Kevin Bacon Previews The Following's 'Epic and Gothic' Season Finale: 'Hold Onto Your Hat!'

The Following Season Finale PreviewThis Monday at 9/8c, Fox’s The Following turns the page to “The Final Chapter” — as in the title of its freshman finale. But is Joe Carroll (played by James Purefoy) truly ready to close the book on his and Ryan Hardy’s (Kevin Bacon) game of cat-and-mouse? And whom among the good guys might he take out along the way to his killer coda?

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Not that the FBI has many players left to lose. When last we tuned in, Agent Parker (Annie Parisse) had been nabbed by a band of followers and buried alive, her frantic breathing playing over an especially eerie closing title card. Meanwhile, Joe, with his cult’s compound comprised, dragged Claire (Natalie Zea) first to a safe(/stolen) house, then ultimately to the docks, where he plans to finish his and Ryan’s story. “Joe is unhinged, for sure,” Bacon tells TVLine.

When we suggest that Agent Weston will lead the search for Parker, conveniently leaving Ryan to hunt down and confront Joe by himself, Bacon responds, “That’s not exactly what happens, but I can say that as is necessary, Ryan’s got to go out on his own. It’s got to be mano a mano — and we definitely do that.”

Teasing the inevitable clash between protagonist and antagonist, Bacon says, “In terms of the psychological kind of mind games that go on between me and him, like where he gets under my skin or I get under his, there’s a scene where I get a chance to really, like, mess with his head.”

VIDEO | The Following Finale — Joe and Claire Take a Chilling Trip Down Memory Lane

Circling back to the question of, “Who’s gonna die?”: Parker’s subterranean sitch, coupled with Carroll’s growing disregard for his ex-wife’s life TheFollowing_JoeClaireand his determination to have a deadly denouement with Ryan, suggests that at least one more major casualty is on the way — in the wake of the show snuffing Paul (Aden Canto), Jacob (Nico Tortorella) and Roderick (Warren Kole) in recent weeks. To that, Bacon advises fans with a chuckle, “Hold on to your hat! Because I will tell you that there is…. I mean, I don’t think anybody has job security, including me. That’s just the way we roll.” (The willingness of series creator Kevin Williamson to drop people like flies when story dictates, Bacon observes, “is exciting on one hand, but it’s also kind of sad when you have somebody like Adan or Nico doing great work.”)

Although the finale, all told, packs in “a lot of tragic elements,” “many shocking moments” and “a very explosive ending,” Bacon says it is also a “very emotional” final hour for the dark drama’s freshman run.

“I’m always interested in where can we go emotionally, because that’s the stuff that I’m more drawn to,” the film vet says. “I found it very moving when I read the script, and as I was in the scenes, and when I watched the finale. It’s kind of epic in a way — epic and gothic — and at the same time personal.”

VIDEO | The Following Season 1 Finale — Joe Threaten Claire

Will the events of the finale pave a clear path for The Following‘s already ordered Season 2? Or might they raise questions about how the show can go on?

“Let me put it this way…,” Bacon starts. “I think the ending is going to be shocking, but like with all good cliffhangers, there is also some stuff left up in the air.”

Want more scoop on The Following, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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40 Comments
  1. I couldn’t really care who dies. I just want Joe (and Emma) to be safe. They’re pretty much the only characters I like. Yes, it makes me a little sadistic to root for the bad guys, but I can’t think of any good (or smart) characters (that work for the FBI) in this show, except Agent Parker.

    • Kat says:

      Yeah, Agent Parker is extremely clever! Going into that dark corridor all alone, running into like 4 men of Joe and getting kidnapped only to get burried alive? Wow, that was REALLY clever ;-) XD

    • Tom Mc says:

      Funny, I want those two dead more than anyone on any show ever, especially Emma. :)

      • Tom Mc says:

        Actually, let me amend that. I also wish Kevin Williamson were a character so he could be killed on the show. The writing on this thing is a horrible disservice to the fine cast.

        • Penn says:

          I agree. The writing is very poor and a great disservice to an incredible cast.
          It really stretches belief all of these people in authority have passed mandatory psych evaluations without a flutter, the people who are pursuing them habitually aren’t clever or strong enough to apprehend them, and that too many episodes end with someone futilely shooting at a get-away vehicle. Get better writers!!!!!!!!

          • Cheryl says:

            Agree with both Tom and Penn this talented cast deserves decent writing. Its horrible, and the FBI is close to resembling key stone cops

        • JD says:

          They need to kill Claire so Natalie Zea can go back to Justified…

        • lorna says:

          Um this is not a documentary it is entertainment. Far superior to the crap that was s2 of ahs. Nonsensical smut.

      • MaryAnn says:

        I have wanted Emma dead since she kidnapped Joey. Can’t stand her. Joe won’t die unless they plan to reset the show the way they reset American Horror Story every season. On the other hand, the title of the show is THE FOLLOWING. So if Joe died, it could be about the cult that continues on in his name…

    • Ronni says:

      I can’t wait to see Emma killed. I am sure it will come if not in the finale then next season. I wanted Jacob to kill her but I guess that wasn’t in the cards!!!

      • Chester says:

        Next on The Following, FBI agents will go down dark corridors by themselves. Instead of working in large groups, they will each set out alone in the dark woods for a bunch of murderous psychopaths. Instead of working with the Coast Guard, Ryan Hardy will steal a boat and go off search for Joe, all alone on the ocean.

        Watch and you can see every horror movie cliche, all in one hour.

  2. Maki says:

    I really can’t wait for the final! Kevin always makes these things BIG! ! ! And I just wanna know who on the FBI is part of the Cult!? and where will that end!

  3. Kat says:

    Here’s what I think is going to happen: Joe is going to get killed/die and someone else will “take over” the Cult… I was actually hoping that someone would have been Roderick because personally, I thought he was a lot crazier than Joe and willing to go a lot further when Joe seemed to only be interested in having his family back together… but who knows? I always pictured one of his followers would take him down and take the lead… I don’t think the show can work with a 2nd Season of Ryan hunting Joe… but that’s just me and I’M just glad when Season 1 is over… I’m most likely not going to watch Season 2 since all my favourite characters are dead!

    • MaryAnn says:

      I would definitely agree that a second season of Ryan hunting Joe is not going to work. It would simply be a retake of this season. So where on earth is it going? Will they kill Ryan and have someone new hunting him? Will they kill Joe and have Ryan hunting Joe’s followers, that keep popping up like weeds, til a head follower rises up who is even crazier than Joe? Will Joe be in prison and killings keep popping up that Joe’s novel give a clue to what is next? I hope they do something that basically heads off in a new direction, but with continuity with the old direction. The one person I will stop watching if they kill off? Joe’s ex-wife Claire. What I really hope will happen? Ryan and Claire get at least a period of time to be happy together, Joe returns to prison. Then Joe is killed in prison, and Ryan has to track down the new leader of Joe’s cult, who is using Joe’s novel as a Bible-like text.

      • MaryAnn says:

        Or they could have a mysterious new cult leader, unconnected to Joe, who is hunting down and killing Joe’s followers,

    • Natalie Mesplay says:

      Awwww its so sad people die. Made an excellent show tho all these other shows pussy footn around sucks. I can’t stand Emma now Joe who doesn’t love a bad boy.

  4. Brooke says:

    I like how crazy and unhinged Joe and his followers have been. Put a bunch of sociopaths together and you have a recipe for disaster. Another show may have decided to present them as a well-oiled evil cooperative, but I like that The Following has decided to show that these peoples’ insanity doesn’t just make them do evil things, but also interferes with carrying them out with perfect efficiency. Joe’s obsession with writing his book despite everything falling down around him was a good example of that.

  5. jimbo says:

    At this point, I wouldn’t be shocked at all if Aliens show up out of nowhere and pulverize Joe in the finale. This show is freaking ridiculous and yet, I still enjoy watching it.

  6. Donna says:

    Have you seen the finale? What did you think of it?

  7. sarah says:

    I am looking forward to the Finale. While I do not love the show as much as I did when it started, I still like it.
    I think Ryan will kill Joe and next season Ryan will have a new serial killer to hunt all season.

  8. Chris says:

    I’m thinking Joe is going to die, which is a shame since James Purefoy is the best actor on the show and Joe is the most interesting character. Wish Claire would get killed instead-bad actress, awful character. Though she might die as well. We’ll see.

    • Emily says:

      I’m hoping Claire is killed so Natalie Zea can go back to Justified, where she seems to be just fine as an actress, probably because its such a solid show.

  9. Daisy says:

    Very courious who will die and who will service. At this point, I only think Ryan Hardy (and Joey, they will never kill him) is safe. They might pull a “24” card and kill of Claire. That would be hard for both Joe and Ryan. And Emma should die too, epsecially after she killed Jacob.

    It’s a shame they killed Roderick, his charactar had great potential.

    I’m curious what happends with Molly, Ryan Hardy’s neighbour aka the secret follower. I think her character’s story might transfer over to season 2.

  10. Jimmydestiny says:

    I’ve stated on here before that the writing is atrocious for a show so high on the networks agenda.
    However I did read a number of posts throughout the site saying Claire is a hopeless actress, and I am not completely against this point of view, however I wouldn’t go as far as saying hopeless, evidence however would suggest that directors, producers etc rate her as she is in Justified, Californication and The Following. Personally I’m a bit fed up of seeing her all the time.

  11. marty0419 says:

    Watch it only cause I starred think its pretty stupid. Cant believe there is a second season. Wont watch next one..

  12. Sarah Ward says:

    This has been the best series I have seen in a very long time! Kevin Bacon is a phenomenal actor no matter what role he is given, he becomes it! I didn’t like that he and Clair were stabbed in the “ending” I am praying it was just a dream! It needs to continue and Clair needs to finally look that Emma Evil Blankety Blank in her face as she kills her with a smile on her face! I too had wished Jacob to do it but now Clair’s gona get a piece of her. She has the mother instinct and rage to pull it off real good! This is the first and only series me and my husband have made a point to sit and watch together, no phones, no Internet, just him & I ! Great story come back with a bang please!!!!!! Oh and with Ryan and Clair;)

  13. hanna says:

    love the show!! the ending was amazing. cant wait til next season.

    • Ellen says:

      I loved this show, too! Couldn’t wait to see it every week. Replayed it before the next week’s show (usually on Tues.). Thought about the show sometimes, which was a nice break from the serious things I must think about daily. It introduced me to some very good actors I was unfamiliar with thus far & will look for in the future (this includes Purefoy, WOW!). I loved the dialogue especially in parts of the finale between Joe & Ryan & Joe & Claire. This was a great finale in the end. I was afraid it would be too predictable. It was a bit, but I loved it because it stayed true to itself all the way. So glad to hear it will be back. Wanted to share that with someone else who valued the show, too.

  14. I loved the show The Following. I just love Kevin Bacon he is a great actor. I can’t to see season two.

  15. texas/follower says:

    I love this show and RYAN HARDY. He is an imperfect man trying to do the right thing. It is unsettling that a group of sociopaths find each other and rationalize absurd acts as reasonable. It disturbs me that there could be that many broken people living in society undetected. EMMMA is a fabulous actress and the most deceptive. She is SCARY! I can’t wait for Season 2!

    • Ronni says:

      I wasn’t thrilled at the end. I expected Joe to die but not to have Ryan and Claire in jeopardy. It will be interesting to see if Mike is the bad agent as there has to be another one at least.

  16. mike rodruguize says:

    I will post when i can clear my thoughts from the idiotic comments

  17. LSasser says:

    Saw the season finale – knew his neighbor was still running around. Not sure if the guy who brought the food wasn’t part of the plan. Anyway, if Joe “died” then Emma is the most likely character to assume the part of “leader”. They have 9 of his followers in custody so they will start recruiting followers where ever they are sent. If Ryan and Claire survive, she will continue to be in danger because she stabbed Joe, etc. cause for revenge. Ryan will need to get some professional help whether Claire dies or not, he will blame himself for all that has happened.

    Having been an avid “24” fan, my husband and I have enjoyed the show.

  18. mike rodruguize says:

    Ok.. 1st the acting is borderline amateur.. Bacon is the biggest cliche in t.v and movie history… A drunk who falls in love with leading lady…. In build up the whole show was bragging how they road with and did research with the fbi… That is far from the truth from running into buildings alone to the no tracking.. Cell phones dont work but law in order they track them down in 30 min… Not beliveable with voice recognition and advance we have now… Seems like it was suppose to be in 1993 not 2013 diffentily before 9/11…. Fbi should be embarrass of this fiasco. Ok now im going to shock everybody and say “its entertainment” its not real and not meant to be or it would be borring waiting for back up..ending the stand off the first episode. What kind if show would you have if it was 100 percent accurate.. So they shouldnt of made a big deal about the fbi research they did but for entertainment it was good and the ending was great .. The love affair with Claire is ridicules she is not a good fit.. Not in my opinion atractive with that nasty mole on her face and last its funny how joey is forgotten by Claire in the ending.. Lets see my son has been kidnapped,ex husban burnt alive and lets go have sex with the FBI agent and the hell with my son i risked my live for and the lives of the fbi.. I will go have sex instead of holding my son and spending time with him.. That is so ridicules i hatw Claire and if she is back hanible it is and forgett this train wreck

  19. NaturallyCurlie says:

    I too think the writing is dreadful. Making a mockery of logic, law enforcement and self preservation on all levels. All the people who’s career is predicated on perserve and protect are dolts. It’s entertainment but it also has to have some grounding in reality. And why oh why is a portion of almost every episode shot in the dark so you can barely see what’s going on? Very annoying. Such hype for the program and such highly regarded actors mired in nonesense instead of a good storyline. Such potential and such a disappointment.

    • Ronni says:

      The writing is not award winning but it does the job.It is suspenseful and exciting whether realistic or not. Most people watch TV or go to the movies to escape reality. And….if it isnt pleasing there are a lot of other channels available!!!

  20. kris says:

    So…..no more James Purfoy?!?! Dunno if I wanna watch if he’s not in it.

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