Geeky TV commentary - Mr Robot 1.4

  USA

  USA

BY SAMANTHA HOLLOWA

Mr Robot airs at 10pm on Wednesday nights on USA.

Just when you think you have this show figured out, it throws something new at you. This week, Elliot snorts up his last bit of Morphine just as they're about to launch their big world-changing take down plan, and everything goes to pot. Or, you know, morphine. Withdrawal slams into him hard and he spends most of the episode flailing around in a hotel room, sweating and puking, and hallucinating. He keeps seeing himself in different places--in a drug den where they offer him something worse and he gets shot, inside a pirate video where the FSociety mascot hands him a key and the mask, at home where Mr Evil hands him a key and his fish sounds suspiciously like Keith David, in a restaurant where Angela is eating the fish and the tables are also the cubicles they work in, where Angela mistakes yet another key for a proposal, back at the arcade where Angela is dressed in a gorgeous wedding dress and hands him another key--and accuses him of not really going to change the world.

There's a lot of walking through doors and being handed keys while looking at all these different options he's been handed all through the series up until now. He doesn't really pick any of them, but he also doesn't turn them down, and he wakes up without a fever and with as much sanity as he ever used to have before withdrawal.

Meanwhile, the dudes from the hacker team were setting up for the big plan, and the girls were left behind but decided to take things into their own hands, and met with dragon-masked...Chinese mobsters? A competing hacker group? The Chinese hackers who are holding Ollie by the delicates to get him to do the thing? It's pretty clear the the whole night that the Muslim girl is in love with the drunk girl.

And Angela goes to walk the dog with Shayla and winds up tripping on Ecstasy in a club, where they make out for a second and Shalya tells Angela to take care of herself first. Which is probably going to go terribly awry since she went into work when no one was there and put that disk into the computer--the one with the virus--but at least it's a mess she made herself and not one that was dropped on her. And since her scumbag cheating boyfriend is still around, and next week's ad shows her telling him she ruined his life, the best thing that can be said is "about time". She's sweet, but way too passive and keeps getting all this junk she didn't ask for messing up her life.

Things are coming to a head, and it's a pretty great one. Elliot's hallucinations were bizarre, but were also very interesting and probably coded all sorts of info for the rest of the series--most notably, some meta-commentary on cinematic hacking, and Angela saying that he's not Elliot but the rest of that being cut off, and the mascot handing over the mask. And almost definitely a lot more that will become clear later.

But since it's coming to a head, and there's still what seems to be piles of evidence that Mr Robot is actually part of Elliot a la Fight Club, as we've said before, it raises the question: how can this story carry on into a second season that they've been given, when it seems to be so tightly plotted as one complete story?

What do you think? And what did you think about this week's episode?

http://www.examiner.com/article/geeky-tv-commentary-mr-robot-1-4