Welcome to Mr Robot S02E03 Part 3! For S02E03 Part 1 click here and Part 2 here.
Why was it Storytelling and Televisual Perfection?
Well, in this episode, Mr Robot’s world quadrupled in size and scale. Think of it like “Zooming Out” – not in the traditional way that a camera zooms out, but imagine the diegesis (that’s the filmic world our characters inhabit – like the Marvel Comics Universe) getting bigger and more populated. But It’s not just a case of physically and geographically zooming out like those wider, more encompassing, helicopter shots – concepts also embiggen.
My favourite show, Lost is the best example of this. As each new season zoomed out from the island, bigger, more profound concepts were introduced. so much so it could be argued that each season was a soft reboot.
The Wire had an excellent first season, while subsequent seasons failed when David Simon added too many grandiose layers of political and even journalistic corruption.
True Detective tried a soft-reboot, transporting action from Louisiana’s bayous to the seedy political and gangster underworld of L.A. When what we fans wanted was more of the same, Nic Pizzolatto forgot the existential angst and threw away the supernatural bedrock of the show.
Here, Esmail zooms the science lab microscope out until, in the space of one blistering hour, Mr Robot is no longer just the story of a hacker in a world of anti-capitalism and mental illness…
For the first time, the petri dish introduced notions of God and higher existence into play, made allusions to the supernatural in the guise of curses, ghosts and hauntings and, in Tyler Wellick’s case, possibly even the afterlife!
S02E03 slowly peppered the story with literary clues à la The Yellow King in True Detective and began asking similar spiritual questions. The auteur’s opinion on organised religion pulled no punches via Elliot’s angry atheistic diatribe and the show painted Philip Price as a New World Order puppeteer awaiting for the shot that starts the apocalypse.
Speaking of which, Angela’s temptation was yet another first – that of religious allegory – “Bow down and worship me and all this will be yours” offered Price; just like the devil said to Jesus.
This episode also brought a much needed Agent of Disorder more fully into the fray in the form of the FBI. This is a totally necessary move that will herald a more cohesive throughline and bring more defined, more traditional Bad Guys vs Cops type chase roles; leaving us rooting for our heroes even more.
In glimpsing Agent DiPierro’s home life, we also saw the emptiness that modern society serves us up on a daily basis. When she eventually catches up with Elliot, will that existential emptiness, along with her joint-rolling, rule-breaking attitude mean she’s one of them or one of us? Don’t be surprised if she turns! You heard it here first!
Tonight, Esmail left Little League and deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the big boys of television – Damon Lindelof, Vince Gilligan and Bryan Fuller.
Now consider the experience these guys have; Lost and The Leftovers’ scribe Damon Lindelof began his career being mentored by Carlton Cuse on Nash Bridges in 2000.
Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan got into the industry when he submitted a spec X-Files script to Fox in 1993 or 1994 and Bryan Fuller has Star Trek Voyager, DSN, Pushing Daisies and Hannibal and now CBS’s 2017 Star Trek reboot on his resume.
Compare and contrast to our boy, Sam Esmail, who had written one film and directed one film and one short film before WRITING AND DIRECTING the majority of Mr Robot’s 22 episodes!
Season One’s storylines and direction were sometimes inconsistent, the show occasionally even guilty of losing its way but now we’re being asked to entertain deep philosophical questions – whether we believe in God, the afterlife, whether our daily fight for footing is worth it and we’re being asked to question the very fabric of reality…
And what happens when you ask bigger questions? You need to provide bigger answers?
Sam Esmail is finally looking for the right answers to the right questions – and tonight, he fucking nailed it!
Thank you so much for reading S02E03 Part 3 – We’d really appreciate it if you could please share the shit out of it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media.
Don’t miss next week’s exciting episode, until then “Stop spazzing out and be cool!”