If you came into the season 2 premiere of USA Network’s acclaimed series Mr. Robot seeking answers, you might have left disappointed. But if you were hoping for a thrilling and surprising head game, you got that and so much more.
The two-part premiere featured time jumps, hallucinations and new characters with little introduction. It was all a bit disorienting, and yet, so much fun.
Six Major Takeaways From the Premiere
[WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the season two premiere of USA Network’s Mr. Robot]
1. Post Hack, Everything is a Mess
The hack against Evil Corp has left the world in chaos. People can’t access their money at the banks, “Five/Nine Attack” headlines litter the news and the members of fsociety have scattered.
Darlene has taken up residence inside the home of an Evil Corp executive nicknamed “Madame Executioner.” She’s also babysitting a group of fsociety foot soldiers who get a kick out of pulling pranks and taking selfies. Darlene seems to be struggling with handling things on her own while Elliot is away. At one point she questions whether any of it matters. “We didn’t make things better,” she tells a crowd of followers.
Angela, poor Angela. She went to work for Evil Corp at the end of the first season. When we meet her again this season, she’s become soulless and corporate. She plays hardball during negotiations, she’s short with co-workers and she watches late night self-esteem videos. Angela is detached and it’s painful to watch. But, she still listens to Sonic Youth, so that’s something.
In the meantime, Elliot is off the grid. He’s decided to give “normal” life a try. He writes in a journal and attends meetings at church. It’s all so that he can keep Mr. Robot at bay.
2. Elliot vs. Mr. Robot
Elliot has made so many changes in his life in an attempt to maintain control, but that’s proving to be very difficult. Mr. Robot isn’t going anyway, no matter how much Elliot tries to ignore him.
Mr. Robot has gone rogue. He’s arranging meetings with potential new allies with or without Elliot’s knowledge. That becomes clear during a conversation Elliot has with Ray (Craig Robinson) who mentions they’ve met before. Elliot, however, has no record of it in his journal.
Mr. Robot has also become angry and aggressive, even shouting at Elliot during their interactions. At one point, Mr. Robot shoots Elliot point blank in the head. Thankfully, Elliot sits right back up afterward. But, it’s clear that one of Elliot’s biggest obstacles this season will be his internal struggle with himself.
3. New Kids on the Block
There are several new faces in this season of Mr. Robot.
First, we have Leon (Joey Badass), Elliot’s new Seinfeld-loving friend. The two often meet up for lunch where Leon ponders the point of the show.
Then there’s Ray, who is a dog walker in Elliot’s neighborhood. He also seems to need Elliot’s special set of skills. The big question: What has he arranged with Mr. Robot?
We briefly meet Dominique “Dom” DiPierro (Grace Gummer), a FBI agent assigned to find the person or persons behind the Five/Nine attack.
And then there’s Susan Jacobs (Sandrine Holt), aka, “Madame Executioner.” We know she works for Evil Corp and that fsociety ran her out of her home by hacking all of her electronics.
4. Burn Money, Burn
One of the things I love about Mr. Robot is the soundtrack. The use of music in the series is so powerful. The season 2 premiere feature songs by Sonic Youth and Lupe Fiasco.
During one scene, Phil Collin’s “Take Me Home” is featured and particularly effective.
Fsociety has hacked Evil Corp banks and threatened to unleash its wrath unless an high-level executive delivers $5.9 million cash to Battery City Park. Scott Knowles agrees to carry out the task. He arrives and a bike messenger hands him a backpack that contains an fsociety mask and instructions to burn all the money. He complies and the song fills the background as countless onlookers stop to watch the money burn.
R.I.P all that money.
5. Shot to the Head
Elliot’s not the only one getting shot in the head this season.
Gideon Goddard, his former boss, is confronted in a bar by a man toward the end of the premiere. The man shoots him, claiming he did it “for our country.”
Gideon getting shot was shocking, because he was a good guy. However, in the end, he couldn’t save Allsafe from the consequences of the hack and he couldn’t save himself.
6. Where is Tyrell Wellick?
Unfortunately, we still don’t know. At the end of the first season, we were left wondering what happened to Tyrell during those three days that Elliot couldn’t remember. Tyrell remains mostly absent in the season 2 premiere, except for the few times his picture is plastered on the news. He’s being blamed, along with fsociety, for the Evil Corp hack.
We do, however, get to see how his wife Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen) is doing following her husband’s disappearance. She has a Fifty Shades of Grey thing going on with a new guy. Later in the premiere, she receives a mysterious box that contains a cell phone. The phone rings and an unknown caller is on the other end. Could it be Tyrell?
The biggest Tyrell reveal comes at the end of the episode. During one of his church meetings, Elliot falls asleep. When he wakes up, he’s on the phone with a familiar voice on the other end: “Bonsoir, Elliot.” So, the voice sounds like Tyrell, after all, that’s the line he’s used many times before when talking to Elliot. But does that mean Tyrell is alive or is it just another one of Elliot’s delusions?