'Mr. Robot' preview: Tyrell Wellick goes to the woodshed

Tyrell Wellick’s prolonged absence from Mr. Robot‘s second season gaveMartin Wallström a bit of a vacation from his mysterious alter ego. With tonight’s Tyrell-centric flashback episode, though, the Swedish actor is officially back on the clock… and series creator Sam Esmail wastes little time putting him to work.

While in exile for helping bring about the apocalyptic 5/9 hack that shook up the world economy, Tyrell spends his days in an isolated rural cabin, monitoring the aftereffects from afar and chopping wood… lots and lots of wood. It’s a self-help technique recommended to him by his “jailer,” Irving (Bobby Cannavale), a Dark Army foot soldier. “If you’re not careful, you can lose your mind up here alone,” Irving advises in this exclusive clip from tonight’s episode. He also takes a moment to demonstrate proper wood-chopping form. “This is the best way to get you centered,” he says. “Balance is key.”

Chatting with Yahoo Entertainment, Wallström reveals that he came to this episode with plenty of prior chopping experience. “That was part of my audition for getting the part,” he jokes. “They asked me if I could chop wood, I said yes and got the part!” Gags aside, the actor says he really did swing an axe as a teenager, although he did take a refresher course of sorts before filming this episode. “Back in February or March, I got a call from Sam and the team saying, ‘Hey, can you start practicing doing some wood-chopping?’ I got this great Dutch guy to teach me, and chopped a lot of wood for him. I have some skills now! It’s on my IMDB page.”

Check back tonight after the episode airs for our full conversation with Wallström.

Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on USA.

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