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The Following Recap: The Picture of Luke and Mark Gray

THE FOLLOWING: In an attempt to find out more information, Ryan (Kevin Bacon, L) and Max (Jessica Stroup, R)  capture a suspect in the "Reflection" episode of THE FOLLOWING airing Monday, Feb. 17 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: David Giesbrecht/FOX

So if Joe’s previous literary muse was Edgar Allan Poe, it appears that his new one is going to be E.L. James. Creepy twin Mark tells now-blond-but-still-a-little-punk-and-once-again-crazy-eyed Emma that he has a slight case of haphephobia, which she’ll have to study up on if their relationship is going to work. If I’d been her, my comeback would’ve been, “Well, you’re going to have to look up what slight means, then.” Luckily (for so many reasons) I’m not Emma, though, so she instead stuck her hands on Mark’s face, which, admittedly, was a pretty good move. Her sense of superiority really worked in her favor in this case. Mark recoiled as though he had a pot of boiling water thrown on him. I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey, but is this what the sex scenes are like? And, more important, am I now not going to be able to watch the movie without thinking of that sound Joe makes when he stabs people?

Joe didn’t get a chance to make that sound this week. The camera cut away right as we could hear the squish of, like, his awl being used on that girl. I know Lily’s loaded, so she can buy anything she wants, but did those tools come as a kit, or were they specially made, or what? I used to think, back in the innocent days of last week, that Joe’s sound was the ickiest this show could get, but then it went right ahead and trumped itself by having him enter Lily’s room covered in the dead girl’s blood and her getting all turned by that. It just occurred to me that Lily’s last name is Gray.

The FBI’s supercomputer (i.e., a Dell laptop) has a virus, so they’re having trouble doing the thing where you zoom in on a blurry, black-and-white face and suddenly it’s as clear as an Instagram selfie. This buys Max and Hardy a few more precious seconds, enough that Hardy can stop at an actual Hardees while racing to his niece’s aid. “I can’t be far,” he tells her through a mouthful of fries, “Twenty minutes away.” “Okay!” she shouts back, “Don’t worry! She’s right in front of me!  I just reached out and tapped her on the shoulder and then when she turned around, I pretended it wasn’t me! That’s how close I am to her!”

An hour later, Ryan pulls up, and even though he told Max to wait for him at the train station so that they could then wander the streets of Stratford loudly referring to French films by their English titles until she came out of her hiding spot, Max ignored him and has managed to tail Giselle to a street one block away. Ryan goes after them and encounters Giselle first, who tells him to shoot her in a voice that, while a little too breathy for my comfort level, at least makes her the first death-obsessed follower to seem unafraid and even a little excited at the idea of dying herself. Hardy pops another fry in his mouth and chews thoughtfully while Max appears, I Love Lucy—style, and saves the day by punching Giselle in the face. Hardy tells Max, “Let’s move her before someone sees us,” because obviously backup in the form of guns and bulletproof vests would be the worst thing that could happen right now. Hardy really has been off the force for too long, because he’s forgotten that the FBI only has three cars allotted to every state.

He and Max take Giselle to a motel where she is handcuffed to the bedpost. Know any newborn babies you could trick into betting that she didn’t manage to get out of those cuffs and escape? Before that happens, though, Giselle tells Hardy that Joe is hiding at a warehouse. Again, I feel like the followers are having some vocabulary issues. It’s whorehouse, not warehouse. I would cut Giselle some slack for being a non-native English speaker, but since Sexy French is her first language, she really should know the difference. Hardy heads to the warehouse not expecting to actually find Joe there, but maybe there will be some innocent bystanders whose lives he can endanger in his irrational solo mission to find a homicidal maniac. Considering Joe doesn’t even act like a fake professor anymore, he and Hardy are really going to have nothing to talk about once they finally are reunited.

At the warehouse, Hardy kills one of Lily’s adopted French sons. Luke isn’t happy about this. He’s having such a crummy day. First his mom, whom he’s sexually attracted to, goes on a date right in front of him, and now one of his sociopathic brothers is dead. Man, he thinks, death sucks. Except when I am causing it and devoting my life to it. Giselle shows up and leans her head against his shoulder, which means I guess that he doesn’t share that particular one of Mark’s issues. Or maybe he can handle being touched only if it’s over his clothing or if the other person is Sexy French.

Hardy escapes the warehouse, but he’s been shot. He finds a house and goes inside to make some popcorn. He finds the microwave kind, but throws it on the floor. A man with his kitchen appliances would never microwave anything. He digs through the entire pantry until he finds, way in the back, a jar of kernels. He throws some oil in a pan, heats it upn and then gets to work, making sure to keep the kernels on just long enough for almost all of them to pop before becoming burnt. He also finds a first-aid kit and sticks a square of gauze on his gunshot wound. The owner of the house, a nice lady, comes home, and he has to blindfold her so she won’t see his face. Through tears, she says, “Because if I did, you’d have to shoot me,” and Hardy gives a look like yeah, he probably would do that if that’s what it took for him to get his last Poe paper into Joe’s hands so he could receive his final grade. Even though he was only auditing the class, it would still mean so much to him to know what Joe thought of his thesis that Edgar Allan Poe was in fact L. Ron Hubbard.

Mark and Giselle find the house. They bust in and Hardy can believe his eyes when he sees her. Why does this keep happening to me? Maybe it’s time for me to reevaluate my no-FBI-or-police-allowed policy, he definitely does not think to himself. Giselle tells him she killed Max. In turn, Hardy kills her. At this point, he’s almost tied with Joe in terms of body-count this season. Then Hardy runs out of the house, leaving the nice lady blindfolded in the closet where he left her, defenseless and alone in a house with an already very dangerous murderer who has just discovered the body of his Sexy French girlfriend. In a stroke of good fortune, though, the only thing this particular murderer likes more than murdering is cradling  the bodies of people who have been murdered, either by him or “others,” so that’s exactly what he does. Come out, nice lady, and congratulations. You’ve survived an encounter with Ryan Hardy. Very few have lived to tell that tale. See what I did there?

Photo: FOX