Spoiler Alert: Story reveals details about The Following season 2 finale and direction of season 3.

Warner Bros. TV’s Comic-Con panel for The Following started with a literal bang this morning, showing an alternative ending where serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) is shot by Lily Gray’s son Mark (Sam Underwood). Commenting on Carroll’s life or death and how it might impact Season 3, creator Kevin Williamson said, “We have a brand new story whether Joe is alive or dead. We don’t know how he’ll appear in season 3. We always saw it as a reset.”  The cast was aware that they were shooting two endings, but did not know which one would ultimately air (we see Carroll being hauled off in chains). Nonetheless, Carroll alive leaves open his possible future involvement.

“There’s a lot of closure and resolution with Joe,” said star Kevin Bacon about the obsession his character, an FBI agent, has had throughout the series.

Other Season 3 details: Bacon’s Agent Ryan Hardy is in a better place with a romantic interest, but his stressful career chasing killers will always get in the way of his evolution. The Following will be set largely in New York this season.

“In episode one, we find that Ryan has looked at every case, just to make sure it isn’t Joe Carroll related,” said Jennifer Johnson, the new showrunner. “There’s a brand new threat that throws New York under a lockdown.  The city will be a character and we’ll see urban paranoia and the disintegration of the city.  Ryan will go to Mendez (Valerie Cruz) and suggest that a task force be established.”

Johnson added, “Season 3 will be Hitchcockian: What’s lurking around the corner, and what you see the aftermath as.”

Whether there would ever be a prequel showing Joe Carroll’s earlier days, Williamson said, “It would need to predate the college campus murders.”  Johnson promised that viewers will learn more about Carroll’s past and what he was going to accomplish.

Commenting on the death of Mark’s twin brother, Luke, Underwood said, “This was needed in order for Mark to move forward.  However, I think it will affect him greatly in season 3.”

Much to the glee of Hall H, Kevin Bacon played a game of six degrees with the crowd, “Technically, the way the game works is you’re supposed to be in a movie with me,” said Bacon, at which point he pulled his cell phone out, shot video of  Hall H, and made everyone in the room zero degrees away from him.