Mr. Robot: “eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z” Season 2 Episode 11 Review

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It’s important to remember that this is the eleventh episode of the season for Mr. Robot, with just one left to go. Ask yourself, what’s really happened in those eleven episodes? This show can be absolutely stunning when it wants to be. Take, for example, the extended interrogation between first the little girl and Angela, and later Whiterose and Angela. The sequence is expertly written, acted, and framed. The aesthetic of the room. The use of sound. B.D. Wong’s pitch-perfect delivery. There is so much beauty and pure artistic vision realized in this scene, but what really happens in it? With little time to spare before the curtain closes on the season until next year, why are we seeing this now? What would this show be like if the overall plot actually backed up its gorgeous ambitions?

This episode was originally meant to be part one of a two-part season finale. It definitely feels like it. There’s just a lot of building toward moments that are coming next week, especially with the side characters. Dom, Joanna, and Price tease their positions going into season two’s endgame, but this is an episode that instead wants to focus on Angela and Elliot. That’s all fine and well, but that focus doesn’t lead us to anyplace all that interesting. Angela eventually decides to not come forward with all she knows about 5/9. Elliot, meanwhile, hunts for Mr. Robot, but eventually finds someone else to complicate his headspace.

That’s right, in one form or another, Tyrell is back, and he seems to know a few things about this Stage 2 everyone is talking about. Considering how much of Tyrell we’ve actually seen this season, his return really comes as no surprise, even if he is just another part of Elliot’s head. But what does Tyrell being back even mean? Is Mr. Robot so much about Elliot’s mental well-being now that the plot comes second to trippy mind games? It sure feels that way.

All this comes down to the fact that Mr. Robot is just trying too damn hard to get us excited about it. This paper thin yet overly complicated story arc for the season has had so many artistic ventures forced into it that the show doesn’t really feel like anything anymore. Maybe that’s the feel the creators are going for, a lost thriller just begging to be compared to any number of David Lynch projects. Going into the finale next week, so much has been teased to happen. I doubt it can save the season, as this show has truly become a chore to watch. But on thing is for sure, however all this crap ties up next week, it’ll be pretty to look at. Grade: C+

By Matt Dougherty

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