5 things we learned from Kevin Williamson’s ‘The Following’ promo

FOX has released an extended promo for their new Kevin Williamson drama “The Following,” which centers on Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon), a former FBI agent who must track down the escaped serial-killer (James Purefoy) he captured several years earlier. Only problem is, the vicious murderer spent his time in prison inspiring a large cult of devotees to follow in his lethal footsteps. Also starring Shawn Ashmore, Jeannane Goossen, Natalie Zea and Kyle Cattlet, the series is slated to air as a midseason replacement on the network. (Note: You can check out Fox’s just-announced 2012-13 schedule here.)

And now, five things we learned from the 4-minute trailer for the upcoming series:

1. The killer passed himself off as an average member of society prior to his initial capture

Perhaps the creepiest serial killers are the ones who manage to put forward a seemingly-normal exterior before their crimes are revealed, and in that sense Purefoy’s Joe Carroll looks to be right in line with the likes of real-life figures like Ted Bundy and Dennis Rader (a.k.a. the “BTK Killer”). As seen in the promo, Carroll was even married to a not-at-all-unattractive woman prior to the discovery of his crimes.

2. Carroll’s M.O. involves acts of mutilation inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe

Following in the tradition of films like “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Seven,” there’s a sophisticated method to this killer’s madness.

3. Hardy and Carroll’s ex-wife have a rather intimate history

The final piece of dialogue uttered in the promo is the sort of BAM! moment networks pull out to really hook an audience, and the idea that Bacon’s character actually slept with Carroll’s ex-wife (Natalie Zea) – presumably during the run of the initial case – is some pretty juicy stuff.

4. Carroll recruited his cult of followers via the web

I’m no expert or anything, but it’s probably a good idea to keep ruthless, charismatic sociopaths away from the internet while they’re serving time for, you know, viciously murdering a bunch of people.

5. Carroll is re-captured and held by the police for what seems to be a good portion of the show’s first season

Look for some Clarice Starling/Hannibal Lecter-style mind games as Bacon’s character faces off with the killer to pump him for information on his clique of murderous admirers.

Check out the full promo below and let us know what you think!

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