Down, down, down the rabbit hole we go in the latest episode of Mr. Robot eps2.1k3rnel-pan1c.ksd which marks where the show has gone officially batshit crazy.
Based on the direction that the sophomore season seems to be heading it is apparent that creator Sam Esmail doesn’t plan to explicitly conclude for us what is reality and what is fictional. In this episode we saw Elliot supposedly get chocked by wet cement by some government goons. A sequence that was later revealed to be his way of coping with forcefully vomiting the Adderall pills that he swallowed. This sequence is followed by an even wonkier one that sees Elliot literally endure glitches in reality after he intakes the Adderall in an attempt to eradicate Mr. Robot from his mind. Although fans are left with no clear conclusion to whether what they witnessed was real, it proves to discern the unique style of storytelling in Mr. Robot. Unlike a generation of television and film which intends to fill in information through exposition, Mr. Robot has asserted itself as a show that’s allowing the viewers to think, use their imagination and fill in the pieces of puzzle instead. A method of storytelling that somewhat mirrors the intellectual subject matter within its episodes.
Pertaining to the intellectual subject matter of the show, eps2.1k3rnel-pan1c.ksd delves a little deeper into the world of E(vil) Corp. We see last season’s sweetheart Angela, who Portia Doubleday is playing wonderfully, fall deeper in the belly of the beast as she stood by her choice to work at the Evil Corporation. Although Angela is persuaded to go on a dinner with E Corp’s biggest figures at a restaurant, we still aren’t entirely sure what her game is. Only time can tell if her descent into Evil is real or an attempt to destroy the Corp from within.
In an episode where our characters all are heading to new arcs, it’s the two newest characters Ray (Craig Robinson) and federal agent Dominique DiPierro (Grace Gummer) that offer some of the most unique stories. What make both characters so intriguing are their similarities to Elliot. Ray has a past of hallucinations and speaking with people who are deceased. Apart from Ray’s physiological similarities with Elliot, its hinted that the two have some sort of prior relationship in the world of hacking too. Acting as Elliot’s possible new therapist, Ray seems to be a character to look out for as this season progresses. Then there’s Dominique who is often shot in completely isolated, dark frames similar to how Elliot was introduced throughout season 1. Based on how she frequently asks her Amazon Echo (amazing product placement) questions and the type of advertisements that pop up one her phone, it is understood that she has a social anxiety similar to that of Elliot’s. Deep in the night she seeks refuge behind her computer screen similar how Elliot did in season 1 as well. It goes without saying that she will be an influential character in later events of the season as this episode concludes with her finding Fsociety’s hideout.
This episode features the death of prominent Fsociety member Romero too! Although his death was foreshadowed in the episode’s opening [see more at the end of this post], it was still a surprise. The death of Romero, as was the death of the innocent Gideon in the premier, has been theorized by fans and even by the characters themselves. Whether it be the Dark Army, Evil Corp hit-men, the government or some unknown force, the killers of these characters will indefinitely be investigated throughout season 2.
eps2.1k3rnel-pan1c.ksd aids the fan theory that Elliot has been placed in a mental institution or some type of jail. The doors of his room certainly slide like jail bars do, the fact that Elliott has completely lost his marbles is another reason to believe this, and now we see Ray serve as some sort of a therapist which may be Elliot’s way of explaining what may actually be an institution consultant or doctor . It’s far-fetched indeed but exemplifies how Esmail has permitted the imagination to explore in the season and has resulted, at least for me, a growing infatuation for Mr. Robot.
This episode of Mr. Robot proved to consist of all elements that fans love of the show, its harsh yet truthful representations of corporate America, its ability to descend into realistic character arcs and its tendency to include mind-bending/strange moments of television are all found. Although eps2.1k3rnel-pan1c.ksd may seem static when regarded by itself, the multilayered story proves to be an episode that will propel season two further.
[The death of Romero was foreshadowed in the opening flashback when he explains to Mobley the cursed past that Fsociety’s arcade has had. All past owners of the arcade have either died or faced a death in their family. Romero introduces the arcade to Mobley, walks in first and is revealed to be dead when the story returns to the present]