‘The Following’ series finale reaction: Show boss on Ryan Hardy’s sad revelation

After watching the season 3 finale of “The Following” Monday night, one thing feels very clear right now: This was not meant at all to be the series finale. Why else would the show end with Ryan Hardy more or less convincing everyone he cared about that he was dead? He knows that Theo is a part of a larger group, and whether it is due to a desire for justice or some addictive personality within himself, he realized throughout the season that he is not someone who can walk away from a fight … even if it is not entirely his fight in the first place.

Within all of the fighting, this revelation from Kevin Bacon’s character is not a victory; instead, it is a tragedy. He is ultimately realizing that no matter how much he may want to change, he cannot let go of fighting. This is something that Alexi Hawley (who ran the show this season) said in a post-mortem to TVLine:

“What we took into the finale was this question, which he’s been struggling with [from] the beginning. ‘Can I be happy? Can I have a life outside of this obsession?’ At the end of the day, given everything he’s been through, he realizes he can’t — which is a tragedy.”

We envision in our head a side of Ryan that is even more entrenched and undercover than one that we have seen before, and one who is desperate to get the job done at whatever cost … even if it meant resorting to the darkest of extremes. To us, season 4 probably would have been the darkest by far.

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