Title: Mr. Robot
Air Date: 07/29/2015
Genre: Cyberpunk, Thriller
Mr. Robot has always utilized suspense in interesting ways. Sure, it has its fair share of boogeymen and men in suits stalking the streets for not-so-innocent young men and women, but there is also the fear of being caught mid-hack, a trail of data incriminating the hacker while he or she attempts to break through the latest technological defense. However, the seventh episode of Mr. Robot hones in on more conventional aspects of the show, such as Elliot’s love life and a neat David vs. Goliath sub-plot, and it pays off. “eps1.6_v1ew-s0urce.flv” is an all around great, if not conventional, a piece of storytelling.
The fallout from the previous episode shows Elliot at his most low, and, unlike most tv shows, it wouldn’t make sense of Elliot to suddenly pull himself up by his bootstraps and work on bettering his situation. This isn’t a show about a young man with a blue collar work ethic trying to better himself for the sake of his future. Elliot is broken, and he doesn’t think he’ll get better. The part of Elliot is great for any young actor because it allows him or her to stretch one’s chops, and viewers can see how believable the performances are while accurately depicting the struggles and realities of mental illness. Watching Elliot’s reactions and first meeting with Shayla, and then seeing him in the present day present a range of believable emotions. It’s nice to see such relatability in a character who still has outrageous adventures.
Then the show turns to Tyrell, and Angela, and Darlene, and Mr. Robot. It continues to balance the different characters, and providing some deep material to examine their actions in the scope of the larger conflict. This episode, in a confusing way, however, gave viewers the biggest break from Elliot that we will ever see. He didn’t necessarily take a backseat, but his growth was static. This isn’t a bad thing, as television shows such as Mr. Robot can afford to slow down character growth occasionally in favor of the growth and screentime of other characters, but it will be jarring and disparaging for others, as he is the main focus of the show.
Angela becomes a significant presence in this episode, as she seeks to incriminate Terri Colby for crimes he committed as the CEO of Evil Corp. For a CEO of a company called Evil Corp, I feel as if the show goes to some great lengths to depict him as a much more relatable character than an evil corporate figure from a company called “Evil Corp,” should be. I feel like the show tries to make him out to be much more human than he needs to be. It wouldn’t be beneficial for the show to try to make him out to be more sympathetic than he needs to be. E-Corp has killed people, ruined lives! Why is Terri Colby such a relaxed, normal man? If people literally call the company Evil Corp, why, then, does it’s “leader,” seem like such an ordinary man?
The root of the problem, ruin Evil Corp and bring down Allsafe at the same time, cleverly reinforces how many innocent people get caught up in the crossfires of this David vs. Goliath conflict. Angela wrestles and constantly questions whether what she is doing it right. Are her concerns, one single person’s desires and wishes, much more important than the wellbeing of an entire company? It’s fascinating to see this all play out. Portia Doubleday does a great job with her character, as it’s easy for the viewers to relate to her situation she has placed herself.
A majority of the suspense-filled moments come from Tyrell Wellick, as he and Nina attend a celebratory dinner for Knowles’s promotion to CTO. Nina is sparingly used, even though I feel like she will return in season two in an interesting way, but she still seems to control Tyrell and his entire track of promotions. The conflict between Knowles and the Wellicks is odd, if not satisfying from a production sense with cool music and an extraordinary focus on an even sleeker presentation, but it’s a conflict that provides for the majority of corporate espionage that is admittedly very cool. The conflict, I feel, unnecessarily escalates. But the show doesn’t back down from its decisions, and all of the sudden the corporate dance between Wellick and Knowles feels a lot more deadly.
Episode seven is another great episode in an overall excellent season. Pulling the focus away from Elliot for a brief amount of time allows for us to take in the rest of the world, and what a bleak, interesting conflict it is.
- Story: The story mostly works, while taking a break from Elliot.
- Acting/Characters: The acting continues to be believable as it taps into a humanistic core.
- Cinematography: Stunning visuals do more than please the eye.
- Organization: Average organization, as the deviation doesn’t work as well when the Tyrell’s take the screen.
- Intriguing storyline
- Balancing different characters
- Believable emotions
- Break from Elliot, the strongest part of the show
- The Wellick-Knowles conflict
Liam has been watching movies and too much tv since they took Batman: The Animated Series off the air. He can be found on Twitter tweeting and retweeting nonsense.