Fox's suspenseful new series "The Following" unraveled a few new plot threads in last night's latest episode. Executive producer of the thriller series Marcos Siega spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the latest developments in the master plan of Joe Carroll & Friends. Of course, spoilers lie ahead for those who have yet to see it.
The past of the trio of followers who have kidnapped Claire Matthews' son was touched on somewhat this week, but Siega promises us there is much more to their story. "We haven’t revealed all the layers as far as these characters go. I believe in the pilot, it’s said that these guys [Paul and Jacob] pretended to be gay, but I don’t know that we know that for sure yet. It’s a layer that will slowly be peeled away and explain itself. With Denise, we learn in episode two her real name is Emma Hill; we see how she met Joe Carroll, and it’s a device I really enjoy in the show. What you're watching in real time is the end result. The real story is how did this all come to be, how did they all start to follow Joe, and how did Joe touch their lives?" Siega explained.
He continued, stressing the importance of the series' use of flashbacks to tell us how the characters have gotten to the present day status quo. "In episode two, when Emma kills her mother, you realize that that was the first time she killed somebody and you see how she met Joe Carroll. Maybe that was all Joe's doing, him convincing her to take that step. We could hear about that in dialogue or she could explain it to someone, but I think it's infinitely more powerful to see [everything]," he said. "As we introduce major characters, you're going to get to see how they were touched by Joe, whether it's a flashback with Joe or a flashback with another follower that's following Joe. The device of the flashback really serves a purpose in terms of setting up the characters you'll be meeting."
Despite the heated confrontation between Joe and Claire in the prison's interview room, Siega hints that the charismatic killer sees the end result of his plan as bringing his family closer together. "What Joe is doing revolves around getting his family back together in some twisted way. This is sort of the first chapter in how he plans on doing that," Siega said. "He has to activate Claire in some way, and that's what's happening. You take the son, now Claire wants her son back and now she has to engage. If there's no Joey, why would she go see him in prison, why would she interact? You wouldn't. She'd shut herself off. This is all part of Joe's plan. It's all very calculated. The years he spent in prison plotting Sarah Fuller (Maggie Grace), her demise, he planted Emma at Claire's house. The plan is all very thought out."
The latest episode also saw the introduction of a new character, FBI Agent Debra Parker (Annie Parisse), who is sure to play a greater role as Joe's plan progresses. "We introduced Debra to fill in those blanks that Hardy could never fill in himself. She absolutely serves a greater purpose. She challenges Ryan. They don't see eye to eye. She approaches the case in a very different way, which is also unconventional like Ryan. He can appreciate that and respect it, but they still don't always see eye to eye. She's definitely not a by-the-book FBI agent. She has her way of doing things, and that's going to make for an interesting dynamic," he said.
The producer downplays the cryptic final scene of the episode that saw many viewers speculating that Parker could be a Follower hiding in plain sight. "Maybe some people missed this. Joe asks for reading material and nobody gives it to him, but that's what she does well: She listens. Maybe the way to get some answers out of Joe. ... You want reading material, I'll get you reading material. I love that people sit there and go 'Oh my god she's bad' or 'She's with them.' Those are the kinds of setups that Kevin does really well. I'm not saying it's a misdirect, but misdirects work in these types of stories. It's nice to surprise people, whether or not what they thought it meant really meant [that]," he said.
What did you think of last night's episode?