BY HOAL-TRAN BUL
I’ve frequently wondered what Mr. Robot would look like in a post-Trump world. The nihilistic, anarchist viewpoint of the series seemed overly cynical when it first hit USA Network’s airwaves in the summer of 2015, giving a fantastical update to the grim, solipsistic anger of ’90s male fantasies like Fight Club.
But what once seemed out of place now seems both prophetic and misguided, especially in the Season 3 trailer of Mr. Robot that emphasizes the economic and technological warfare that Elliot and Mr. Robot are engaging in. But the trailer is riveting and intense, bringing back some of the ambitious momentum that first launched Mr. Robot into the pop culture zeitgeist in its first season.
Rami Malek brings back his wide-eyed, quivering performance as Elliot, who we last shot down by uneasy accomplice Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström). The Season 3 trailer seems to pick up immediately, with Tyrell sobbing that he was forced to shoot Elliot to stop him from sabotaging their elaborate plan against E. Corp, telling Elliot’s sister Darlene (Carly Chaikin), “It was almost as if he were a different person.”
We soon see that Elliot has recovered from the gunshot wound, but the nightmare is far from over. Chinese hacking syndicate The Dark Army has turned on Mr. Robot’s f.society, and the FBI is closing in on the both groups. But most importantly, Elliot continues his battle against his alter ego, Mr. Robot, who becomes more menacing by the minute, warning Elliot against “cutting the chord.”
Beeps and ominous strings escalate throughout the intense trailer for Mr. Robot Season 3 as we see flashes of all the familiar characters, picking up the shambles of the society that they threw into chaos for the past two seasons. But it seems like the only one profiting from this is E. Corp boss Philip Price (Michael Cristofer), who ominously declares, “World catastrophes like this, they occur because men like me allow them.”
It’s a promising trailer after Season 2 slowed things down to an infuriating level, despite its ambitious subplots. With the added importance of Philip Price’s Big Bad, I look forward to how, or if, Mr. Robot addresses the realities of a post-Trump world, or if it will maintain its separate, paranoid reality.
At least we get to see Bobby Cavanale in a mustache.
Mr. Robot Season 3 premieres Wednesday, October 11 at 10/9c on USA.