BY VLADA GELMAN
What else has Elliot imagined?
There are other elements from Season 1 of the Golden Globe-winning series Mr. Robot – aside from Christian Slater’s character – that aren’t real, executive producer Sam Esmail revealed Thursday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena.
Additionally, “there’s a reason why [Darlene is] not in the Times Square sequence” when Elliot has a vision of his family, the EP said.
Despite those potentially gasp-worthy revelations, not to mention the freshman season’s big bombshells, “I’m not interested in ‘gotcha!’ moments or trying to shock or surprise the audience,” Esmail insisted, adding that viewers are learning the twists along with Elliot. “As long as that [process] is organic, then it will feel real. It’s not my agenda to keep shocking you.”
As such, Season 2 of the USA Network drama — which returns this summer — will keep the action grounded in Elliot’s “emotional journey.”
“I really wanted to focus on that and make it less about the plot,” Esmail described. “For me, the headline for Season 2 is, ‘How do these two guys [Elliot and Mr. Robot] reconcile? How does Elliot reconcile with the fact that he’s been seeing a delusion, a fantasy?’
“That’s a tough pill to swallow, and we’re really going into the mind of a person who’s just become aware of that,” he continued. “Will twists organically derive out of that? If I were a betting man, I’d say yes.”
Meanwhile, Angela will struggle with being in the lion’s den and the question of whether she can use her new position to her advantage rather being corrupted by it.
Whatever happens to Elliot and his friends and family, both real and not, keeping the reveals under wraps will be a group effort if past experience is any indication. In order maintain the integrity of the Season 1 shocker that Christian Slater’s character isn’t really there, extras were instructed not to look at the actor during filming, no doubt eliciting suspicions.
However, “everybody did keep it [secret],” Slater applauded. “Nobody spilled the beans. They respected the audience and wanted them to have the full experience.”