It's Comic-Con Sunday. Woo!
Sunday is TV Day in Hall H and I'll be live-blogging panels for “Sons of Anarchy” and “The Strain.”
But first? Kevin Williamson and Kevin Bacon return to see if people are actually interested in what's in store for Season 3 of “The Following”…
Follow along… [See what I did there?]
11:13 a.m. The line to get into Hall H is, at the most, a couple hundred people and I'm guessing a couple thousand “Supernatural” fans departed.
11:15 a.m. Off we go! Our panel: Sam Underwood, Marcos Siega, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Williamson, Jennifer Johnson, Shawn Ashmore and Jessica Stroup.
11:18 a.m. They shot two endings last season, at least allegedly. With teases like this, I never know who's joking and which “special” endings are real. It begins as last season did with Kevin Bacon's Ryan smirking as Carroll is taken off to prison. Ryan tells Joe that he won't visit him in prison and blah blah blah. From somewhere unseen, gunshots ring out and a Carroll goes down. It's whichever one of the Sam Underwoods was alive. They're still in a car with somebody unseen and mysterious. With Ryan holding his hand, Joe seems to be on the verge of death. His last word is, I think, “Ryan.” And he seems to die. Well, that's a different ending.
11:22 a.m. “The thing about Season 2 is we always sorta saw it as a reset,” Williamson says.”Whether or not Joe Carroll's a part of that, well that remains to be seen.” Williamson claims he doesn't know yet how or when Carroll will return. Oh. “This relationship that he's had with Joe is very old,” Bacon says, referring to Ryan's “strange, dysfunctional relationship” with Joe. The finale had lots of resolution for that chapter in Ryan's life. “I think that when he walks away, that's the same scene. I'm in the same headspace in terms of my relationship with him whether he's alive or dead,” Bacon says.
11:24 a.m. What shade of Ryan's personality will we see in Season 3? Bacon says Season 2 was a season about masks and that Ryan's relative normality was a mask, but he promises that Ryan will be in a more open place in his life, more open to real relationships. We will, again, jump forward in time. He's looking forward to seeing Ryan more at peace with himself, noting that becoming a smooth lake is the chance to throw a big rock and watch the ripples.
11:25 p.m. “Losing James Purefoy and Joe Carroll would have been tough,” Ashmore says of the ending, which he didn't know was coming. “Not that he would ever be gone,” he adds, noting that the character will always be with them. Stroup mentions the big “kiss scene” from the finale, which makes a few people squeal. She says that Joe dying would have been a bigger ending, but she was relieved when she saw the TV ending, because it meant that that Purefoy can come back.. “It was going to be provocative either way,” Underwood says of the endings. Williamson says that they “just couldn't part with him.” “I don't think we needed to,” he added.
11:28 a.m. “Ryan finds love and he starts in an incredibly happy place and then we're going to challenge that episode after episode after episode,” Johnson teases. The question of Season 3: Can Ryan hold onto the happiness we've found. “Now we're really in a really great place. His entire journey was 'Can he do the right thing?' and he didn't kill Joe Carroll,” Williamson says. Johnson promises a “bigger, badder more complicated villain.” “We're going to throw the title of the show on its head,” Johnson says, promising that Sam will be back and the show will be back to the “psychological mystery.” “It's going to be a little bit more Hitchcockian, so it's going to be a little bit more what you don't show,” the new showrunner says. Williamson says this will be the chance to “put the shark back in the water.”
11:31 p.m. Siega stands up for Johnson's dark side, but says that you don't have to see all the killing for the show to be effective.
11:32 a.m. Does Mike's new dark side make him potentially manipulatable? The writers imply the moderator has read their mind. Siega jokes that Mike kills Max in Episode 1. Stroup insists this is not true. We're jumping ahead a year. “I don't think these two will ever have an easy relationship,” Ashmore says of Max and Mike. “I think what's gonna be interesting about it is traversing that and I don't think it's gonna be easy,” he adds. Stroup calls Max “a woman of now,” calling her strong and capable. Stroup says that she started with Max having morals and being very centered, but now she's seen things from Mike and from Ryan.
11:34 a.m. Where do we find the characters professionally? Ryan is pouring over every case trying to make sure they aren't Carroll-related. But a brand new threat will come to New York and we'll see “urban paranoia” and a disintegration of the city. NYC will be a character this season. Early in the season, Ryan will go to Mendez to try to get a new task force started. Johnson says that this season, people won't be what they seem to be. She wants to “see the anatomy of a follower this year, how it might happen to somebody.” Did they consider a prequel? No. But Johnson says we will learn more about Joe Carroll and what he was hoping to accomplish. “There might be a new spin on it,” Johnson says.
11:37 a.m. Moment of silence for Emma. Sniffle. But where will we find Sam Underwood next year? “In the most unexpected place,” Johnson says, telling people that he “will be hiding in plain sight and he will have transformed himself.” Well, OK. Is Underwood looking forward to doing scenes with actors present? He's looking forward to acting with other characters, but notes that there were actors with him when he was acting opposite himself.
11:39 a.m. Poor Emma. “It was really hard, because I loved that character so much. I loved Emma from Day 1,” Williamson says. “I didn't want to kill her, but I knew it was her time,” he says. Bah. “You just have to say good-bye to some characters you love,” Williamson says. He adds that they brought Claire back just to kill Emma, basically. And will Claire be back? Williamson squirms.
11:40 a.m. Can they tease Ryan's new love interest? “What we know so far is that they're happy together. She is a doctor and we're living together and she has a daughter, so I'm actually trying to experience some domesticity. Along with this inner struggle to pull myself together, I'm also taking on a pretty giant adjustment, being kinda a dad,” Bacon teases. Williamson says that the theme of family was important in Season 2 and that will continue as Ryan opens up his heart a bit more. The love interest's name is “Gwen.” “He's increasing his capacity of love,” Williamson says. “What I'm always looking for is things to struggle against. That's what the character is really about, obstacles,” Bacon says.
11:43 a.m. “Ryan has learned so much over the past two seasons,” Johnson says. He's learned the dangers of breaking the law and he's led Mike down a dark path. So this season will be about whether or not Ryan has learned anything. “He's going to fight the fight the hard way,” Johnson says. Johnson adds that we'll go home with our characters more, that it'll have a soap-style angle with more characters and relationships. “And people will die and asses will be kicked,” Bacon promise. “We're going to see two couples at very different points in their lives,” Johnson says, but she notes that Max and Mike will have been apart for a couple months when we pick up, for some reason. But Stroup says that she wants to fight more this season. “Whenever possible, she was kicking ass,” Williamson says.
11:46 a.m. Siega references the DC Sniper as a comparison for the urban paranoia of Season 3. Williamson says that The Mystery Man in The Car from the finale wasn't necessarily meant as a cliffhanger. “I didn't expect it to be The Thing,” Siega says. So who do they think it is? “I thought it was Sprague [Grayden], she was the newscaster,” Stroup says. “I don't think it was anybody we've seen,” Ashmore says. “I thought it was Claire's son Joey,” Bacon jokes. “I wanted it to be Keith Carradine,” Underwood says of Ryan's AA sponsor. But Williamson says it was a character we haven't met before. So much for your theories, Internet! Speaking of Sprague Grayden, Williamson doesn't know if she'll fit into this chapter.
11:50 a.m. Dr. Strauss mentioned that Joe Carroll wasn't his best student. “Oh, you're paying attention,” Williamson says. But the other producers agree that will or won't be important. And will they continue to cast British villains? “We love playing villains,” Underwood says. The crowd yells a few names for potential villains.
11:51 a.m. The first audience question: How cool would it be to have Jack Bauer show up on “The Following”? “You may not know this. I live and breathe on Jack Bauer,” he says. “Unfortunately, I think they're two different universes,” he worries. But several people suggest that Ryan could begin the season watching “24.” Williamson claims the show was inspired by his love for “24.”
11:53 p.m. The next question relates to Ryan killing or not killing Joe. Bacon thought it was powerful and interesting that Ryan chose not to kill Joe when given the opportunity. He calls the choice “a progression of this man.”
11:55 a.m. A questioner asks if by asking Kevin Bacon a question, she has a Six Degrees score of “one.” “Technically, you're really supposed to be in a movie with me. But I've got an idea: If I make a movie with all of us…” Kevin says. He stands up and films himself with the whole crowd. So now we've all been in a movie with Kevin Bacon. Her question is actually for Kevin Williamson, about whether studios are scared to refuse him thing because of his twisted mind. “You won't believe this, but I'm squeamish as the sight of blood. I'm kinda scaredy-cat,” Williamson. “People tell me 'No' all the time,” Williamson says. “He's more 'Dawson's Creek' than 'The Following,'” Siega agrees. Williamson says he goes for emotion. “That's what I love about horror. That's what I love about the genre. That's why I live in it, because I want to feel it,” Williamson says. Have any scenes gone too far? He admits he sometimes forgets he's on network, but says that FOX has been “lovely.” What is the show's blood budget? “Blood's fairly cheap,” Williamson cracks. “The show's meant to be scary and shocking and full of twists,” Williamson says.
11:59 a.m. Does Mike blame Ryan for the dark direction he has gone down? “No. I don't think so at all,” Ashmore says. “I don't think there's a damn thing Ryan could do to stop Mike from doing what he did this season,” Ashmore says. “There's no stopping him, but I don't think that Ryan is responsible for any of that,” he adds.
12:00 p.m. What was the most messed up part of Season 2 for everybody? “I've never danced with a corpse before, so that was pretty messed up,” Underwood says. Siega thought the subway sequence was most messed up. Kevins Bacon and Williamson loved the finale. Johnson also loved the finale. Siega backtracks and says that Ryan and Joe working together was his favorite part. Ashmore liked the satisfaction of killing Lily Gray, celebrating the darkness. “I really liked getting to shoot one of the twins. That was a fun moment for me,” Stroup says.
12:04 p.m. Does Sam Underwood think Mark will have different personalities now that Luke is dead? “That sounds fascinating,” Underwood says. He didn't know he was auditioning for twins when he went in. Williamson explains that he was originally instructed to play the character as somebody with multiple-personalities. “I do think that Luke's death is going to affect Mark in an incredibly dramatic way, for better or for worse,” Underwood says. “I think you'll be happy with how it all lands,” Williamson promises.
12:06 p.m. We've run out of questions and we still have 10 minutes left. AWKWARD.
12:06 p.m. Fortunately, The Moderator is prepared to vamp! The Cult Camp, was any of that based on research? Williamson says they combined three cults that they'd researched.
12:07 p.m. How was it filming outside last winter? “It was freezing and we were always fighting snow,” Siega says. Production wasn't altered. Actually, Season 1 production was impacted by a hurricane.
12:08 p.m. Finally somebody returns with a question. Do they ever take into account the copycat effect? “We live in a really crazy time, but this is a work of fiction. For most stable-minded people who watch television, it should be a work of fiction,” Williamson says.
12:09 p.m. A fan loves what Williamson does in horror and asks what's going on in his head. What a fine transition for Williamson to talk about CBS' “Stalker.”
12:10 p.m. What was Shawn thinking when Mike's father was killed? “It was a difficult scene, obviously. It's really emotional,” Ashmore says. He never actually met the actor playing his father and he was watching a monitor with a green-screen.
12:11 p.m. Last question: A fan has loved Kevin Bacon ever since “Crazy Stupid Love.” Yes. Since 2011's “Crazy Stupid Love.” “Thank you for loving me for such a long time. I guarantee you that I have socks that are older than you. But time is relative,” Bacon cracks. He tells her that he doesn't view characters as good guys or bad guys. The show came along when he'd been doing a lot of villains on the movie side of things, so he was interested in being on the right side of right-and-wrong, but he wanted Ryan to have flaws.
That's all, folks…