‘Mr. Robot’ Returns With A World On The Brink Of Implosion
It’s been months since Mr Robot left us hanging after an entire season of “holy sh*t’ moments, but it came back with a lot more of those same moments that we love: the music, the atmosphere, the acting, the writing, the overwhelming feeling of dread or something bad was going to happen. This was pretty much everything I wanted with the season premiere, but also left me wanting. I wanted all the answers, but I knew I was going to have to wait. I guess that is the new mindset I have since we’re getting used to getting all of our favorite shows given to us over a weekend. The good thing about not getting them all is having the ability to process the information from each new episode. So let’s get to it.
Elliot Alderson is back, but he’s really trying to go without any technology. He is without a phone, and most noticeably, he is without a computer. How can you have Elliot without a computer?! Because he is going through even more mental problems. He’s trying to stick to a strict routine that gets him to interact with more real people, and limit the interaction with fake people like Mr. Robot/dead Dad (Christian Slater).
If you were hoping to find out about Tyrell Wellick’s fate at the end of last season, we still have no idea what happened to him, but they did give us more hints. His fate is still part of the “missing” three days that Elliot experienced after he implemented his plan. What Elliot does is move back in with his mother, write down his thoughts, hang out with his new Seinfeld-obsessed friend Leon, and eventually meeting a new friend name Ray (Craig Robinson). Yes, Craig Robinson. When he came walking on to the basketball court that Elliot often visits with Leon, it’s a bit strange. That strangeness goes away quickly throughout the episode because this show can turn a comedic actor into a dramatic one.
Remember how I mentioned that Elliot writes down his thoughts? Well, it’s not so much that he just writes down these thoughts, no, he writes them down as time logs. He does it to prevent those same gaps in time that happened where Wellick disappeared from his memory. Oh, and Wellick? He’s basically perceived by the government as the mastermind behind the hack. So, there’s that.
Mr. Robot pops in and out and has changed considerably from the first season. He’s pissed that Elliot is trying to ignore him, so he gets incredibly mean and violent. Sure, the violence isn’t real (he shoots Elliot in the head), but it’s meant to look like Mr. Robot’s personality trying to break Elliot’s mental stability down. Mr. Robot went from the father figure in the first season to a very scary presence that Elliott does his best to ignore.
The time gaps have begun to return. Later in the episode, Ray talks to Elliot again with his ADORABLE dog, and talks like they were old buddies. Elliot doesn’t remember. Ray looks at him confused and concerned. Elliot’s slow and horrifying realization that there must have been a time gap washes over his face. It’s so bad that he literally gets up and runs to his journal to notice there is a considerable time gap that wasn’t recorded. I will stop there for the moment and get to other happenings in the episode.
Tyrell Wellick’s wife Joanna has been enjoying some more BDSM with what seems like just some random guy who wants more than just weird sex. She is quick to remind him that he basically means nothing to her. This is especially devastating to him because she just stepped out of the bath. This cuts to Elliot at one of his meetings at a church where he dozes off. CUT. He then wakes up with a phone in his hand. Another time gap.
Let’s return to where Elliot has just realized he had a time gap in his journal. Mr. Robot returns and things start to get even stranger. Mr. Robot puts the gun up to his face again and says, “When people see you coming…. I’m going to make you realize… that they see me,” to Elliot. Right them Elliot bursts out in this sick laughter that even scare Mr. Robot. I figured at that moment that there may be yet another personality that we’re dealing with. However, with that gun yet again aimed at his forehead, Elliot challenges him and says, Tell me where Tyrell is… or shoot me again. Because the only one who’s going to drive mad is you, not me.” Then he walks out seemingly taking a bunch of ego out of Mr. Robot, but also asking the question of what the hell what that? That laugh was really disturbing from Elliot. Elliot tries to hide his emotions, and that was right out of a creepy mental institution from the early 20th century.
Back to the time gap where Elliot is now sitting in his Mom’s place with a phone in his hand. Who’s on the other end? “Is that really you?” asked with a bit of a laugh by Tyrell Wellick’s voice.
Elsewhere, Darlene has hijacked an E Corp general councilwoman’s smarthouse. You know, one of those houses completely wired into everything that can be hacked? Yeah, her place got hacked big time just so Darlene and her crew can come in and use it as an HQ. Darlene continues to try to finish the job of fsociety by releasing an ultimatum to E Corp, which was pretty fun, but she seems unsatisfied that the hack didn’t accomplish enough. Or, as she puts it: “We didn’t finish them off.”
Gideon, the former boss at Allsafe, is also being framed for the hack by Elliot. Gideon knows this, but Elliot is unwilling to help him. This leads Gideon to freak out, threaten Elliot, and then go to a bar to drink his sorrows away. The sad this about that is that someone tries to hit on him in what appears to be the gay bar that he’s in. By hitting on him, I mean shoot him in the neck “for our country.”
It was a jampacked 2-episode debut that featured a lot of twists and turns, some great scenes, and the best use of Phil Collins I have ever seen. Where we go from here is completely up in the air. When the producers said this season was going to be a bit different, they weren’t kidding. Is that a good thing? Absolutely. This feels like the begin of a band’s sophomore album that may be better than the debut. We can only hope.
Feature Image: FanArt.tv
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.