The Following's Kevin Bacon: 'I Like All of Ryan's F#@%-Ups' -- But Season 2 Gives Him More Wins

The Following Season 2 SpoilersIn preparing Fox’s The Following for Season 2, attention was paid to remedy one of its freshman run’s perceived shortcomings — whether series star Kevin Bacon liked it or not.

RELATED | The Following Premiere Recap: Say It Ain’t Joe! — Plus: Double Talk from a New Cast Member

While introducing a recent New York City screening of the season premiere — which is repeated Monday at 8/7c, leading into a new episode at 9 pm — Bacon indicated that series creator Kevin Williamson had taken stock over the summer of what worked and what didn’t during Joe Carroll’s original reign of terror. Afterward, TVLine invited Bacon to elaborate on what landed on the “Room for Improvement” list.

“Well, a lot of the comments last year were about people wanting me to have a few more wins” as former FBI agent Ryan Hardy, he shared. “I kept getting beaten up, bad guys kept getting away from me, to the point where it got a little bit like, ‘Come on.’ So we’ve tried to give him a bit more success every once in a while, because you want the hero to have a little success.”

To be clear: You do, but Bacon doesn’t. “I like all the f–k-ups,” he admitted with a laugh. “But I think that for Kevin [Williamson], in terms of the overall arc of the character, [greater success] is what he really wanted to go for.”

RELATED | The Following‘s Traumatic Subway Assault: Discover Secrets of the Horrifying Ride

Other changes for Season 2 include the juxtaposition of Ryan’s seemingly “lighter” demeanor with his actual, dark agenda, which in part is dictated by [season premiere spoiler alert!] the brutal year-ago murder of his lady love, Claire (played by Natalie Zea). Because of that and the path it pushed Ryan along, the new episodes are “a bit more emotional, if that’s possible,” Bacon ventures. “We still have all the scares and the intensity, but there’s more stuff going on character-wise.”

As revealed in the premiere, though Ryan is insisting to the FBI (including former colleague Mike Weston) that he no longer keeps tabs on all things Joe Carroll, he in fact does — to the nth degree, from a secret room in his apartment and with the begrudging help of his NYPD analyst niece, Max (Jessica Stroup).

“[Ryan’s] got a lot of secrets,” Bacon notes. “You think he’s totally fine and has gotten past this thing, but obviously he hasn’t, he’s holding this stuff inside.” In fact, the actor teases yet “another level” to the mask Ryan is wearing this season. “Down the line, you think you know that he’s pretending to be this person, but he actually is this person — but the person that he actually is, is also kind of a pretense.” (Not “following”? We must presume his comment will make all the sense in the world as episodes unfold.)

RELATED | The Following Cast Talks Season 2: Ryan on the Mend, ‘Territorial’ Emma and Tantric Sex?!

Of course, the big question coming out of last Sunday’s special season premiere revolves around the shaggy gent revealed in the final moments. He may now go by “Darryl,” but we all know it’s Carroll (James Purefoy). So if and when will the resilient serial killer go mano a mano again with his arch nemesis?

“We do come face to face, but it’s very fleeting,” Bacon reveals. After all, he reminds, “One of the great challenges of the show” is finding cause for the adversaries to share a space yet still have both walk away, to clash yet another day.

“We have phone calls sometimes. They’re not as powerful but interesting,” Bacon notes. “And we had a scene last year where I tracked him to this house, and he was behind glass and I was on the other side of it. That was, for me and James, one of the most fun scenes we had to play…. It’s hard [to make happen], but it’s really fun stuff to play.”

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  1. Jess says:

    Still hoping that Claire ends up being hidden in witness protection. Have her show up just as Ryan gets really interested in this new woman.

    • Michael Beechan says:

      By god I hope that happens! It seems too easy for her to go down like that! Such a pivotal character dying in the opening minutes? I hope Weston lied to him for his safety and hers! And she’s actually alive!

  2. uh huh says:

    It wasn’t necessarily that we wanted Hardy to have more “wins” last season, it was that we wanted him (and the rest of the FBI) to STOP BEING SO STUPID. Seriously. Dumbest FBI agents in the history of television.

    • Drew says:

      This is what I was going to post too. The characters on this show are as dumb as a bag of wet hair.

    • Andrew says:

      Totally agree. Last year the FBI agents were all so stupid that I thought maybe the writers had a bad run-in with the FBI in a former life and let their negative experiences dictate character development! I mean, I seriously thought that the writers hated the FBI.

  3. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    Hahaha…….Agree w/last commments about the FBI on the show they are STUPID! In S1 they were the MOST annoying than some of the characters. This season should be better this time……

  4. Heather says:

    I didn’t really want the FBI to have more wins…. I would be nice though if they were a little smarter and didn’t make it so easy for Joe, though. I really like and sympathize with the “bad guys” I’m absolutely in LOVE with Mark and Luke, they are awesomely twisted! Excited to see when Emma meets up with everyone and joins the game… and it would be a twist if Ryan joins their side, but against Joe at the same time…

  5. Birdie says:

    Before the next episode of the Following is aired I just want to throw this out there: If two more men show up named Matthew and John and make the twins a set of quadruplets or just another set of twins, I will be very disappointed in the writers