The revolution is here—and it will be televised, Friend. Tonight, in fact, as the highly anticipated season 2 of Mr. Robot premieres.
The unusual show struck a chord with audiences last summer and garnered immediate praise from critics and the public, even stealing a Golden Globe from Game of Thrones. Now, the program will have to sustain that interest as it continues the arresting story of Elliot Alderson, a mentally unstable hacker and member of the anarchic hacktivist group fsociety.
An amalgam of Fight Club, V is for Vendetta and The Matrix, the show was initially conceived of as a feature film by creator Sam Esmail—but his big-canvas aspirations haven’t been lost in the move to smaller screens. The show’s striking visuals, layered storytelling, and evocative music all contributed to its success. But it’s the portrayals of Elliot and fsociety leader Mr. Robot (by Rami Malek and Christian Slater, respectively) and the spot-on accuracy of the hacks that have endeared it to more tech-minded viewers.
Season 1 was a slow and elegant build to a massive hack of the multinational conglomerate E Corp (aka Evil Corp), one aimed at encrypting all of the company’s data and erasing its backups—and thus virtually eliminating all consumer debt. On the brink of that hack, though, Elliot suffered one of his many blackouts; instead of seeing the moment it actually occurred, we watched Elliot wake up inside the SUV of discarded E Corp CTO Tyrell Wellick, with no memory of the epic event. Elliot’s memory loss wasn’t restricted to just his hacks, however, he also moved in for a romantic kiss with his sister Darlene before she recoiled in horror and reminded him who she is. That incident triggered a buried memory in Elliot, which led him to the season’s big reveal—that Mr. Robot was Elliot’s own alter ego, in the form of his long-dead father, …