[WARNING: The Following Season 1 Spoilers Below]
In The Following season 1 finale, viewers were more than surprised to see the show’s proverbial puppet master, Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), go up in a flames after a suspenseful stand-off with Ryan Hardy. Then, as the episode came to a close, Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and Claire (Natalie Zea) were stabbed by Hardy’s former lover (and Joe’s follower), Molly. So what’s going to happen in The Following season 2?
Luckily, there’s no need to wait until next year to find out what’s in store for Fox’s midseason darling, as executive producer Marcos Siega spoke with EW and TV Line about what fans can expect to see in the series’ next chapter – revealing that Carroll may not be dead, while Claire may very well be. Additionally, there’s info on a (possible) new villain, the whereabouts of Emma, as well as a hint about where the new followers are located.
In order to make your reading swift yet informative, we’ve divided Siega’s responses up by character. (Check out each website to read their complete interviews.)
That’s the brilliance of Kevin Williamson. He has these ideas and sometimes when he pitches them to me, I pause and think, “How is that going to work?” We talk about it and I’m left going, ‘That’s great.’
…you will have an answer when you come back [for season 2].
[Debra] Parker’s death services Ryan’s Hardy’s character, and it’s part of the building blocks of who he is and who he’s going to become in Season 2.
We want the audience to go on this fun ride. We understand the pitfalls of having to wait. We certainly don’t want to piss anybody off. But we look at this as when we watch television shows what is it that we enjoy? We enjoy the screaming at the TV, the guessing.
…there’s another three minutes of scenes. Throughout the [finale], there were things we shot so that we could go back if we needed to in season 2 maybe in flashback and answer questions.
What I can say is from the conversations that Kevin and I have had about where some of these characters are going to go and what potential new characters are going to come in, I’m really excited because it’s new but it does also feel like the series continues. But it’s definitely different.
A New Nemesis?
I have full confidence in Kevin Williamson’s ability, if he chose, to write a character that is as compelling as Joe Carroll… We got people to root for Joe, right? We got you to fall in love with Joe Carroll the serial killer. So, I do think we could do it again if we needed to… But I don’t think it’s that black-and-white for us.
If you really look at the season and look at the timeline, since the pilot, it’s only been 3 and a half months. Geographically in terms of the United States, we’ve been in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland coasts. But clearly we’ve set this up that we don’t know how far this reaches, how many people it’s touched. There’s people on the West Coast. There’s people in the middle of the country. Joe has acolytes everywhere.
[Kevin Williamson said,] ‘I’m trying. I’ve learned the FBI needs to be smarter.’ He really does think about these things. But we are a serialized show and if the FBI solves everything at the end of every episode there’s no The Following.
…we completely understand that people are going to be upset about certain things because ultimately we’re just trying to service this story. This is a work of fiction. It’s like reading a good book. My favorite books I buy into the moments that are clearly absurd because I’m invested. We try our best when we hit those moments to not distract from the story in a way where it takes you out of it.
We put it all out there in terms of what we’d want the audience to be guessing: Who really died? How do you resolve it? How do you move forward if people die? What I can say about Season 2 is that it’s a very different season, but at the same time it will feel like a continuation of the story. There’s no way to tell the same story again; we can’t have the exact same moments of jeopardy, because then people will get bored and it’s predictable. The brilliance behind the series that Kevin has built is that he’s seen how these steps need to evolve. The thing that’s going to surprise people most, I hope, is that the fans will become as invested in that story as they were in this one — and even more so because now they know these characters and we’ll have to spend less time explaining backstory.
Now that you know a bit more about what’s to come, it’s time to figure out what exactly that means for The Following season 2.
Siega’s subtle comments about Carroll, when coupled with the actual season finale (where we didn’t actually see him die), reveal that Joe will likely be back next year. In reference to Claire, Siega’s comments about filming additional scenes could mean that A) Claire is dead and a final, emotional scene w/ Hardy is needed for the season 2 premiere or B) Claire is simply injured and producers wanted to finish filming the scene without having to bring back Jennifer Ferrin, who plays Molly, when they begin production on next season.
As for Emma, the “new” followers and a (possible, though unlikely) new nemesis – these elements are likely just tools to help producers evolve the series from season 1 to season 2. That said, with Emma still running around, everyone – including Carroll – should be concerned because, as the series has shown, there isn’t anything she won’t do – and she’s currently the biggest threat out there.
The Following season 2 will air in 2014 on Fox.