True story; We used to have a friend who went through…a thing and told us he was Jesus 2.0.
And USB 3.0 but that was…that was a different story. That was before he told us he was the Zodiac, too, and that was the last time we spoke to Bob!
Mr. Robot 2.0 would appear, based on the breath-taking new trailer, to pick up not so long after season 1 left off.
For those of you who don’t remember, or more confusingly, didn’t watch the first season for some reason what were you, under a rock? season 1 ended with
Elliot figuring out Mr. Robot –the electric Christian Slater, who finally shook loose his Show Killer cape — was not, in fact, a real person. Mr. Robot is a hallucination, or another aspect of Elliot’s addled and broken personality who takes the form of his long dead and occasionally abusive father.
See, despite the show teasing us that Elliot ‘found’ the rag tag group of hackers, we learned along with him that he founded the group, formulated the plan and is the sole driving force behind their entire, apocalyptic scheme. He and we ‘remembered’ Darla is his sister, only after clumsily trying to kiss her, and the audience learned, in arguably the most heartbreaking scene of ALL time, that Elliot has episodes. Regularly. He goes off meds or gets too into morphine and slips into fugues, forgets specific details about who he is, who his family was. Elliot is the original and best unreliable narrator in the history of the sport. So. Recognise.
But just as shockingly as the revelations about Elliot’s fragile mental state, season 1 ended with F Society successfully hacking the planet and Fight Club style deleting and resetting the worlds credit scores and history.
They effectively wiped out all debt but of course, since the road to hell is paved with good intentions, they missed or ignored the fact that credit isn’t just about debt. The whole world is built on credit, credit goes back centuries, millennia, even. You think all those Egyptian Pharaohs had mountains of gold to pay for their shining white limestone pyramids? Not at all. And their stone carvers didn’t have the money to pay for their materials either, and the quarry owner never did. This isn’t a good thing. It’s just how it is.
Credit is the curse that makes the world go around.
And Elliot just broke it.
Mr. Robot was one of the most astonishing new shows to air in the last few years, on part with True Detective for not only telling a thrilling and compelling story, but in respecting the hell out of its audience by absolutely, utterly refusing to dumb itself down. This is cerebral television at its best and you damn well better be paying attention.
Just in case you didn’t get the chance, I analysed the trailer for key facts and clues to what season 2 might hold. And…to mine for conspiracy theories. Obviously.
That way, you, like me, can go into season 2 like I plan to; fully prepared for anything. You’re welcome.
Nearly the entire team is back with the exception of Romero, who isn’t seen at all in the trailer. The old pro hacker was always the most unsure of his own loyalties to the cause, largely down to his read of Elliot/Mr. Robot. He seemed the one most acutely attuned to the shifts in Elliot’s demeanour but saw it more as a sign of being unreliable and a drug addict than understanding the far more startling causes. It will be curious to see if he’s truly gone or if his return will play some substantial role. Darlene’s hacker boyfriend Cisco appears to have joined F Society, and other moments in the trailer point to Whiterose’s return, so, cue hysterical cheering.
We learn through dialogue Tyrell Wellick is still missing after Elliot’s 3 day fugue but has been accused as being the leader of F Society and the mind behind the hack, by none other than President Obama. Tyrell was pushed beyond breaking at the end of the last season, murdering and rampaging and otherwise embracing his inner American (though actually Danish) Psycho. If he did come to harm, it could easily be at Elliot’s hands, or his own.
We do not see anyone in the group seem terribly perturbed by Wellick becoming the fall guywhich makes sense. The less focus on the real hackers, the more damage they can do.
Angela sold her soul to the devil and took a job with Evil Corp., and has perhaps lost even more of her self if this creepy flash of a scene is as stomach churning as I think. As yet, Angela’s motives are unclear. She underwent an incredible metamorphosis over the first season, growing from a bland foil to Elliot’s awkwardness to a cold, calculating schemer who may or may not be up to something. The smart money says she’s working a con, perhaps hoping to help bring down Evil Corp from within. Or perhaps her soul is really broken enough she figured if she can’t beat them, join them. The other, left field possibility is that she’s been the one pushing Elliot this entire god damned time and her manipulation of events and landing her job with the actual, literal enemy could be an extension of this. Her movement towards Evil Corp coincided with Tyrell’s break away from the company which is just too neat not to mean something. It’s a fun one to percolate over. Between Elliot and Darlene and their various character traits it’s curious trying to picture them come up with the master plan. But if you throw Angel subtly pushing things this way and that into the mix…I’m not saying I buy it entirely but I like it.
We learn that Elliot has invoked the wrath of some scary goons who drag him screaming from his bed and clearly mean him harm. But in the grand tradition of Elliot, this may all be a hallucination and he may just harm himself and believe he was assaulted by someone else. This is the kid who jumped off the boardwalk and convinced himself Christian Slater pushed him.
It’s not even that Slater wouldn’t push you off a boardwalk. He just didn’t, this time.
Joanna Wellick continues to be so astonishingly beautiful and basically terrifying. Briefly meeting Elliot last season, she threatened to murder him if he had harmed Tyrell, her Bateman-esque husband who strangled his bosses wife to death, then helped F Society destroy regular society and has since vanished without a trace after last being in the company of a mid-psychotic break Elliot. Who was eyeballing a gun.
Joanna in this trailer is shown as vulnerable as she is cold and scary which is as much a relief to my paralysing fears as it a chance to see Stephanie Corneliussen really delve into that incredible range she has. Joanna has been left a single mother and the wife of the most wanted man in perhaps the world but she’s resourceful and she’s capable of anything. Really, seriously, anything.
But of course, worryingly, Elliot might be capable of anything, too and the trailer makes it clear he’s only wandering further into his own delusions. While Joanna has some modicum of self control, we’ve got an idea of how far she can and will go, we’ve seen it. Elliot, who might have murdered Tyrell, remains an unknown quantity. We can’t trust anything we saw through his eyes. Case in point is the prison break, engineered by the abduction of Elliot’s dealer with benefits friend Shayla, who turned out to have been killed probably mere moments after Elliot saw her to confirm she was safe and well. Shayla was murdered, hundreds of prisoners escaped, but the show moved on like it never happened. In a show as deliberate and thought out as this, that is no accident.
At least some moments don’t appear quite as doom and gloom, though there’s something brilliantly creepy about Elliot watching his sister make out after he’d tried to French kiss her at the beginning of his unravelling.
Darlene, once revealed as Elliot’s sibling, made and has maintained a shift into the main character category. She’s dedicated to the cause, more so than Elliot is when he’s consciously, knowingly Elliot but a running theme thus far is that no one around Elliot truly grasps the nature of his condition. Darlene knows he’s unwell, has his episodes, but she doesn’t know he sees their dead father talking to him, and more bafflingly still, that he didn’t initially recognise it as their father. Darlene is the burning shining heart of F Society and Carly Chaikin masterfully balances her strength and vulnerabilities as she tries to complete the mission and keep her brother from self destructing.
And there’s absolutely no backing down on the themes and message of the show, nor on the Anonymous inspired mask and approach to their campaign. Fuck fast food! And gourmet food, too! Fuck Society.
Mr. Robot returns July 13th on USA.