Welcome to Mr Robot S02E03 Part 2 – If you haven’t just read S02E03 Part 1, click here
Let’s dive straight back in…
After three days on Adderall and zero, zip, nada sleep, Elliot reveals that Mr Robot is gone for good and what transpires is one of the greatest pieces of television I have ever seen. Well, certainly since The Leftovers episode “International Assassin” last fall.
Just like when I have sex, this three minute scene left me in tears. Not through empathy for Elliot and Mr Robot being banished, but just from the sheer audio-visual beauty of the thing.
For three minutes of S02E03, gone were the brooding storm clouds and omnipresent sense of impending doom. Gone were the darkly lit neo-noir hallways. Gone was the Travis Bickle heightened paranoia. Goodbye Martin Scorsese’s cold, unforgiving New York. Hello Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s opening titles! How much would we have loved to have seen Elliot had turn to the camera and rap…
“South of Philadelphia, born and raised,
But Lower East Side was where I spent most of my days
Chillin’ out, hackin, eatin’ dumplin’ all cool,
Shootin some B-ball outside of the school,
When a couple of guys who were up to no good,
Started making trouble in my neighborhood,
I started one little revolution and Mr Robot got scared,
He said “You’re movin’ back with mom in Washington Township!”
Ok, maybe only I would have loved it. Sorry – back to the review. Won’t happen again.
Elliot was finally free! Elliot was happy! He even “found God!” In short, this was a sudden burst of of enlightenment and Elliot (and we viewers) could see the beauty of the universe everywhere, in everything.
From multiple, superimposed Elliots skipping with gay abandon like John, Paul, Ringo and George in The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover to the Apple Mac volume control sound as his footsteps literally lit up stairs he uncharacteristically bounded up. This was an Elliot who likes basketball and enjoys talking to people!
“Walking on Sunshine” could have, should have provided the soundtrack for Elliot’s incredible three minute Satori but Holy Fuck’s “Lovely Allen” served just as well, and in a less cliched way. Another in-joke for we geeks was Apple’s “Basso” error effect with each pill Elliot popped.
As Sam Esmail directed the shit out my favourite Mr Robot sequence ever, we saw Leon talking backwards in a nod to Twin Peaks… but as Elliot’s pills wore off, this It’s always sunny in New York positive outlook quickly descended back into more familiar, dark madness.
Director Sam Esmail treats us to more of his biggest influence in as The Shining inspired evil children occupy Elliot’s home while sporting F Society masks. Multicolored fabrics chasing each other around the washing machine became Apple’s fatal spinning beach ball of death, perfectly reflected in Elliot’s eyes.
As Elliot’s internal fatal error kicked in and his operating system initiated Kernel Panic, Elliot’s world became of one glitches eerily similar to The Matrix. As his world encoded before his very eyes, it had me questioning whether our protagonist is The Ghost in the Machine, then I blurted out aloud “Is Elliot pure code?”
The rest of the episode spelled out Angela’s fall and redemption story by becoming further embroiled in Phillip Price’s machiavellian ways. Always brilliantly portrayed by Michael Cristofer, he tempts Angela with information that could take out two of the players that made the boardroom decision that lead to her mother’s death…
Not to mention the third and final scene of deliciousness – Elliot’s rant against God in the church group. I’m not saying there’s no God, but Elliot spoke nothing but truth about mankind’s interpretation of how we should worship and “Please tell me I didn’t say that out loud” was the most hilarious end to his celebrity-God-roast.
In a flawless but ominous bookend, we end where we started at Coney Island with the FBI’s finest, Ms. DiPierro using the End of the World Party flyer to track down F Society’s hideout.
Thanks for reading Part 2 of S02E03’s review. Please share if you enjoyed reading.
To find out why this episode was Storytelling & Televisual Perfection, click here for part 3.