Well, it seems that you just can't keep a good killer down. Or in this case, a megalomaniacal, extremely psychopathic killer with a gigantic cult-like following.
Fans at 'The Following's Comic-Con panel were shocked when a surprise guest arrived half-way through. That guest was actor James Purefoy, who very memorably portrayed lead antagonist Joe Carroll on season one of the FOX horror/drama. Viewers will remember that Joe was last seen trapped inside a flaming boathouse in the season one finale, a building that then exploded in pretty spectacular fashion. The FBI later identified Joe's remains via dental records and DNA testing, but I have zero doubt that a man with Joe's connections could get those results faked.
As you might imagine, series creator/showrunner Kevin Williamson is choosing to remain tight-lipped about whether Joe really is still alive. 'The Following' is a show that has utilized flashbacks since the very beginning, and it's possible that Purefoy's character will be present only in scenes set in the past. That said, my personal hunch is that a very much alive Joe will return at some point in the season. 'The Following' just wouldn't be the same without the dynamic between Purefoy and Kevin Bacon's Ryan Hardy. Scenes with the two actors together were easily the most electric of season one.
Other tidbits from the Comic-Con panel include:
Claire's status is still very much a mystery. We know Natalie Zea has agreed to come back for at least one episode of season two, but that could very well mean she'll die in the premiere as a result of Molly's knife attack in the season one finale.
Whether Joe is alive or not, Emma will be left on her own for the majority of the season. What exactly she'll be doing is unclear. I could personally see her trying to continue Joe's work, in her own equally twisted fashion.
The relationship between Ryan Hardy and Agent Weston will change considerably.
Ryan's niece will be a regular fixture in season two, although an actress has yet to be cast in the role.
The new season will focus much less on the FBI.
There will be (at least) one new villain introduced.
Season two of 'The Following' will premiere in early 2014. Will you be watching?