BY ROBERT BLANCO
The great hack is back.
Considering the ratings and critical attention, it’s no big shock that last season’s happiest, strangest surprise, USA's Mr. Robot, will return later this year. The question is how, considering it left off with Rami Malek’s Elliot finally realizing Christian Slater’s Mr. Robot was a figment of his imagination.
As you’d expect, creator Sam Esmail is not giving out any second season details. But he did say this to critics at the Television Critics Association Thursday: “The whole show’s been about Elliot’s emotional journey. I really wanted to focus on that and make it about that more than about the plot…How does Elliot reconcile being aware that he’s addressing a fantasy?”
Like many viewers, Elliot didn’t know that Mr. Robot was really just a fantasy built around his memories of his dead father. While Malek and Slater did know in advance they did not share the secret with their fellow actors, though Malek says they did become suspicious when they kept being told not to look at Slater.
What was it like playing an imaginary character? “I played him as realistically as Elliot thought he was real," says Slater. "I really felt I was there and a participant in the whole thing.”
Being a participant in a show about hacking did convince Slater, who just won a Golden Globe for the role, to update his computer's security change all his passwords. "My new password is Golden Globe."
That joke is a reminder that Mr. Robot is a highpoint for Slater in a career and life that he acknowledges has had its problems. And he's not complaining. "Strife and struggle precede success, even in the dictionary."