It’s here! My favorite show currently on TV is back with its second season and I can’t be more excited to watch Rami Malek every week and I’m super thrilled to see where this show will take us this season!
I thought, since I’m feeling especially unproductive today, that I should recap Mr. Robot’s first two episodes and since my last Mr. Robot posts are probably my favorite things I’ve written (you can read them here and here), I’m thinking about making this into a weekly thing. Then again, I should not be making any plans, as I suck at keeping up with those plans, and therefore I set myself out for failure right off the bat. So, who knows if this will be a weekly thing, but meanwhile, here are my thoughts on episodes 201 and 202 of Mr. Robot!
The same old eerie, dark and depressing atmosphere of the show feels like home. There’s no better way to reflect the depressive topics of Mr. Robot than those gray tones, the emptiness in the frame, and Rami Malek’s expressionless face. It’s what I love, it’s what I’ve missed, and the opening of the first episode is a perfect demonstration of the show’s strength in terms of cinematography as well as the soundtrack. The lyrics on the background, while Elliot describes his daily routine, are very fitting in a symbolic way, as well as sad.
One of the first thoughts I had when watching this episode was the idea of daily routine. Elliot talks through his own, completely stripped of enjoyment, even though our protagonist has found himself a very talkative friend named Leon (Joey Bada$$ – and yes, it’s his acting debut). Everyday, Elliot has breakfast with Leon, who started watching Seinfeld, he goes to watch basketball games, he writes in his journal, he eats dinner with Leon again, and he goes to bed. Next day, he repeats this series of events, and he repeats, and repeats, since it’s easier that way.
For Elliot, his condition adds pressure to his daily life. But I couldn’t help to think about my own daily routines as sort of coping mechanisms to avoid life. We repeat the same motions in life, we wake up, we have coffee, we go to work, we go grocery shopping, we come home, we eat, we read, we go to sleep and we repeat the same things the next day, and the next. It’s simple that way, it’s easy to fall into a routine, rather than have spontaneous trips to somewhere, or to eat something weird or go to a pole-dancing lesson for the first time. Routines help us, while slowly picking us apart and taking away our freedom. That freedom for Elliot is dangerous though, because his father’s illusion still haunts him and even though he tries to fight it, he can’t, and he is constantly tormented by the idea of him as well as his ideas themselves.
The episodes shows us that US is struggling with the financial crisis Elliot and his friends created, and Darlene (Carly Chaikin) is still fighting the good cause, even though Elliot has kept himself away from it all. We see fSociety hijacks a building and blackmails a bank. Angela (Portia Doubledey) is not in this episode, and Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström) isn’t either. The absence of the first is not difficult to accept, but I would have liked to have seen Tyrell. All in all, the first episode of the season was a good start, not the strongest episode, and not as hard hitting as the pilot, but I’m certain the show will pick up its momentum soon.
We start off with the aftermath of the blackmail, when the one paying the ransom is asked to burn all the money, because fSociety doesn’t care about money. He does it while wearing the mask, and the scene is an interesting contradiction between money, power and the connection between those two. And we see how the men on the top are manipulative and powerful con men, who deprive people from their choices, and feed them ideals, dreams and fantasies to benefit from them far more than the people do. It’s a kick at what Elliot himself goes against – consumerism.
This episode seems to have a lot more going on, because Angela comes back, and she is much more bad-ass than I remember, then again, she is working for E(vil)corp and it has clearly changed her as a person. Then we are shown a little of Tyrell Wellick’s wife Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen), and her life without her husband – which means a secret boy-toy to torture and punish her, although he clearly isn’t the punishing type. Part of me wants to see Joanna and Tyrell together again, fighting or arguing, doesn’t matter, because I think their dynamic on screen is electric and dangerous.
With the second episode we discover yet again the fact that Elliot’s other personality takes over at night, when Elliot thinks he has it under control and is sleeping. There is a brilliant scene between Elliot and Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) where Elliot pretty much loses it, and finally rattles Mr. Robot a little. It’s a power shift, and while Elliot himself has no idea when he isn’t himself, and what he does when Mr. Robot takes over, his need for control is so strong, that he knows he will win eventually. His exit from the room would have been a brilliant ending to the episode as well, showing that despite him being so anti-social, his new social group still has had an affect on him.
The episode ends on a high, we not only get a great assassination, but there is an awesome time jump between Elliot andElliot after Mr. Robot’s take over. It shows how easily Elliot can lose track of reality, and how he finally finds out, what he’s always known, where Tyrell Wellick is! And as the second episode came to a close, I was thrilled because I was right, the show is already gaining momentum, and with it, the second episode is close to the perfection I’m now expecting from Mr. Robot. Though, looking at the Rotten Tomatoes scores, the show has yet not been anything less.