Rami Malek With The Performance Of The Year On Last Night’s Mr. Robot

USA Network

USA Network



WHAT a performance last night. I tried doing my usual recap with video clips but Instagram but they wouldnt let me upload any. Probably knows I’m somehow filming my TV. But Rami Malek knocked it out of the park last night. From the opening scenes with him screaming in anger and confusion at his “dad” to the slow self realization he’s completely lost his mind in the graveyard, he dominated this episode. Its hard to imagine what it looks like when a person completely crumbles from the inside out, but I would be willing to bet it looks something like Rami Malek. The bulging eyes, the quivering voice, the screaming rage, the hopeless looks on his face. Fucking nailed it.

Last night was a big “reveal” moment for Mr. Robot. But it was unlike any other reveal of its kind. Ordinarily in the Fight Clubs and the Sixth Senses and even a lesser known, but pretty awesome and creative movie, Identity, the reveal that someone isnt real, or is dead, or everything is in someone’s head is a huge AH-HA! moment for the audience. It completely flips the show on its head and everything you’ve thought about the movie or series is completely changed. You basically have to rewatch the whole thing. That moment for Mr. Robot viewers was last week. Learning that Mr. Robot was his dad and Darlene was his sister was the big twist for the audience. But this week – finally revealing that Mr. Robot was actually inside of Elliot’s mind, a persona he created to cope with his father’s death and focus on revenge against E Corp – was a reveal for Elliot. The audience knew that already. From day 1, Sam Esmail and the writers of Mr. Robot laid it on pretty thick that Christian Slater wasn’t real. I think most people picked up on that right away. And even when they tossed a couple curveballs and Christian Slater interacted with Wellick and that black hacker dude (not sure if any of those other hackers are real either) my first thought was that it was Elliot kind of “in Mr. Robot mode.” That it was still inside of Elliot. And so when this finally comes out 9 episodes into the show, its not a huge moment of “Oh my God” for the viewer. But, it is a big moment for us to watch Elliot go through that realization. You know when you’ve already seen Fight Club or a movie with a huge twist and you’re watching it with someone who’s never seen it? And you watch them watch the movie and get total satisfaction of the look on their face and the fact that you already knew what was happening? Mr. Robot gave us that moment in TV form last night. In a TV show that often breaks the 4th wall and looks or speaks directly to the camera, last night when Elliot said to the audience “You knew all along, didnt you?” was the best. We were the guys who knew Bruce Willis was already dead and we were waiting for Rami Malek to get to that point in the movie. And when he did, it was awesome. Albeit completely corny and cliche to happen in a graveyard so the camera can pan down to his father’s grave, watching Elliot come to learn he’s 100% lost it was awesome.

It was a nice way to change up the way things are usually done. Its not like this entire show was dependent upon the audience saying “Wow I didnt see that coming!” We did see it coming. It was building towards that moment and now seeing how Elliot and the rest of the gang handle this is equally as captivating, if not more so, than some sort of M. Night Shymallammanman twist. To me, thats one of the marks of a good show. Everyone always so concerned about spoilers and here’s a show that basically spoiled itself. Let the viewer know what was going on because they knew they had built such a strong show around it, they werent relying completely on one scene or revelation to make the season.

Season 1 finale next week. We got Wellick either on the verge of killing Elliot or working with him to take down E Corp after the company kicked him to the curb. We’ve got Angela presented with an opportunity to work for E Corp despite openly trying to take them down. And the continued struggle of Elliot’s mind and his relationship with Darlene. Should be a doozy and should set up season 2 nicely.

PS – I really loved the scene with Colby offering Darlene a job at Evil Corp. For 2 reasons.

  1. I’m a bit anti-fsociety and Angela’s crusade for justice. Their whole hacker movement against big corporations and what not is so idealistic and hipsterish sometimes it bothers me how much they are out to create total anarchy in the world. Angela is obviously separate from fsociety but has the same end game in taking out E Corp and all of it just seems so childish at times. Hating big business and making them out to be the root of all evil. So I was happy when Colby came across as the level headed adult talking about how grudges arent realistic and how its just business and almost mocked Angela’s unrealistic view of the company. He did it a couple episodes earlier when he was like “What did you think? We all sat around a big table smoking cigars and laughing when we made the decision?” I’m happy they at least give you a little bit of the other side of the argument despite E Corp being the ultimate villain for our hero. I think Colby actually does a good job of showing its not all black and white.
  2. On the flip side, him talking about how they set away a little fund that has 5 times the amount of money Angela’s and how they’re willing to bring her on board despite her openly trying to tear down the company just shows how cocky and arrogant and invincible this company thinks they are. Shows how they are generally untouchable by normal members of society. Unfortunately for them though, fsociety aint normal. This plan sounds like it should succeed. But I think ultimately fsociety fails for one reason or another and E Corp does prove untouchable. I think the idea here is that Evil Corp represents all big corporations and corrupt business and at the end of the day, I dont think that can be stopped. Not by the fair way – lawsuits and accountability –  and not the unfair way – by hackers. We’ll find out.

PPS – A little confused on the Wellick/Elliot relationship. Him walking into Elliot’s apartment last night putting together all the pieces of his plot seemed like it would be the first time they met or the first time Wellick knew of the whole plan. But didnt he already know what was going on – or at least know that something was going on – when he was talking to Elliot as Mr. Robot in that SUV? Still a bit confused by Wellick’s interaction with fsociety in general if anyone can provide any clarity on that.

PPPS – The opening flashback scene to the Mr. Robot store when Christian Slater was still alive was phenomenal. The foreshadowing of him coughing and getting sick, the time lapse to see the store disappear, all very Breaking Bad-esque.