Mr. Robot_2.0. Everything we know so far.

Remember the night of the hack?



“There’s more work to be done”

– Mr. Robot, Mr. Robot_2.0

It’s not long now until the new season of Mr. Robot drops, and from what we know so far we can expect some pretty exciting developments. Since the release of the teaser trailer for 2.0 last month, we’ve been paying attention to all of the details emerging concerning the fate of Elliot, and the direction Fsociety and the show will take during the difficult second season (sorry, True Detective).

 

  • We know for a fact that we’ll see the return of Christian Slater alongside lead Rami Malek as the incendiary Mr. Robot, and can expect their interlinking story arcs to develop with much more depth than before “Our endless loop of insanity”. Speaking on the Television Critics Association press tour, creator Sam Esmail let slip that “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,” adding that “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.” Based on this, it’s fair to assume that the overarching plot will, at points take a bit of a back-seat, as we delve a little deeper into further characterisation.

Mr.Robot2.0.5

  • We can expect things we remember from S01 to come to light as incorrect, it’s been rumoured on top of everything else that Elliot being massively unreliable a narrator, that further revelations will follow as a result of his back story being explored in more depth, a good thing for a show that’s so far gone to great lengths and reaped serious rewards as a result of it’s ability to not only keep it’s audience genuinely guessing, but to do it in a heavily stylised manner.
  • There’s going to be a VR sequence, yep. We don’t know what the context of it is yet, but as confirmed by the chief content officer at NBCUniversal, a scene involving virtual reality has been shot for use in the upcoming series. A progression on the already strange opiate withdrawal hallucinations of the first, that’s for sure, and possibly a chance to have another cheeky little dig at contemporary depictions of hacking in TV/ Film? We hope so.

Mr.Robot2.0.1

  • Sam Esmail will take a directorial role for the entire second season. After cementing a certain style filming season one, with a new director adopting the kind of aesthetic Esmail had in mind with each episode, 2.0 will see him stepping behind the camera for the whole project. Speaking to Variety, Esmail stated that: I am so very specific in how I want to shoot the show and the visual grammar of how I want to tell the story…For me, it feels like it would be easier to manage day to day. I’m on the set every day anyway, and I just think it would make the whole show be more efficient.” As the creator and head writer of the show last year, brought in for consultation purposes while working closely with all of the individual directors of the show, as much of a creative gambit as this may seem it actually makes sense in terms of streamlining, and it will certainly be interesting to see if any pointed differences emerge from the change up. In addition to directorial changes, the script itself for the new season is going to take on new life as something more akin to a feature film, as was the original idea for the project back in the early days. Each scene per location is going to be shot there at once as opposed to chronologically, and the script read through for the entire span of this years series has already been laid out in it’s entirety, so expect scope and more of the same overarching thematic work going on.
  • Grace Gummer (Francis Ha, The Newsroom) will feature as FBI agent Dominique DiPierro, an agent investigating the Fsociety hack. In a bid to make the show as consistently authentic as possible, Esmail mentioned during the panel at SXSW that two of the upcoming plot points for 2.0 borrowed heavily from accounts shared by the FBI, although as yet we don’t know which ones. Given the real players some of Fsociety seem to allude to, and the sheer number of high profile cyber-crime cases over the last few years, will we be treated to larger arcs; something Prism / Stratfor-esque? Or something more minor relating to the individual members of the group? We don’t have long to wait.
  • Three other interesting new additions to the roster are: Craig Robinson (Brooklyn Nine Nine, Pineapple Express) as Ray, a local in the neighborhood, rapper Joe Bada$$ as a friend of Elliot’s, and Chris Conroy featuring as Derek, Joanna Wellick’s replacement for the now mysteriously absent Tyrell.
  • Mr.Robot2.0.3On the subject of Joanna, actress Stephanie Corneliussen (easily one of the shows strongest supporting actors) has now become a more permanent fixture of the series, as the trailer suggests. Following the as yet unexplained disappearance of Tyrell Wellick post-hack, and presumably as Joanna becomes more curious about Elliot and his involvement with her husband, the teaser seems to suggest the darker side to her personal life get explored more thoroughly. The Wellicks in S01 are a twisted power couple, much like their spiritual neighbors Frank and Claire Underwood, the dynamic they’ve set up for themselves is one of power above all else. They use sex, blackmail, coercion, and Machiavellian scheme tactics to inch themselves up the rungs of the corporate world. With Tyrell having vanished (murdered? in hiding?) what we’d guess at is that Joanna has found herself a suitable replacement of similar social standing to her husband, if only as a temporary replacement, someone to suit her needs and help her keep appearances up until she finds herself able to make the deductions necessary to flaunt her power over Elliot, who she clearly already suspects if not knows is something to do with Tyrell. Some people are circulating a theory that Elliot is really Mr. Robot AND Tyrell Wellick, but as other people have seen both independently (Gideon Goddard most notably) this does seem a little farfetched, even with Elliot being as unreliable a narrator as he is. The extent that Joanna has leverage or means to enact revenge we just won’t know until the pilot airs. If the supporting characters develop as the main protagonists do though, we can hope for a depth of exploration, possibly self-doubt or self-destructive behavior in light of the climax of last season.
  • Morally Ambiguous as almost every character in Mr. Robot is, the recurrent theme being above all else power and ‘control’, the return of Philip Price (Michael Cristofer; Die Hard with a Vengeance, Gia) and White Rose (B.D. Wong; Oz, Jurassic Park) as what appear to be two members of the upper tier of the 1%, shows that the lines are further going to blur between what revolution means at ground level, and in the corridors of power. Forshadowing this new dynamic during last years finale and after the revelation that White Rose also seems to work for or at least consult with top brass at EvilCorp, the tag live for 2.0; ‘Control is an illusion’ seems to suggest that not only will we be seeing a lot more of these characters, but also that we’ll get a more in-depth assessment of where the money goes IRL post a global economic meltdown (see Inside Job, the Charles H. Ferguson documentary). This will of course have ramifications for Angela (Portia Doubleday), and her timid ascension too… well, where exactly? It represents a real paradigm shift from the initial anarchic spark that lead to Fsociety being created, and perhaps a more pessimistic (if not realistic) approach to the aftermath of what such an upheaval could spell with regards to genuine wealth distribution.
  • Barack Obama makes a faux cameo in the trailer for season one, in part lifted from his end of year press conference in 2014.

Mr.Robot2.0.2

 

Check out the trailer above and let us know your thoughts on how you think the new season is going to progress. What do you expect will happen? What kinds of things would you like to see? Let us know. Until the 13th July, goodbye friend.

 


– Max Colbert

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