“Mr. Robot” is the hardest job that cinematographer Tod Campbell has ever had — and he’s worked on plenty of challenging series, including “Stranger Things” and “The Affair.” But nothing prepared Campbell for the intricacies of Sam Esmail’s dense USA drama.
“I’m not kidding,” Campbell told IndieWire. “It is very hard. I’ve been on a ton of jobs and this one is very difficult, but it’s also the best. The story’s good and the approach is amazing and different.”
“Different” is an understatement when it comes to the Emmy-winning thriller, which has been pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on television for three seasons now. In Season 3, the conspiracy surrounding an epic hack that has sent the global economy into freefall has only grown more intense.
At the center of it remains Elliot (Rami Malek), trying to fix the world he and his alter ego Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) accidentally broke. But the involvement of both his sister Darlene (Carly Chaikin) and Angela (Portia Doubleday) has amplified.
No spoilers, but “eps3.4_runtime-err0r.r00” has some big reveals in store when it premieres Wednesday evening. The episode (the fifth of Season 3) operates on a whole new level, as teased by USA Network in the below promo:
The episode will air commercial-free, a decision that creator Esmail told IndieWire was made in collaboration with the network. “USA, they really support us in all our crazy ideas,” he said. “They always come back with full support. I am 100 percent grateful to them for that.”
As seen via the clip below, in this episode Elliot’s on the move through the offices of E-Corp — but while he’s got a plan in his head, he’s still capable of making mistakes.
It’s hard to say more about Episode 5 without seeing it, which is just the way Esmail likes it — even when it comes to his own friends and family. “Because I’m so cryptic and so secretive about the episode, I want them to have the purest experience possible,” he said. “The only thing I tell them — it’s the same way I explained the sitcom episode from last year — I just tell them you should watch it live. You don’t want to DVR it.
“I kind of let the mystery hopefully motivate them,” he added. “The mystery-slash-passion will hopefully motivate them to watch it.”
“eps3.4_runtime-err0r.r00” premieres Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 10 p.m. ET. IndieWire will have more details on the making of the episode after it airs.