NEW YORK — A very, very long line to get in Mr. Robot The book panel at the 2016 New York Comic Con’s BookCon shows how much this TV show has attracted a large audience. Attention to minute details, Easter eggs, science fiction, and crazy plotting have led to some of the coolest water/Reddit conversations of 2016. The show has also inspired our own Nathan Mattise to analyze every episode on Ars’ TV podcast Decrypted.
Show creator Sam Esmail (who has been listened to Ars podcast) and writer Courtney Looney showed off a trailer for a new book that answers questions about the current season of the show (no, they will not give up anything about Season 3).
During the meeting, they talked about how they liked the discussions Mr. Robot on Reddit, as people figure out the figures and pinpoint the complex details of the show (Esmail said that he was surprised that one particular detail has NOT been checked out, but he will not let it be on what it is). Esmail and Looney mentioned New York as an important character in the show. Romero’s story about the F-Society arcade on Coney Island is literally fictional, for example, and the crew was actually filmed in a real arcade (not a sound stage). And yes, during the pilot episode the crazy person who walked right up to the camera in the subway was actually a random stranger, and they arrested him. When asked what the E-Corp building was modeled on, Esmail was shocked that hardly anyone knew about it. It’s Enron.
After a brief trailer, Esmail and Looney discuss their upcoming book, Mr. Robot: Red Wheelbarrow (aka “eps1.91_redwheelbarr0w.txt”). Wheelbarrow Red is a recurring theme Mr. Robot Season Two, inspired by the poem by William Carlos Williams that Tyrell recites in the S2 finale. The writers named their new book “the prison episode” because it covers the events between Season One and Season Two. Four wheeler is important Elliot’s marble notebook from when he was in prison, and he is here this time (no more lies). The notebook is what Elliot asks Hot Carla to sleep on, but…she doesn’t.
Four wheeler It’s like a notebook you’d buy for school as a kid, but definitely not for kids. It appears in one hand, written by hand (adapted from Rami Malek’s and Christian Slater’s actual handwriting), and contains text written in dreams, messages by Mr. Robot, images as QR codes scannable (which is linked somewhere hilarious), and some NSFW footage about Mr. Robot. Items are even included in pages à la Danielewski’s House of Leaves. The items include a brochure from the church, an empty envelope, and a greeting card.
Although falling while reading is annoying, Four wheeler is a fun look inside Elliot’s head and is a great fill in the gap we miss when Elliot lies to his “friends”, the audience. When asked about what it was like to go deep into Elliot’s thoughts, Esmail replied “I mean, it’s awful.” Elliot’s tricks and reckless attempts at control are fun, yet confusing.
The only hints about Season Three Esmail will drop: More Leon. Mr. Robot: The Red Wheelbarrow will be released on November 1, 2016.
Find out more on Mr. Robot when Decrypted, Ars Technica’s Mr. Robot podcast, back Next summer with Season 3. Catch all the S2 episodes below, and if you enjoyed the podcast consider giving us a rating on iTunes (help search) or reach out with feedback via comments or email (help us improve further).