Sunday, August 14, 2016

What I’m Watching: Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot: Season 2, Episode 6 “eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes” (B+)

I initially questioned the effectiveness of and the need for this episode to be shot as a sitcom, but then I realized two things. The first is that I was totally drawn it and it was a fascinating way to look at the situation, and the second was that Elliot has not been known for his reliable perception of reality. For him to experience his memories this way, especially after the beating he took, makes total sense. It’s also mesmerizing to see how Elliot’s life plays out as a sitcom, particularly with the Emmy-deserving Christian Slater, who was unfairly snubbed when the nominations were announced last month, playing in so well to that style. Elliot’s knowledge that something was wrong and that the laugh track shouldn’t exist was haunting, and the transition back to the real world was extremely well done. Angela coaching herself with words of positivity which practicing for her hack didn’t suggest her competence, but she managed to flirt her way out of a tricky situation with FBI Agent Ross Thomas, who I correctly recognized as Tom Degnan, who played Agent Ike on “Limitless,” and then may or may not have held up well when Dom called her out by name without any seeming awareness that she was in the middle of hacking the FBI. Dom could use a win after failing to convince any of her colleagues that the attack in Beijing was not the work of terrorists and also not succeeding at keeping her local deli afloat. Elliot getting dragged out of his hospital bed was violent, and seeing him hug Mr. Robot at the sight of him was jarring. Ending with Mr. Robot telling a young Elliot that he lost his job because he left work to go to the doctor and having him prepare to name the computer store was a superb way to finish an episode that was all over the place in terms of its style but so strong in every direction it took.