Mr. Robot: “” Season 2 Episode 2 Review

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The second half of the season premiere sees Mr. Robot settling into a comfortable groove for the remaining episodes. While not the creative firecracker part one was, part two clearly conveys just how fsociety is going to wage its war on the world.

While Elliot remains sidelined, he’s getting some new company, chiefly in the form of Ray (The Office‘s Craig Robinson), a lonely and honest man simply trying to connect with another lonely soul. This is merely an introduction, but their dynamic is interesting and has potential.

But Elliot spends most of this episode combatting Mr. Robot. Laughing in his face seems to be more effective than the hallucinated bullets Elliot’s father keeps pumping into his head. But then Ray reveals a nighttime meeting they shared that Elliot doesn’t remember. Borrowing a bit from The Leftovers, though not in a way that seems like a blatant rip off, Elliot is blacking out. We see it happen at the close of the episode, as he dozes off in group therapy only for us to quickly cut to him on the phone waiting for an answer. That voice on the other end sure sounds like Tyrell, which means maybe we really have no idea what is actually going on.

Meanwhile, Darlene blackmails E Corp’s CTO into burning almost $6 million in cash on live television in an fsociety mask. If you watched the two premiere episodes separately as I did, this makes for one hell of an opening scene. fsociety is winning the war so far, but things can’t stay easy for them as the season progresses. It’s fun to see Darlene brood through her victories right now, but I look forward to when she’s truly challenged.

But perhaps the biggest talking point from the second part of the premiere will be the very public murder of Gideon. Merely sitting at a bar, drinking away his woes, a man named Brock starts talking to him about his reputation in the media and the state of the world, as well as Gideon’s place in it. The scene is wonderfully written to highlight Gideon’s fatal flaw before Brock executes him. His calming arrogance is there until the very end. Gideon was always likable, and given our world’s recent events, a public shooting like this is even more disturbing and authentic feeling.

Until this huge moment, part two of the premiere was a bit of a comedown from the first part. Not by much, as it’s clear the writers are merely putting the pieces in place for what’s to come. It’s a relief that there are still so many more episodes of Mr. Robot to watch this year, as the show looks to be on track for one hell of a second season. Grade: B+

Some Other Notes:

  • Angela made her brief return in the second half of the premiere. She’s certainly acting like an E Corp employee, brushing off her superiors with a coldness we haven’t really seen in full effect before this point.
  • Christian Slater is being used very well so far this season. They’re not overdoing it, but he’s still stealing the scenes he’s being used in, or merely just there to torture Elliot, and us.
  • If Tyrell is alive, was he also the one calling his wife?

By Matt Dougherty

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