The Following Season 2: James Purefoy to Return, Time Jump Ahead

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James Purefoy will in fact be back in The Following Season 2, it was announced Friday at Comic-Con.

The news was revealed during the show's panel at the annual San Diego pop culture extravaganza.

Purefoy's Following return was announced in surprising fashion. How did the big reveal play out?

James Purefoy on The Following

The actor, who was not part of the lineup at Comic-Con, called Kevin Bacon during The Following panel, then appeared on stage as a surprise guest to the delight of a packed auditorium.

Purefoy was last seen getting blown to pieces (we thought) in The Following Season 1 finale, but the ruse went further than your traditional cliffhanger, as his remains and DNA were ID'd.

Of course, his character Joe Carroll could be capable of faking that, too.

Series creator Kevin Williamson would not confirm his fate earlier this spring, saying only, “I don’t want to give too much else away, except to say Joe Carroll will figure into next season.”

Today's Comic-Con panel also featured a continuation of the climactic Season 1 scene that will kick off Season 2. We'll see Molly stab Claire (possibly fatally) and Ryan snap the follower’s neck.

We see her possibly lifeless body - although Joe Carroll has taught us never to believe what we see - before The Following Season 2 begins in earnest with a one-year time jump forward.

It's been an interesting offseason for the show, which is also bringing back Natalie Zea in a bit of a surprise. What do you think of her return, along with Purefoy's? Hit the comments below!

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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The Following Quotes

Joey: Why is my dad such a bad man?
Emma: Maybe, he's not so bad. Maybe we just don't understand him.

Joe: Was he good? The sex? Did your body quiver to his every touch?
Claire: Yes. It did.