Just watched the season 2 finale of Fox's The Following and felt compelled for more answers. The ending left me anxious and without closure, like an unhealthy on-again, off-again relationship. Luckily, I found this article on Entertainment Weekly that featured an interview with the show's executive producer who attempted to give the show's future perspective. Now I feel even more anxious.
My household really loves the show. Its pace and twists and turns are fantastic. We really feel they execute some awesome and mature thrills, especially for a non-cable network. We came to watch The Following after Dexter ended and we weren't disappointed. The first season was epic with the Edgar Allen Poe literary subtext. The characters seemed rich and deep, troubled yet human. All the jumping around through time helped add nuance, depth and wonderful context to a strong season.
This season also prevailed poking at religion while fiddling around with intriguing plot lines and new characters. But (and here's the but, there's always a but) it's super sad some of the best characters in the show are dead: Emma, Luke, Lily, even Mandy.
Those characters had real room to develop arcs.
Plus, according to the EW article, the future of the show will not be about Joe Carroll.
Joe Carroll is awesome; to diminish his role will destroy the show.
The Following is not about Ryan Hardy, even though his character is strong and well-portrayed by Kevin Bacon; the show is about Joe Carroll and James Purefoy.
Carroll absolutely makes this show.
Now look who's left? Mark's the weaker of the twins, a mamma's boy and not even intimidating. Claire and Carrie are both annoying and hypocritical. Max and Mike don't have great chemistry as lovers. Plus, Mike is so out-of-character with his bad-boy persona. Making the show less about Joe Carroll is like Homeland killing off Brody; it may have been inevitable plot-wise, but it kills the show's heart and soul.
After what happened this season, it's feasible for Joe Carroll's actions to inspire creepy copy cat killers and cults. Why not turn Carroll into a Hannibal Lector?
Hannibal Lector is one of the richest literary characters ever created and there's a whole generation of millennials who've probably never seen Silence of the Lambs nor read any of the Thomas Harris books. With the proper tweaking and layering (good writers borrow, great writers steal) they can milk Purefoy and his epic portrayal of Carroll for all of its worth. Otherwise, the show might inevitably become Followed.