THE FOLLOWING's Kevin Williamson: 'The Entire Show is Different' in Season 2 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE FOLLOWING’s Kevin Williamson: ‘The Entire Show is Different’ in Season 2

December 18, 2013 by  


THE FOLLOWING season 1 ended in an explosive manner — literally — and when the show returns for its sophomore season in January, things are drastically different: it’s a year later, Joe’s followers have kept a low-profile (for a bit), Ryan has once again moved away from working with the FBI, and a whole slew of new characters are added to the mix. (Which, given last year’s high fatality count, makes sense.)

For THE FOLLOWING creator Kevin Williamson, he acknowledged that even figuring out what the biggest change between season 1 and season 2 was difficult to nail down.

“That’s such a hard question to answer, because I’m looking at it as we approach episode 11 — which we’re currently working on — and I think the entire show is different,” he admitted during a conference call earlier today. “I think our characters are in a different starting place, pushing forward a year later. The entire show has reset and pushed forward a year. It’s all changed. I think the biggest difference is it’s not such an FBI chase, because Ryan Hardy is not a consultant, smack in the center of an FBI task force, trying to find Joey, who has been kidnapped. This story is being told from a different starting place; it’s a bit more of a character-thriller, and a relationship-thriller, rather than a procedural, FBI thriller.”

What remains at the core of the show is the impact (and havoc) Joe Carroll and his legacy has had on innocent civilians…and Williamson pointed to the pacing of last season as one of the reasons he felt strongly it was important to bring Joe back for the show’s second season.

“I felt like I have the rest of the [Joe] story to tell,” he said. “[Last season] we were trying to find little Joey, find Joey, and there was so much of the cult and Joe Carroll and what he was about and what he was doing that we didn’t get to tell. We just kept saying we would do that in the second year…what Joe Carroll is about this year and what he’s doing is completely different from last year, and it’s sort of an escalation. Sort of an evolution of character. So it’s cool.”

Peeling back the layers of what makes Joe tick also gives the writers the chance to explore one of the show’s main dynamics: the cat-and-mouse game that Joe and Ryan are engaged in.

“They need each other; they fuel each other,” Williamson pointed out. “It’s almost reaching a point where all Ryan wants to do is put a bullet through Joe’s head. That’s all he wants to do. He’s obsessed with it, because he wants vengeance. He wants revenge for everyone that’s died, he wants revenge for Claire, he wants revenge, and he wants a bullet through that guy’s head. And that’s what driving and motivating him. But through the course of the season, that’s a false goal, because Ryan is a human, and the fun of his journey this year is to watch how that goal changes over the course of 15 episodes.”

However, Williamson subtly acknowledged there had been thoughts about the shelf life of the character of Joe. But for now: “We’re not done with the story yet! When this story is done, that’ll [be addressed].”

As Ryan and Joe circle each other, the people that care about them will be trying to pick up the pieces of their own lives and figuring out where they fit in with their former mentors.

“[Emma] is one of the surviving members of last year, and in the premiere episode, we don’t touch on her too heavily because we need a lot of real estate to set up our new characters,” Williamson teased. “And also, it’s going to be interesting — she does emerge in a big way as the episodes continue. She has spent the year hiding in the shadows of society. She has nose rings, and she dyes her hair everything she walks out the door, and she’s had a hard time with it. She’s FBI Most Wanted. She’s going to have an interesting journey, because she thinks Joe’s dead, and then when she discovers he may in fact not be, it’s going to be a lot of mixed emotions. Did he abandon her? Did he have his reasons? She’s very conflicted and she’s going to want some solid answers.”

Equally seeking answers is Mike, whom Ryan has consistently pushed away. (“I’m not going to be your friend because I actually care about you,” is Ryan’s mindset towards Mike, according to Williamson)

“I think Mike and Ryan’s relationship is a key focal point to this entire season,” he said. “[But the trauma from what happened with Debra last season] is nothing compared to what happens this year for [Mike]. He gets pushed to the absolute limits of his sanity, and his ability to cope with something. He has quite an interesting journey.”

And don’t be totally bummed about missing a year in these characters’ lives: in the premiere, there are some flashbacks to what has gone down in the time that has passed, and there will be more gaps filled in as the season progresses.

“We certainly use [flashbacks], honestly, when we have an important piece of information that will propel our current day story forward,” Williamson said. “We use flashbacks like we did last year in a lot of various ways.  We show a little bit of what happened in the past year, but for instance, when a certain someone is alive, we explore childhoods and go a little bit more into the psychology of our characters and what made them the way they are.”

THE FOLLOWING kicks off with special season 2 preview on Sunday, January 19th after the NFC Championship Game (approximately 10:30 PM ET/7:30 PM PT), and then has its official season 2 premiere on Monday, January 27th at 9 PM on Fox.


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4 Responses to “THE FOLLOWING’s Kevin Williamson: ‘The Entire Show is Different’ in Season 2”

  1. Shaun Jackson on December 19th, 2013 5:04 pm

    WEll let’s hope to GAWWWWWD season 2 will stop killing off EACH AND EVERY SINGLE BLACK CHARACTER introduced to the show by the end of the episode. Atleast give them 5 episodes each. They don’t kill as many black characters on Southland and it’s about LAPD…JEEEEEEEZ

  2. Debbie on December 19th, 2013 6:13 pm

    It sounds like I may not like season 2 as well as one, if it is that different. But I will reserve judgement for a few eppisodes,

  3. Maddie on December 19th, 2013 11:10 pm

    So they’re admitting that Joe is alive now? That’s awesome. Because so far, everyone has only been speculating that. And personally, I think that both James Purefoy and Kevin Bacon make the show. Together. I don’t think it would be anywhere near as good with either one of them gone.

    I’m really excited for this season. I don’t know how it could be better than season one, but I think it might be. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about the Following is that it’s just another typical FBI chase show. So getting rid of that is good. And focusing more on Joe Carroll is also a great idea.

  4. Christopher Lawson on December 19th, 2013 11:23 pm

    So season 2 is going to *not* be stupid or icky? Would be an improvement.