Mike Weston got a beating of a lifetime a few episodes ago on Fox’s The Following, but in tonight’s episode, he’s coming back with a vengeance.
“I think he’s desperate to be back — and potentially exact some revenge — but also to continue this case,” says Shawn Ashmore who plays the young agent on the Fox show. “I think he’s frustrated. Everybody in the FBI is frustrated. So he rushes back to work whether he’s ready or not — physically or emotionally.”
In the March 11 episode, Mike was severely injured after a Fight Club-esque clash with a group of psycho serial killer Joe Carroll’s followers, and in the end was left in critical condition. Tonight’s episode picks up just days later, with Weston still bearing the scars of the encounter. “There was talk of how long Weston should be out, and what [would have been] realistic,” Ashmore explains. “I think it comes down to the stakes on the show. We need to put these characters in peril and…if we choose to make those decisions, they have to be lasting. It’s not like [he] can take a severe beating and then be in the next episode.”
As Mike rejoins this hunt for Carroll (James Purefoy), Ashmore says viewers can expect his character’s bond with Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) to be stronger than ever after Mike put himself on the line to keep Claire (Natalie Zea) safe. “I think Ryan’s always known that this kid is capable and smart and making things happen. But I think he’s starting to see how dedicated he is and how tough he is,” says Ashmore. “I think the whole point of this relationship is to start to build trust and have these guys be partners to a certain degree as much as Ryan will allow that. I think that’s starting to happen more and more and I think as we lead into next season that’s certainly the case.”
The Following‘s first season will wrap up April 29, and in the coming weeks, Ashmore will report for duty on set of X-Men: Days of Future Past, with director Bryan Singer. “The cool thing about having a shorter run — 15 episode as opposed to more — is that you have a little more time to do other projects,” he says. “I’ve heard from other people that it can be really difficult to fit a film in, so the timing of when this season ended and when X-Men was going to potentially start worked out perfectly. But that was more of a coincidence.”