Hollywood Notebook: 'The Following' cliffhanger and Sam Champion

FresnoMay 11, 2014 

One of the series that has already been given an order for another season is "The Following."

It's obvious that the decision was made before the second season completely aired. The first season of the FOX series — starring Kevin Bacon as Ryan Hardy, a flawed FBI agent who must stop a serial killer — was a smart thriller. The second season turned into the bloody massacre of the week.

There was great anticipation for the end of the first season. By the time the finale rolled around for season two, it was just good to have it done.

But the second season finale did leave viewers with one mystery. I won't go into too many details in case you haven't watched the last episode. If you haven't, what are you waiting for?

What I can say is that one of the characters makes a phone call to get someone to pick him up. The person driving the vehicle is never shown. All that's said is: "I didn't know who else to call."

The identity of the driver will be revealed in the third season. But, it's fun to speculate on who it might be.

It's safe to assume that it's not someone new. What would be the fun in that? It has to be someone like Shawn Ashmore, who plays fellow FBI agent Mike Weston, or Jessica Stroup who's Hardy's niece. Either one would be a great twist.

I think it's going to be television reporter and Hardy bed partner Carrie Cooke (Sprague Grayden). Hardy's always had problems with the women in his life. It would explain a lot of her actions through the second season. And, it would eliminate an awkward dating situation.

Share your ideas on my blog at www.fresnobeehive.com.

We've all seen it. Some poor weather forecaster forced to stand in horrible conditions to report on the obvious. The fact that cows are flying through the air or rain is coming down sideways seems enough of a clue that the weather is bad.

I asked Sam Champion — who jumped from "Good Morning America" to the Weather Channel — if he had ever been sent out on an assignment and started to doubt his career choice.

The most notable of such assignments for Champion was Hurricane Dolly — a Category 1.

"It wasn't supposed to be a big storm, but that thing shredded the building we were in. So I'm laying in the tub in the bathroom in the hotel that is being shredded around it. Broken glass and insulation and everything are flying under the door, and I'm laying there in the tub," Champion says. "I've got the stuff to put over me in case the walls start to come down, and I'm like this shouldn't be like this. This is not supposed to be happening with a storm of this strength."

Champion learned that moment that even a minor storm can do major damage to a community.

There were a few other times he had his career doubts. Such thoughts popped up during coverage of Hurricane Sandy.

"Sandy was a storm that we were downtown in Battery Park for, and all of my friends had evacuated the downtown area and had moved to my apartment, which is on the Upper West Side where they had power and wine," Champion says. "And so the phone rings, and I'm in the middle of Sandy."

It was a friend calling him to say that everything was OK where he was, and that he was missed. That call made Champion realize there are times when he feels like he's in the wrong place.

But in the end, he says, there's nothing more he would rather do than stand out in awful weather.


TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, rbentley@fresnobee.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at www.fresnobeehive.com.

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