Season 2 of USA’s Mr. Robot took audiences on a dizzying ride through the world of reality-challenged uber-hacker Elliot and his band of scrappy anarchist cohorts, and frankly may have left many feeling wrung-out and confused by the end. Creator Sam Esmail not only unleashed more of his signature reality-bending plot twists in season 2, he also demonstrated again what a strong visual stylist he can be, while getting gripping performances from his solid cast, including the Emmy-winning Rami Malek.
Season 2 ended with lots of stuff up in the air, including the health of Elliot, who took a bullet from Tyrell. There are also big questions about where Angela’s loyalties lie after her apparent shift over to the Dark Army. Will Phase 2 ultimately go ahead as Mr. Robot planned, or will sanity prevail? Can Dom get Darlene to flip? What’s up with Leon, Mobley and Trenton? Will ALF make another appearance in the future?
There’s a lot for Esmail to work out, and it looks like he’s been given a little extra time to do so. While season 2 came out in July of last year, Variety reports that Mr. Robot season 3 will not hit USA until October 2017. The show will run for 10 episodes with Esmail himself directing all of them. Variety also has a pair of casting reports: B.D. Wong, who plays the mysterious transgender hacker Whiterose, is being bumped to series regular while Bobby Cannavale is being added to the cast as Irving, “a laconic, no nonsense used car salesman.” Since no one on the show is ever who they appear to be, we can safely assume Irving is more than just a used car salesman.
Cannavale arrives to Mr. Robot fresh off his turn as a manic, self-destructive record executive in Martin Scorsese’s now-canceled HBO series Vinyl. Cannavale is also set to appear in Scorsese’s The Irishman which was recently picked up by Netflix, and he has a role in 2017’s remake of Jumanji alongside Dwayne Johnson. Wong’s bump up to series regular suggests the character of Whiterose, already a prominent part of the story, will take on an even more central role in season 3. That makes sense with the Dark Army creeping more and more into the picture.
In some people’s minds, season 2 of Mr. Robot was a tad disjointed, with the main characters mostly staying separated from each other. Another big complaint was the show’s use of another plot twist similar to season 1’s reveal of Elliot’s split personality. Does Mr. Robot over-rely on plot twists? Will Esmail go to that well again in season 3 or will he keep things relatively straight-forward from a narrative standpoint?
After two seasons, you could argue Mr. Robot no longer needs clever reveals, gimmicks or plot twists to survive. The occasional flight of fancy, like staging half an episode as a bizarre parody of an ’80s sitcom, keeps things fresh and is definitely welcome. But at the end of the day, Mr. Robot lives or dies by its characters, like every other show.
Mr. Robot season 3 is expected to premiere October 2017 on USA.