The Following’s Shawn Ashmore Dishes on Weston’s ‘Aggressive’ Return & Finale

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Here is an interview with The Following‘s Shawn Ashmore. He talks Weston’s ‘aggressive’ return and a ‘very satisfying’ finale.

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Following his recent not-so-pleasant run-in with Joe Carroll’s ruthlessly loyal acolytes, Shawn Ashmore‘s Mike Weston resumed his FBI duties on The Following this past Monday (Fox, 9/8c). All seemed well at first, but underneath the surface bubbles a damaged, newly hardened agent, not unlike his onetime idol Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon).

Here, Ashmore chats with TVLine about his character’s new approach to the hot-button cult-of-killers case, the walls (finally) coming down between Ryan and Weston and the “very satisfying” Season 1 finale that awaits devoted Following fans.

TVLINE | What is Weston’s mindset upon returning to work? Has barely cheating death done a number on him?
What’s amazing about The Following is that we don’t brush over moments like this. Because every episode is a day or two, Weston’s only really been out for about four days. He’s still very physically and emotionally affected by the beating he took from the followers — and we’ll see that when he gets back into the field. He certainly takes a different approach in dealing with the followers that they run into this week, and that makes sense. The violence for Weston has been very close, but this takes it to the next level. His life was obviously beyond being in jeopardy, and when he comes back he’s definitely more impulsive and has a more aggressive take on handling the case and dealing with the followers.

TVLINE | Will we only see this side of Weston in his interaction with the followers or is it a PTSD-type situation that can erupt at any time?
Actually, there’s a little bit of both. The thing that I like and think is interesting about this episode coming back is that Ryan has been warming up to Weston throughout the case, but the sacrifice Weston made for Claire and for the case really helps breaks down the wall between them a little bit. There are some interactions between those two regarding Weston’s state of mind. If anybody can understand what Weston’s going through, it’s Ryan.

TVLINE | So, he’s not feeling any blame or resentment toward Ryan?
No, no. It’s not that kind of thing. Weston made that sacrifice fully knowing what he was doing. He wasn’t thinking, ‘When I get out of this, I’m going to be really angry at Ryan!’ [Laughs]

TVLINE | Will Roderick be in Weston’s sights given the hand the lead acolyte had in his violent attack?
It’s more the group as a whole… This wasn’t specifically on the page, but obviously because Roderick spearheaded the investigation [that left Weston injured] and Weston knows how important Roderick is to the cult, he is definitely hungry to get to the bottom of where and who Roderick is. That starts to unravel as the episodes continue.

TVLINE | Theories are still floating around that Weston is an undercover follower. But after all he’s been through, can we finally, officially put those to bed?
You tell me! [Laughs] Even when we first started doing press for the show, people would tell me that Weston was a little creepy and I just couldn’t see it! He certainly is educated on Ryan Hardy and the case, but to me that just makes him a dedicated agent. So, I really think it’s up to the audience to make that decision. I find that fascinating. That’s when I knew that the audience was really into the show, when they turned the TV off and started creating potential storylines for the character. It’s amazing that people continue to have these theories. In my head it’s pretty clear that after what happened in Episode 8, Weston is on the up-and-up, but people will continue to theorize. [Creator] Kevin Williamson planted the seed of paranoia in the pilot and now those seeds are growing and you can’t stop it… In a great thriller, that’s what you want.

Head to TV|Line to read more!