Fire Country: We Need To Talk About [Spoiler] Possibly Being The Bad Guy And What That Could Mean Moving Forward

 From left to right: two 3 Rock fire fighters, Gabrielle, Eve and Jake standing on a bridge
From left to right: two 3 Rock fire fighters, Gabrielle, Eve and Jake standing on a bridge

Major, major spoilers for Episode 16 -- “My Kinda Leader” -- of Fire Country ahead. Read with caution.

If you thought last week’s episode of Fire Country was game-changing, just wait until you see this week’s installment, because the biggest plot twist yet was thrown at us in the final minutes, and it could change the whole show. During Episode 16 “My Kinda Leader” we learned that there was a serial arsonist on the loose, and that this person was responsible for a major wildfire that the crew was trying to contain. At the very end of the episode, Sharon Leone makes a very bold accusation that Jake, a heroic firefighter who is basically like family to the Leones, is the arsonist, and if that proves to be true, the rest of this season is going to be wild.

I know my jaw was on the floor when I learned that the beloved Jake might be the serial arsonist. After teasing a character death, and last week’s episode where Rebecca surprisingly died, as well as the ever-evolving love triangle that keeps causing drama, the last thing I was expecting was one of our main characters to be a villain. Up until this point the antagonist of Fire Country has been the fire, however, now it’s like the show put a face to the fire, and having Jake as that person was shocking.

Following a major wildfire that threatened to burn down a prison, the fire department realized that a serial arsonist was behind the out-of-control threat, and they were trying to figure out who it was. Then, in the final minutes of the episode, Jake reveals to one of the newer firefighters that when he was younger he set his bedroom on fire, on purpose, which was unsettling. He said:

I remember standing there, watching the curtains go up in flames, and I didn’t call for help right away. I don’t know why, but I thought that if the flames got big enough that maybe he’d come back home.

He was referring to his dad, and said that instead of his biological father, Vince Leone came instead. Right after that scene we see Diane Farr's character Sharon approach Manny to talk about how an investigator thought someone in their fire crew was responsible for the wildfire, and that’s when she realized that Jake might be behind it. Bode’s mom then said:

All of the evidence points to him. Eve, Gabriela, Collin, every one of them was here, every one of them is accounted for at every fire except for him. He doesn’t just fit the profile, Manny, he is the profile. A hero complex, being at the scene of the crime. Except Vince and I are the only ones who know, but this wouldn’t be the first fire that Jake has started.

That’s a bold, bold claim! However, between Jake’s extreme disappointment when he couldn't help Sharon with her transplant in the last episode, his confession about his childhood, and Sharon’s realization it seems like he really might be the serial arsonist with a hero complex that we’re looking for. And if that’s the case, it will seriously change the trajectory of the show, because the enemy is deeply involved with the crew that is trying to stop the fires. Jake is also like family to his crew and the Leones so if he turns out to be the big bad, that will change the dynamics between him and every character on the show.

Jordan Calloway, who plays Jake, did warn us on Instagram in a way, when he posted about this episode not being one we'll want to miss. However, I thought that just meant we’d have some epic set pieces, and wildfires, not a major plot twist involving his character.

As Max Thieriot's show prepares to air the last portion of Season 1 on the 2023 TV schedule, it will be interesting to see how this revelation impacts the rest of the series. Will Jake have to go on the run? Will he be arrested and sent to Three Rock or prison? Can Bode ever trust him again? Calloway's character potentially being the fire starter seriously changes the game, and will likely impact the series into Season 2, seeing as Fire Country was renewed after its mid-season premiere.

While there are a lot of things we don’t know, one thing is for sure: the show has been changed by this revelation, and no matter what happens, Jake’s actions will change everything and likely cause a major rift within the fire department. To see how Jordan Calloway’s character impacts Fire Country moving forward make sure to tune in to CBS on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET or stream the show the next day with a Paramount+ subscription.