Michael Parmelee/USA Network
Kevin P. Sullivan
July 17, 2017 AT 03:38 PM EDT

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The season 2 finale of Mr. Robot left Elliot (Rami Malek) in a precarious spot: Bleeding out from a gunshot, the hacker hero had been duped by his bespectacled worse half (Christian Slater) and E Corp exec Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström).

But creator and executive producer Sam Esmail doesn’t expect fans were holding their breath about Elliot’s fate. “I never intended to have the question of his condition be lingering between seasons 2 and 3,” Esmail said. “We respect the audience too much to leave that as a cliffhanger.”

In this season 3 first look, not only does Elliot have his life back, he seems to be living it to the fullest. In a room crowded with hackers and their weapons of choice, Elliot begins his next steps after learning about Mr. Robot’s phase 2.

“Season 3 is about Elliot trying to bounce back and fight against the people who have been using him,” said Esmail, who reveals that a central theme for the 10-episode run (which premieres in October) is disintegration. “Elliot isn’t going to take this lying down.” It’s a safe bet he’ll be sitting in front of a computer, though.

RELATED VIDEO: How ‘Mr. Robot’ Hacked Their EW Cover Shoot

The other big piece of the puzzle is Wellick, who was missing for most of season 2. Esmail confirmed that the former E Corp exec will be back in a big way this year, and we can expect some info on what he was up to during his time away from Elliot.

“With Tyrell, we really don’t know much about his whereabouts or what happened to him,” Esmail said. “There’s a lot of that circular storytelling that we really delve into with his character this season.”

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