BY WILL NICOL
Few shows seem to take as much pleasure toying with the audience’s mind as Mr. Robot. The paranoid cyber-thriller has played with questions of reality — this is a show in which important characters have turned out to be figments of protagonist Elliot Alderson’s (Rami Malek) imagination, after all. For those who haven’t watched the show, it follows Elliot, a computer security expert and hacker who joins up with a vigilante group called fsociety. Its leader, the mysterious Mr. Robot (Christian Slater), wants to tear down the debt-driven society established by corporations. USA premiered a trailer for Mr. Robot season 3 on August 4, after some characteristic viral marketing.
In keeping with the show’s commitment to trickery, the show’s official Twitter account began posting some esoteric content, including lines from Leonard Cohen‘s song Democracy and a picture of Bobby Cannavale’s character, a new addition to the cast. An eagle-eyed Reddit user noted that Canavale’s tie continued a message in Morse code, which spelled out a bitly for the site red-wheelbarrow.com, a fake restaurant page. After a few seconds, the site displays a message:
If you’re struggling to figure out the meaning, don’t worry: Someone has solved the puzzle. As Twitter user Ivan Lopes showed, the bird of the mountain referred to Twitter’s blue bird logo, while “Follow the rhythm and do the math,” sums up the numbers on each lyric tweet from the Twitter account. The result was a link to the trailer. This is the latest in a long line of cryptic viral marketing attempts being solved too quickly; step up your riddle game, folks!
Season 2 took a darker tone from the first, and from the looks of this trailer, season 3 will get even bleaker. The trailer includes a static-ridden voiceover, reciting lyrics from Democracy, specifically these passages:
It’s coming from the sorrow in the street
The holy places where the races meet
From the homicidal bitchin’
That goes down in every kitchen
To determine who will serve and who will eat
It’s coming to America first
The cradle of the best and of the worst
It’s here they got the range
And the machinery for change
And it’s here they got the spiritual thirst
I’m sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can’t stand the scene
And I’m neither left or right
I’m just staying home tonight
Getting lost in that hopeless little screen
From the wars against disorder
From the sirens night and day
Democracy is coming to the USA.
Over those lyrics plays imagery of people with guns, people contorting their faces in agony, people rioting. It’s not the brightest picture, but season 3 seems to be tapping into the current zeitgeist.