It was a welcome and shocking surprise when Natalie Zea resumed her role as Claire in The Following's second season. But then, just as abruptly as she came back into our lives, she headed right on out again after telling Ryan Hardy that it was for the best that they go their separate ways. Does that mean the entire point of her return was just to kill Emma? (Not over it, BTW.) Or is there a chance The Following Season 3 has another Claire comeback in store? I have to be honest, though — part of me feels like bringing her back again would be a bit redundant. I mean, if you're going to keep having the same character return, why bother having them exit in the first place? Which is why her departure seems like it could be for keeps this time.
For starters, Ryan is now in a very serious relationship with someone else, who will play a very significant role throughout the season. This isn't just some random hook-up or a spur of the moment fling. This woman has a kid and even possesses the ability to make Ryan smile, believe it or not. (Gasp!) "They get into a relationship that I don't think Ryan ever really expected he could have," Kevin Bacon recently revealed to The Hollywood Reporter regarding his character's love life. "They're going to cohabitate; it's going to be a real relationship."
Doesn't really sound like there's much room left for Claire, does it? They seemed to make a clean break of things at the end of Season 2, so backtracking on that would seem almost counterproductive. I suppose she could show up long enough to help try and coax some information out of Joe, but other than that, I'd say her time on this show has basically run its course. Plus, Zea is keeping herself pretty busy these days what with her latest project Members Only as well as her continued guest stints on FX's Justified. So for all we know she's not even available for a brief story arc if the writers wanted her to be.
However, given this show's penchant for twists and turns, I can't completely write the possibility off, especially since when the subject was broached at last year's San Diego Comic-Con, series creator Kevin Williamson didn't come right out and say no about Claire coming back in the third season. "Maybe, I don't know, we'll see!," he teased. Although, it should be noted that since Williamson is no longer running the show, this particular stance may have changed depending on what Marcos Siega, Alexi Hawley, and Brett Mahoney have in mind.
But then again, when it comes to a series like this, you can never know for sure one way or another. Team Claire could still live to see another day.
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