The Following: The Poet's Fire,' 2013, Fox. Written by Adam Armus and Kay Foster. Starring Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Billy Brown. Rated TV-14 for language, sexual situations, and violence. Airs 9.00 p.m. EST on Monday.
This episode starts off with a masked Rick Kester (pictured, played by Michael Drayer) giving a recitation of Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Raven.' He does a poor job of it (in our opinion), but the crowd is impressed -- and then Kester quite calmly sets fire to a man and walks away. No one tries to stop him or put out the fire.
It turns out Kester is something of a firebug. (For this reason, we thought it a little odd he didn't stay around a bit to watch his handiwork; we were under the impression most firebugs are so fascinated by the dance of the flame that they must hang around and watch it. We could be wrong.) He is, of course, one of Joe Carroll's followers; he wants his chapter in Carroll's book to be about revenge, and so he has targeted the three people Carroll feels brought about his downfall. Hence the hapless -- and now quite dead -- critic.
Kester continues work on his chapter whilst Ryan Hardy and the FBI search for a way to stop him. In the process, they find Kester's wife, Maggie (Virginia Kull), hiding out at her house, afraid Kester is going to come back and kill her. It wouldn't be the first time he tried; he stabbed her back when he became a follower.
We also find out more about the background of two of the the three kidnappers, Paul Torres and Jacob Wells. They're keeping a secret from Emily Hill, the third kidnapper and Wells' girlfriend. It is this secret, along with a confrontation with Hill, which causes Torres to leave the hideout, endangering the mission.
In addition, Ryan Hardy's first encounter with Joe Carroll is explored. Here we see Hardy coming to trust Carroll, who in essence seduces Hardy as much as he does his followers.
This episode had a couple of twists we didn't see coming; it was well-written and left us looking forward to next week's episode.
Warning: includes animal cruelty.