Mr. Robot: “eps2.3_logic-b0mb.hc” Season 2 Episode 5

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The clock is ticking on Mr. Robot this week. It didn’t matter which characters were on screen, the sound we associate with time literally passing by was ever-present in this week’s episode. There’s a sense of urgency that comes with that, but also one to us viewers, who were maybe starting to wonder if Mr. Robot was entering a sophomore slump. Season two’s deliberate pacing the past few episodes hasn’t made for the most exciting television, but at least the creators are aware enough that they made this entry feel as if a bomb was about to go off. Thankfully, it pretty much did.

Elliot took a back seat to season two’s new full-time recruit, FBI agent Dom. As opposed to the character’s more rugged previous appearances, Dom’s human side came out here, though the stark difference made the character feel a tad inconsistent. If Mr. Robot can connect these two sides of Dom, she’ll be as welcome as the rest of the show’s main players. For now, it’s forgivable because she gets to square off with Whiterose under the guise of Minister Zhang, China’s Minister of State Security. Putting her in such intimate quarters with the leader of the Dark Army not only upped the tension considerably, but found a way to put Dom right in the crosshairs of the Dark Army. The final moments of the episode took that literally, as presumably the Dark Army open fire in Dom’s office, violently killing most of her team and leaving us with a brutal cliffhanger. The story here has finally been jumpstarted, but how will it all come back to Elliot?

Our lead is conducting the hack of the FBI when the episode opens, but the trouble he finds comes elsewhere. Ray’s privacy is vulnerable so long as Elliot is using his computer. Naturally, he just can’t help himself and discovers a black market website that may be the only thing Elliot has encountered more evil and E Corp. Drugs, military grade weapons, sex trafficking, you name it. Elliot’s morality is to be challenged, which his imaginary father doesn’t seem down for of course. The final moments where Ray orchestrates Elliot getting roughed up indicate that this hurdle won’t be going away anytime soon. This direction is interesting, but it does feel more like a tangent than a means to advancing Elliot’s overall arc or the show’s plot.

Angela, meanwhile, does a little bit of both this week. Approached by Darlene to help hack the FBI, she’s initially reluctant, but eventually convinced by her ex-boyfriend selling her out to the FBI. Where Angela will land in this whole mess if fascinating. Her corruption this season is one of this year’s major highlights.

So as Mr. Robot ups the excitement, it hasn’t quite fixed all of the season’s problems yet. It’s not developing its new characters as well as it did the old ones, causing Dom and Ray’s respective storylines to suffer slightly. The latter may be taking Elliot down with him. But there’s no denying that the show is still gorgeous to look at and masterful at building tension. It just needs to pull its story closer together to regain the momentum the season premiere initially gave the season. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty


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