The Following's Kevin Bacon & Cast Tease a Lovestruck Ryan, Vengeful Mike and Quirky New Killers

The Following Season 3 Preview Kevin Bacon

At the end of The Following‘s second season, just as Edgar Allen Poe-obsessed serial killer Joe Carroll was taken back into federal custody, his FBI agent nemesis made one last vow.

“You won’t be seeing me anymore,” Ryan Hardy promised the murderer, whose capture he’d personally supervised (and whose life he’d very nearly taken).

But “anymore” — like nevermore — is a really long time. And though Kevin Bacon‘s Ryan may not actually see James Purefoy‘s Joe as the Fox drama kicks off a third season, Carroll’s influence is as palpable as an ice pick through the eye.

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“He’s a really big presence, strangely,” Bacon tells TVLine during a visit to the series’ Brooklyn, N.Y., set. “That’s part of the greatness of Joe Carroll — and the greatness of James Purefoy — is that even when he’s not here, he’s here.”

Joe, who you’ll learn is behind bars, is far from Ryan’s only problem as The Following returns (Monday, 9/8c). A year has passed since we last checked in with Hardy & Co.; new killers have entered the fray and old killers have bided their time, waiting for the perfect moment to bring down the beleaguered FBI agent.

In addition, one romance has ended, another has blossomed and at least one character has sprouted a disturbing coping mechanism. Read on for scoop from Bacon, Purefoy, returning castmate Shawn Ashmore and Following newbie Zuleikha Robinson (Lost).

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HAPPILY NEVER AFTER | Let’s start on a positive note: When we re-encounter Ryan, he’s happy (no, really!) and in a loving relationship with Robinson’s Gwen, who’s a doctor. When I bring up Ryan’s habit of terrible romantic moves, Bacon chuckles. “I made bad choices. That’s what I do. I make terrible choices again and again, whether it’s with women or whatever. But in the case of Gwen, I think she’s the right girl for me.” It helps that the attractive doc knows that her boyfriend has had an extremely rough couple of years. “She was aware of a few things, because the case has been pretty public,” Robinson says. “She’s not unaware. I know what I’m getting into.”

The Following Season 3 Preview Kevin BaconRARING FOR REVENGE | After the death of his mom and his brother, surviving twin Mark will be a major (and majorly messed-up) player this season. (In his grief, look for him to ascend to another level of crazy.) Meanwhile, a hardened and no-longer-with-Max Mike is “driven by wanting to kill Mark Gray,” Ashmore says. However, the young agent isn’t “like a loose cannon all the time,” he continues. “We recognize that he is still very tormented and very raw” — you’ll recall that Mark’s mom killed Mike’s dad on camera last season — “but he can still be in the FBI, because he can still function.” But is Mike’s prey working alone? More on that in a moment.

VIDEO The Following Season 3 Teaser: Have Ryan Hardy’s Lies Killed His Career?

WHERE’D YOU GO, JOE? | Though a few episodes will pass before Purefoy appears on screen, Bacon promises that Ryan and Joe will interact in a way that fans will find pleasing. “He picks up s—t from me that I cannot [explain]… He’s in solitary, lockdown, no communication with anybody from the outside. How could he possibly know this stuff about me?,” Bacon says. “It’s not factual stuff, it’s just instinct stuff. He says to me, ‘It looks like you’re in a new relationship, aren’t you?’ I’m like, ‘S—t. How does he know that?!'”

MEET THE NEW KIDS | Hunter Parrish (Weeds) and Ruth Kearney (Tyrant) join the cast this season as Kyle and Daisy, murderous pretty young things “that are just crazy in love with each other and really, really super-hot for each other,” Bacon says. “You just go, ‘Oh my gosh, I love those two!’ Then they’re doing some bad s—t.” Kyle and Daisy, as well as a new top-secret baddie played by Almost Human‘s Michael Ealy, gives this season a sense of “a gradual passing of the torch,” Bacon adds. “It comes up in a really subtle and insidious way, which I think is really powerful.”

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JOE’S OUT OF CONTROL | But is it all connected? Purefoy won’t say (shocker!), but he will allow that “there is a much bigger network, a much bigger story, and Joe is a part of it. A big part of it, but he is just a part.” As you might imagine, that doesn’t sit well with the sociopath — “because his ego is so massive… of course he wants to be the big cheese,” Purefoy says. “But there are things in our lives we can control and things we can’t control, so you have to pay attention to the things you can control and let go of the things you can’t control.”

WORTH A SHOT | In that vein, I lob a hail mary and ask Purefoy if I can control whether he’ll divulge the identity of the person driving the van that saved Mark at the end of last season’s finale. “Yeah, no,” he says, grinning. “You can’t control that.”

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7 Comments
  1. Nate says:

    Have to say I’m surprised this show lasted this long but can’t wait till tonight. Suck it naysayers

  2. Julia says:

    I’m very hesitant about the new season…this show just makes me feel icky and I’m tiring of the Joe led storylines.

  3. Joey Padron says:

    It’s gonna good to Ryan happy with Gwen. Hope Mike & Max can get back together this season. It’s gonna be interesting to see how crazy Mark got. Can’t wait to find out who drove the truck that pickup Mark & Luke.

  4. Lilia says:

    I liked Mike and max too bad they split them up without letting viewers see any of their relationship. I hope they get back together, they were a bright spot in a bleak season 2. Not sure if I’m up for another go around, spoilers haven’t got me hopeful or very interested so far.

  5. LT says:

    Sorry, I’m out. There is just waaayyyy too much good stuff on TV right now to watch a show that drives me this batty.

  6. Paulette Balasko Parker says:

    Ryan’s love interest for the series, gags me. What intelligent person will “nag” someone they care about to strip to their soul on feelings. Whoever is responsible for this characters believable interaction needs to upgrade the character with more that a teenagers take on love, “tell your inter secrets, bearing your soul, crying so she can make it better.” I’ve started taping so I can watch later and zoom through ANYTHING with those two in it.

  7. I liked the show in the beginning, albeit, a little confused as to what all the followers were following …. to much violence, but oh well. What I can’t stand or understand is how the whole FBI force goes after these people but only Ryan and the other detective get stuck all of a sudden in the dark with the killers. What happened to the whole force??? Too convenient. These killers go on a killing rampage and no-one can catch up to them? Really? Make it a bit more realistic, please.