Reporters were really trying to get the creator of USA’s Mr. Robot to give some sense of his season 2 plan.
He largely resisted our efforts, but oferred a little bit.
Appearing at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Pasadena on Thursday, Mr. Robot showrunner Sam Esmail and the show’s cast took questions about the ultra-acclaimed Golden Globe-winning USA Network drama.
Esmail said season 2 will focus on Elliott (Rami Malek) trying to navigate his life now that he knows — spoiler alert — that Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) isn’t real. “There will be a lot more backstory that will be shown, the timeline will get a little clearer — not 100 percent clear, because where’s the fun in that? But a little clearer … It really is about Elliott trying to reconcile what this means in seeing Mr. Robot. The series is filling in the blanks of the past and the present of this character … It’s about a guy who becomes aware of this delusion he’s been having.”
And will there be more big twists? “Probably,” said Esmail, who is set to direct all 10 episodes of season 2. If I were a betting man, I would say yes.” The showrunner also did research with economic experts to figure out how to portray what would the real-world implications of a hacker organization taking down the world’s biggest company.
Slater, who joked his new computer password is now “GoldenGlobe” after his win on Sunday night, said he figured out the first season’s big twist after reading the pilot script. “I thought this is very interesting, and it’s certainly a subject matter that I hadn’t really seen tackled in this way before, and I thought the Mr. Robot character was very mysterious. I remember I said to my agent, ‘You think that guy’s really there?’ and my agent’s like, ‘Oh come on, they’d never do that!’ So then I had a meeting with Sam — the first meeting we ever had — and I asked him point blank. And then he told me pretty much the whole outline of the season and I was so thrilled and so excited and I think it put us on the same page.”
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We also asked Esmail if he worries that Slater’s character, having been revealed as Elliott’s fantasy figure, has now served his purpose and that Elliot needs to rid himself of that mental crutch in order to keep the show’s story progressing. “No, I actually think this is the fun part,” he said. “When I first wrote this as a feature [film, the Mr. Robot revelation] happened at the first act break. What the movie was about, was what if a guy discovers this thing about himself, what’s the next thing he does? That, to me, is the interesting part.”
One thing Esmail wouldn’t say anything about at all was the fate of murderous Ecorp executive Tyrell Wellick, and actor Martin Wallström wasn’t on the panel.
But perhaps the most intriguing nugget wasn’t about season 2 at all. Esmail was asked if there’s a reason why Darlene (Carley Chaikin) is not in the Times Square scene when Elliott has a vision of his family. Esmail said there was. Then he was asked, “Is there anything else that we should be looking into season 1 that wasn’t real?”
Malek then asked Esmail: “Do I know? [Does the cast] know?”