After a pulse-pounding season finale left many viewers of The Following on the edge of their seats - stars Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy are set to resume the cat-and-mouse chase between FBI agent Ryan Hardy and serial killer Joe Carroll, respectively, in early 2014. While the first season was chock-full of exciting developments and a steadily unfolding mystery surrounding Carroll's cult following, viewers have been wondering how exactly showrunners intend to keep the series fresh for (already planned) seasons 2 and 3 - without artificially over-extending the central plot and undercutting the show's quality.
Viewers still have a decent wait ahead of them - before the series returns to air but, in the meantime, the cast and crew of The Following came to New York Comic Con 2013 to offer fans a tease of what's to come.
You can follow the panel Live over at Twitch TV, or through the video player below:
- James Purefoy (Joe Carroll), Kevin Bacon (Ryan Hardy), Kevin Williamson (Writer), Marcos Siega (Director), Shawn Ashmore (Mike Weston), Valorie Curry (Emma Hill), and Connie Nielsen.
- Showing footage of Season 1 finale aftermath - the moments after Claire and Ryan are attacked.
- According to Bacon, the show fast-forwards one year later - and Ryan Hardy could be romantically linked to Nielsen's (new) character.
- First episode is titled "Resurrection" - starting a brand new story with a few threads from season 1. Hardy is in a different place, recovered in some ways and some ways not. Will explore what happened to Joe Carroll early on.
- Purefoy says Joe is "alive-ish" - both in flashbacks and the present day. He's a "romantic" character - with a strange "man love" for Ryan Hardy.
- Bacon says Ryan Hardy is five months sober and in better physical condition - including his heart. His "metaphorical" heart is also starting to open up - yet there's always going to be a darker side to the character.
- Curry says Emma has made some new "friends" and some old friends but lost everything in the finale and is trying to figure out where she goes from here.
- Ashmore thinks that Mike and Ryan have a connection - and that they'll continue to explore that in the coming months but that Mike is on somewhat of a "downward spiral."
- Siega says that the great thing about season 2 is that the characters and relationships are established - so there's more room to play now. Williamson claims that season 1 was really focused on finding Joey, season 2 is a character story about Hardy - as well as juxtaposing where Carroll and Hardy are at now.
- Siega promises that the horror set pieces are more horrifying this year - balanced with a very human story (and have it escalate).
- Nielson says she was pitched on the show as being "very dark" but her character is a mystery woman with a rich background (that keeps getting larger and larger) - and some very fantastic stuff to play with in a role. She's an art dealer, a polymath (speaks many languages), and has lived in many places - she's also a possible love interest for Hardy.
- Bacon says that Hardy's brother has a daughter (played by Jessica Stroup) who is a New York cop - and is a character that Hardy will get to connect with. The friendship between Mike and Hardy will also be explored a lot and the source of a lot of dramatic tension.
- Williamson says it's a fast-paced thriller and a pretty tight story - one that takes place over a slightly longer amount of time (more than season 1's two week storyline). It will still keep you on the edge of your seat.
- Purefoy says that Joe has to put a reset button - and he's got to find a new way to put his mark on the world: "There's black and then there's really, really black."
- Curry claims that Emma will also be in a very different place when the season starts - much like Joe and Ryan.
- Bacon says it was really hard to say goodbye to the Agent Parker character in season 1 (Annie Parisse) because Hardy and Mike had grown so close to her (along with the actors).
- Purefoy says there hasn't been any negativity or hate for his character - and thinks people get that he needs to appear empathetic.
- Bacon says that he's enjoyed working on a network TV show - and the speed at which the show moves is exciting because he really gets the character. It's exhausting and exhilarating.
- Ashmore says that Mike is emotionally tortured by what they had done in the last season - and there's room to grow between the characters in season 2. Williamson says that the FBI had to clean up a lot of the mistakes that were made last season.
- Bacon says that Ryan is now a criminology teacher - which may or may not sit well with Joe. Williamson says that Emma's job is "hiding." Another book has been written about what happened in the last season - meaning that the lives of some characters have been dramatically altered.
- Bacon says that part of the show is how to figure out what Joe and Ryan actually think about one another - and why they are so obsessed with each other.
- Purefoy says Joe really has to figure out who is and what he's doing - and starts to understand his place. Excited to see the character move on and expand.
- Williamson says the entire season is mapped out but not beat for beat - but that things do change as they go along. Claims "the best idea wins." Teases episode 6 is a major turning point for the show.
- One word teases for season 2 characters. Ashmore = Dark, Bacon = Hope, Purefoy = Darkest, Curry = Pain, Nielsen = Adventure.
The Following returns with the season 2 premiere February 18, 2014 on Fox.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for updates on The Following as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.