Mr. Robot - Catch-All



Mr. Robot is one of the best new TV shows, not just of the summer, but among everything this Golden Age of TV has brought us. The following quotes are a nice spoiler-free introduction, but the articles they are from spoil everything we've seen so far, so fair warning.

From Vuture:

Despite centering on an archetypal outsider (Rami Malek’s Elliot Alderson), Mr. Robot is an extraordinarily inclusive experience, typified by creator Sam Esmail’s transparency about its tele-cinematic influences. His USA Network hacker thriller seduces you with familiar tropes and touchstones from the oeuvres of Stanley Kubrick and David Fincher, among others, but keeps you watching and guessing with a wholly original parable for humanity’s greatest hopes and shortcomings. And within all that, there’s one fun little mystery in particular that fans and critics have been trying to decrypt:

Is Elliot in fact root-kit kingpin Mr. Robot? Or, at the very least, is Christian Slater’s personification of him Elliot’s own personal Tyler Durden?

The thread is a bit late in coming together, as the eighth episode has just aired, and there are just two more episodes left. But this is one where people will continue to talk and re-watch episodes. Season two is already green lighted, and the Sam Esmail has made clear that the real story just kicked into gear.

'Mr. Robot' Creator Also Thinks It's Weird That Things In The Show Keep Coming True

Esmail started writing "Mr. Robot" as a feature film, but turned it into a television show when the project got too long and unwieldy. And so for all the mold-breaking hacking scenes and drama we've seen so far, Season 1, in the showrunner's eyes, is basically exposition.
"I don’t even consider what we’re doing this season to be that huge. It was just the setup for the real story which really begins next season, which would have been Act 2 of our film," he said.

The USA web site has all episodes available to watch right now, so feel free to catch up and join the conversation.

Honestly, my interest was starting to wane until the end of episode eight. Definitely the largest "oh sh*t" twist I've seen on television in a few years.

I'm one episode behind, so I need to refrain from reading this thread for the time being.

I'll say that the show is really well produced and I like a lot of the characters, but I'm having trouble buying into the overarching plot.

I think the show is its strongest when the stakes aren't quite so high and the characters have room to exist in at least kind of normal situations. I think I'd like it a lot more if the plot points weren't so... extreme.

I can see that. My wife actually dropped out after Elliot set Vera up to get arrested. More than just for the extreme situations, but really, the show to that point had really been about the precarious place of women in a world where men control everything. I think that as the story developed, so has the role of women in the show. But it is still tough when the show is so focused on Elliot's perspective.

But the extreme nature of the plot points is one of the areas in which the show gets compared to Fight Club. This is about young adults giving a big F-U to a world they didn't create, but are stuck trying to live in. I think extreme situations are just part of the deal.

Let the spoilers begin! At least from the episodes that have already aired. If you aren't caught up don't read past this sentence because I am going to talk about the latest episode next.

Holy crap! When Elliot grabbed the camera, I was in full holy sh*t mode! The sister reveal threw me for a loop, because I was so concentrated on Mr. Robot and Elliot. But that reveal certainly explained the opening scene of the episode. I was wondering if there was some jump in time I didn't notice, of if they were showing us Darlene was invading Elliot's personal life one person at a time.

So now we know that Mr. Robot, and Darlene are Elliot's father and sister. But is Mr. Robot just an illusion created by Elliot's mind? And is Elliot actually Mr. Robot? At the very least we know that Elliot is way more f*cked up then we were let on to believe. He's got issues!

That ballet scene really threw me for a loop.

Until the end came, I felt like I was watching this season's True Detective again, i.e., I couldn't remember past scenes and characters.
That end was a breath of relief. I'm not that old! Hurray!

So... what about the cancer?

Well, this week was very Star Wars. Kissing the sister and the whole "I am your father" thing.

I do like the casting of the sister based on her looks. Shares that very prominent chin with Elliot.

Elliot being Mr. Robot is just too Fight Club when combined with the "destroy all debt" idea. I don't think they'll go that way. Hope not, anyway.

It is pretty clear that isn't the case after the last episode. No way Elliot can be his own father. Also during the infiltration of Evil Corp Mr Robot was in the car with the guys while Elliot was breaking in. He can't be two places at once.


So I'm one that's fallen behind. I lost the thread in episode 4. I think I just wasn't in the right mood for what the show was putting down at the time, but I lost all track of what was going on. Or not going on.

I got to the end of the episode and felt like maybe I'd drifted off in my own thoughts at some point and not noticed it, because I had no clue what happened over the previous 40 minutes.

It was kind of a spastic episode, but it does set up a lot of what's coming up. Vulture has a good recap.

Maybe just one bong hit before watching future episodes?

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Elliot being Mr. Robot is just too Fight Club when combined with the "destroy all debt" idea. I don't think they'll go that way. Hope not, anyway.

From very early I suspected that they were one and the same, but it just seemed too obvious to me. I've been hoping it was a red herring.

Given the end of the most recent episode (which I did like), it seems like there could be more going on here. Elliot is such an unreliable narrator that something more complex is possible, and simply making Mr. Robot an alter ego seems like a waste. If the show does go that route I'm going to have trouble continuing to watch it.

It would bother me if the twist was the point, when it clearly isn't. I do think Mr. Robot could be something more complicated than simply Elliot's Tyler Durden. But even if that's the case, there is plenty more to the story.

Hey, maybe Elliot dead?

Kaycee and I watched the first episode last night. I really... really like the show at its outset. The producers bother getting technical details correct enough that I can tell they have real technical chops. Then they're smart enough to obscure them and keep people from causing/getting into unnecessary trouble (for example: using real commands with fake switches and IP addresses). I've never seen that done before in a show. It's impressive.

I also like how we're stuck with what's going on in Elliot's head. Everything comes in through his filters. As a viewer I'm left to the job of converting what I perceive over to what I might believe the 'reality' of the show to be. Very cool so far.

Everything is a red herring. The show is pushing so hard with the Fight Club vibe that it definitely is going to veer somewhere. They even had instrumentals playing Pixies "Where is my mind" in the end of the episode.
It's all a distraction, it must be.

Man, just a little too on the money with that pixies cover.

I'm frustrated with the show right now, because I feel like this could have worked if they'd been a bit more subtle. Instead, they're winking at the viewer the whole time. Yes, Mr. Robot, I do see what you did there. Just acknowledging that you're being derivative doesn't really excuse being derivative.

Of course, the season isn't over yet, and there's still time for the show to find its own voice, or go in a completely different direction. I'm willing to give them at least a few more episodes.

Yeah, I didn't think they'd go that route because it was so very Fight Club 2. I have no intention of stopping watching though, just disappointed.

I thought the Pixies cover was perfectly implemented. This last episode felt like it was saying, "Okay, that was the build up, now we have a story to tell. When the piano of Where Is My Mind was playing, I thought it was not only an appropriate nod to the inspiration for this tale, but to emphasize the difference, too.

That song played during the credits of Fight Club, and in contrast, it's the beginning of the story here. In addition, Elliot asks "us" if we knew it all along, which, of course, we did. The writer is telling us that figuring out the "twist" was not supposed to be the special moment of this story. It was just an obvious plot point along the way.

I think that's why, despite the obvious Fight Club rip-off, it still feels like a story worth watching. This is where fight Club ended, but this is where Mr. Robot is just getting started.

Personally, I've loved every minute of this story.

From the Summer TV thread:

Stele wrote:

Mr Robot finale postponed tonight.

USA Network has postponed tonight’s scheduled season finale of hacker drama series “Mr. Robot” for a week because the episode includes a scene with similarities to the real-life murders that occurred on live TV this morning in Virginia.

“Out of respect to the victims, their families and colleagues, and our viewers, we are postponing tonight’s episode. Our thoughts go out to all those affected during this difficult time,” USA said in a statement.

Well, that was a hell of a finale. it felt more like a series of excellent set pieces, designed to show just how devastating this hack really was. Great scenes, and even a greater score capped off this part of the story well.

I think next season is going to be tough to pull off, although there is lots of story to tell. In some ways, it took until the finale to actually show the shadowy characters that have been running the world. I'm a big fan of Michael Cristofer. He played a similar role in Rubicon. I'm really looking forward to more screen time from him next season.

But what do we make of Angela? I get the story they are telling, but this is an interesting entrance to the belly of the beast. Is she becoming evil? Will she need to be redeemed.?

I will definitely be watching this again.

I loved how they didnt even show the hack. That was perfect decision. The after-the-fact wtf-just-happened feeling was much better than anything they could have showed us. It'd have been just another technothriller with stuff happening, green numbers on black screen, ohmywillthey pull it off and then of course they would.
Instead we got mystery of the missing yuppie, traces of the chinese gambit and glimpse in the seriousness of the Elliott's condition. Narrator has gone totally off-rails and I want to follow him anywhere.

But next season.. man I dont know how they plan on pulling it off.

For anyone that might have missed it there was a scene after the credits.

And it was a hell of a scene.

I was about to turn it off when I noticed the scene start! I really enjoyed the show this season but more then ever I have no idea what's really going on! Especially after that scene after the credits!

The head of Evil Corp doesn't seem all that worried that his company is imploding and it looks like fsociety maybe getting their strings pulled by someone as well! Elliott is just losing his sh*t! And I think just before that press conference Angela was reminded just how scummy E corp really is.

I'm assuming that everyone that did see the last scene has realized that the man coming to the party was


the White Rose?

The main thing the finale cemented was that the twist was not the point. Going forward, Mr. Robot will be more of a member of the team. And it sure looks like there will be no shortage of team members.

I have mixed emotions about this show.

The deep conspiracy stuff is not normally my cup of tea, and the Fight Club bit felt too derivative. The premise of the hack's impact here is also really staining credulity now, and the stakes are becoming absurdly high.

And yet the show is visually very well presented, and the idea of a truly insane narrator has a lot of potential.

Overall the show has not been the slam dunk I was hoping for, but I'm still along for the ride.

Weird. This seemed like a middle episode than a finale. Wasn't my favorite, but i liked it.

slazev wrote:

Weird. This seemed like a middle episode than a finale. Wasn't my favorite, but I liked it.

That's because this was originally going to be a film, but was transitioned to a TV series. This was essentially the end of Act 1.

Somehow, I missed this entirely until it got mentioned in the local paper last week. (One of the writers is originally from this area.)

Looks like we'll be doing what passes for a binge watch around here (2-3 episodes a week).

Jayhawker wrote:
slazev wrote:

Weird. This seemed like a middle episode than a finale. Wasn't my favorite, but I liked it.

That's because this was originally going to be a film, but was transitioned to a TV series. This was essentially the end of Act 1.

Act 1, Season 1.
I think the comment still stands.