Carly Chaikin on Mr. Robot Season 2: “We Definitely Reached, If Not Exceeded” the Season 1 Bar

Nadav Kander/USA Network

When we last left the hacker heroes (or antiheroes?) of USA Network’s acclaimed, Golden Globe- and Peabody Award-winning series Mr. Robot, they had successfully pulled off the Evil Corp hack, throwing the world into chaos. Elliot (Rami Malek) had realized that he, in fact, was Mr. Robot, for a while unknowingly taking on the persona of his late father (Christian Slater), and that Darlene (Carly Chaikin) is his sister, among other drama.

If you’ve seen the trailer for Season 2 of Mr. Robot, you will see that things look even more intense than what we’ve seen thus far. When we talked with Carly Chaikin about Season 2, she agreed that the upcoming 12 episodes are “a lot darker.”

“Sam [series creator Sam Esmail] told us that it was going to get darker,” Chaikin said, “and we were all kind of like, ‘How does it get any darker than that?’ But it does. We really come back from after the hack went through, and we continue to tell the story that [ultimately] has an ending, so this is kind of the second chapter of it.”

Now that a number of secrets are out in the open, including Elliot and Darlene’s sibling relationship, those will be explored further as well.

“We see it in a different way,” said Chaikin about the brother and sister bond. “[We] kind of see how fsociety was started, and of course their relationship now. There’s definitely always that family aspect to it. Elliot’s relationship to Mr. Robot as well. It’s a very relationship-driven story underneath it all.”

Peter Kramer/USA Network

Adding to the actors’ challenge, but also helping them know where the story and their characters are headed, is the fact that the show this year is block shooting — basically filming all of the episodes at once.

“Last week, I shot stuff from Episode 10,” Chaikin explained, “and yesterday shot stuff from Episode 3. It’s pretty crazy. We’re really all over the place.”

Because of the nature of this shooting, Esmail, who is directing every episode this season, allowed the cast to read all of the scripts.

“The only way to do [the block shooting] was to have all the episodes up front and film it like a movie,” said Chaikin. “Even though it’s been crazy and hard, the best part is that we were able to get all 10 episodes up front before we started, so we all know the whole story.”

But Chaikin was very good at not revealing the whole story to us, so you’ll have to check out Season 2 to see where things go.

If you were online last night, you might have taken advantage of the brief chance to stream the Season 2 premiere on Twitter. If not, you don’t have much longer to wait. Mr. Robot Season 2 premieres July 13 at 10pm ET/PT on USA Network, and airs Wednesdays.

The premiere night on July 13 will include two back-to-back episodes, with limited commercial interruptions. Following the episodes, at 11:30pm, will be a new live, hourlong after-show called Hacking Robot, hosted by Andy Greenwald. Greenwald will be spending time with fans, as well as cast and producers, including series stars Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin and Portia Doubleday. Along with recapping the night’s episodes, he’ll also take questions and comments live from viewers.