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.
Mr. Robot has always been a show that has challenged the norm. No episode yet has solidified this attitude like “eps2.4_m4ster_s1ave.aes.” The first sixteen minutes, including the intro, looks like a ’80s sitcom. It’s incredible how long the joke goes on and how effective it ends up being. A lot of that has to do with authenticity. The intro song was written by the composers of the Full House theme and ALF himself shows up. Yes, ALF makes an appearance and it is fantastic.
This whole goofy first act works because of the emotional payoff it ends up providing. Mr. Robot is giving Elliot this fantasy so he can avoid the pain of being brutalized by Ray‘s henchmen. And when Elliot returns to the real world and Mr. Robot appears, he hugs him and weeps. It’s a tender moment between two characters who have had nothing but contention over the course of the show. And it becomes doubly moving when we learn that Elliot himself named his father’s business.
Meanwhile, Darlene and Mobley are trying to teach Angela how to do some hacking for her mission to the FBI. Angela’s arc is taking some great twists and turns this season, and it’s been awesome seeing her get brought into the fold. But man, what a heart-stopping moment when Dom shows up right next to her. That’s a hell of a cliffhanger.
The second season has been pushing the envelope in terms of how strange the show can get, both visually and conceptually. This week’s episode proves that creator Sam Esmail intends to keep that spirit alive. The audience will only benefit from such an attitude.
Best Moments of the Episode:
The first sixteen minutes. What a great combination of parody, celebratory nostalgia, and genuinely astounding storytelling. Not to mention extremely dark in the cheeriest of ways.
Angela successfully navigating through her first hacker mission. It’s awesome to see her taking apart the machine from the inside. Until she runs into Dom.
Ray’s story about his dog. Who knew Craig Robinson could be as terrifying as he is hilarious?
The ending with Elliot and his father. Possibly the most heartwarming sequence in a show that is not known for its delicate nature.
Next Week on Mr. Robot