With the success that USA Network has seen with their new show Mr. Robot, it is no wonder that they were quick to order a second season. On Wednesday, the drama-thriller will return for a 12 episode run. In addition, similar to AMC’s Talking Bad and Talking Dead after-shows, USA will also be debuting a live after-show that will follow each of the upcoming episodes of Mr. Robot (titled Hacking Robot).
So with the impending season 2 premiere, lots of fans are wondering what they should be expecting with the follow-up season. From the fall-out at E Corp to Elliot’s own realization that the world he has been living in has been filled with false reality, there are plenty of questions that were left unanswered in the season 1 finale. So here’s a closer look at some of the loose ends that will likely be (at least partially) addressed in the upcoming season:
The Future of Mr. Robot
Towards the end of the first season, it was revealed that Mr. Robot (played by Christian Slater) was actually just a figment of Elliot’s imagination. While viewers were led to believe that Mr. Robot was the mastermind behind FSociety and their E Corp hack, it was eventually revealed that Elliot was the one running the show.
With this revelation, the question comes up on whether or not Elliot will engulf the character Mr. Robot now that he knows he was his own creation. In an interview with IndieWire, actor Christian Slater revealed that he would, in fact, be returning to the show. He noted, “it’ll be interesting to see where it does go and how [show creator Sam Esmail] is going to continue to develop [Mr. Robot and Elliot’s] relationship.”
The Future of Elliot Alderson
In the season 1 finale, Elliot was seen having a complete freak out when he realized that he was the main perpetrator in taking down E Corp and creating a full blown revolution. Drifting in and out of reality, Elliot seemed to be unable to get a grasp on how to handle the world that was crumbling around him. At the end of the episode he decides to continue to listen to Mr. Robot, knowing that he isn’t real, and embraces the doings of FSociety.
While this semi-acceptance of his messed-up world may last for a little while, it doesn’t appear that Elliot will be able to maintain the current state of insanity he left us in. This brings up the question on whether or not Elliot will ever truly deal with his inner demons. Show creator Sam Esmail hinted that this might very well be the case, as he explained at the Television Critics Association, “the whole show’s been about Elliot’s emotional journey, and I really wanted to focus on that and make it less about the plot. That’s the struggle that is going to take over in season two…There will be a lot more backstory that will be shown, and the timeline will get a little clearer. Not a hundred percent clearer, but a little clearer.”
The Future of FSociety
Lastly, the show’s first season ended with people all over the world filling the streets as the economy was shaken by the doings of FSociety. While some people were overjoyed by the fact that their debt had been wiped, others’ lives were left in shambles as the whole world’s financial system began to falter. With this in mind, the question comes up of whether Elliot, along with his FSociety team, will ever have to deal with consequences of their actions. They may have changed thousands – if not millions – of peoples lives for the better, but they also completely destroyed arguably just as many as well.
At the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) Festival, show creator Sam Esmail noted, “Elliot committed a crime in the first season, and we’re going to see the ramifications of that in the second season. That drives a lot of what the second season is all about.” In addition, it was also announced that American Horror Story actress Grace Gummer would be joining the show’s cast as an FBI agent, who is leading the Cyber Crime Unit as they try and uncover who is responsible for taking down E Corp. While Elliot and his team may be world-class computer hackers, they are clearly not going to leave this whole ordeal unscathed.
A NATION IN CHAOS
The saga picks up about a month after the successful hack pulled off by Elliot’s ragtag band of Robin Hoods. Billions in consumer debt has vanished, but, in the process, the U.S. economy has been crippled.
The FBI wants answers, and an angry President Obama has taken to the airwaves to assure the American people that “we will respond.”
Meanwhile, the troubled Elliot has sworn off the techie stuff for now. He’s living in seclusion, working to “socialize” himself and stick to a rigid daily routine.
THE MIND GAMES CONTINUE
As viewers learned last year, Elliot is a highly unreliable narrator. It remains a challenge to determine what is real and what is a figment of his imagination. Images and actions that appear on the screen sometimes are merely occurring in his head.
In an interview posted on the show’s website, Malek explains Elliot’s current state: “He’s trying to come to grips with the acknowledgment that he has a very drastic psychological problem.”
AT WAR WITH MR. ROBOT
In order to conquer that psychological problem, Elliot needs to banish those ghostly visions of his father from his head, but that’s easier said than done. Mr. Robot is a tough man to evict.
“For me, the headline for Season 2 is how do these two guys reconcile?” Esmail says. “How does Elliot reconcile the fact that he’s just become aware that he’s seeing this fantasy? That’s the struggle that is going to kind of take over.”
MORE AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
“The audience is a character … We’re all in this together,” says Slater, referring to how Elliot, via his monotone voice-overs, often directly addresses the viewers.
Elliot is at it again in Season 2, but at least initially, he’s a little less forthcoming. Why? Because he doesn’t trust us quite as much after what went down in Season 1.
“It’s going to take a while to rebuild this relationship,” he says in Wednesday’s opener.
SEVERAL NEW FACES
Grace Gummer (“American Horror Story”) joins the show, playing Dom DiPierro, a young FBI agent from New Jersey assigned to track down members of fsociety. She makes her debut in the second episode.
Also coming aboard as recurring guest stars are Craig Robinson (“The Office”) and Chris Conroy (“Members Only”). In addition, hip-hop artist Joey Bada$$ makes his TV-acting debut playing a new — and very talkative — friend of Elliot.
FILLING IN THE BLANKS
Esmail has promised that there will be a lot more back story this season to show how its protagonist descended into a world of lonely isolation. Indeed, the opening episode includes a scene depicting an 8-year-old Elliot in a highly pivotal altercation with his father.
Adds Esmail, “The timeline will get a little get a little clearer, but not a hundred percent clearer because what’s the fun in that?”
Needless to say, there is a lot to cover when Mr. Robot returns for its second season on Wednesday, July 13 on USA.