For a full recap of the episode, visit the Mr. Robot Wiki here. This article is a review of the episode in which specific details and events are discussed. SPOILERS may occur, so read at your own risk.
I am really, really glad that Mr. Robot got a two-part premiere. Not just because I want as much of this show as I can get, but because there was a lot of ground to cover and a single hour would have been too little. There are a lot of players on the board and the two-parter allowed for ample time to check in with everybody.
The first part gave lots of focus to Elliot and where he’s been since the end of season one. It’s kind of unnerving that he’s gone back to live with his mother, but that might be a window into more of his backstory. She was fairly backgrounded for the majority of the episode, so I hope we’ll be seeing more of her as the season goes on. Otherwise, his battle against Mr. Robot for his sanity was appropriately oppressive but we knew that it couldn’t last too long. Not even cutting himself off from any computer access will stop Mr. Robot. Will the season be focused on their battle or will Elliot learn how to use Mr. Robot to his advantage?
Elsewhere, we see that Darlene has become the de facto leader of fsociety, but she’s not doing a good job of keeping it together. Surrounded by party-minded neanderthals, it’s clear that fsociety is struggling. Darlene and Mobley are the only remaining original members (Romero and Trenton better come back, damn it!), and they seem more than a little dejected at where their movement is at.
Probably the most heartbreaking part of the premiere is seeing how Angela has integrated so successfully into Evil Corp. While it’s great to see her more confident than ever, it’s obviously coming at a price. Her need to repeat cheesy self-empowerment phrases to herself is one of the saddest moments the show has given us. I hold out hope that she’s not completely succumbed to the dark side. She is hanging on to Qwerty after all!
The big mystery that hangs over the episode has to do with Tyrell‘s disappearance. We get a chilling prelude to an answer by the episode’s end, but I wonder how this will end up affecting Joanna? She seems to have moved on fairly easily, but will she be willing to take Tyrell back once he fixes everything that’s wrong? Joanna does nothing without cool calculation so if she does take Tyrell back, it will only be when it’s the most advantageous for her.
Overall, this was a great premiere. It established where everything and everyone stood after the monumental events of the previous finale, it put all the characters in interesting places that allow for compelling season arcs, and it assured the audience that Mr. Robot isn’t pulling any punches now that it’s gotten even more popular. In fact, it looks like it’s going to be more sinister than ever.
Best Moments of the Episode:
Mr. Robot shooting Elliot. It was a great shock but also set the tone for the remainder of the season. If you thought the show was dark before, this sequence says things are going to get even darker. Elliot writing in his journal with a bullet hole in his head? Fantastically ghoulish.
The smart house going crazy. It was a little terrifying at first, but once we found out it was orchestrated by Darlene, I found myself chuckling.
Price‘s speech about being the entire setup of financial society being a con. Definitely made me think of Ned Beatty’s iconic monologue from Network.
Elliot laughing at Mr. Robot. Rami Malek does wonders with Elliot, and this is a great example of him taking a character we feel sympathetic for and finding him scary. Now that we know just how unhinged Elliot really is, the character might be going even more demented places.
Gideon getting shot! What a tragic end to one of the more likable characters in the series. I especially like the dig at the concept of “crisis actors,” one of the most offensive conspiracy theories out there.
“Bonsoir, Elliot.” OK, it needs to be next week already.
Next Week on Mr. Robot