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The Following 1×03 The Poet’s Fire Review: What’s with the FBI?

The Following episode three- the poet's fire

James Purefoy and Kevin Bacon. Image via


The Following’s third episode aired, and it’s still as addictive as ever. But the problem is, the writers keep presenting us some really ridiculous scenarios along with all the cool and exciting. Let’s go over the storyline, and then point out the good and the bad.

The Poet’s Fire- The Following 1×03- Some main stuff

–          Claire’s (Natalie Zea) son is still with the two neighbors and his nanny, seemingly happy and playing around.

–          FBI has smartened up a little, and has given Hardy (Kevin Bacon) a gun- who now canvasses the crime scene with other agents, complete with his bullet-proof vest, decreasing the possibility of being hit at the back of the head by one of Joe’s (James Purefoy) followers (aka episode 2).

–          A follower’s MO is fire, as depicted in the end of this episode and we are shown more about his relationship with the others.


If you don’t want spoilers, stop here, please bookmark this page and come back after you’ve watched the show!

If you have seen the episode, let’s roll:

The Poet’s Fire- The Cool:

–          The setting-on-fire scene. It’s creepy, the victim is chosen for a reason that is revealed by Carroll a bit later and we’re given a good reason on why a guy dressed as Poe and reciting his lines isn’t perceived as strange.

–          We get another potential victim, the fire guy’s wife. Sure, we can suspect her, but there’s also the possibility of she’s a victim just like Carroll’s wife. She’s appropriately traumatized.

–          The first meeting of Joe and Ryan-and how reassuring and normal Joe seems.

–          The expected unraveling of one of the neighbors, and confirming our guess about how the gay pretense wasn’t exactly pretense

–          The very ending – the e-mail to Claire.

The Poet’s Fire-The (really) bad:

-After knowing how well Emma and neighbors forged their backgrounds, Ryan and the cult expert (though more she, than Ryan) buying into the Poe-masked killer’s wife’s background, leaving her alone in the office with the computer), and then sending her to her home-with one agent as protection!!!! And the demise of the agent…

Now you’d think that with all the screw-ups since episode 1 (not giving Ryan a gun, not taking him seriously and not listening to him-leading to Sarah’s death…), the leading agent would be smart enough not to buy into the wife’s story, and not send her with one agent. Even if she was telling the truth, one man wouldn’t be enough. They don’t know the number of killers the husband might be working for, and what if that one agent went to the bathroom for crying out loud?? Who’d protect the woman then?


While the bad is really bad, thankfully the cool outweighs it. Maybe later we’ll be given a moer reasonable explanation to the lead agent’s behavior, such as her being a follower of Joe!!

Still, my addiction level remains the same, and I’m loving how the show keeps it all about Joe and Ryan episode after episode without straying from what makes the show, with only adding to it.

Let’s hope the good guys make smarter calls in the fourth episode…

Favorite Line: “I slipped.”

While talking to Jordy, the nutjob guard-turned-psycho, Ryan repeatedly asks him where Claire’s son is. When he doesn’t answer, Ryan elbows him really hard, and when Parker (the leading agent) says “Ryan”, Ryan casually says: “I slipped.”


Looking forward to episode 4!

 Suggested Reading

The Following starring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy: Epic Start

The Following 1×02 Chapter Two Review: Still cool, and yes, Hardy Needs to Toughen Up. But how?


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