TV Reviews

Mr. Robot Season 3 Episode 2: eps3.1_undo.gz Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Elliot becomes encouraged trying to undo five/nine; Darlene gets stuck between a rock and a hard place; Mr. Robot sparks a panic. (IMDB)

Writer: Sam Esmail

Director: Sam Esmail

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 49mins

After coming down from the premiere, this episode was used more to push the plot further into an area of confusion, albeit on purpose. There were significant moments throughout the episode that the ambient noise was overwhelming and often overpowered some of the dialogue during those scenes. It helped put you inside Elliot’s mind and the battle that’s currently underway for the dominant personality. This episode finds Elliot with a new job at Evil Corps, but instead of it resembling him turning over a new leaf in life and attempting to undo some of the damage he’s done it is merely a means to an end in order for him to ensure that Stage 2 goes according to plan. He still is intent on seeing that all remaining paper files of Evil Corps are digitized so that fsociety is able to completely erase them from existence. This portion of the plot is handled cleverly by a great montage of Elliot’s day to day life at Evil Corps as well as his methodical takedowns of Evil Corps’ managers in an effort to clean up the company as it is in a state of rebuilding after the data breach. In his own twisted way, he sees this as a noble cause, but in those moments you can’t help but feel sad for him because when it is all over you know it will not work out as cleanly as he is planning.

Towards the second act of the episode, Elliot is visiting with his therapist, Krista, and realizes that some of the earlier stories he’s thought they’ve shared were just Mr. Robot tricking him into thinking they transpired. As this realization unfolds, Krista seizes the opportunity to converse directly with Mr. Robot. He reveals feeling that the walls are beginning to close in on him as he starts to realize that he can no longer trust Darlene, Elliot’s sister, among others while feeling that he is slowly being separated from Elliot. The dynamic of Elliot and Mr. Robot’s relationship is drastically changing in ways that only seem that they will lead to Elliot getting seriously hurt and that’s after he’s already been shot as a result of continuing Robot’s plan. With a show like Mr. Robot, the unpredictability is part its chaotic charm and keeps me tuning in each week.

Meanwhile, Whiterose is kept busy by thwarting Phillip Price’s public announcement that a currency war between the US and China is currently underway. Price attempts to strong arm Whiterose and fails. What is interesting as a result is the reaction from Whiterose after their conversation, which is to continue with Stage 2 as a point of pride to stick it to Price. It seemed like a rash and very emotional decision which is atypical of Whiterose, however, the ripple effect is going to be amazing as this season further develops.

Overall, this episode didn’t offer much up in terms of crazy revelations or mic drop moments. It was a more measured out approach to filling in some of the gaps and questions regarding the main plot presented in the premiere. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but as a fan it is easy to get concerned with this form of pacing as it tends to result in having a predictable story arc. At the moment, Mr. Robot is nowhere near that threshold, but it is something to monitor as the season progresses. Personally, more scenes involving Whiterose as well as Dominique, the FBI agent gunning for Tyrell Wellick would’ve been great, but we were given enough to keep us interested moving forward. The season is off to a good start which looks to continue in next week’s episode as we look to be treated to a Tyrell Wellick-centered episode.

A couple of observations about this episode: 

  • The show’s use of music is absolutely mesmerizing. It uses unique songs at opportune moments that help heighten the tension of each scene. 
  • The opening montage is excellent. Just the way Elliot’s day looks and his slow and steady dismantling of Evil Corps’ upper management (all before the credits end) was amazing.
  • I almost feel guilty for laughing at Elliot crying during Dancing With the Stars…….almost.
  • Is Darlene really a turncoat or is she just playing a “role” in Stage 2 in front of the FBI?
  • Why didn’t Elliot/Mr.Robot look behind his monitor after he forced Darlene out of the apartment? This bothered me more than it should have because it was so simple! (It still bothers me.) 

Score: 7/10

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