TV – Mr. Robot 2.0

With the second season of the acclaimed hacking drama, Mr. Robot, about to start across the globe, Steve Taylor-Bryant watches the season opener and discusses his hopes for the next few weeks (slight spoilers)...

Hello again…

Very often in life people will remark that time between seasons of their favourite television show has been too long. I disagree. Mr. Robot hit me with everything I liked, nay loved, about television and yes I'm incredibly excited for its second coming but I've enjoyed the time off. It's given me a chance to rewatch the original series a few more times which has proved to me that it is, in my opinion, the best show ever. It holds up to constant rewatching despite knowing the twists that come and is still, like I said when I wrote about it (here), more than just hacktivism and corporate greed. Nate has written his theories on the second season (here) and is undoubtedly passionate for the show's return with every one of his ideas brilliant, for me I just hope for the same coverage of mental health and deeply flawed characters that were written into the first season. Too many times a show that has such a successful debut is pressured into repeating the formula in double quick time which leads to a shadow of the original. Not so this time. Sam Esmail and his team have taken the time needed to get done what they think we need to see and now the wait is over and is upon us...

Oh my goodness it is back and back with a vengeance! Five/Nine and its fallout has the world in chaos and President Obama vowing to do all he can to bring the perpetrators to justice, whilst over at Evil Corp. the effects are still harming both the business and its customers with further threats from fsociety just stirring the pot even more. Fsociety themselves are in a little bit of turmoil. Darlene is pretty much in charge as Elliot has disappeared (more on him in a moment) and is trying to continue the ultimate hacking project of season 1 whilst also controlling her troops on the ground who are revelling in the chaos and maybe not understanding the thinking behind fsociety, Gideon is under surveillance from the authorities and his company, Allsafe, is no more, and he scared, and the higher echelons of corporate management at Evil Corp. are distraught at their lack of control, angry at fsociety for the problems they now face and are even considering giving in to blackmail to make it all stop.

So yes, season 2 kicks off in just the right tone when it comes to the aftermath of the world’s biggest hack. The political and corporate ramifications are being played out just how I hoped they would be, and it’s great to see some of the fsociety originals, namely Darlene (Carly Chaikin) not partying and gloating, but continuing the work despite Eliot’s absence.

But what of Elliot (Rami Malek) and Mr. Robot himself (Christian Slater)?

Well here is where the interest lies for me as this pairing is once again wrapped up in a mental health battle for the ages. Elliot has gone back to live with his mother and has no internet access and keeps a journal and lives for his regime of order and control. He wakes at a certain time, spends time with his new friend, Leon (Joey Bada$$), discussing Seinfeld episodes, and talking still, despite her fears, with his doctor, Krista (Gloria Reuben). So all rosy in the insane garden of Elliot’s life then? Nope! Mr. Robot is still in his head and angrier and more bitter than ever before but his angst is this time aimed at Elliot rather than the world at large and he is itching to get back out there and cause more chaos, something Elliot is desperate to not be involved in despite his illusion shooting him in the head on numerous occasions and interrupting his conversations with other people.

I really can’t explain more without MASSIVE SPOILERS but trust me Mr. Robot is back, just as deeply ingrained in the corporate world as before, and leaving chaos in its wake. Will Elliot re-join fsociety? Will Mr. Robot finally cause Elliot to completely lose it? Will Darlene keep a grip on things? Will Evil Corp. manage to get back on top? Where is Tyrell Wellick?

In typical Mr. Robot style none of these questions can be answered from the first episode. The writing is just too good, the acting top notch, so nothing is going to be given away this early. Will Mr. Robot 2.0 live up to the high expectations myself and Nate have put on it? Well, for me it already has.

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