At the beginning of 2015, few would have predicted that one of the most critically-lauded new dramas of the year would come from the USA Network, a channel that has not traditionally been known for prestige programming. That all changed with Mr. Robot, though, a show that not only made many critics’ year-end “best of” lists, but also recently took home Golden Globes for Best TV Series, Drama and Best Supporting Actor, Christian Slater.
Mr. Robot introduced the character of Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a morphine-addicted hacker who becomes embroiled in the schemes of the titular Mr. Robot (Christian Slater), the volatile and mysterious leader of an Anonymous-esque group with the not-so-subtle name of fsociety. Elliot learned quite a bit about himself through the various plot twists that came at the end of the season, but much of his background remained a mystery to viewers. According to Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, though, that will change with season 2.
Speaking to reporters during a Television Critics Association press tour (as reported by Vulture), Esmail said that to him the show was more about Elliot’s “emotional journey” than the plot, and that season 2 would delve deeper into that journey, including its origins:
“There will be a lot more backstory that we’re going to show. The timeline is going to get a little clearer. Not 100 percent clearer, because what’s the fun in that? But a little clearer… Rami brilliantly plays Elliot in a way that he drops you into his psyche. So you’re learning it with him. As long as that is organic and that feels real, then I think the twists will come from there. But it’s not my agenda to keep shocking you. It really isn’t.”
Malek chimed in as well, relating how learning about Elliot was as much of a process for him as it was for anyone:
“With this character, I have to prepare for anything at any given moment. I go through every direction as to what possibly happened to someone like this because in his head we never know what has happened. And I think having to trace back the truth and discover the truth ultimately makes him more complex to play — just trying to decipher what he’s actually seen and where he’s actually been. When I think about that, it kind of haunts me as a human being, having to do that. And that’s the place he finds himself in approaching this next season.”
Much of the rest of the interview dealt with specific plot points of season 1, but there were a few other items of note toward the end of it as well. For instance, B.D. Wong’s transgender character Whiterose will make a return for season 2, and fans of the first season’s soundtrack can look forward to it being released sometime this year. For fans of the show, though, the main takeaway from the press conference is that season 2 may not be quite as plot-twisty as season 1, but in return it will gain a greater focus on the characters that made those plot twists something audiences actually cared about.
Mr. Robot season 2 is expected to arrive on USA in summer 2016.