'The Following' Creator Kevin Williamson Drops a Few Hints About Season 2 and the Cast Picks Favorite Scenes
With major character deaths, seeming defeat of the big bad, an incredibly short reunion of lovers, and a cliffhanger ending even the hero might not survive, creator and executive producer Kevin Williamson understands why the season finale of "The Following" might have critics and fans alike concerned about blown wads and sophomore slumps already. But, he assured, it is safe for all the worrywarts to exhale.
"Second seasons are my favorite. Second seasons are where we get our sea legs just like we did with 'Dawson's Creek' and 'The Vampire Diaries,'" Williamson told Yahoo! TV exclusively before a screening and Q&A event Monday night in North Hollywood, Calif. "Because this is basically a cable niche show on a big network, you can't slow down the story even if I want nothing more than to write a 'Breaking Bad'-type scene where characters talk for four pages. But you can make a fast-paced thriller last as long as you bring in new characters, make it addictive and fun without being too outlandish, and ground it in human emotion. I learned a lot from this season about where the story is going. I feel like this is a preamble in a lot of ways. I envision every season as a book in a series. We're ready and excited to write the second book after I take a two-week nap."
[Related: Missed the Finale? Read a Recap]
But Season 2 has already interrupted Williamson's circadian rhythm as he admitted the slightest outline exists. "We have a little bit of a map. You can't bring an ending without a beginning, and clearly we left some loose ends that we'll need to clean up and push forward into a new story."
However, that new storyline doesn't necessarily involve Hardy working new cases or trying to catch a different villain despite the alleged death of his nemesis Joe Carroll (James Purefoy). "I'm hopeful that I can keep reinventing the show each year without making it a case-of-the-week type of show," Williamson said. "I want to dive more into character; it got lost in an FBI chase. I would love to move away from that as much as possible next year and really tell the story of where Ryan Hardy and others who survived are after all of this happened to them. They will have all been changed by these events of Season 1. But we especially need to see the aftermath of these events and what toll it has taken on Ryan's life. I'm excited to write that."
Had he listened to a suggestion from Kevin Bacon (FBI consultant Hardy), he'd be writing a very different Season 2. Bacon acknowledged he'd suggested offing Hardy. "No one would have expected that, and it would have thrown the audience for a loop. Nobody has job security on our show, and I'm good with wherever it goes," Bacon said. "It was also a little more complicated than me just suggesting we kill him off, but I don't want to go into it in case we end up using it down the road."
But Bacon was also thrilled that a few folks made it out alive, at least for now, because he realized he had an unexpected reaction to the show's high death toll. "It's actually kind of sad. It was something I hadn't anticipated. I saw Kyra's situation where she worked year after year with the same people on 'The Closer,' and they became tight. I had it in my head that we would build this company of actors and become a strong close unit, but that didn't really happen because our show kills so many people off."
[Related: 'The Following's' Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon]
Even if Carroll is dead, Purefoy thinks everyone would like to know more about his backstory and doesn't really see the need for a new villain. "We have never gotten much about why Joe is who he is, how he became this way, how he grew up, and there is quite a bit more to be mined from that topic. Kevin Williamson has only scratched the surface of this show," Purefoy said. "I'd like to see more about other characters, too. Why do these people do these things? Even if Joe does die, because let's face it he is in pretty bad shape at this point, I feel like that isn't the end of his following's story. We have only explored the Eastern Seaboard following, but he had a big presence on the Internet so I imagine he has a global following that could still carry out plans in his name. I imagine there are people bound to want revenge if he gets killed."