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Mr. Robot Season 2: Prepare to Be Confused… But In a Good Way [Review]

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From the USA Network and showrunner Sam Esmail comes the hacker drama Mr. Robot. Starring Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Martin Wallstrom, Grace Gummer, Michael Christofer, Stephanie Corneliussen, BD Wong, Azhar Khan and Sunita Mani. Season 3 is slated for a May, 2017 debut. 

MR. ROBOT -- "eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme" Episode 207 -- Pictured: (l-r) Michael Drayer as Cisco, Sunita Mani as Trenton, Carly Chaikin as Darlene, Azar Khan as Mobley -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/USA Network)

Young, anti-social computer programmer Elliot works as a cybersecurity engineer during the day, but at night he is a vigilante hacker. He is recruited by the mysterious leader of an underground group of hackers to join their organization. Elliot’s task? Help bring down corporate America, including the company he is paid to protect, which presents him with a moral dilemma. Although he works for a corporation, his personal beliefs make it hard to resist the urge to take down the heads of multinational companies that he believes are running — and ruining — the world.


If you were puzzled by some of the shocking twists and turns that boggled the minds of viewers in Mr. Robot’s debut season then be prepared to be even more confused… Not that it’s a bad thing, because the writing is so sharp, so clever, so misleading in the craziest of ways, that Mr. Robot still manages to hook us in even as it leads us astray. Season 2 was a bizarre, fascinating and sometimes infuriating exploration of the fallout from the F Society hack that nearly crippled the economy. Elliot (Rami Malek) is in hiding (?) and his sister Darlene (Carly Chaikin) is running the F Society operation as they try to stop E Corp from rebuilding after the devastating attack on their databases.

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Mr. Robot season 2 is more of an ensemble piece as we really get to explore the tremendous supporting talent to Malek (who deserved his Emmy this year – big time). I loved spending more time with Darlene, newcomer Grace Gummer (a Fed hunting down F Society), the sociopathic but lovable E Corp CEO played so well by Michael Christofer and even Tyrell’s wife played by Stephanie Corneliussen. Her dialog near the end of the season to someone I will not name? Holy shit guys…. She’s terrifying and AWESOME. That was some of the most metal stuff I’ve ever heard in a drama… Insane. I’d recite it here but it would spoil a major twist. Hell – I can’t say much without spoiling anything that genius Sam Esmail conjured up for season 2.

MR. ROBOT -- "eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx" Episode 210-- Pictured: Michael Cristofer as Phillip Price -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/USA Network)

Unlike many of you internet maniacs, I didn’t predict the insane twist in episode seven this season – no clue. I didn’t see it coming and it blew my damn mind. I think that episode was probably the highlight of season 2 if I’m being honest. To have such a major component of the season shift in such dramatic fashion but not undo anything that had been built before-hand is a sign of powerful and effective writing and Mr. Robot is doing that in ways I haven’t seen since Breaking Bad was finely plotting it’s series outline and showing us all a masterclass in how to write a TV show. You will be misled in Mr. Robot season 2, a lot… Don’t let it work you up to the point of being angry, just go with the flow and let the amazing performances and showrunner walk you through it. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated by the time the finale came to a close, but I’d also be wrong if I said I was disappointed. Because I’m not, I’m just…. puzzled. Incredibly puzzled….

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The action is more fierce in season 2, with a couple extremely intense shoot-outs that will get your heart racing… I think that injecting a computer hacker drama with such jolts of violence is a clever and jarring way to keep the viewers on their toes. There’s one that involves new major character Grace Gummer that is so frightening and so unexpected that it was one of the best scenes of the year for any series…. The music, those episode introductions…. Everything was cranked up this time around. I loved the usage of that heavy metal in the episode with Stephanie Corneliussen putting on make-up. What the hell was that? It was bonkers – Mr. Robot isn’t afraid to take risks not only with their major characters (PEOPLE WILL DIE IN SEASON 2) but also with their soundtrack choices and plot twists that would put classic M. Night Shyamalan bullshit to shame.

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There’s a very lengthy opening mid-way through season 2 where Elliot is living a 90’s sitcom. It’s one of the most incredible and strange sequences I’ve seen in TV – ever. The music, the Alf cameo, the shocking violence set to a laughtrack — Mr. Robot doesn’t give a shit what network it’s on, it goes for broke. I realise that the viewership dropped overall this season, but with Malek’s Emmy win this past weekend and the promise that a third season will focus on the theme of disintegration and applying that Trump factor into the mix, I can’t help but get excited for the possibilities to come.

MR. ROBOT -- "eps2.3_logic%u2010b0mb.hc" Episode 205 -- Pictured: (l-r) Portia Doubleday as Angela Moss, Carly Chaikin as Darlene -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/USA Network)

The finale was ridiculous – but in a good way. Don’t worry, answers are revealed – not all of them sure…. But you get enough that you don’t wind up hating the show – the cliffhanger is only slightly maddening. If the series didn’t have such a tremendous ensemble cast and brilliant showrunner in Sam Esmail then it may have flown off the rails and not survived such risky plot twists, but because of the genius fuelling it – Mr. Robot shines as one of the strongest dramas two years in a row now.

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