Mr. Robot roared back with a vengeance in a new season 2 trailer, which reveals that Rami Malek’s alter-ego/father, played by Christian Slater, hasn’t yet been banished. Last year, in an excellent but unsurprising finale, the season wrapped with a reveal that our favorite cybersecurity drone had some psychotic tendencies. That didn’t interfere with his ability to initiate a worldwide cyberattack through fsociety, his hacker network.
The new trailer indicates that Eliot Alderson (Rami Malek) may be spending some time sequestered with his demon, though whether that’s through choice or judicial intervention isn’t clear. What is clear is that last season’s revelation hasn’t changed his relationship with Mr. Robot, the man he thinks is leading the cyber revolution set off in the season finale.
What happened in the three days between the launch of the attack and the time when Eliot woke up from his fugue state could be the focus of early season 2, judging by the trailer. “Remember the night of the hack? Remember what happened to you?” asks Mr. Robot. “All I remember is I woke up three days later,” says Eliot. The trailer proceeds to display news-reel footage of the hack’s impact, naming Evil Corp’s Tyrell Wellick as instigator. Since Eliot took Tyrell to fsociety’s headquarters, then woke up in Tyrell’s car at the end of his three-day blackout, we’re meant to be a bit confused about how they’re linked, and where Tyrell is now that the world is falling apart.
One of the most pleasant surprises is the inclusion of more Carly Chaikin as Darlene, Eliot’s sister. The first season mashed the actress into a cross between a hypersexualized Angelia Jolie in Girl, Interrupted, and Jessica Jones‘s Kristyn Ritter. Neither of those are remotely bad but this show, and Chaikin, could bring so much more. Hopefully the success of season 1 will give the creators confidence to let the actress stretch her wings to fill out a new, smart, bold character.
In just one season the series won 10 awards for its actors and writers from organizations like the Golden Globes, American Film Institute, and Peabody Awards. On USA the show drew 1.39 million viewers, coming in fourth behind Suits season five (2.0 million) and Royal Pains season 7 (1.45 million). Complications (1.44 million), in its first season, ranked third but was cancelled. The series holds a 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and topped several best-of lists for 2015’s TV series. We ranked it on our list as well.
Season 1 of Mr. Robot was the product of creator Sam Esmail’s fascination with hacker culture and it blew critics away. USA even renewed it for a second season prior to the first season’s release. Drawing on inspiration from the social discontent of the Arab Spring and Occupy Wallstreet, the growing importance of cybersecurity, and increasing discontent with corporate power he created the pilot script from his original plan for a feature film. I don’t think anyone would argue that this story would be better told in 2 hours than several seasons.
This season Stephanie Corneliussen and Michael Cristofer sign on as series regulars. The two played Tyrell’s wife Joanna and his sociopath boss Phillip Price respectively. Grace Gummer joins the cast as an FBI agent investigating Elliot and fsociety. Chris Conroy will also join the show as the new man in Joanna’s life.
In a coup over rival services Hulu and Netflix the first season was purchased for streaming by Amazon last fall. Access for Amazon Prime was scheduled for this spring according to Variety, but so far there’s been no change and users still have to pay the per-episode fee. The new season debuts July 15 though so there is plenty of time to catch up. Be ready for a binge-watch.