"The Following" The Poet's Fire (TV Episode 2013) Poster

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1.3 ***1/2
edwagreen9 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Ryan had actually been fooled by attempting to work with the professor when he realized that the killings had something to do with the works of Edgar Allen Poe.

No one can really avoid the animosity of this professor and his band of killers. In this episode, those who criticized his writing and the professor who denied him tenure are all marked for death.

Apparently, jealous of the relationship between one male and one female cult member, another guy goes off and brings back a hostage to the group. Who knows where this will lead to?

The supposed innocent wife of one of the cult members is nothing more than a cult member herself. She even winds up killing one of the investigators.

The show can really give you some nightmares.
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First misfire in a promising series
paul_robert_crown10 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I will preface this review by saying that I have thoroughly enjoyed the first few episodes of The Following. The premise is dark and stylish, the acting is classy from James Purefoy who is marvellously malevolent as Joe Carroll, and also particularly from Valorie Curry who has quickly established a seriously unsettling character in Joe's deranged apprentice Emma. Kevin Bacon is also well cast as Starling-esque FBI agent Ryan.

However having so quickly and effectively established an atmosphere of terror, constant suspense with the idea that every character encountered so far could potentially be part of Carrolls' following, the decisions made by the FBI task-force in this episode are strikingly stupid. After arresting and detaining suspect Maggie Kester, who attempted to attack Ryan WITH A KNIFE they decide after a few hours that she's OK to go back to her own home, not a safe house, not a motel, but her own home with only one officer in tow in case her already established "follower" husband returns. This then leads to the painful process of the characters slowly piecing the threat together and to no-ones surprise they are too late in acting on the info to do anything about it.

To me this was a real disappointment as I felt it cheapened the established characters, by gleefully walking them into a fairly obvious trap. The trap lacked the sophistication that has been present so far, and the fact that protagonists just walked strait into definitely made me care less about the characters. However the rest of the episode was pretty good particularly the afore mentioned Valorie Curry whose character has a murderous intensity as well as psychologically-damaged depths, which she plays beautifully without going to far over the top.

I'm hoping this episode was just a blip in what has been a great series so far.

Thanks for reading, PC

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