BY BRIAN LUFKIN
So far, New York Comic Con has been a glorious amalgam of my favorite things: Pokémon cosplayers, convention center pretzels, unbridled fandom, and Mr. Robot. The techno thriller’s cast and creator took to the stage for a panel Friday afternoon, where we learned season two will be super dark, so BE READY FOR SEASON 1 SPOILERS AHEAD.
The panel consisted of Rami Malek (Elliot), Carly Chaikin (Darlene), Portia Doubleday (Angela), Christian Slater (Mr. Robot), Martin Wallström (Tyrell Wellick), and show creator Sam Esmail, and we were treated to some valuable nuggets of information:
- Christian Slater WILL return for season 2, according to Esmail, despite the fact that Slater’s character is, in reality, long dead, is a figment of Elliot’s drug addled, troubled mind, and was finally revealed as such
- Season 2 will, according to Esmail, “get really fuckin’ dark.” Esmail apparently told Malek it’s gonna be tough, and that he’ll have to continue to access some serious emotion to carry the season’s weight
- We’ll learn more about Darlene and Elliot’s relationship, as well as how Darlene might relate to fsociety’s origins
- Malek wants Elliot to enjoy basic human luxuries, like “eat something in the show and change my clothes.” He always wants a “Shayla flashback or two”
- Wallström wants Wellick and Elliot to make out, which would no doubt satisfy bevies of fanfic shippers out there
So, a mix of serious and silly. We also got to hear Esmail’s general take on the show, and how that’ll fuel future episodes. Which is: This is not just a show about hacking. It’s about the characters, their relationships, and their complicated histories still hidden from the audience. The show works because it’s actually a good story. Not only do you want to know what happens next, but you want to know what happened before, Esmail said.
Take Mad Men for example. That show became known for a specific package: Old fashioneds! Stylish ad men! Swingin’ 60s! But if the show had relied on only that image as a schtick or crutch, it wouldn’t have lasted more than a season. Instead, like any good TV show or movie, all that stuff was just context and a vehicle to describe the characters and follow them throughout their lives.
The accuracy of how technology and hacking were portrayed during season one was also addressed. As we previously reported, tech consultants are in the writers’ room and on set, so the dialogue and hacking aspect will continue to be true to life, and not reduced to cliches, like some tech-centered shows are guilty of doing.
“What Hollywood tends to get wrong when they do a movie or a show about hacking is they think that’s what the story should be about,” Esmail said at the panel. “You see these cheesy CGI graphics, going inside the cables, and the big red ‘Oh My God’ button, the status bar of death. It’s like, no, it’s fine to show a guy who’s actually just on a keyboard. Just make us feel for that character. Everything else falls by the wayside. That’s always been the priority for this show.”
Season 2—which USA ordered before the pilot even aired on TV—doesn’t have a premiere date yet, but we’ll be waiting in front of our TVs with fsociety masks proudly donned.