Last summer, USA took a bold step forward with the kind of original scripted programing it offered viewers. Known primarily for its “blue skies” programming, the network surprised many by ordering Sam Esmail’s Mr. Robot, a dark, innovative drama set against the world of revolution-minded computer hackers and the giant multinational corporation they would like to see crumble. The series simultaneously wowed critics and audiences with its serialized storytelling centered on an extremely unreliable narrator in the form of Rami Malek’s Elliot Alderson, and the stunning, albeit slightly unorthodox, cinematography that soon became the series’ visual calling card.
Over the course of its first season, the conversation around Mr. Robot went from a small but vocal critical appreciation of those who had seen the impressive pilot episode at SXSW to those enthralled by the series’ captivating lead performance and twisty narrative regarding the titular Mr. Robot played by the Golden Globe-winning Christian Slater. By the time season 1 approached its oddly prescient finale, the chatter had risen to nearly deafening levels. With the conclusion to its twisty narrative promising some level of clarification on Elliot’s muddled past and resolution to the hacking of Evil Corp, the series found a satisfying but still ambiguous way to end the season, presumably leaving the those watching excited for more.
Always eager to please – especially when it comes to its potential golden goose – USA has released a new trailer teasing Mr. Robot season 2 months ahead of its presumed premiere. Although the trailer doesn’t offer anything in the way of actual new footage from the season, nor does it provide a glimpse of any of the new actors cast during the offseason, there is an overwhelming sense that the world has definitely changed in the aftermath of Fsociety’s successful hack of its corporate target.
A mix of foreboding images and shots of Malek from the previous season, the trailer puts its best foot forward by simply relying on what the show does remarkably well: Let Elliot speak directly to the audience in his head. The result is an eerie and effective reminder of what made the series so engaging to begin with and why it managed to still be captivating despite revealing a shocking truth about the titular Mr. Robot.
Under the direction of creator Esmail (who will be helming all 10 episodes of season 2), the sophomore effort will dig deeper into Elliot’s history and it’s clear from the trailer that the season will indeed double down on the series’ problematic protagonist. The brief preview acts as much as a call to action for those tired of being under the thumb of Evil Corp as it is an introduction to the continuing adventures of Fsociety. Elliot’s voiceover also suggests the current state of affairs has those in power reeling from an unexpected hit.
“You see it too, don’t you? There are no guarantees anymore. No easy paths to follow. The future has never been less certain. They use that to scare us and keep us in line. Tell us we’re powerless to do anything about it. Truth is: we have more power than they think.”
Again, the trailer demonstrates what a definitive grasp the show has on its character and his unique, fractured worldview. Even though there’s no reason to suggest Elliot’s words can be fully trusted by those listening, they are exciting nonetheless.
Mr. Robot season 2 premieres sometime this summer on USA.