BY ANTHONY D'ALESSANDRO
The following article contains spoilers from the first season of Mr. Robot.
At today’s PaleyFest New York panel for USA’s Mr. Robot, creator Sam Esmail and the series’ cast kept the security on season 2 spoilers tighter than any of the E-Corp servers that were hacked during season one. Of the season 2 bits whispered by the panel, Portia Doubleday who plays childhood friend Angela to hacker Elliot Anderson (Rami Malek), tipped “I heard it’s pretty dark, the second season.”
While Esmail has mentioned before that Mr. Robot was originally hatched as a screenplay, he said that season one of the TV series equates to the first 30 minutes of the script. The big jawdropper in season one was that Elliot, a schizophrenic, comes to the realization that the FSociety hacker group leader he’s been speaking to, Mr. Robot, is actually his father and a figment of his imagination. Said Esmail about the overall arc for Mr. Robot, “The (movie’s) story is about what happens after Elliot discovers that Mr. Robot is a deeper, alter ego. We’re staying on track in regards to what the end of the movie would be.”
Carly Chaikin, who plays Darlene, Elliot’s sister, revealed to the crowd at the Paley Center in New York, that in season 2 “We learn more about how they put FSociety together.”
Esmail was keen not to drop any more hints during the session. When one fan asked if Elliot and Angela would hook up, the creator responded that when the media saw a looming romance, they began to gripe that it was another “will they or won’t they?” set-up. However, Esmail took their friendship in a completely different direction. “I think it’s more interesting what we did instead,” said the creator, “Who knows, it (their relationship) may come back.”
The question was asked at one point whether Doubleday’s Angela would turn to the dark side and sell out, now that she’s working for the nefarious conglomerate E-Corp, the company which Elliot has crusaded to take down all season. Few in the audience believed that would be Angela’s plight when asked by the moderator, Entertainment Weekly‘s Dalton Ross.
Of all the concrete answers that Esmail provided when it came to Mr. Robot season 2 enigmas was a small detail relating to master hacker Whiterose (B.D. Wong); the brilliant, mysterious leader of a sister hacker group that assists in the takedown of E-Corp. Elliot first meets Whiterose as a transvestite, but at the end of season one, we see the master hacker dressed elegantly as a man, talking to the new E-Corp chief. “Which one is the disguise?” Ross asked. Answered Esmail, “The male is the disguise.”
Despite being a show drenched in secrets and twists, Esmail explained that he prefers his actors to be in the know when it comes to their story arcs; he doesn’t keep them in the dark like other nail-biting shows, read Mad Men. Prior to shooting, Esmail sat down with each of the main cast and walked them through their plotlines for the season. As such, the cast mentioned that they knew early on during production that Christian Slater’s Mr. Robot was Elliot’s father.
Said Esmail, “I really enjoy collaborating when we’re building characters like this. They’re (the cast) my co-creators…On a film rarely do people not knowing (what’s happening). They read the whole script.”
“It would be weird if I kept them in the dark,” said the creator before quipping, “but who knows? We might do that in season 2.”
Also appearing on the panel today were Malek and Slater. It was the second time since last weekend’s Comic-Con in New York that the Mr. Robot gathered together for fan sessions.