Mr Robot: 2.03 "eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd", 2.04 "eps2.2_init_1.asec"
The third episode finds FSociety’s core member, the burley and docile Mobley, played by Azhar Khan, visiting his friends Romero’s house, only to find him dead, murdered on the terrace floor. Romero’s mum had opened the door to Mobley when he entered the house and therefore implicates him with the death when the FBI show up later at the crime scene. The implication of Mobely, leads to finding more clues about FSociety. It seems that the FBI are catching up to FSociety at a faster rate compared to season one where their half-hearted investigations seemed to be always lagging behind. Perhaps this is due to the presence of FBI agent Dominique DiPierro and her ability to find small traces of evidence where others fail.
FSociety has potentially a grand master plan, which of course viewers are not given access to yet. However, we are left unsure of what these plans are when FSociety’s ringleader Darleen Alderson, played Carly Chaikin, appears to have these erratic, fluctuating moods from determined control freak to a desperate emotional wreck, giving us the impression that not all is under control.
DiPierro now closer to FSociety, manages through evidence found at Romero’s house to locate FSociety’s previous place of operation, the arcade in Coney Island and there the FBI successfully find a bullet behind one of the arcade games. Grace Gummer is brilliant as FBI agent DiPierro, her uninterested outlook fits perfectly with the show’s ethos. Gummer plays DiPierro perfectly as this introvert/ extrovert personality; on the one hand she is this funny, extremely intelligent and inquisitive, but on the other she is super relaxed, with tinges of indifference, at times you get the sense that she doesn’t want to be there.
Further on we find Angela Moss, played by Potia Doubleday, in her new role as a cut throat PR woman at ECorp. She appears to be in a continuous perplexed and anesthetized state; impeccably dressed in sharp suits but her face is unable to show any form of emotion. There is some sort of tension between her and ECorp boss Phillip Price’s office, played by Michael Cristofer, but we are unsure whether its sexual or professional. We are not given any details of what Angela has in mind for Price and we are also uncertain of Price’s intentions for Angela. Their secretiveness and their lack of niceties, makes for an interesting watch and also raises questions, such as: Does Price know that Angela was close to Elliot, who masterminded the ECorp hack? Or that ECorp is possibly responsible for the death of her mother?
The on-going inner battle within Elliot, between him and Mr Robot, is of course the highlight of both episodes and the show in general. We have now deciphered that Mr Robot is purely symbolic; his presence is of course a reflection of parts of Elliot’s character and memories, moulded to look like his father. In episode three Elliot finds out about the death of his previous boss Gideon Goddard, feeling responsible due its implications with the ECorp hack and this coupled with the continuous taunting presence of Mr Robot, he turns to drugs for at least a temporary relief. He scores a bag of Adderall pills, and after a series of intense hallucinations, Elliot wakes up and vomits all the pills. A rather disgusting scene follows, as Mr Robot cheers him from throwing them up, he frantically picks out the pills from his vomit and shoves them back in his mouth.
Post his 5-day drug binge, Elliot is now on a severe comedown, awaiting Mr Robot’s return. He visits his therapist, the concerned and guarded Dr. Krista Gordon played by Gloria Reuben. Krista is very sceptical of Elliot, as she finds out in season one, that he was stalking her and hesitantly agrees to take him on as a patient again on the premise that he commits to opening up more. This is funny to watch, as the viewer is privy to all of Elliot’s internal thoughts, however in the plot setting he is this insular person that cannot relate to anyone. Interestingly `Krista suggests to Elliot if she can perhaps talk to Mr Robot. Elliot refuses as he feels that would validate his existence.
Mr Robot’s dark slow theme that we are accustomed to from season one, is very much present in season two. The misty grey colour each scene is brushed with, the distant camera angles, the snail-paced dialogue, its characters in a constant state of worry or numbness. You would think these ingredients would bore viewers, but instead creator Esmail has made it all work. The series tone is rather unique; it is melancholic, nonchalant, at times grim but they all add to the originality of the script and stylishness of the show. The gradualness of pace in each episode, allows time to get the essence of each character to come out and also allows viewers to take in fully the beauty and often the ugliness of their surroundings.