THE FOLLOWING's James Purefoy on the Season 2 Finale: 'Your Enemy's Enemy Becomes Your Friend' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE FOLLOWING’s James Purefoy on the Season 2 Finale: ‘Your Enemy’s Enemy Becomes Your Friend’

April 25, 2014 by  


As THE FOLLOWING’s second season concludes with Monday’s “Forgive,” Ryan Hardy and Joe Carroll are put in an unfathomable position: they have to work together to save Claire from psycho twins Mark and Luke.

I spoke with THE FOLLOWING star James Purefoy (Joe) about the state of the convoluted relationship between Joe and Ryan, Joe’s reaction to Emma’s death, whether he knows how the season will end, and more…

The last episode ended with quite a cliffhanger. Where does the finale pick up?
James Purefoy: Right after that gunshot. It picks up right from where we left it. Obviously, I can’t tell you who that gunshot was for, or why it was there, or it would give the game away. But somebody dies. But that’s not unusual.

Not at all. And in the past few episodes, especially, there have been quite a few deaths
JP: You’re probably wondering who is going to live.

I think that’s a big question. And while Joe doesn’t know this yet, he’s lost his most loyal follower. What will his reaction be when he finds out that Emma is dead?
JP: Irritated. I think people sort of forget, Joe is a serial killer. And serial killers are cowards, aren’t they? They’re people who use their powers to destroy people’s lives, and Joe is the ultimate narcissist. And Joe is all about Joe: always has been, always will be. And he enjoyed having Emma around because Emma will do anything for him. She was very, very useful to him. As was anyone who put their lives under Joe’s service. But Joe is ultimately all about Joe.

But despite that, he does make the attempt to save Claire from the twins…
JP: I think he needs to get a little bit of closure with her. And he has to team up, I think we’re allowed to say, that your enemy’s enemy becomes your friend in the final episode. And the unlikely teaming up of Joe and Ryan Hardy against the twins is what’s going to happen in the next episode.

And that, of course, brings up a magnificent amount of tension with Ryan, because obviously they love each other and despise each other. And both want to kill each other, sort of. And there’s a great deal of tension in the air because of that.

Given the varying dynamics of the Joe/Ryan relationship throughout the years, is having to team up to save Claire bringing out something new that we’ve yet to see?
JP: I think we are [seeing something new]. The side of them, if they both survive the finale, then this relationship that is playing out in the finale is something that could be used more of in terms of what happens in season 3. In a strange, odd world, they get on. And they seem to get on pretty well sometimes. Despite their differences.

I think Ryan is sometimes quite put out by how much he actually enjoys Joe’s company.

Absolutely. And while so much of season 1 was the cat-and-mouse chase between the two men, Joe and Ryan have had very separate storylines for most of this year. Has that brought a different kind of weight for you and Kevin Bacon (Ryan) when you did have those rare scenes together this season?
JP: It’s always such a good day when we shoot those scenes together. When we did the scene that was in the episode before last, when we had to sit down together, it was a real crackling day when we were shooting that. We shot it very, very quickly, hardly any takes, and I think we’d been wanting to get in the same room together and do a scene together. It had been a long time coming, that scene. There’s always a great air of anticipation and excitement on the set when Joe and Ryan get to meet each other face-to-face.

Those scenes are always electric.
JP: I think we know the characters well enough, and we both know how to press each other’s characters’ buttons. It’s always a pleasant afternoon.

Is Joe’s main focus in the finale teaming up with Ryan against the twins to save Claire? Or is something else going on you can tease?
JP: We spend the first few minutes of the finale…we remain in the church for a little while. But then we have to get out of there because of the Claire situation. But how that happens, obviously I’m not going to tell you about it, but…very surprising things happen one after another. It’s really edge of your seat stuff. I really don’t want to spoil it, but it’s really edge of your seat stuff. And you just keep slipping, slipping every 30 seconds — that’s what it felt like to me.

I know there were once again multiple endings shot for the season, but do you know definitively how Joe’s story ends this year?
JP: Do you know what? I hear different things from different people. So nobody right at the very apex of our show or Fox has told me the actual outcome.

Is that nerve-wracking to not know what’s going to end up on screen?
JP: No, there’s delicious anticipation! I’ll look forward to sitting down and watching it. Though, I’m in England, so I’m going to get the news from America on Monday night. Unless, of course, I avoid Twitter all together. And Facebook, and the internet. And wait and watch it with the rest of the UK on Tuesday night.

I imagine that could be hard to do, unless you’re really determined.
JP: I think I will be determined to do that. It’ll be really hard, though, because…I think it goes out at 2 AM UK time, and I have an 18-month-old baby, so late nights are way past me. So I’ll be fast asleep when my fate is sealed.

If Joe does manage to survive this season, do you feel like you have a clear idea of where he would be in season 3?
JP: Yeah, there are various [outcomes], but if he survives, I know where he will be. And then, of course, we’ll have to work out what the heck is going on. I have no idea what happens in season 3. There have been various scenarios outlined to me…it’s all deliciously exciting. The anticipation is killing me.

Did anything surprise you about Joe’s journey this season?
JP: He really developed much stronger this season; he was a much more confident man this season, and less worried about where he was going to end up. I think by the end of the first season, his infamy, if you’d like, had been sealed. And that was one of the things where he was such a great narcissist: he wants everybody to know who he is and what he’s capable of. And he wants to go down in the annals of history as just one of the great serial killers, and one of the great killers of all time to rival Manson and Jim Jones and the rest of them. I think probably he felt confident. And with confidence comes a certain amount of relaxation. And with relaxation comes a great deal of humor. I think his sardonic wit was elevated this season to something much better than it was last time.

Do you have any theories about THE FOLLOWING’s season 2 finale? And make sure you don’t miss the episode when it airs Monday, April 28th at 9 PM on Fox.


THE FOLLOWING Season 2 Finale: ‘Forgive’ Photo Preview
THE FOLLOWING Season 2 Finale Teaser
THE FOLLOWING: Valorie Curry on Emma’s ‘Miserable Existence,’ Getting Peace, Her One Regret, and More

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