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The Following: What to expect from Season 2

The Following

Story by Jack Foley

AS THE dust settles on the violent conclusion to the first season of The Following, executive producers Kevin Williamon and Marcos Siega has been talking a little about what to expect from the show’s second run.

The big questions surrounding the climax were, of course, who would return and, if so, what direction the show will now take, particularly as the fate of several lead characters hung in the balance as the lights went dark.

James Purefoy’s cult leader Joe, for example, appeared to have perished in a fire and explosion. And both Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy and Natalie Zea’s Claire had been stabbed. So, what’s next?

Well, Purefoy may well return. The British actor attended a panel following the final episode screening and when asked whether he had a contract for the second season, replied somewhat cryptically: “I believe so, but that’s not a guarantee.”

Siega elaborated a little more by saying that the door could be left open for Joe’s return: “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”…

“We expect people to go, “Oh come on – you didn’t kill Joe.” And we expect some people to go, “I can’t believe you killed Joe. What the hell are you going to do with the new antagonist?” That’s the fun of it. You just have to wait and see.”

So, what of Claire’s fate? Says Siega: “It’s tricky. 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. I think consistently throughout the season, whether people like it or don’t like it, we’ve been true to that. I see it as a very fitting way to end an exciting and fun season one. It would be very easy to answer a couple of questions and reveal the things we’ve worked hard to build but I don’t want to do that.”

Williamson, meanwhile, maintained that the finale did lay a lot of groundwork for season two if you looked closely enough, particularly with regard to the death of popular character Debra, who was buried alive. And this all plays into the development of Bacon’s character as Ryan Hardy moves forward.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s hard to talk about why I chose to let that sort of be the emotional anchor of this piece without giving away [things] for next year. I’ll just say that one of the things is [Ryan’s] death curse….

“There is a lot more story for Ryan Hardy. We need to see the aftermath of this and the effects of this and what toll it’ll take on his life and I’m excited to write that.”

And what of Joe’s followers? Will there be more in Season 2 that have yet to reveal themselves?

“Absolutely,” replied Siega. “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.”

Siega also confirmed that Valorie Curry’s Emma Hill, last seen fleeing in a wig, will be back.

So, what can we expect in general from season two? Adds Siega: “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.”

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter l Entertainment Weekly

Related: Read our verdict on Season One and its finale

Next story: Homeland: Season 3 plot details revealed