“The Following” 1.04: The Flashbacking

In this week’s epsiode of The Flashbacking – sorry, The Following – we learned a bit more about Ryan Hardy’s tragic past, checked another Followinger off our list, and heightened the threat levels for one of the supposed “good guys”. Oh – and there was lots more stabbing and a shower threesome, if you’re into those kinds of things.

We start with a touching scene of Paul (Adan Canto) and Meghan (Li Jun Li) chatting like old friends who have just brutally beaten and kidnapped one another after a few drinks. Jacob (Nico Tortorella) and Emma (Valorie Curry) tell Paul he’d better clean up his mess – Emma goes further by telling him to “kill her and bury her behind the stable, barn, whatever.” Anyone else shocked she’s not entirely familiar with the term “stable”?

Paul tells Jacob that he’s tired of all his lies – and at this point it’s pretty clear that this isn’t just about the 458 games of Gay Chicken that they happened to lose to one another and a bottle of Barefoot Cabernet during their three years as a couple, right?

Back at the place where the Good Guys hang out, Mike (Shawn Ashmore) is busy studying the YouTube clip of Jacob and Emma going all Ted Bundy Day Care on wee Joey. Mike insists that he’s okay despite the fact that his impossibly humpy colleage just died in his bloody arms a few hours ago. Claire (Natalie Zea) isn’t comforted by the fact that people can’t just be turned into psychopaths: “You put heroin in someone’s arm long enough, they become a junky.”

Oh – and Jordy’s definitely dead, having gone off to the great My Strange Addiction: All Delicious Gauze Edition in the sky. Ryan (Kevin Bacon) gets a call from someone named Jenny (I think the incoming number was 867-5309), and suddenly flashes back to 2009. He was drunk! Okay, to be more specific to 2009, he was drunk and leaning on some chick named Jenny, who was pretty and very patient with him and whose calls he now has no interest in taking.

Ryan meets with Joe (James 100%PureFoy), calling The Followingers “amateur hour”. Joe’s thrilled to hear that Ryan killed Rick, because it means he’s getting his groove back. He says that Maggie – who is still at large – is “tenacious”, and mentions that she pulled off a killing spree in Alabama eight years ago.

Back at Sociopath Plantation, Paul fishes a cell phone out of a tasteful piece of pottery stashed high on a library shelf, and Emma uses it to call Maggie. Wee Joey sees this from the stairs, where he is waiting patiently for someone to tell him what his character’s point is. Emma senses that Paul still has beef, and she asks, “Is that about you two getting your gay on?” Paul says no, it’s about Jacob lying to everyone – including Joe – about the fact that he’s never actually killed anyone.

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNNNNN.

Okay, it’s kind of funny when the episode’s shocking twist is that someone actually is NOT a serial killer.

On a parking lot surveillance camera, the Feds see footage of Maggie stabbing someone in the parking lot of a store where she bought a bunch of magnets. Whah? She’s headed for New York or Connecticut, they think. AND SHE’S ARMED AND MAGNETIC.

Ryan gets another call from Jenny, and has another flashback. God – can he please turn his cell phone to “Silent with No Flashbacks,” please?

He was still drunk. Jenny was still over it. She walked out.

This time Ryan decides to take the call – it’s Jenny, but also Maggie, who has taken Jenny hostage. Maggie asks, “How do you want me to kill your sister?” She says she’ll trade Jenny for him if he comes alone and doesn’t pack heat. He agrees. Brass cupcake Debra Parker (Annie Parisse) of course notices that her vodka-soaked MVP is up to something fishy, so she sends Mike to tail Ryan. Ryan isn’t keen on Mike coming along, but he eventually relents – it turns out Jenny owns a restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where I actually lived for the last eight years. This should be fun. Is it wrong to hope that the bust goes south and they catch half the cast of Girls in the crossfire?

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