[SPOILERS] Mr. Robot Showrunner Explains THAT Shocking Twist in Season Premiere
The long wait is finally over… the new season of Mr. Robot has begun. Everyone probably expected it to kick off with a bang. (Who’s still shuddering from the axe scene in the season_3.0 finale?) But it seems like no one, not even Sam Esmail and the show’s writers, foresaw the quite literal bang that would happen in the very first scene, namely (and heartbreakingly), Angela’s point-blank assassination by the Dark Army.
That first scene of the premiere episode was a continuation of one of the pivotal storylines in the season three finale between Angela and Phillip Price, who revealed himself to be Angela’s father. What we didn’t know (though could’ve suspected) is that Price was wearing a wire, which allowed the all-knowing whiterose to listen to their conversation and pull the trigger, quite literally, if Price couldn’t get Angela to stand down. Which he couldn’t. Within minutes, two Dark Army operatives appeared and Angela’s fate was sealed.
Why get rid of a main character that’s beloved by both the other primary characters and the fans at the very beginning of the last season? As it turns out, it wasn’t always the plan. The idea evolved after Sam Esmail and his writing team took a hard look at where season three left off, as Esmail explained in his interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
With Angela's character, any sort of capitulation felt like a betrayal to who she was and what she represented in the first three seasons. Unless we pulled punches, there was no way Whiterose was going to let her continue living and going out in the wild to figure out the machine, with what Whiterose had divulged to her. We felt that if we were being honest, it was the only end to her character.
He goes on to explain that the various options they considered -- Angela going on the run or her allowing Price to protect her -- didn’t feel true to her character. She always stood by her principles, no matter how dangerous the situation. Even though Esmail and the writers decided Angela’s demise at this point was “inevitable,” it wasn’t easy:
We were all shocked. We love this character. Opening on that was so heartbreaking. We were also pissed off at ourselves. We kept asking: “Is there a way we can save her?” And we couldn't.
With that window closing, however, another door opened, giving Esmail and his team the “spine” for Season 4. According to Esmail, losing Angela is, in essence, the point of no return for Elliot. At the same time, as a side benefit, this plot turn puts viewers in an interesting bind: what if whiterose’s project can bring back beloved characters like Angela from the dead? Does that mean we have to root for whiterose to succeed?
Mr. Robot airs Sunday at 10/9c on USA Network. Watch full episodes here.