The Following @ Comic-Con: James Purefoy to Return for the Killer Drama's Season 2

James Purefoy Returning The FollowingJoe Carroll lives!

James Purefoy will return to The Following for Season 2, it was announced at the show’s Comic-Con panel on Friday.

RELATED | The Following Season 2 Spoilers — Natalie Zea to Return

The news was revealed to a shocked Ballroom 20 crowd — the actor wasn’t part of the original line-up for the session — when Purefoy called star Kevin Bacon mid-panel and then appeared on stage as a surprise guest.

Purefoy’s professor/cult leader/serial killer was last seen getting seemingly blown to smithereens in the Season 1 finale’s fiery boathouse explosion. His remains were later identified via dental records and DNA, but we suppose someone as clever as Joe could fake those.

“Yeah, I guess he might be alive,” said series creator Kevin Williamson. “I don’t want to give too much else away, except to say Joe Carroll will figure into next season.”

RELATED | The Following EP on Joe’s Fate, That Killer Cliffhanger and a ‘Very Different’ Season 2

Among the panel’s other revelations:

JUMP JUMP Fans at the panel saw a continuation of Season 1’s final scene; in it, Molly repeatedly, brutally (fatally?) stabs Claire and Ryan snaps the follower’s neck then sobs over his true love’s seemingly lifeless body. Season 2 will kick off with that footage, then will jump ahead one year. The show will then become more of a “character-driven thriller as opposed to a FBI chase,” shared Williamson. And what happened in that year will affect Hardy and co. greatly. “We have the opportunity to look at what happened to those characters,” added Bacon. “Everyone is in a very different place in their lives. Ryan seems lighter and more at peace than you’ve ever seen him in the show. He’s finally been able to find something in his life that [takes him] away from all the killing and the violence.” Hmm, does that mean Claire’s not a goner? Also, expect to see lots of new characters, good and bad. (With this show’s death count, how could you not?)

JOE’S NEW REALITY | Williamson did offer up this tantalizing Joe tease: “[He] may need to reimagine who he is as a man and a killer. That Edgar Allen Poe stuff didn’t work out so well, so he’s going to have to figure out a new way.” The creator also hinted that viewers will see flashbacks to Joe’s past, exploring the questions of “How did this man become this way? What happened in his past? Where were the seeds of evil planted?”

THE STUDENT BECOMES THE TEACHER? | As for what Joe’s “absence” means for his disciple Emma, “she’ll have to learn how to live without that protection and motivation from Joe Carroll,” mused Valorie Curry, hinting that “Maybe she’s met some new friends. I’m curious to see what becomes of her when she’s left to her own devices.” And of course, Emma “lives in hope, as always” that her mentor will reappear. But in the meantime, is she the new Joe Carroll? “Nobody could ever replace Joe Carroll,” the actress replied.

BROTHERS IN ARMS | Look for Mike and Ryan’s relationship to show significant change in the new episodes. Williamson noted that he’s excited to see “what that horrific first season has done” to the partners/friends. As Shawn Ashmore noted, “Hardy and Weston kidnapped and basically killed a detainee in handcuffs. There certainly will be repercussions for that moving forward.”

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  1. Alichat says:


  2. Joey says:

    I’m glad James will be back in season 2. can’t wait to see how Joe Carroll returns to the show.

  3. Kat says:

    Did anyone REALLY think Joe Carrol was DEAD? I mean, SERIOUSLY, this show is ABOUT Joe Carrol, there was NO way they would just kill him off like that… it was SO so lame… I called it the second I finished watching the Season finale. Does this REALLY come by surprise for some people? O.o

    I think – though – it’s lame to basically give away so much ALREADY… especially since they ALSO already gave away that the characters of “Claire” and “Ryan” will be back as well… so this means now “back to the start” or what? Will season 2 – AGAIN – be about catching Joe Carrol? I’m seriously not sure if I’m up for that and I’m considering NOT tuning in… we’ll see…

  4. Patrick says:

    I like Purefoy, but I hope he will be less cliché

  5. “we suppose someone as clever as Joe could fake those.” doesn’t that require him to know that he might lose and not get away with what he was planning to do?

  6. Midori says:

    I was hopeful he would be dead.

    I was also hopeful the writing would improve, but meh.

  7. Jon Snow says:

    I’m glad… Yes, the show is not perfect, but it’s still thrilling for me… :) Purefoy is good, Bacon too.

  8. Drew says:

    I watched season 1 but will skip season 2. Every character on that show is a moron. Hopefully there will be better shows to watch this year.

  9. K. says:

    I liked show at first and then noticed all the cops were stupid and never learned a thing! I’ll give season 2 a try but if it’s starts being the same I’m done….I’m happy James is coming back with Bacon but really I was hoping Claire was dead, for me I just can’t stand her!!

    • Patrick says:

      Well cult members weren’t so bright either, including Joe. Will Ryan troll Joe again from the wheelchair this time with Claire along ? God, Marshals in this shows are stupid. Wth is Raylan Givens??

    • jake says:

      claires better than emma at least, ughh shes terrible

  10. Michael Beechan says:

    Carroll’s death in the finale was rather lame so I was hoping that wasn’t his real death. It needs to be more epic! And they never said Claire was a series regular for s2. And even if she was they could still kill her off. So I’m not sold on Claire being safe just yet. But I AM ready for Emma to die. I’m still bitter over Jacob’s death. Him and Mike were/are my favorite characters!!

  11. kavyn says:

    Called this on the finale recap. I’m glad I decided to drop this show.

  12. Hipper says:

    This article just reminded me of how mad I was at this frustrating show when they killed off Jacob for no reason after giving him such an incredible arc to launch off of.

  13. Morgan says:

    I new immediately that Joe wasn’t dead. He had planned so far out, it made since that he had it all rigged. I hope they give the writers a Jimmy Neutron brain boost next season. The writing for this show is worse than a porn script.

  14. Esaul says:

    Great actor. Saw this coming though. So not too much of a surprise.

  15. I’ll miss Jacob and Paul. Well, I was already missing Paul. But I will continue to enjoy the show. A “character driven thriller” rather then an “FBI chase” is just what it should have been the whole time.

  16. kirads09 says:

    Purefoy makes the show. That is all.

  17. bluto18 says:

    Anyone consider the possibility his return might not mean he’s alive, but that he’ll appear in flashbacks? Season 1 was rather flashback heavy.

  18. Rosalyn says:

    What? You can do a Season 2 on this and not THE RIVER. Come on see how many views like and want to see it come back.

  19. ddos vps says:

    What’s up to every one, since I am really eager of reading this blog’s post to be updated regularly. It includes fastidious stuff.|

  20. Kate says:

    I love the show BUT can they stop killing off characters unnecessarily? Like why kill Jacob, I seriously didn’t get that. And Claire better be alive!

  21. Terry says:

    When does Season 2 start?

  22. Mdaniels says:

    They didn’t actually say that Joe “didn’t” die. I think that maybe he’ll be in the show because of flashbacks. I think if he didn’t die they won’t bring him back in this season if they do it will be much later in the season. I believe most viewings of Joe in this season will indeed be flashbacks.

  23. bobbie smith says:

    When does Season 2 air ? approx date. thanks

  24. Mark Nye says:

    I am shocked that “The Following” hasn’t received more nominations and isn’t even listed as one for an emmy.. ??!!! There’s something afoul in Hollywood. This show, in my opinion, is the best new drama since ‘ LOST’ and ’24’….

  25. Shelley says:

    Exactly what date does The Following start please?

  26. kipsyten says:

    Bacon is terrific but Purefoy is the real reason I’m tuning in to season 2. He’s a great villain, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes too!