"The Following" season 2 may pick up a year later, but that doesn't mean that they're just forgetting about what happened. Mike will be dealing with the repercussions of losing two partners and everything he went through. "Emotionally, he's having a hard time," the actor said. "Ryan and Mike kidnapped, tortured and killed a detainee in the last episode, so that just doesn't go away. It's not like, "Oh, okay, you guys killed a bad guy, it's all good." They broke protocol and Mike especially is dealing with the repercussions of that at work, and emotionally and spiritually, I think he's going through quite a crisis."
"He's in a dark place," he went on to say. "This sort of shiny Agent Weston that we found in the pilot is all but gone by the time we start the second season. I think he still has his moral core, I think that the things that people really liked about Mike, the levity that he brought, the attitude, I think that's still inside him, but it's not on the surface anymore. It's a little hidden, and he's broken down. It's been a hard year."
Ashmore saw the "Fight Club" episode as the "turning point," and the moment he realized Mike and Ryan are a mirror. "This is who Ryan potentially was, and after all this bad stuff happened, this is who he became. We're at the crossroads of what will Mike do?" He admitted. "Because he's being put through the same thing. He's losing people. He's having his life threatened. He's going through the exact same thing Ryan did. Will he become Ryan? Will he fight it? Does he have that potential to go there? I think that's the drama between Mike and Ryan for the second season, seeing if Ryan will help Mike, if he knows how to help Mike, if Mike will ask for that help." And asking for help, with the nature of their jobs, isn't something that will necessarily happen.
Death is no stranger on "The Following," and Mike had a really tough time last year, but Ashmore admitted that he thought that was why he wasn't killed. It would have been anti-climatic. "We know Kevin Williamson does not like people to see things coming," he explained. However, there was a scenario pitched for the finale where both Mike and Debra's lives would have been in danger and Ryan would have had to make a choice.
Check out the video above (or here) for more from Shawn Ashmore, including his thoughts on his twin guest starring on the show.
"The Following" season 2 airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX, with a special preview Jan. 19 after the NFC Championship Game.