Season 1 Episode 2

Ring of Fire

Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Sep 28, 1996 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
38 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Ring of Fire
Violent Crimes Task Force probes a string of well-publicized arson fires in the South.

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  • Hello Jack

    The VCTF is tackling its first case and Sam is trying to keep a low profile. I do think this episode is not as good as the pilot or some other episodes because the case the VCTF is investigating felt a little weak. It just doesn't grab the audience. I don't know if that is because we were suppose to be focused on Jack in the episode or because Jack is just so creepy in this episode (his first big appearanc) or what.

    I mean Jack sends his first rose and group of roses to Sam and his is uber creepy. The lighting they use for him is cool and adds to the mystique. Plus he uses his own blood and stuff. The man knows how to make a statement. I mean -- he poisoned the dog. How sad is that. John and Nathan are still behaving like buttheads but Bailey comes through for Sam, Angel and Chloe with the coolest place to live (hideout) ever. The firestation that is awesome. A decent episode but not as great as the pilot.moreless
  • 3 of 5 serrated blades

    Ring of Fire - Profiler\'s second episode - represents a step in the right direction after the weak pilot. We see more character development with Sam - we learn more of her method of working, her insight and intellect are important components of her personality. Unfortunately, she continues to come across as a surprisingly weak character – terrified of Jack rather than resolute about finding him.

    This episode represents, however, a major change from the pilot in two significant areas. This episode tracks the use of Sam’s skills as a profiler. Ring of Fire intelligently shows Sam examining the evidence and unraveling the arsonist’s motives and understanding. We start seeing some development for the other characters. They also provide some key information – such as background about the criminal. We get a better sense of what motivates the arsonist in this episode – get a sense of him as a desperately wounded person who cannot cope and so tries to destroy the parts of his past that are painful.

    The Pilot felt much weaker in general – as if it was trying to cover too much ground, this episode is weak for the opposite reason – it covers too little ground. The pacing feels off – too slow for much of the episode then a sudden rush in the last few minutes at the end.

    The story arc with Jack remains frustrating. Jack’s presence in the episode and Sam’s life seems almost comically simplistic at this stage, and Sam’s response feels out of character – even more than in Insight. Again, the divide in Sam’s character is the problem – she is written to respond to Jack like a normal person would – with terror. Somehow, this feels like a misstep – a false note for her character. I am waiting to see the resolution of this arc before passing final judgment, but it’s becoming obvious this running story has the potential to suck all the oxygen out of the rest of the story without sufficient payback. We’ll see.

    Although Ring of Fire is better than insight, it remains a 3 of 5 episode. Watching this episode it’s obvious that Profiler is still struggling to find its footing as a show – and equally obvious it’s getting closer. We’re not there yet, but there’s some definite promise here.moreless
Ally Walker

Ally Walker

Dr. Samantha "Sam" Waters

Caitlin Wachs

Caitlin Wachs

Chloe Waters

Erica Gimpel

Erica Gimpel

Angel Brown

Julian McMahon

Julian McMahon

Det. John Grant

Michael Whaley

Michael Whaley

Det. Nathan Brubaker

Peter Frechette

Peter Frechette

George Fraley

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions