‘Mr. Robot’ Recap and Review: “eps2.2_init1.asec”

Drew Dietsch

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.

From the outset of the series, Elliot‘s desire has been to do good. Can his relationship with Mr. Robot lead to a positive outcome?

This week’s episode examines that possibility, not just from Elliot’s perspective but those connected to him as well. Angela discovers exactly why Phillip Price brought her into the Evil Corp fold, and it’s for reasons that are obviously selfish. Angela’s journey in Season 2 has been one of self-actualization but at the cost of her moral fiber. This was the first episode that saw her begin to exert her strength while also standing behind her beliefs. Portia Doubleday does a fantastic job this week and she continues to make Angela one of the most complex characters in the show’s roster.

Meanwhile, Darlene and what is left of fsociety are dealing with whoever is closing in on them. Along with the FBI, they have Romero‘s murderer to look out for. Darlene has always been a character that often needs help but refuses to ask for it for fear of seeming weak. Her scenes with Elliot this week really drove home the brother/sister relationship in a way we haven’t quite seen before. It’ll be good to see them back together as a team once the smoke finally clears.

Joanna is still in a holding pattern after Tyrell‘s disappearance and we finally see a moment of genuine pain from her. How she factors into the larger picture is still a little unclear – we haven’t revisited that mysterious phone she received – but Stephanie Corneliussen makes Joanna immensely watchable, so if she needs to stay on the back burner for a little longer, that’s perfectly okay.

Of course, the big part of this episode comes when Elliot accepts his gift/curse and gets back on a computer for the first time. Season 2 has been purposefully slow-going with Elliot’s return, and it pays off tremendously (see below). The setup of Season 2 is out of the way and the real game can finally begin.

Best Moments of the Episode:

The origin of the fsociety mask. While it started off as an obvious riff on the Guy Fawkes mask, the in-universe explanation is so twistedly charming. It’s a shame that The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie isn’t a real slasher film.


In connection with the cold open, it’s been extremely smart for Season 2 to give us little chunks of backstory. It fills in some gaps and expands the world that we’re already familiar with. Let’s hope this is a trend that sticks through the rest of the season.

The chess game. Elliot and Mr. Robot’s relationship was demonstrated perfectly through their endless stalemates. And any opportunity to have Rami Malek and Christian Slater bounce off one another is always golden.

“I’m hacking the FBI.” That’s how you end an episode. Is it next week yet?

Next Week on Mr. Robot


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