The Following Review: Burn Baby Burn

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The Following murders escalated, the characters' layers proceeded to be peeled slowly back and the mystery behind Joe's grand plan continued to lead viewers along in thrilling fashion this week.

"The Poet's Fire," while focusing on another follower's work, also flashed us back to Ryan and Joe's first meeting.

Meeting Joe Carroll

While we all know what becomes of their eventual battle, both James Purefoy and Kevin Bacon heated up the screen with their simple interactions of discussing Poe-related murders. Plus, getting to see Joe out of a jumpsuit, becoming acquainted with his future nemesis, was a treat.

As even Ryan admitted, Joe has a knack for inspiring and seducing in such a way as to fill in for his followers like a teacher, father and leader. But what really gets these people to do Joe's work? Why have these followers jumped on his psychotic bandwagon? Why is Joe doing all of this and what is that final goal?

With Joe inside jail and reduced to playing mind games (and he plays  a brilliant conversationalist with each steely look), the heavy load of adding compelling outside villainy falls upon these acolytes.

The triangle of Jacob, Emma and Paul is growing intriguing by the week and sometimes it's easy to forget that the group is taking cues from a killer.

Emma becomes more fascinating with each scene, as her youthful and childlike smiles are the perfect counterbalance to that dark side. She seems so nice and friendly, loving even, but it's obvious that she herself is exhibiting a leadership role not to be crossed.

Telling Paul and Jacob to kiss? Cutting Paul? Clearly Emma is not a girl to be messed with.

And neither is Paul when he's picking up the girl, in a way you want him to... and then Paul's evil side kicks in and you remember he too is a killer. Now, why would he bring her back? He knew it would have to cause problems, right?

At the same time, Paul's accusations of Jacob being a liar looks to create problems as well. Just what is Jacob lying about, if at all?

Yet, the headlining follower of the week, Rick, took to his adorned Poe costume and killed off Joe's critics. He also seemed to be off his rocker in an effort to add his own chapter to Joe's saga, but with his wife being involved (great twist) the concept of manipulation and following seems to be slowly spreading wider than just a small group.

So, how many are out there? Will each episode really have a new follower pop up for Ryan to face or will that become tiresome? Either way, the final showdown, and conclusion of the episode for that matter, was rather shocking.

Not only does Ryan kill Rick (after a surprise second attack), but Rick's wife kills Agent Reilly. I mean, right to the throat for a bloody mess. It's certainly a bold move for the show, but I wish we got more of a chance to learn about Reilly. I was hoping they would save him in time.

Simultaneously, Jordy killed himself, although I didn't mind because frankly, that guy was a creeper.

The twisty thriller amped up the suspense and danger tonight, proving that the hour was just another chapter in a long, long journey ahead. It's a good thing Kevin Bacon is there to steer The Following in the right direction.


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (135 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


cont Please, Fox, make this misguided sin go away. Quote the Rider never more.


... as he sends his legions mini psycos out to do his bidding. I keep expecting a Domminos Pizza delivery guy to show up at the interview room with his two topping pie. PS, Fox, guys like him get their asses kicked in the joint about three times a day. The most amazing thing about this hate filled mess is it is produced by a woman! Jill Brow-Weller. Jill is the kind of woman her villan would have at the top of his hit list. Like her villan, Ms Brow-miller is an intellectual fraud. Congrats on taking a paycheck and providing a primer for the next screwball to shoot up a movie theatre, summer camp or first grade class. Tell us Jill, would you let your kids watch this show? Oh, wait they're probably already tucked away in their Beverly Hills beds at 9PM. Here's a suggestion that will save you all a lot of wasted time and money, instead of broadcasting, The Following, just post the link to the Daniel Perlman video. You get your dose of twisted horror and at least it's real. Please, Fox, if you have any decency at all, make this sin go away.


Wow This is by far the sickest piece of trash in TV history. Bar none. Wrapped in a bogus intellectual premise shilling off E Allen Poe this show is nothing more than a high gloss excuse to torture women and children. The plot is abusud and never misses the chance to ditch logic in order to stab, burn, shoot, tie up, slap, or torture another woman or the occassional dude. Supposed lead, Kevin Bacon, a competent actor in the past has sold his soul to play the vaccant, sleep deprived, unretired, FBI? LAPD? KGB? zombie agent who bumbles after one of the lamest bad guys ever. To Bacons credit he has somehow managed to come across as an afterthought in this hate filled mess. As for Mr Evil, can you say, broad strokes? The only thing this guys, "character", is missing is a handlebar mustache to twirl every time the body count rises. The smarmy psyco, (totally defying any logic), seems to get whatever he wants from his prison cell as he sends his legions of mini-psychos out to do his bidding. I keep expecting a Dommino Pizza delivery guy to show up at his cell with a two topping pie. PS, Fox, guys like him would get their asses kicked in the joint about three times a day. The Following, and shows like, Sons Of Anarchy, are examples of how our society is spinning out of control and how a certain segment of that population,(unfortunately substantial), can only be stimulated by the most extreme violence. Like, Sons Of Anarchy, the only reason to watch this thing is to hope the main characters are all, (humanely), put out of their misery. Most amazing is the fact that this vile swill is produced by a woman - Jill Brow-Weller. Congrats Brow-Weller for taking a paycheck and providing a primer for the next screwball to shoot up a movie theatre, summer camp or first grade class. Like your villan, you are an intellectual fraud. Tell me you would let your own kids watch this. Oh, wait, they are probably alredy tucked into their Beverly Hills beds at 9pm. Here's a suggestion Jill that will save everyone a lot of time and money... instead of continuing to broadcast this misogyny just post the link to the Daniel Perlman video. That should have the same effect you're after. Please, Fox, if you have any decency at all, make this mortal sin horror go away. Revolting. Rider

Sarah silva

I liked agent Reilly. I think Agent Weston is a follower and his cover is being an agent.


I am loving this new show. It is a pleasure to see Kevin Bacon again.
The interaction with Joe and Ryan was superb acting. These characters have a great onscreen chemistry. Keep up the good writing and acting.


Liked how Annie Parisse played as like her "Law & Order" self (A.D.A. Alexandra Borgia) bringing that kind of tension against the followers that Ryan Hardy is trying to find on this show. She matches with Ryan Hardy in a way. I liked how the writers added that, it really helps this show break away from the cliches from other shows that are on tv. I hope they don't turn her character as a bad guy and kill her off (even shawn ashmore's character too).


This show is slowly/steadily getting its footing. This episode proves it. This is very better and improved than episode 2 and as if episode 2 didn't happen. "The Poet's Fire" 5/5


Wow the only black guy survived almost three whole episodes!


Billy Brown plays a cop Mike Anderson who works with Miami PD in Dexter. He got killed early in the season that just ended. He also played Riley here who got killed again. Seems now playing cop who got killed becoming a specialty for him. This show is one of the better mid season new show. Many wander what is Joe's motive. I think it is taking revenge on Ryan for putting in Jail and screwing his wife. Joe would say it is bigger than revenge but it is revenge!


While I started out liking this show I really didn't see it as particularly scarier then other shows I've watched. I must be the only one who finds Joe rather boring and one dementional, certainly not particularly charismatic (but what do I know The Hurt Locker is on my list of top 10 worst shows ever) so it is really hard for me to accept him as having such power over other people. I'm also tired of everything always being put on Ryan. Joe obviously was a killer long before Ryan came along. I watch because I love mysteries and blood and gore shows, but I've seen much better.

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The Following Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

There's a romance to it.


It will bleed into your writing.