Before you read any further, I have watched five episodes of Mr. Robot right now and have found that it is best to go in as blind as possible, which means that reading this review before the episode may take away some of the thrill of the surprise.
The third episode of Mr. Robot opened up with a violent and disturbing scene that marks episode 3 as much different than the previous two. Sure, this series has literally just started, but, from the get go, Mr. Robot is a show that knows what it is. Episode three, titled eps 1.2_d3bug.mkv, continues to show viewers that Mr. Robot is a versatile show capable of handling and fleshing out several different characters at once.
Tyrell Wellick opens the episode beating a man down just because he has to take his anger out on something after learning he may be passed over for the CTO promotion in Evil Corp. By focusing the title scene on Tyrell, viewers understand that he is going to be the main focus of this episode, and Martin Wallstrom does not disappoint. He portrays Wellick’s various layers with a sense of ambition, as a man who is willing to do anything necessary to get to the top of CTO’s corporate ladder. However, Wallstrom plays an executive who is realistic and determined, meaning his actions purport him to more than just a simple rip-off of a Bond villain. He’s methodical, and recognizes that CTO is not going to hand him the promotion he believes he deserves.
The evolution and introduction in this episode of Wellick provides the deepest examination of the character. It’s not only refreshing; it’s important. It’s vital that the series proves that it can evoke such character study from a villain who looks to be nothing more than an archetypal tv-corporate suit. I really hope that Mr. Robot continues to add layers to Wellick, as the more humanistic and determined portrayal is a welcome sign that the writers of Mr. Robot understand how easy it is to employ a corporate figure that does not need to be developed as much.
Wallstrom’s Tyrell Wellick has become my 2nd favorite character on the show, right after Elliot of course. Ever since I was drawn in by the show’s hypnotic music and points of conversation, I have been wondering what makes this show so good. After witnessing strong writing, an appropriate focus on the main character, and great cinematography, I know what makes this show great and unique. However, I think the focus on multiple girlfriends for Elliot may derail the show down the line.
Elliot is a young man who suffers from severe social anxiety and paranoia, but, at the same time, still has multiple women flocking to him. While it may be explained why Charlene, Shayla, and Angela all find themselves drawn to Elliot, it doesn’t make sense why these girls would all want Elliot’s attention and affection. Charlene’s presence is the strangest, as she is seemingly there to remind us of the existence of Mr. Robot. Angela’s is the easiest to understand, due to Elliot and her being childhood friends. I prefer Shayla over the previous two women, but I hope Mr. Robot gives these characters more to do than trying to appease Elliot.
fsociety finally gave Elliot a reason to come join them, with leaking the emails that E-Corp covered up the chemical waste that slowly killed Elliot’s dad. This is sinister, but real. In the same episode that sees Elliot making some personal changes, fsociety gives Elliot some very heroic and emotional reasons to come back to them and take up their cause. His rage is careful, understandable, but it still is relatable enough that Elliot can return to fsociety and we can still root for him.
This show also introduced a storyline involving a CD that Ollie, Angela’s boyfriend, pick up from a random supposed rapper off of the street. It just adds to the sense of foreignness I’ve always felt comes from Ollie’s story arc. Why does he have to be on the show anymore? Elliot already proved he will hack and examine the lives of anyone around him and his friends for the sake of their, and his own, safety. While the hacker and CD storyline is weird, the ambiance it adds to the show is interesting enough that it can play out for the rest of the show.
This was is different from the first two episodes, but I’m happy I can breath a sigh of relief that Mr. Robot, even during its weaker moments, is still a pretty great show. There are also a few moments of the episode that make for great watercooler conversation. Such as:
- The performances of Carly Chalkin, Frankie Saw, and Portia Doubleday help make up for their respective characters’ underwhelming material in this episode
- Go into each episode as spoiler-free as possible. I know you’re getting this at the end of the review, but try as hard as possible to go in as blind as possible.
- Who else will be introduced who is connected and related to Elliot’s dad and Angela’s mother?
Overall, Mr. Robot continues to impress me with it’s strong writing, excellent performances, and great characters. This episode did show me where the show could improve or go a bit off the rails, but I still think it is one of the best new series in recent memory.
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.