While we all can’t agree on what was the best moment of Season Two – seriously, there’s a lot – I think it’s fair to say that as far as the best episode of the season go, there’s only two in contention to be honest.
The first one is eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx in which plenty of stuff happens including a tension-packed latter part that culminates in Agent Dom, Angela and Cisco being on the receiving end of a Dark Army drive-by that surprisingly only injures and kills one guy (ironically the most expandable character too!) despite the point blank spraying.
But the other one is definitely eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes or otherwise known as the 1980s (or early 90s) sitcom episode. Never mind that the sequence only lasted for 17 minutes, this episode (despite having a fair share of non-Elliot highlights, particularly Darlene and Fsociety coaxing Angela to do some novice hacking) will forever be remembered for that one bizarre stretch.
Here are some of the reasons why we think it’s one of the best Season Two episodes ever, and possibly the show’s history.
ALF shows up!
For any latter day millennials reading this, that reference probably sailed past your head – then again, if you’re a latter day millennial, you probably won’t appreciate the first 15 minutes at all. Not at the level the 80s kids do, at least. Anyway, for the uninitiated, ALF (stands for Alien Life Form) is a science fiction sitcom from the mid-80s that ended at just about the time the 90s started.
In this day and age of throwbacks, ALF is surprisingly not a very common show or character to reference – it’s always some combination of Transformers, Captain Planet, or the Goonies – which is classic Sam Esmail, reaching to the most obscure and unusual. But what’s really impressive is that they actually got the real ALF for those scenes – right down to the original voice actor, Paul Fusco. Now that’s attention to detail!
Poking Fun at Angela’s “Business Decision”
After Season One ended with Angela joining E Corp – at the most awkward time too since it was right around the Five/Nine hacks, but not as absurd as her joining the conglomerate that screwed her family. Up until this point, we had no idea what she’s planning – just the fact that it’s ridiculous for her to get in bed with the enemy with no clear signs of her destroying them from the inside. So… the sitcom episode simply couldn’t help but poke fun at this: “It almost makes up for them killing my mom!” – Brilliant.
Preserving Aspect Ratio
Again, attention to detail. Before television started jumping on the program and adopting cinema’s widescreen aspect ratio, followed immediately by the switch to high definition (which happened around the mid-00s), 4:3 or the square box display was routine in everyone’s households. And you can’t make an authentic 80s or 90s sitcom without aping that damn square image – but you also have to make up for the TVs at home that are mostly wide and not those large CRTs, so enter them black bars!
The opening theme sounds EXACTLY like a sitcom theme
We’ve explained in a previous article why this theme is so awesome so we’re just going to recap here again why. It perfectly encapsulates the tone and feel of your average 90s sitcom tune; the lyrics are incredibly dark and consistent with the show but delivered in an even more disturbingly peppy way; and it was made by the same guys that did the Full House theme. How impressive is that? Oh, and look at that title font!
Breaking The Fourth Wall… Literally
Well, they didn’t exactly break it – more like bumped into it. Tyrell, bound and gagged and locked up in the trunk, manages to escape and hops his way into freedom only to ram into the green screen. And with that, Sam Esmail makes a “fourth wall break” in the most ingenious way possible.