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The Following 1×03 The Poet’s Fire Recap and Review

Written by Alexander Tucker   // 02/04/2013

The Following on FOXThe Following 1×03 The Poet’s Fire Recap and Review


The Following 1×03 The Poet’s Fire Summary: Hardy and the team try to predict the actions of one of Carroll’s followers. In other events, Paul has difficulty controlling his jealousy over Emma and Jacob’s relationship; and the origin of Hardy and Carroll’s relationship is revealed.


The Following 1×03 The Poet’s Fire Review: I have to say that after last week’s episode, The Following 1×03 ‘The Poet’s Fire’ was a little bit tame until the end. The Following has taken on a cliffhanger quality that I enjoy. It’s like reading a book that is a real page turner. Each episode gives you a preview of what to expect next week. I wasn’t jumping out of my skin this week and my heart wasn’t racing. I was ready for anything because I knew that no one could be trusted. I anticipated the fact that anyone could be a killer, right up to the end. This episode was, after all my preparation, the most disturbing of all. The ending hurt me, cut me deeply as only a parent can be cut by an ending scene. It was every parent’s nightmare. In case you missed it, here’s the play-by-play recap.


The Following 1×03, ‘The Poet’s Fire’ opened just a few moments before last week’s cliffhanger. A man in an Edgar Allen Poe mask is quoting Poe “Quoth the raven, Nevermore…” as an audience watches enthralled. A man in a business suit walks by, talking on his cell phone. He makes his way to a coffee stand as the poet finishes his recitation. The poet reaches down, grabs a bag and runs up behind the man at the coffee stand, douses him with liquid and sets him on fire. The poet runs away as people scream, and the man rolls on the ground in agony, but the flames won’t go out.


Claire is lying in bed and Joe awakens her with a “Good Morning” before strangling her. Claire awakens from her nightmare and finds herself alone. She heads to the door and asks the agent where Hardy is, only to learn that he left an hour ago.


Ryan Hardy is briefed by Claire on the fingerprint evidence from the ‘Carroll Clubhouse’ but he doesn’t buy the theory that there are only 6 followers. Parker can’t seem to wrap her head around how Carroll controls his accomplices. Ryan Hardy recalls the charismatic way Joe Carroll captivated his students.

As Hardy enlightens Agent Parker, the phone rings; Jordy is awake.


At the hospital, Jordy says that he won’t talk to Hardy and Parker. Hardy asks where Joey Matthews is; he even tries telling Jordy how upset Joe Carroll was at his failure. Jordy will only tell Ryan that he enjoyed killing; it was worth it to hold the girls as they died. Jordy starts to sing to drown Hardy and Agent Parker out.


Back at the FBI command post, Hardy watches as Agent Weston tells the tale of the street performer and the fire. Hardy recognizes the victim; it’s Stan Fellows. Ryan interviewed him for his book on Carroll. He criticized Carroll’s book.


Meanwhile, Paul watches the news reports and discusses the media coverage with Jacob. Jacob talks to Paul about how he’s been treating Emma. In a flashback we see one of the bones of contention between the two. Jacob didn’t respect Rick’s choice to use fire as his method of killing, but Emma defended it as ‘finding his own voice.’ Jacob doesn’t seem to like the fact that Emma is always running the show and saying that her authority comes from Joe.


Meanwhile, the FBI gets a hit on the license plate when the ‘Poet’ fled the scene of the crime. Rick Kester. The team heads to the Kester home. At least Ryan Hardy is equipped with a bullet proof vest this time. The FBI quickly clears the house as Hardy and Parker enter the kitchen. Hardy notices a door knob turning right before a woman bursts through the door wielding a pair of shears towards his face. Hardy grabs her arm and gets her up against the wall, learning her name is Maggie; she’s Rick Kester’s wife.


At the Federal Detention Center in Virginia, Maggie tells the agents that she is separated from her husband. He’s been calling and she is in fear for her life. Hardy produces a hospital record stating that her husband stabbed her. Maggie says that she had asked for a divorce and he went crazy. When the questioning turns to his sudden change, Maggie blames the loss of his job and the new friends he was hanging around with. She says she never met them, but he was talking about death all the time. Parker buys her story because it sounds like every woman she’s ever known, loving the man she thinks she married. Ryan is not so sure.


When Ryan expresses the desire to talk to Joe again, Parker says that it’s about time she met the man.


Back at the country house, Paul approaches Emma and asks if they can at least pretend to like one another; he proposes a truce. Emma turns on him with a huge chef’s knife in her hand and cuts his hand. “Don’t ever try to turn Jacob against me.” She says as she passes him, leaving him to deal with his wound.


Parker uses flattery to try to get something out of Joe Carroll. She tells him that he’s doing a great job. She asks about Rick Kester and the revenge killing of Stan Fellows. Joe has a flashback to 2009 and recalls Rick telling him how he would use fire to honor Poe and take revenge on Carroll’s enemies. Carroll tells Parker that he only holds three people responsible for his fall. He looks at the camera and addresses Ryan, asking how many people he holds responsible for his fall.


Hardy identifies the three men Carroll is referring to. Stan Fellows, Hardy himself, and Philip Barnes, the Dean of Literature who denied Carroll tenure at the university. As he speaks, the Dean of Literature enters his office and finds Rick Kester waiting for him.


Philip Barnes says that he doesn’t have any appointments. Kester asks Barnes why he denied tenure to Joe Carroll. The Dean thinks that Kester must be kidding, but he soon learns differently when Rick stabs him with a chef’s knife. He tells the man to sit, but it doesn’t take much convincing as the man collapses into a chair. Rick asks him again before stabbing him twice more. Then he says “I never killed anyone with a knife before.” Rick squats down to watch his victim die.


Weston comes in and warns Agent Parker that the press is using the ‘cult’ word. He asks if she wants to make a statement; she does not. She wants to know where Ryan Hardy is. She learns that Hardy is outside and joins him to remind him that Carroll is trying tor torture him. “It’s working.” Ryan replies. Ryan has a flashback of his first meeting with Carroll after Claire told him that her husband would be of more help on his case. Joe Carroll told him that he didn’t have time to talk, but said he was free for the rest of the week.


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Paul watches as Jacob takes pictures of Joey and Emma. Joey asks if he can call his mom now. Emma laughs and tickles him as she tells him never to ask her again. Paul has a flashback from 2010. Emma is instructive as she tells Paul and Jacob that they need to act gay for Sarah Fuller to accept them as a couple. She tells them that it’s Joe’s idea. Then she makes fun of them for being too chicken to kiss each other. Finally they relent, share a brief kiss, and break up laughing.


Paul runs out of the house and heads for the car. Jacob follows him and says he can’t leave; their faces are all over the news. Paul tells Jacob that he’s a liar and speeds away.


Back at the FBI command post, Hardy calls Weston over to look at Rick Kester’s file. Then he calls Claire and starts naming the items on Rick’s recent credit card charges. Claire confirms that they’re all Joey’s favorite toys. Ryan asks Maggie why Rick would purchase toys but she tells him to ask Rick. Suddenly her phone rings; Maggie is shaking as she tells Weston and Hardy that it’s Rick. Hardy tells her to answer and put it on speaker. Maggie is crying as she asks Rick why he’s hurting people. He asks if Ryan’s listening; “Tell Ryan it’s all for him.” Rick says and hangs up.


Agent Parker insists that Hardy go and get some sleep at the hotel and she sends Agent Riley to the Kester house with Maggie to keep and eye on her and keep her safe. Weston catches Hardy before he leaves; he knows Ryan isn’t going to the hotel, so he offers the rental car he’s been given to help him track down Rick.


As Jacob and Emma discuss Paul and wonder where he is, Paul is at a convenient store in town. The video camera picks him up as he moves through the store. Even though he wears a smile and a hat, a customer is frightened. Paul catches a clerk alone, stocking the shelves. He asks ‘Megan’ where the wine is and learns they only sell beer. After flirting a bit he asks her what time she gets off of work.


Meanwhile, Agent Riley arrives at the Kester home and clears it ahead of Maggie. He tells her to act like he isn’t there and she says to make himself at home. Weston calls to let Riley know he and Hardy are outside if needed. Weston tries to make small talk with Hardy, but the older man needs a break and takes a walk. He recalls meeting Joe Carroll at his house. Joe gave him an Edgar Allen Poe book and invited him in for a drink.


Paul and Megan are making out and drinking when she stops him and says that sex is off the table. He acts as if he doesn’t mind, then starts kissing her again. Megan gets upset when she feels he is trying to strangle her. She says it’s time to go home. Paul offers to get the door for her, and then smashes her head against the door repeatedly until she falls unconscious to the ground.


Maggie and Riley are discussing marriage when they hear loud banging. Maggie is shaking, insure of whether the noise is coming from outside or inside the house. Riley checks outside but doesn’t see anything; then his phone rings. Weston here’s about the commotion and tells Riley he’s coming in.

Agent Parker goes to see Jordy and says she has been to talk to Joe. She says that Joe wants to see him and she can arrange that, if Jordy will talk to her. He says that he doesn’t know anything. She asks where Joey Matthews is and says that Rick Kester knows where Joey is. Jordy says that none of them know all of the pieces of the puzzle. Emma, Jacob and Paul have Joey; Maggie knows where, she’s one of them. Parker hurries out to contact her team.


Riley tells Maggie that she has a text. He tells her that it says ‘Now’ and turns to ask what that means, as Maggie stabs him in the throat. She has a flashback of Rick stabbing her, as practice, in the cult house. She tells him that he went to deep and she’s rushed to the hospital. Outside, Maggie tells Rick that they have to go now.


Ryan Hardy and Agent Weston burst through the door as they learn Maggie is one of the following. Hardy gets to Riley first and tells Weston to keep pressure on the wound. He takes the gun and goes after Maggie. He catches her in the back yard, but she cries and says Rick will kill her, even as Rick raises a shovel over Hardy’s head from behind. Ryan turns and shoots Rick, then turns the gun on Maggie again. Before she can answer him, Rick is up and grabs him from behind. They struggle before he can shoot Rick again; when he turns around, Maggie is gone. Hardy returns to the kitchen to find Riley dead, and Weston sitting on the floor with blood all over his hands.


Back at the country house, Emma and Jacob hear a woman whimpering and come downstairs. They find Paul who introduces Megan and says she’s staying. Megan is tied to a chair with duct tape over her mouth. Jacob turns to Emma and tells her to check on Joey, he can handle this. Paul reminds Jacob of a time when they were alone and drinking; they were joking about being touchy feely when things took a turn and they were suddenly passionate with each other. Jacob still wants it to remain a secret and doesn’t want Emma to know. He says he’ll help Paul take Megan to the basement.


Outside the Kester home, Agent Parker is devastated that she was so fooled by Maggie Kester; agent Riley didn’t have to die. Ryan recalls his early friendship with Joe Carroll. He sat in the man’s home, drank with him, told him about the case. Carroll flattered him and complimented him on his work, then offered him another drink and he accepted. He tells Parker that he was fooled too. If he had figured it out sooner, there are a lot of people who didn’t have to die.


Meanwhile, Jordy cries in his hospital bed “I’m sorry Joe” he wails as he uses his teeth to grab his gauze bandage from his shoulder. He cries even more as he forces himself to swallow the bandages until he starts to gag, then chokes and dies.


Claire meets Ryan Hardy at the door and tells him she’s gotten an e-mail. She plays the video on her computer and watches as Jacob shows Joey how to kill insects with a magnifying glass. When Joey asks why, Jacob replies “Because we can.” Jacob shows Joey a mouse that he caught with a trap. He places the animal in a jar and tells Joey to screw the lid on. Joey’s smart, he tells Jacob that the animal will die; he doesn’t want to kill it. Jacob tells him that they can watch it go to heaven. Claire is horrified as she tells Ryan that they are teaching her son to kill. As Claire races from the room, Hardy hears Emma’s voice telling Joey to wave at the camera and say “Hi Ryan.”


I can’t wait to see what happens next week. If the promo is any indication, Maggie has more work to do and it looks like she’s going after Ryan Hardy’s sister. I guess we’ll see…


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