Almost simultaneously this year, Rami Malek won his first Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Mr. Robot), managed to make it through his second season finale and kickstart Phase Two of his revolutionary plan to change the world. Mr. Robot’s second instalment ended up with a cliffhanger and many unresolved subplot lines. In parallel to what happened with season one, whose finale was a huge cliffhanger as well, this time around there’s even a deeper feeling that too many things were left unexplained and that the wait for next year’s premiere will be devastating.
If season one was a tv representation of the classic-cult 90s movie Fight Club, this second season tries to be its own thing and with outstanding results. Will we get to see Rami Malek (Elliot Alderson in the show) once again, picking up yet another Emmy Awards next year? Probably. And that will largely be thanks to his character’s development in this second season.
We were left with the start of the biggest hacktivism revolution and with Elliot who just discovered that the person he thought was his mentor and head of the fsociety’s rebellion, is in fact a figment of his imagination. It appears under the role of his dead father and represents another side of Elliot’s mind — the one responsible for the whole hack-group and head of the revolution.
As time passes, the figment-side of his mind takes over and that gives Elliot huge blackouts during which he does things he doesn’t remember. This is how the first half of season two is articulated. Elliot is portrayed conducting a monotonous life, while slowly losing his reason. He now lives in some undisclosed area of New York with his mother, he’s holding to a strict regime of eating meals with his new friend Leon (Joey Bada$$) and watching basketball games. Elliot goes to a church group and spends his free time journaling, to prevent his nemesis to take over again.
If you thought that Mr. Robot couldn’t become weirder, you were wrong.
Mr. Robot represents the television who doesn’t want to play by the rules. Whether we expected in the beginning of the season to have all the previous mysteries addressed, Elliot’s only concert instead is to make it through the day without falling into Mr. Robot’s (Christian Slater) clutches. He apparently has no interest in pursuing the fsociety revolution and that is what makes it a superb series.
The backbone of season two is the feeling that every character in the show got exactly what they wanted, but they don’t exactly know what to do with it. Elliot gets the revolution he so meticulously planned but can’t enjoy it because of the blackouts. Darlene (Carly Chaikin) – Elliot’s sister — is in charge of the fsociety’s movement but she is under pressure about the growing number of members.
Season two is presented full packed with insanity and weirdness and with a direction so trippy that will almost literally blow your mind and make you question whether or not you have been secretly given some LSD. Easter eggs and nice additions (like the 80s sitcom world that Elliot creates to fight his figment) are what made Mr. Robot one of the finest series ever.
Since season one’s big reveal during the finale, the series has also succeeded in finding its own personality and, even if the reminiscence of 1999 hit Fight Club is still an occasional thing, it is now an appreciated little reference.
Sam Esmail, creator and director of every episode of season two, knows exactly what each character needs in their personal developments and he is ready to give it to them rather than giving us fans what we wanted to see. And that is what makes a great series.