Mr. Robot – Season 3, Episode 1: “eps3.0_power-saver-mode.h”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 3, Episode 1: “eps3.0_power-saver-mode.h”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail

* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “eps2.9_pyth0n-pt2.p7z” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps3.1_undo.gz” – click here
IMG_0304Will we see Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström) help the Dark Army enact “Stage 2” finally? Or, will our friendly neighbourhood hacker Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) be able to stop it after he was shot by his supposed friend?
We open on Irving (Bobby Cannavale) arguing with a woman at a fast-food joint called the Red Wheelbarrow about his punch card and its “faulty logic.” He’s a man of principle. He likes order. Quite the unique man.
He’s also been called up to Tyrell’s little HQ, to check on Elliot after the gunshot. Plenty of blood. There’s help on the way, so long as the young man survives. So, on appearance Irving looks like a used card salesman. When in fact he’s so much more, some sort of Dark Army operative, as he’s also given the name of Angela Moss (Portia Doubleday) over the phone by his contact.
IMG_0305Mr. Zhang a.k.a Whiterose (BD Wong) keeps an eye on everything, of course. While others around him believe Elliot and Wellick both are unstable, the man himself is more inclined to watch on with a bit of a curiosity. He speaks about the former Mr. Alderson (Christian Slater). As well as the value of having Elliot around: “His unadulterated, focused rage.” However, it only lasts as long as he’s needed. Then he can die for the Dark Army, “just like his father.”
Oh, my. So much intrigue in only 10 minutes.
When Elliot wakes he finds Angela waiting. He wants to know what’s been happening, realising that Tyrell is indeed alive. Likewise, he discovers the power he once held has dissipated; greatly. He hates Evil Corp, but he doesn’t want to see people die if their facility is blown up. At the same time, the “ever looming presence” that was his father doesn’t feel present anymore.
He goes back to his apartment and finds Darlene (Carly Chaikin), worried about him and where he’s been. He tells her about people outside, likely watching, listening. She fills him in on Cisco’s death. Afterwards, he explains Stage 2, what could happen, the backdoor they infiltrated into E.Corp in the beginning. But it also splits the brother and sister slightly, considering she didn’t know about the plan. All the same, Elliot isn’t well. It wasn’t technically him who did all this, it was the influence of Mr. Robot.
With the power reduce by brownouts, there’s no internet. So, it’s a family outing somewhere Darlene knows they can get access, in hopes Elliot might close the backdoor into E.Corp and stop the planned destruction. They head to a sort of club/internet lounge, a “hacker space.” They’ve got to be careful, though. Could be Dark Army lurking at every turn.
IMG_0307And they’re everywhere.
So is the FBI. Before anyone can get them, Irving picks them up in a cab. They go to talk about Stage 2, and Elliot leaves believing he’s finished it all. Darlene isn’t so sure, and their divide widens. Now, our hacker sees how he’s “fucked society.” Nice play on the fsociety’s original name.
The mental illness angle of Elliot’s character comes out vividly through Sam Esmail’s visuals and his writing. Here, we see a great inward v. outward sequence, as Elliot rants: “What if instead of fighting back we cave, give away our privacy for security, exchange dignity for safety, trade in revolution for repression? What if we choose weakness over strength?” And as he narrates onscreen, walking through a scene doing a theatrical aside, he goes into voice-over narration, too. Great techniques.
Also now we’re seeing Elliot come to grips with having made things worse somehow. People who brand this as a leftist show, and in many ways it is, it doesn’t pull the punches when it comes to exploring how revolution is messy, and it doesn’t always go well, for either side.
They turned our dissent into intellectual property” – a timely line, right?


What does Elliot do from here? He goes to Angela, asking for her to get him a job at E.Corp. To help working from the inside out, to undo the hack, to restore civilisation so they can at least try rebuilding from a better standpoint. Right now, it’s all ruined. On top of that, our hacker asks his old friend to watch out for him, to make sure Mr. Robot doesn’t take over again.
That night, dad does show up. Is Angela taking advantage? Certainly seems that way. And that’s troubling. She’s one of the most unpredictable characters of the series, which is always interesting. However, she’s manipulative right now, telling Mr. Robot things he didn’t know Elliot’s been doing. Shit, this sets up a very compelling plot for Season 3. All of a sudden I can’t help resent Angela a bit, doing this to someone she considers a close friend, someone mentally ill. That’s ugly.
They go meet Irving. Discussing things moving along. The guy doesn’t know all about how things with Elliot and Mr. Robot work, so it’s questionable at first. Soon enough this changes. And who else is there? Tyrell. He feels terrible for having shot his friend. But Mr. Robot understands, for the most part. We see how they’re all manipulating this young, mentally ill hacker to their own ends. Under the guise of friendship. The only one who seems outwardly emotionally affected is Tyrell; that in itself is kind of… creepy. Angela kids herself that she’s actually talking to two different people, and that it’s all for the greater good. In certain ways, she’s as ill as him.
IMG_0314Perfect opener to Season 3. Just a spectacular way to begin, as always. Dig how Mr. Robot finds ways to refresh itself, recharging every so often, in the middle of a season and at the end, too. Esmail’s a genius. This show is a work of art.
“eps3.1_undo.gz” next week.

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Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 10: “eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 10: “eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx”
Directed by Sam Esmail
Written by Kor Aldana & Randolph Leon

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps2.7_init_5.fve” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 12.18.41 AMTerry Colby (Bruce Altman) and Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) meet, the latter namedropping Trump as a “cocksucker” about the run for President; he’s got dirt, too bad he isn’t real. The two high and mighty bourgeois men discuss all sorts of international things, specifically Africa, China, Obama. Phillip also wants Terry to help him out, a favour for which he’d be eternally grateful. Beneath it all is a question of power, why people like Price seek it.
I intend to leave a legacy, the standard of which was set by God when he created Earth and man after his own image.”
We see Joanna Wellick (Stephanie Corneliussen) meeting Ollie a.k.a Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek). She wants to know where her husband is, though he says he doesn’t know. He’s got to be careful what he says next, he’s in quite the little predicament. She talks of her marriage, the twisted relationship she and Tyrell had since the beginning. Then she tells Elliot her husband calls, he’s sent her a phone. That’s strange, considering our hacker’s sure the guy is dead. Either way it’s gonna be awful hard to refuse Joanna.
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 12.25.47 AMElsewhere, Cisco (Michael Drayer) has dragged Vincent (Anthony Jennings), bruised inside and out, back to Darlene (Carly Chaikin). She won’t call an ambulance for him. She’s becoming ruthless, too. She’ll let this man die rather than help him, so Cisco tells her to “wake the fuck up.” But will she?
The investigation at the Smart House is well underway. Dominique DiPierro (Grace Gummer) is there to hear about a connection to the DC activists. Someone there witnessed a couple men leaving in a cab; one of whom is Cisco. When Dom brings this to her boss, he wants to just put out the word. She knows this will bring the Dark Army down, and they’ll kill Cisco.
Elliot: “Maybe wars arent meant to be won, maybe theyre mean to be continuous.”
Our hacker’s out looking for hardware, seeing as how the cops are jamming him up. He’s got to get his situation with Joanna settled. Suddenly he gets a call on the phone she gave her. Heavy breathing. Could it be Tyrell? Also, dad (Christian Slater) is gone. Why now? Great fourth wall break where Elliot looks directly at us, wondering if we heard the person on the other end of the call, as well. And we did.
While we hear a story about Darlene, in a sense what Elliot means to her, we’re also seeing her brother work away for Joanna. Elliot has to also listen to her driver/confidant yak about a bunch of nonsense. He takes that time to zone out, to wonder why dad’s vanished out of nowhere. He finally wonders if Tyrell might actually be alive. Furthermore, he asks for our help in looking for any clues, as to why Mr. Robot brought him there specifically.
Elliot has the NYPD working for him, hacking through whatever’s in his way to try finding out from where the calls originated. He tracks it down to an address, and it seems Joanna’s guy knows more than he’s letting on. Cut to Dom and the FBI breaking into an apartment belonging to Francis Shaw a.k.a Cisco.
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 12.46.46 AMAfterwards on the subway, Elliot meets Angela Moss (Portia Doubleday). She wants to know why he started fsociety. She wants answers, after the FBI’s been to her home, her life is starting to uproot from what she once knew. She’s ready to confess to what she’s done, but she won’t talk about anyone else. Regardless, everything will change. Before he leaves the subway, they kiss. Once he’s gone, two people arrive for Angela on the train.
Meanwhile, Dom is getting more and more information about Cisco, his girlfriend, and the wheels in her head are turning, she’s hot on their trail. Sooner than later he and Darlene are going to find themselves in very hot water.
At a diner several blocks from the hospital, Dom’s found Cisco. She calls for FBI backup to meet her there. Then, a gunman arrives off a bike, opening fire on the place. Dom puts a couple shots in him and his friend on the bike leaves him behind. No matter, the gunman shoots himself before they can take him alive. Just like in China. The Dark Army strikes again.
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 1.01.27 AMA-ma-zing. Nothing else to say. One of my favourite episodes yet.
“eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z” comes next.

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 5: “eps2.3_logic-b0mb.hc”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 5: “eps2.3_logic-b0mb.hc”
Directed by Sam Esmail
Written by Kyle Bradstreet

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps2.2_init_1.asec” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes” – click here
Pic 1Last we left Elliot (Rami Malek) he was hacking into the FBI, as he’s working on the computer and website issues for Ray (Craig Robinson). “I live for this shit,” he tells us as he hacks away at the armour the federal government has setup. We hear more of his past; when he was eleven, he hacked into the municipal government in his town, controlling everything.
Suddenly he remembers he’s in the room with Lone Star (Michael Maize). He says he has to talk to the old system administrator. Probably just a ploy to get him more time by himself to hack the FBI.
In the meantime, the FBI is hacking away with its own investigation. Dominique (Grace Gummer) is digging further into the evidence, finding more by the day. She’s only a few degrees of separation away.
Angela (Portia Doubleday) goes home to find Darlene (Carly Chaikin) in her apartment. They’re at odds over the “crime of the millennium” and the parts they’ve played, their involvement, what might happen in the near future depending on their next choices. Darlene wants her old friend to help disappear evidence, more penetration on the FBI hack on the Evil Corp side, to make sure nobody knows Angela and Elliot were involved in the AllSafe end of the massive debt hack.
Pic 1AThen there’s Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen), her contact continually getting paranoid, believing the feds are tapping his phone, watching his place, all the usual. She seems to be getting tired of him. Although she plays it off with a straight face and assurances. But, I wonder… a little later, we discover she’s absolutely tired of him. She takes care of that, quick. Once and for all.
Over at E.Corp, Dom checks in on the hard drive processing. It’s there she flicks past a picture of Mobley (Azhar Khan). The noose is slowly tightening, each episode slightly tighter. It’s also fun to see the flip-flop, we go between watching Dom and the FBI moving along through the massive amount of evidence, to being there with Elliot and Darlene, arguing over their next step in trying to thwart the FBI. So much tension in awaiting whatever will happen. Digging the anticipation.
Dom is now in China, where Whiterose (B.D. Wong) is not herself. She’s now Mr. Zhang, Minister of State Security for the Chinese government. A wildly compelling addition to the character, to the whole overarching plot, as well as explains why the Dark Army has massive reach. Which is even more interesting after Dom brings it up in the meeting, requesting all information available. Quite the scene.
Elliot speaks with Ray about the previous admin for his website, appears they didn’t part on “the best of terms.” For this guy, that could mean ANYTHING, who knows what he’s into at this point.
At a bar, Angela meets with Ollie (Ben Rappaport) after all this time. He acts semi normal, until she figures out he’s recording her. Trying to get her to admit to what happened during the AllSafe hack. He says he isn’t working with the FBI, but he did talk to them. He told them a little bit of info, enough to make her truly paranoid.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 7.51.27 PMScreen Shot 2017-09-23 at 7.54.26 PMMr. Zhang and Dom get talking at a reception, as she’s poking around. They briefly chat with a bunch of ticking clocks surrounding them. “Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more,” (Macbeth Act V Scene V) he quotes. Clocks, time, they signal mortality. Another tick is another sec towards death, ultimately. Pleasantly morbid, beautifully depressing. Dom winds up telling Zhang about her personal reasons for joining the FBI. Well, she tells him a story, maybe not the real one. He comes close to revealing himself, as well. Stopping short at showing her a closet filled with the finest dresses, claiming they belong to his sister.
While Elliot doesn’t want Angela involved, she’d rather act instead of waiting for the FBI to catch her eventually. She trusts in her childhood friend, that he’d never lead her astray. So, they’re in this together. That’s at least one sliver of hope. This is when he tells Angela his father (Christian Slater) is still there in the room with them.
Later, Elliot gets help from RT, previous system admin for Ray’s site. He’s the beat up guy we saw recently. Turns out, he gives Elliot a glimpse at the website he’s helping with, what Ray is really doing under the nose of the law, the community. He runs a “Tor hidden site” like the deep web, a black market where you can traffick humans, buy drugs of any illegal kind, you can hire hitmen; literally, anything you need.
So what does Elliot do? Can he leave morality at the door? His father wants him to drop it. He just can’t do the same, not after seeing what’s on that website. He won’t let himself become that person who’ll ignore the truth, no matter how difficult and ugly.

Angela goes to Darlene, via a pre-planned route in case they’re being watched, where she meets the remaining members of fsociety. They’re ready to get working on the next leg of the hack. Meanwhile, Dom is under attack when a gunmen starts firing on people as they’re leaving the hotel in China. Rather than be caught, before Dom can pump a kill shot into him, the gunmen shoots himself, as another keeps firing.
Other nasty things are happening. Elliot is dragged out of bed at night, Lone Star and Ray are there. They’ve dealt with RT already. Ray isn’t pleased that the hacker disobeyed his warning “not to look.” They put a beating on our man, to hopefully teach him a lesson. He’s not dealing with punks, these guys mean fucking business.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 8.16.22 PMSometimes Mr. Robot can verge on scary, not just existential fear but straight up, real life terror. This is one of those episodes, feeling steeped in horrific things. The ending, especially. Cannot wait for more.
“eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes” is next up.

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 3: “eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 3: “eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd” – click here
Pic 1Mobley (Azhar Khan) and Romero (Ron Cephas Jones) keep up the good fight for fsociety. We hear the oral history of their little arcade, from Romero, and the origin of fsociety’s name comes from the corporation title, “Fun Society Amusement, LLC.” A long, weird, ugly history. Out of which is now growing something good, or at least aimed at the intention of good. All boils down to this being the perfect place to do some hacking. Romero wants to sell the place off, under the radar. He doesn’t want to go back to jail, though. He doesn’t want to be involved. Although Mobley talks a good game.
Oh, by the way, this is before Romero met Elliot (Rami Malek). The origin of their at times tenuous relationship amongst the fsociety. A great opening scene.
Pic 1APanic. Here it comes again.”
Elliot’s character is so compelling because he’s very real. Not only is he talented, he’s disturbed, he has mental health issues. But they’re not atypical, all the same things we’ve seen before. He’s brilliant, he’s also flawed. Now Elliot’s talking to Tyrell (Martin Wallström) over that red phone. “I think about that night, when we became gods,” Tyrell tells him. More than that he’s got dad (Christian Slater) continually barking in his ear. On top of it all he’s found out about the murder of Gideon Goddard.
That morning, Mobley finds Romero at his place, shot in the back of the head. Taken out so quietly under everyone’s nose. Because whoever it is has unbelievable reach.
We’re also getting a glimpse into the life of Ray (Craig Robinson). Seems he’s got his own mental issues, too. Sitting at the table, eating, looking as if he’s hooked up to dialysis, he talks to somebody who isn’t there. This is very interesting if what we’re seeing is what’s going on, if there’s no trickery. Because in this case, he and Elliot have so much in common. Which could be bad.
What’s really no good is Elliot self-medicating. He’s determined to push Mr. Robot, dear ole dad into the recesses of his mind. He swallows down a bunch of pills to drown out the sound of his rambling. Right before a guy looks like an FBI agent crosses his path.
Darlene (Carly Chaikin) isn’t overly surprised about their friend being dead when Mobley meets to talk with her. She’s cynical, but more so a realist. Yet it’s still not hard for them to wonder what the fallout of their actions will be ultimately, after all is said and done. Such as how Elliot’s been taken by the FBI man, or whoever he is, and they’ve got him tied to a chair. They’re mixing concrete in a barrel, as well. Big plans for him. They’re going to pour it down his throat. No, it’s just another vision, along with dad making it all happen. He forces Elliot to throw up the pills, only to be thwarted when his son, vomit and all, slurps them back down. He’ll do anything to “not be owned.”
I have burrowed underneath your brain, I am nested there, I am the scream in your mind.”

Love that we get a good look at Dominique DiPierro (Grace Grummer) in this episode, seeing more of her, as well as in her personal space. She’s not your archetype of an FBI agent with a drug problem or anything like that. Although there’s some mystery about her. Now she’s involved slightly with the murder case of Romero; her name’s turned up on a list the hacker had in his things. This gets her digging around later, by herself, cosying up to Romero’s mom to get a second look at things.
We also get more of Trenton (Sunita Mani), after Darlene and Mobley go see her. They’re all divided. That sense of power, of righteousness keeps throbbing in Darlene, she’s not even scared after their close friend was killed. She also won’t listen to anything else, about Elliot, or getting away to someplace safe. Mobley and Trenton realise the danger of the Dark Army, she doesn’t appear bothered. This leads Mobley to wonder if the brother-sister team aren’t in on the whole thing. Paranoia abound.
The full story on Ray comes out further. He’s got a website. He deals with very bad, dangerous, violent people. He is also likely just as violent, maybe as dangerous. He’s doing some kind of shady shit online, that’s obvious. More mystery surrounding him, even after a bit of information.
Ray: “Were not animals
Meanwhile, Elliot believes he’s rid himself of dad’s influence. He’s taking the right amount of pills, getting enough sleep. Well, sometimes. Adderall has changed his life, he’s even into Leon’s (Joey Bada$$) theories on George Costanza and Seinfeld. He’s actually gotten into basketball. But he’s medicated into another kind of madness. However, he’s starting to see it all differently. No matter what he does there’s always that darkness lurking in him, the damage will never go away. It is inescapable. He’s starting to break down, all over again. In a whole new way.
The scream in my mind is coming back
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 3.17.20 AMI worry a bit about Angela (Carly Chaikin), who’s meeting Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) for dinner on a Saturday night. Seems sort of, questionable? Until arriving to find him there with a couple of her colleagues, Sol and Jim. She looks disappointed somehow, though she ought to be happy. Maybe she’s finally being taken seriously.
Or maybe not, who knows. Afterwards, Price is alone with her. Tells her those two men were involved with Colby, back when they devastated her hometown. Oh, my. Didn’t see that coming. He’s actually brought her evidence to boot.
What’s the ultimate cost? That’s my only thought.
Elliot’s starting to see that he’s, despite all the trouble, better unmedicated. He sees the truth when he’s unmedicated. And while, to some others, it might sound insane, it’s all so true. He goes on a rant at his NA meeting about gods, organised religion, and how God “owns you” through belief and the “distortion of reality.” In this sense, God is like a father, his father, many fathers.
That evening, Elliot gets a visit from Ray, who still wants help with whatever kind of website he’s been running. Ray tells him about losing his wife several years before, and that’s why he talks out loud at the breakfast table. This dude scares me, some aspect of his personality doesn’t sit right. Elliot winds up back at Ray’s office with him, then things get deeper between them. The guy almost echoes his father’s “control is an illusion.” This is already more dangerous than I imagined.
Also, guess where Dominique’s ended up? You know which arcade.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 3.37.07 AMLord, I’m in love with this TV series! Great writing, fantastic themes being illustrated in ways we’ve not seen before. As much a show about mental illness as it is about hacking. Can’t wait to watch more. Haven’t even finished Season 2, already dying for Season 3.
“eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd” comes next.

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 2: “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 2: “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail

* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt1.tc” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd” – click here
Pic 1CTO Scott Knowles (Brian Stokes Mitchell) is out in public, a big crowd, delivering the ransom money. Soon, a bike messenger shows up with a bag for him. Inside Scott finds one of the fsociety masks. He receives a call, “ten seconds” to do as he’s told or else everything’s finished. He’s informed to take out the money, wearing the mask, and then burn it in a pile as everyone watches on.
fsociety just wants to watch the capitalist system burn, they’re not in for personal profit. A dangerous foe to be up against, which Knowles understands.
Pic 1APhillip Price (Michael Cristofer) is finding business incredibly difficult, more and more. “The Big Three” are taking it hard, so everyone else is doing worse. Price has the FBI up in his grill constantly. Worse, he’s being asked to resign. He decides to go on an FDR-Great Depression rant, the nature of the American “business model” built on a con.
What about Joanna Wellick (Stephanie Corneliussen)? What’s she up to? Apparently she’s into some BDSM fetish stuff, the serious shit. She and a lover are playing with knives, she’s tied up. Nasty. But, hey, whatever gets her off! Long as it’s consensual. And it is, to a cold point on her part. When she’s done with him, she’s done.
We’re introduced to Dominique DiPierro (Grace Gummer), an FBI agent investigating the hack on E.Corp. She’s a smart, funny, quirky person. She’s sitting down now with Gideon Goddard (Michel Gill). Wonder what’ll come out in that conversation.
At the park, Leon (Joey Bada$$) neraly gets into an altercation as Elliot (Rami Malek) watches on silently. It’s all broken up by a guy named Ray Heyworth (Craig Robinson), a local prison warden. He gets talking with our hacker briefly, even knows his name. He seems to have an interest in the computer stuff he’s heard Elliot is into, though doesn’t get much of a response.
Maybe truth dont even exist
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 1.05.52 AMAngela Moss (Portia Doubleday) is continuing to keep her head above water, just barely. But she is forever stuck with the choices she’s made, the ones she keeps on making. Who knows if she’ll redeem herself, or if she’ll wallow in the mire of unethical businesses while the people she knows, from Elliot to Darlene, exist on the fringes.
Again at the park, Ray chats Elliot up. He says they were talking last night, came to some kind of understanding. Our hacker doesn’t remember. Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) crept back in. Now he’s wreaking more havoc on his son’s brain.
And this is why Im different. Sometimes my mask takes over.”
In a bar, Gideon hears a man rant next to him about the E.Corp hack, the general state of the economy, “Black Tuesday” among so many things. He speaks of societal change, and Gideon’s not keen on hearing any of it, being so intimately involved in the whole mess. The guy’s name is Brock (Chris Kipiniak), he recognises Mr. Goddard from the news, also susses out he’s been left by his husband. Then, Brock shoots him through the neck.
When Elliot goes to an NA meeting, he blinks and finds himself in a house, talking on a red phone. Someone is on the other end; is it Tyrell? “Bon soir, Elliot,” the voice says leaving our hacker shocked. Where is he? And how did he get there?
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 1.35.08 AMGreat episode to follow-up the Season 2 premiere. Continually mysterious, weird, intense, unsettling. One of the best TV series’ in the past 15 years, hands down.
“eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd” is next.

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 1: “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt1.tc”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 1: “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt1.tc”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail

* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc” – click here
Pic 1We start on the fsociety mask, of course underneath is Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström), as many of us suspected. And the whole time he was recording that video, Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) was right there with him. So, what happened to Tyrell afterwards? Did our boy use the gun he hid in the popcorn machine ages ago on him? I’m not so sure.
Its almost as if somethings come alive
Flashback to when young Elliott got knocked out of the window by dear ole dad, Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) himself. At the doctor, the bills are naturally of concern considering dad’s unemployment. And doc wonders if there’s anything nasty going on at home.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 12.15.56 AMNote: I was late starting into this show, and can’t understand how that happened. Because not only is the acting and the writing fantastic, the visuals are outstanding, the cinematography is unique. So much to enjoy. But best of all is how the visual style, even the music, really helps to put us in the fractured state of mind where Elliot exists perpetually. Playing into the narration, where the audience is treated as the voices in his head, at least in the sense of us being who he’s talking to directly.
Leon: “The human condition is a tragedy, coz.”
Now things are all fucked up. Even Obama’s talking about Tyrell Wellick, fsociety, and their impact on the economy as a whole in the country, abroad. Everything’s gone mad. Elliot, though, he’s making new friends like Leon (Joey Bada$$), whom he hangs with often, eating together, watching basketball games at the park. Although our hacker doesn’t understand sports, except for the rules: “The invisible code of chaos hiding behind the menacing face of order.”
Because Elliot likes routine, normalcy, repetition. No more thinking, just a drone from day to day. He goes to see Krista Gordon (Gloria Reuben) regularly for psychiatric sessions. She’s not exactly thrilled with him, after all he’s done. But professionally she gives him the benefit of the doubt.
At home, Elliot deals with dad coming back, trying to force his way back inside. The son wants answers. All he gets is an imaginary bullet in the head. Yet he goes on, effectively ignoring Mr. Robot, that other part of him. I wonder, at what cost?
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 12.27.15 AMThe Wall Street bull is having its nuts cut off, fsociety sending that figurative message to the elites that they’ve neutered them. A clever gesture.
We’re introduced to Susan Jacobs (Sandrine Holt), she works as general counsel for Evil Corp. Nicknamed “Madame Executioner” for dealing with lawsuits often involving deaths. She lives a fairly normal life. Jobs, watches the news. Tonight, life is a little different. Her licks flicker while she’s swimming in her pool, music plays then stops. The shower nearly burns her skin. In the rest of the house, the temperature’s been dropped. Her TV turns, the phone rings. Someone’s hacking her Smart House. You just know Darlene (Carly Chaikin) is kicking around someplace.
Later, Elliot meets with Gideon Goddard (Michel Gill). Apparently the FBI believes Gideon was involved in the hack, in some way, shape, or form. He’s hiding away, scared, paranoid. Problem is our hacker has to contend with dad rambling in his ear while listening to his old boss plead for help. When he refuses to help, there’s the possibility of blackmail, plus the fact Elliot can barely tell reality from delusion anymore.
How do I take off a mask when it stops being a mask? When its as much a part of me as I am?”
Part of why I love Mr. Robot is that it takes a look at the toll on those who try to bring revolution, what it takes personally, professionally, ethically/morally. We see Elliot’s further deteriorating mental state, exacerbated by this feeling of wanting to save the world. We also see Darlene warped by a sense of power, not doing too well, either; she’s pointed in the right direction, but even those with good intentions can be warped, too.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 12.42.33 AMSeems the hack has made things a bit worse than better. People had their debt wiped out, though now the banks can’t verify how much people paid, if they did at all, their systems are all out of whack. And it’s getting worse. By worse, it’s Darlene hoping to make things better, to affect genuine change.
Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) and Scott Knowles (Brian Stokes Mitchell) meat with Susan, to talk over the hack, issues of money. She gives her thoughts on paying the ransom to fsociety in regards to the latest hacking move. She thinks it’s best to pay and be done. Then Scott offers to bring the money himself.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 12.52.33 AMDamn. A very intense, mysterious opener that has me curious about what’ll happen to Scott, where Darlene is headed, and most of all how Elliot’s going to keep coping with dad.
“eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc” is next.

Mr. Mercedes – Season 1, Episode 4: “Gods Who Fall”

AT&T’s Mr. Mercedes
Season 1, Episode 4: “Gods Who Fall”
Directed by Jack Bender
Written by Dennis Lehane

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Cloudy, With a Chance of Mayhem” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Suicide Hour” – click here
Pic 1I love how Mr. Mercedes opens almost every episode with Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) waking to his house in shambles, liquor bottles and dirty dishes and open peanut packages, he’s a mess himself. And it’s so similar to EVERY OTHER OPENING that you actually question if you’re watching the correct episode. Genius, as we’re literally put in the shoes of Bill, retired, semi-washed up, and unsure of what day it is ultimately. Really excellent, simple technique that works wonders.
Just seeing Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway) in his basement lair is eerie, watching as he plays with a toy fire truck, imitating the siren, surrounded by computers.
We also get a look at a white supremacist, whose interests lie in America, the KKK, and all the other typical dog whistles. His name is Ryan Springhill (David A. MacDonald). Today, he’s being served with a subpoena, papers for a restraining order. Really upstanding type of guy. And Brady, he’s keeping an eye on him. Playing games with his laptop. This is the guy who got in Lou’s (Breeda Wool) face recently, not impressed with her sexual orientation, muttering “incompetent dyke” to himself getting frustrated. Hmm. Wonder what Mr. Mercedes is setting in motion.
Pic 1AFlashback to Pete Dixon (Scott Lawrence) and Bill interviewing Olivia after the Mercedes massacre. Of course the police believe she was involved, at least Pete. She feels terrible for what happened, though it isn’t HER fault some psychopath stole the car. Sure, her keys were left in the ignition, supposedly. Doesn’t mean she’s culpable. Plus, knowing Brady’s computer expertise? He likely hacked the vehicle, using Olivia as a scapegoat, another way to fulfil his sick fantasies.
So now the Nazi has gone down to Supreme Electronics, calling Lou “twat“in front of everybody. He gets very personal, calling her down to the dirt openly. We see more and more how Robi (Robert Stanton) doesn’t care about his employees, a corporate suck-up, passing off personal, sexist, homophobic insults for business. Fuck you, Robi. Eat a dick.
Jerome (Jharrel Jerome) is still kicking about, even if Bill said he doesn’t want him involved. The young guy only wants to help, offering to “step back if it gets too sketchy.” I mean, it’d be hard for me if I were his age to just give up helping a former detective investigate a psychopath murderer. Just saying. Finally, Jerome drops the idea that Olivia didn’t leave her keys in the Mercedes, that it might’ve just been left in the glove box. Piquing Bill’s interest, a tiny bit.
The poor retired detective is having his mind assaulted on the daily. His TV flickers, showing bits of the Mercedes Killer’s dashcam from the night of the massacre, then the smiley face logo mocking him. Afterwards, we see Brady go to a local diner, he runs into Jerome who knows him from the ice cream truck. Yikes. Too close for comfort. Scares me that this maniac might do something to Jerome.
Pic 2Our poisons are our pleasures
Deborah (Kelly Lynch) watches the kids on her street playing, remembering the better parts of her life. Long ago, before she had Brady. She was on the cheerleading squad, the cutest boy in school was into her. Now she lives with her son in a forcibly incestuous household, wasting away.
Later on Jerome calls Bill with talk of people breaking into cars with no trace. He explains bits and pieces about how the lock works, transmitting a signal. Meaning someone could intercept the signal. Unlocking the car. As I said: hacker shit.
The Hartsfields go to the cemetery, to visit dad, the dead brother. Brady’s not exactly thrilled to be there, though it’s clear Deborah still holds onto their memory tight. Definitely the death of Brady’s brother disturbs him, he was partly responsible. He resists thinking of it, as much as possible. But he wears the ugly tragedy on his face.
Sad that Ida (Holland Taylor) gets hurt after finding Bill at a bar with Janey (Mary-Louise Parker), looking very friendly. I feel that his gravitating towards Janey is more indicative of his obsession with the case. He can’t be interested by anything else, even if it means romantic involvement. Sure, the younger of the two women is pretty, but Ida’s a babe, too. Firmly believe Bill’s entire life is dictated by the Mercedes Killer case.
Bill: “People make mistakes when theyre angry
Janey: “People make corpses when theyre angry, too.”
Pic 3At home, Deb is having flashbacks. She sees her dead son, crawling around the fire truck; the one Brady plays with nowadays. She sees the cut in his throat for the attempted tracheotomy. And this pushes her to the freezer, for a bottle of vodka.
Brady listens to the Pixies playing “Here Comes Your Man” while shopping at a hardware store. For a few essential tools, like a watering can, lawn fertiliser, a spade, and other things. Though he isn’t happy to be served by one of his high school teachers, Mr. Mundy (Keith Flippen), working his second job. Neither is he happy to be seen near a camera; he decides on dropping the gopher poison before checking in. After that he literally beats himself up over not doing “recon” where he planned to buy poison.
The Nazi is picking up his laptop, not satisfied with things already. Robi again ignores sexist bullshit in lieu of business. So the angry white man leaves, but he’s followed by Brady who’s talking to himself about the “big bro” ahead of him. That’s when he uses his universal remote contraption to start changing intersection lights, until the Nazi’s smashed to bits by a large truck in the road. Behind him, Mr. Mercedes revels in the destruction, the death of a horrible man. Looking in his eyes, Brady remarks: “Ive seen that look before.”
And this is when we flash to his brother at the bottom of the basement steps, cracked and broken, bleeding, mouth wide open… dead… little fire truck’s lights and noises going off.
Pic 4Another fantastic episode. One of my favourites yet, because we’re seeing more of Brady, his psychopathy expanding and becoming all-encompassing. There’s growth to Bill, as well. He and Janey closer and closer all the time.
“The Suicide Hour” comes next week.