BY ANDREA REIHER
"Mr. Robot's" cast -- Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, Rami Malek and Christian Slater -- and creator Sam Esmail took the stage at the 2016 TCA winter press tour Thursday (Jan. 14). The journalists did their best to try to get Season 2 plot details out of Esmail and he was pretty tight-lipped, but he did offer up a few goodies for fans.
Warning: If you haven't watched all of "Mr. Robot" Season 1, there are spoilers ahead.
It focuses on Elliot coming to grips with his delusions
"For me, the headline for Season 2 is 'How do these two guys reconcile?'" says Esmail. "How does Elliot reconcile the fact that he's aware that he's seeing this fantasy. That's the struggle that is going to take over in Season 2."
Consequences and a small time jump
"It will open 30 days after the first season ended," reveals Esmail.
He adds to Zap2it that there will be consequences from the societal collapse in Season 1. "That was one of the most fun things to talk about in the room," says Esmail. "We had economic consultants in there to talk about what would be the real-world consequences of that, and we'll show it all to you in Season 2."
The twists will keep coming
"I'm not interested in 'gotcha' moments or trying to shock the audience," says Esmail. "I think it happens ... because you're learning things with [Elliot], so as long as that's organic, as long as that feels real, then the twists will come from there. It's not my intention to keep shocking you."
"It's going to be about Elliot really negotiating with himself. It's about a guy who becomes aware of this delusion he's been having," Esmail adds. "That's a tough pill to swallow. We're really going to go into the mind of a person who has just become aware of that and what is the next step? How do you reconcile that? Will twists organically derive out of that? If I were a betting man, I'd say so."
There will be more backstory shown
"I will say that in Season 2 there will be a lot more backstory that will be shown ... the timeline is going to get a little clearer," says Esmail. "Not 100 percent clearer because what's the fun in that? But a little clearer."
Note: The timeline Esmail is referring to is Elliot's life, things like when he has forgotten that Darlene (Carly Chaikin) is his sister before the events of Season 1.
Esmail adds, "The series is filling in the blanks of the past, present and even the future of this character and it's almost like you're this close to the painting and you take a step back, you see more of it ... that's how I'm approaching this season."
Whiterose will return
BD Wong as Whiterose, the head of the Dark Army, will be back -- though Esmail wants to use him sparingly.
"He was so amazing in the first season, I would be stupid not to use him more this season. But I do have to use him sparingly, because I think a lot of the thing that's great about his character is he's got such a great mystery around him."
Season 1 is worth a rewatch
Esmail confirms that there were other things in Season 1 that were not real, things that perhaps the audience didn't catch the first time around. He also says that "there is a reason why [Darlene was] not in the Times Square sequence" when Elliot saw his family.
"Mr. Robot" Season 2 will premiere summer 2016.