Season one of Mr. Robot ended with Elliot waking up in Tyrell’s car after setting off a cyber attack to cripple Evil Corp. With both his memory and Tyrell Wellick missing, he’s left alone to piece together the events of the night on his own. Season two of Mr. Robot starts off with the aftereffect of the hack as Evil Corp tries to maintain their status and keep everything together. The FBI is investigating the hack and blames Gideon, Elliot’s former boss, due to it seeming like he may have had some involvement with it. Tyrell is presumed responsible for it as well, but is still missing. No one knows who was truly behind the hack aside from F Society. And after Gideon is killed by a stranger, the FBI investigation continues to search for answers on whom was behind the hack. Darlene, whom has taken leadership over the group, struggles to keep the hackivist team together as they plan their next move. But as the cyber attack continues to affect the lives of everyone, Elliot isolates himself in a controlled world in which he believes repetition is the key to a peaceful life. But as time goes on, it becomes clear that Mr. Robot isn’t done with him yet.
Elliot has moved back in with his mother. Despite their past together, he chose to live with her because of how strict she is. And at that moment, strict was what he desperately needs. He’s built a mundane, yet peaceful life for himself in which he documents his day in his journal to keep track of time. He eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner with his friend Leon, whom requires very little of him other than someone to listen to his ramblings on his discovery of Seinfeld. He attends church study at night, and has continued his therapy with Krista. Elliot has kept himself away from a computer, or any form of technology he could exploit ever since the hack. He finds comfort in his new life because he now has control over it. Or at least that is what he’s convinced himself to believe.
Mr. Robot is still in Elliot’s mind chipping away at his sanity one bullet to the head at a time. Elliot struggles to maintain the control he’s gained over his life, but the ever present Mr. Robot tries to convince him to leave the life he’s made for himself and rejoin the fight against Evil Corp. But Elliot is determined to remain inside his personal isolation for his own good. But as he slowly loses his grip on Mr. Robot, he discovers that he can’t prevent Mr. Robot from taking over him when he’s asleep. The revelation that Mr. Robot had a full conversation with a stranger Elliot met the day before sends him in to a psychotic break as he laughs maniacally. He’s lost control, and the only move he has left is to hold on to the very little control he has in order to force Mr. Robot to tell him what happened the night of the hack. And while he still hasn’t received answers yet, he may very soon after answering a phone call from Tyrell at the last moments of the episode.
While Elliot is in a prison of his own making, and Darlene continues her war against Evil Corp, Angela has become part of the system as she continues to work for the very company responsible for her mother’s death. The woman lacking confidence in herself from the first season has been replaced by a woman concerned with building her professional career, even if the cost is giving up her original pursuit of justice for her mother. Angela has become the thing she hates, and it’s apparent that it has something to do with her previous confidence issues. It’s interesting to see how things will play out once she interacts with Elliot and Darlene after becoming part of the machine they’re trying to take down. But with the company falling apart and scrambling to hold on to some sort of control, we’ll just have to wait and see how Angela fits in to the story from her perspective.
Mr. Robot’s second season premiere raised the bar to the next level. The two part episode was mostly setup for the rest of the season, but storylines to follow will be phenomenal if the rest of the season looks and feels like its opener. The biggest change to the show is show creator Sam Esmail has taken over the director’s chair for the entire season. His more hands on approach this time around has made the show feel even more unique and distant from anything else on television. Mr. Robot’s season two opener blends art with chaos and adds in a lot of madness for flavoring. And with great performances from Rami Malek and Christian Slater, along with a mature tone that pushes the envelope in regards to censorship, “Unmask” kicks off Mr. Robot 2.0 with what can be considered the show’s best episode yet.