was just arriving to protect her.

There is one more Claire out there, a college student whose roommate says she went to a festival and left her cell phone at home. Ryan and Debra head to the festival (more like a Mardi Gras rave) with at least 50 cops and have them fan out. Ryan spots Louise, but Louise puts on a discarded mask and he quickly loses her in the crowd. Someone has found Claire already - a man named Steven. The two move off the dance floor and just chit-chat, but for once, he isn’t a follower - he is a decent guy who was just flirting with a cute girl. He recognizes her and shows her the news reports about how the cops are looking for her. They go together to find a cop, but Amanda finds them first. Recognizing her from the news, Steven sends Claire to find a cop while he tries to stop Amanda. Amanda doesn’t hesitate to stab Steven.

Claire is having a remarkably difficult time finding a cop, but find one she does. As he radios to the rest of the squad that he has Claire, Louise shows up and shoots the cop. She and Amanda have Claire cornered until Ryan shows up. Claire runs, Amanda runs, and Louise freezes in Ryan’s crosshairs. He tells her to drop her weapon; she taunts him. He threatens to shoot; she tells him, “You don’t have the--” Bang. She’s dead. Ryan continues on through a construction site, looking for Claire and Amanda. He finds them together, unfortunately. Amanda has a nail gun to Claire’s head. Ryan lowers his weapon and kicks it to Amanda, then makes her the same offer that he seems to make an awful lot in this show: “Kill me instead.” (I don’t think it works like that.) Amanda’s chapter is about hurtful love and revenge. She has to kill Claire Matthews to teach Ryan a lesson about sleeping with Joe’s wife. “It’s a freaking metaphor!” she screams when Ryan tries to argue with her. Ryan picks a different tactic: he admits that what he did was wrong, but he couldn’t help it. He is in love with her. Amanda calms down a bit, grateful that Ryan finally admitted it. Now Ryan asks Amanda to punish him by killing him. He can’t unlove Claire, and it is the only way Joe can get his happy ending. As soon as she moves the nail gun from Claire’s head, Ryan tackles her. Claire runs, and Amanda is in custody.

Paul and Jacob are back this week. They have taken sanctuary at Jacob’s parents’ lake house. Mom comes home and is shocked to find them there. They are all over the news. Mom wants to understand, but Jacob simply cannot explain. He cries. Mom is a former nurse, so she cares for Paul, but his wounds are infected and he has sepsis. He will die if he doesn’t get to the hospital. In addition to Paul’s help, mom wants Jacob to leave because his father is on the way over and he will certainly call the police. Paul insists that Jacob kill him - he owes him. Jacob finally commits his first murder, a mercy killing. He sobs as he suffocates Paul.

Dig It or Bury It?

I wish they spent more time on the Claire Matthews story. I am fascinated by the idea, and it is a conceit that I can’t remember being used. I was never crazy about Paul and Jacob, so I am not sad to see Paul go, but I hope this turns Jacob into a more interesting character. I liked the Amanda character - she was an awesome kind of crazy. I sense Roderick will develop into a similarly awesome crazy. We already got the first signs of a true sociopathic behavior tonight. I suspect that Emma is going to go batshit crazy very soon. Joe is already rebuffing her advances, and she is jealous of anyone else talking to him. I am curious to know what Joey was doing this whole time. Is he just being kept locked in his bedroom? Does he get to mix with the other followers? Play outside?

Masque of the Red Death

The first Claire Matthews death was epic. In the middle of a crowded diner, in broad daylight, Amanda shoots Claire under the table - with a spear gun. It goes straight through Claire’s torso, clean out the back of the booth. It renders her friend virtually trapped in the booth, too. It was so swift, quiet, and normal (to Amanda, at least) that people in the diner didn’t realize that anything was wrong at first.

Flashback to the Future

Amanda first met Joe in 2007, and she tells him she is a groupie. She caught her husband having an affair, so she shot them both, hacked them up into pieces over the next few days, drove to Florida to dump them in a swamp, then kept driving until she got to Joe. She has been on the lam ever since.

In a flashback to 2008, we see Paul and Jacob’s first kill together. Paul must kill to prove himself to Emma and Jacob; she sends Jacob with him to “help.” She has even picked out a victim from the internet. We don’t see the capture, we just see Paul and Jacob arguing over who will make the first cut. Paul wants Jacob to stab her first, as a sign of good faith. Jacob cannot do it, so Paul takes over, brutally stabbing the woman in the trunk of his car. Later, Jacob weeps openly and admits he has never killed anyone. Paul promises to keep it a secret. He likes Jacob and Emma, and this way Jacob will “owe him one.” Well, tonight, he calls in that favor.

Prophecies?

The trailer promises that next week’s episode will be “can’t-miss” and “heart-stopping.” I hope that means something awesome is going to happen - not that Ryan’s damn heart stops again.

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