Geeky TV commentary - Mr Robot 1.3

  USA Network

  USA Network

BY SAMANTHA HOLLOWAY

Mr Robot airs at 10pm Wednesday nights on USA.

Another tight, tense, quiet episode of Mr Robot where, somehow, Everything Happens Ever. Let's see if we can get it all.

Elliot tells Mr Robot, who shows up at his work unannounced and who no one seems to notice or object to, that he's out and Mr Robot tells him that without him, the plan is nothing and so it's over. Elliot believes him, and there's a great sequence where he's all in sunshine and drinking Starbucks lattes and liking things on Instagram. He says he's going to live a bug-free life from now on, and accepts the invitation to his boss's dinner party, and asks Shayla to be his girlfriend.

But Mr Robot isn't giving up that easily. At the party, just after Elliot says he could get used to living a normal life, he gets a text that tells him to turn on the news, and everyone sees a report on the latest leaked emails from the EvilCorp implicate the dude who's taking the fall in the coverup that hid the cause of Elliot's dad and Angela's mom's deaths. Which ruins that bubble that Elliot was just starting to relax into thinking he might get to keep. Elliot leaves, we see a little flashback of him and his mom handling the death badly and in different ways, and Angela follows--but we don't get to see her talking him down. It would have been nice to see the two of them dealing with the reason they even know together, but since we didn't, did it even happen? Did she just tell her jerk of a boyfriend that she talked to him?

Speaking of the jerk boyfriend, he's done messed up. The Other Hacker gave him an ultimatum to upload some virus into his work servers, using his cheating and pictures of Angela as leverage. He tells Angela, which is probably the smartest thing he's done since the show started, and her first impulse is to dump him, which is the smartest thing she's done. He manages to weasel her into helping him, and she goes along with it because Ollie, who works in cyber security, didn't secure his laptop well enough and now the Other Hacker has all the social security and banking information on Angela and her dad. Ollie doesn't give a flip about them, of course, but he goes all mushy on her when she says she'll help him out of this. What she should do is get Elliot to help them out, but who knows if she will.

Really, as long as she's being active and angry and taking control of her own life, I'm good. She's been too oblivious and nice and it's not done well for her. Here's to hoping that this is the start of a new leaf for her, since it couldn't be for Elliot.

Meanwhile, through all of this, that slimy would-be CEO that Elliot talked to before is doing whatever it takes to be the next CEO--which apparently means picking up the dude who can help him get there at a club so that he can seduce him, hijack his phone, and then clone it. He's got a wife who's pregnant and also severely kinky? And he sometimes pays bums to let him beat them up when things get too heavy for him. Also, he's not as American as he likes to sound like he is. Basically, he's a study in all the ways someone can be secretly messed up, and we're not sure yet how that'll play out.

When Elliot shows up at the arcade, the other hackers act like the king had returned from war long after they thought he was dead.

I'm more and more sure that Elliot is the only one who can see Mr Robot, which would make this a Fight Club scenario with Matrix overtones, but I can be okay with that. The show is handling the story well, is original enough, and is intriguing enough that if they handle the reveal the way they've handled everything else, even if we all saw it coming it'll be good. Fight Club isn't the only one that has used that storyline, even if it's the one everyone knows, and it won't be the last, and it can still be a good story.

There's more questions that need answering, of course; we're not even half way through the season yet. But there's starting to be some answers to things, or the hints of answers. And there's a whole lot of plot and character development.

What did you guys think of all this tonight?

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