When the entire structure of society crumbles to the ground, it takes some time for the dust to settle. After fsociety succeeded with their plan to wipe out $400bn of the world's debt in Mr. Robot's first Season, Season 2 focused on the subsequent unsettled, uncertain fallout, and the impact the landmark event had on those involved.
The story was guided by unreliable narrator, Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), the masked figurehead of the electronic revolution, the person responsible for stunning the status quo. In typical Mr. Robot style, it turns out that the Brave New World instigated by the 5/9 hack of E-Corp's mainframe isn't a form of utopia, instead plunging the world into darkness.
Elliot's struggle with his own sanity, fsociety's struggle to remain undetected, White Rose's rabid quest for power on behalf of the vicious Dark Army and agent DiPierro's attempt to catch those responsible led to some brutally crazy moments throughout the second season. But what was the most memorable for leading star, Mr. Robot himself, #RamiMalek?
During a panel for the Screen Actors Guild, the cast of #MrRobot were each asked what their most memorable scene of the season was. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Malek opted for his fraught, psychosis-inducing reunion with Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström), his enigmatic accomplice whose whereabouts remained a mystery until the bitter end of the second season.
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During a suspenseful showdown in the Season 2 finale, Elliot was faced with an agonizing situation; knowing that Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) told Tyrell to use any means necessary to carry out the explosive Stage Two of the big plan, Elliot needed to decipher whether Tyrell was real or a figment of his imagination — while Tyrell threatened to shoot him if he stood in the way.
In the midst of the drama, compounded by Mr. Robot's running commentary, the socially-awkward, fourth-wall-breaking protagonist concludes Tyrell was an illusion, shortly before a bullet tore through his flesh convinced him otherwise. Speaking of filming that scene, and his attempts to get into the mindset of Elliot, Malek said:
"I just try to keep putting myself back into his frame of mind where you’re constantly questioning your reality and trying to get a grip on that reality. It’s a difficult world for a young man to live in. It’s difficult for anyone to live in that headspace.
There are moments when you’re playing that out as the character and I think as you proceed in that mindset, things aren’t going to be as shocking to him as they were in the first moments of discovering that he had this personality of Mr. Robot in season one."
Despite Elliot uncovering his deep-rooted dissociative identity disorder in Season 1, Malek points out that being aware of his own fragile mindset doesn't do much to help — if anything, the awareness almost worked against him. Malek added:
"The moments are always going to be shocking regardless, because it takes quite a bit of getting used to to realize your psychological problems are boundary-less, so to speak."
Where Will Elliot's Mind Take Mr. Robot Season 3?
Malek's comments seem to suggest that we still can't be entirely sure that all is what it seems. It is, of course, what Elliot himself has told us from the beginning — he told us he'd be honest, but then decided to withhold the fact he spent the first part of Season 2 in prison.
Part of the beauty of Mr. Robot is the way creator Sam Esmail immerses the viewer into Elliot's world, a world that disjointed and disorientating. With Season 3 already confirmed to follow the shocking climax of Season 2, can we really be sure events happened the way Elliot told us?
If Malek's comments are anything to go by, our unreliable narrator looks set to become even less trustworthy in Season 3.
What was your take on the Mr. Robot Season 2 finale? Was Tyrell real?
(Source: USA Network)