“Control is an illusion,” especially when Mr Robot season two is set to premiere in a few weeks. The following list contains some spoilers, but mainly pure speculation and anticipation for the new season. Mr Robot season one is a hero’s journey against corporate greed through anti-capitalist propaganda. Showrunner Sam Esmail manages to tell Elliot Alderson’s (Rami Malek) story through a first person narrative structure unlike anything seen before. Now heading into season two Esmail and company attempt to break into multi-dimensional story telling, while Elliot struggles to overcome his own mental instability. During the season one finale, fsociety won a small battle, but the real war is just beginning. The following are five reasons to get excited for Mr Robot season 2:
#5. Victory Aftermath
In an interview with Deadline, Sam Esmail elaborates on the Mr Robot season one finale after credits scene, “Because fsociety in essence succeeded, I wanted to let audiences know that there wasn’t necessarily a victory, rather something larger at play.” Both the Dark Army and Whiterose (BD Wong) are essential players in the series’ long game, but will play minor parts in this season’s war. Esmail and company set out to follow up season one to juxtapose Elliot’s mental instability with our economy’s instability following the ECorp hack. The season two trailer clearly indicates that fsociety’s war against ECorp is far from over, as Darlene (Carly Chaikin) argues for more extreme measures, “They need to know that we haven’t given up… that we meant what we said about changing the world.” Meanwhile, Philip Price (Michael Cristofer) begins to manipulate his new pawn, Angela (Portia Doubleday), “As long as the con works, and people buy and sell, whatever it is we want them to. I am really looking forward to the writers exploring how both Darlene and Philip Price are con artists in this universe. Following the season one finale, both are wanting to settle the same score, at all costs.
#4. Alderson Family Flashbacks
New set photos show the entire Alderson family enjoying an afternoon at the Cooney Island pier. These images further confirm that Mr Robot season two will further disclose information about both Elliot and Darlene’s childhood. More importantly we may also learn about why Darlene (Carly Chaikin) does not appear during the Times Square sequence in “zer0-day.avi” both Elliot’s mother and father attempt to make Elliot accept his fate. I believe that this scenes details support the theory about Darlene only being Elliot’s half sister and Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) is not her biological father. In addition, the writers may decide to juxtapose these family revelations with both Elliot and Darlene’s struggle for control over fsociety. “Our revolution needs a leader” demands Mr. Robot in the season two trailer, that includes Darlene voicing her concerns about ECorp still being a threat. Sounds like the Alderson sibling rivalry will come to a head in fosciety politics. Plus, we’ll even see it’s origin story in flashbacks.
#3. New Characters
Mr Robot season one built a playground, while season two sets out to add some very intriguing players. Craig Robinson (The Office) has secured a reoccurring role as Ray “a neighborhood local who reaches out to Elliot in his time of need,” according to an EW report. This character description contradicts Robinson’s character reveal in the season trailer, as he stares down at a battered Elliot Alderson. Sounds like we have our connective thread sub plot that places Elliot in more of a solo vigilante role opposed to his leadership position in fsociety. Fingers crossed this sub plot stands out as much as the Vera (Elliot Vilar) did from season one. We will not only be meeting Elliot’s neighborhood enemies, but a friend too; enter Leon (Joey Bada$$). A rapper will portray this ally whom, “often talks excessively to Elliot, advising him and philosophizing the meanings of life.” Suddenly it seems that Esmail adds two new characters into the mix to fill up Vera’s void. Fingers crossed that Leon’s words will add the signature 90’s hip-hop voice to this modern day story.
Chris Conroy is also set to appear in the upcoming season as Joanna Wellick’s newfound love, Derek. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Their moments of intimacy leave the young, attractive Derek infatuated with her.” Well, this leads me to believe that both Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen) and Elliot face the same problem in Tyrell Wellick’s absence; stalkers. Joanna’s frightening love affair gone wrong is likely to parallel Elliot’s escalating paranoia following the ECorp hack. The “men in suits” are becoming all too real for him to handle. The Newsroom alumn Grace Gummer has signed on as a series regular and will be hunting down all known fosciety members and leader(s). Read both my “Mr Robot Season 2: Casting News & Speculation” and “Mr Robot Season 2: Promotions & Additions” articles for more information about the Mr Robot Season two cast.
#2. Virtual Reality Sequence
According to Variety, the season season contains a virtual reality sequence, “It’s really about storytelling. It’s intimate and about the characters,” explains Jeff Wachtel, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Chief Content Officer. No other details about the sequence have been revealed at this time, not even the episode number. This appears to be a natural evolution in a series that consistently blurred the line between reality and illusion. After all, the series masterfully tackled the dreamscape in “3xpl0its.wmv” (1×04), we didn’t get lost following Elliot down his own mental rabbit hole, while going through withdrawal. We also need to remember that following the season one finale Elliot is fully aware of his own mental instability. In an interview with EW, Sam Esmail explains, “We’re literally externalizing Elliot’s mentality and his inner conflict, Mr Robot being the other half of Elliot.” Is there a better way to illustrate Elliot’s own inability to distinguish reality from his own illusions than putting him in a virtual reality space? I hope that this sequence continues to stay tightly under wraps, considering that virtual reality is all about perception, so let’s not have spoilers distort our own.
#1. Esmail Vision
Showrunner, Sam Esmail intends to take their “hyper-serialized” format to a whole new level, and will direct all ten season two episodes. A directorial feat recently accomplished by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) and Steven Soderbergh (The Knick). All ten scripts were written prior to shooting any episode, in addition the cast took part in two marathon table reads, divided between the first six and final four episodes. After Mr Robot season one won critical acclaim for mirroring opening/closing sequences, modernized film noir blocking, and poignant direct to camera shots, there’s a lot of pressure. “We approach it visually. Sometimes we go out of our way to do awkward blocking, so that we can tell whatever the emotional heartbeat is of that scene in the most interesting way,” explains Sam Esmail in an interview with Variety. Hence our excitement to have a series dependent on a singular voice helmed by such an ambitious creator. Television is a medium that uses both sound and picture to tell a story. During season one Sam Esmail had full creative control over one half of the equation; now imagine the possibilities since season two will fully contain Esmail’s vision too.
Mr Robot Season 2 premieres July 13th on UAS
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