Mr. Robot's critically-acclaimed first season was a twisting, curvy jump into four or five equally important plots, and by the end of the show's 10 episodes, more questions were left unanswered than understood.
Warning: This spoiler acts as a recap of the show's first season and will contain spoilers.
As the show heads into its second season, Elliot (Rami Malek) will have to contend with the fallout of his major hack that took down E-Corp, America's largest financial conglomerate. The ambitious corporate tycoon Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström) will have to face the consequences of his actions, including a murder and joining Elliot on his journey to destroy capitalistic America. Elliot's best friend, Angela (Portia Doubleday), will have to decide whether she wants to remain at E-Corp knowing that the company's ethical and moral values are non-existent and discovering what her newfound job means for her friendship with the corporation's number one enemy, her best friend.
It's hard to remember what happened during the last season of a show most of the time, even if the narrative is far less complex and twisty than a show like Mr. Robot. Instead of having to binge the entire first season again (although I recently did it and I would highly recommend doing so), Polygon's collected the most important details as a quick refresher for those anxiously awaiting the premiere on July 13.
Let's start with the show's main focus, Elliot Alderson. When the first season ended, Elliot had just woken up in black SUV and couldn't remember the events of the last 72 hours. The country had fallen into a state of mass hysteria as the corruptions of the biggest financial institutions were exposed through a hack led by Elliot and his fellow fsociety hacktivists. Worse yet, Elliot was trying to figure out what had happened during his blackout while dealing with the revelation that the mysterious Mr. Robot he thought was leading them was actually a figment of his imagination all along.
The show's Fight Club twist was both praised and condemned by critics and fans of the show, but it will be a large narrative in the series going forward. Elliot doesn't want to deal with constant hallucinations that involve his dead father, but he also wants to continue hacking away at the system they both detest and that takes a level of advice from Mr. Robot he isn't willing to give up just yet. This season will be much darker for the character, who's already had to contend with a mental illness and serious drug addiction, as he becomes a fugitive vigilante and painfully aware of his worsening psychosis.
Tyrell Wellick, the man that wanted to be the youngest CTO in E-Corp history, is one of the show's most interesting characters. Last season, Tyrell became the Lucius Malfoy or Tyrell Lannister of the show, and not just because he's blond, either. You hated him, but there was something about his character that screamed of intrigue. As the series progressed, we learned there was nothing that Tyrell wouldn't do to achieve his ambitious dreams, including beating up homeless men in the street to alleviate some tension to strangling the wife of a rival company's executive on the roof during a party.
After his wife gave birth to their son and Tyrell was fired for, well, for being himself, he was at his wits end. In a last minute attempt to try and regain some control over his life, Tyrell partnered up with the one person he respected and hated the most — Elliot. Based on recent clips, it looks like the two will work pretty closely with one another to bring down E-Corp, a company they both have reason to despise now. Tyrell went missing at the end of the last season and it was only recently that we were assured he was safe — thanks to an Anonymous-style interruption of a Facebook Live Q&A for the show that featured both characters.
Angela has had one of the sadder stories on the show, which says a lot considering almost everyone in the series is approaching a True Detective-level of unfortunate life events. A hack from Angela's ex-boyfriend led to all of her accounts being wiped clean and not being able to pay back her student loans. She lost her job at the security firm where she and Elliot worked and had to join E-Corp only to realize it was run by monstrous megalomaniacs who were behind some pretty shady, illegal activities. Her best friend is running around New York City at night with a group of hackers trying to take down the company she's working for.
We'll be seeing a whole new side of her
And on top of all of that, her relationship with her dad is on the fritz. This season, Angela will have a bigger role in the show as she works to actively take on Elliot and fsociety, without any knowledge that her best friend is the person behind the hack that could put her job in jeopardy. She didn't get much screen time last season, but she has a much bigger role this time around, and with some extra money in her pocket from her new job at E-Corp, we'll be seeing a whole new side of her.
Darlene is one of the coolest characters in the show and after some pretty big revelations, she's dealing with quite a bit this season. After revealing that she was Elliot's sister, whom he can't remember, and watching her brother fall into a deeper psychosis, she's taking on the position of leading fsociety through the next phase of their attack on corporate America. It's a new role for her, and on top of dealing with the duties that come along with it and watching after Elliot, she'll also be dealing with her own inner demons. Darlene's always been the one that's believed in the goal of fsociety and was the person who pushed launching the hack in the first place.
One of the biggest arcs this season will involve the FBI. Elliot, Darlene and the rest of the fsociety team have become public enemy number one, with President Obama issuing a statement that they are focusing all of their attention on reprehending the individuals at large involved. A big portion of the season will focus on how Elliot and company continue their hacktivist methods while evading the FBI and will start to question whether what they did was wrong. In the first season, the moral question of what they were doing wasn't posed nearly as much as it will this season, with Darlene and Elliot questioning themselves after everything that's happened.