Film, Theater & TV Show Reviews

TV Show Review – Mr. Robot

The series follows Elliot Alderson, a young man living in New York City, who works at the cyber security company Allsafe as a security engineer.

Show: Mr Robot

Network: USA

Genre(s): Psychological Thriller

Cast: Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin, Martin Wallström


I’ll admit to having never watched a single series on USA Network before Mr. Robot. Suits looks interesting, Psych looked entertaining, but I was never truly drawn towards any particular series until this one (albeit later than most, I watched the pilot at about 12 AM in August when the series was eight episodes in).

Mr Robot centers around Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a vigilante hacker by night with a day job at Allsafe Cybersecurity: protecting E-Corp (read only in his mind as “Evilcorp”) from relevant cyber attacks. When “Mr. Robot,” the name on the patch of his jacket, leads Elliot out to Coney Island in an abandoned arcade now dubbed “FSociety,” he introduces a whole team of hackers willing to take down EvilCorp, ridding millions of people from their debt in America. Over the course of ten episodes, Elliot seemingly grows crazier than he began as he communicates with us, the audience, and faces tragedy including the kidnapping of girlfriend Shayla and the realization that some people are not as they seem. Many are worse, few are better, and some people might not be real at all.

If you even look past the writing, for just a brief moment, the cinematography of Mr. Robot is nearly the greatest I personally have seen on any network, cable or otherwise. Sure it is dark in the night and bright in the day, but those behind the camera always seem to focus their lens at just the right moment, like the blur-to-clear focus of Evilcorp employee Tyrell Wellick as he leans towards Elliot to offer him a job, or the placement of two people on opposite sides of a shot in separate actions, switching a focus point between one to another over time to keep the attention of the audience.

[SPOILERS BELOW]

The writing is absolutely stellar, however, because every minute of this series has twists and turns given Elliot’s unreliable narrator status. For instance Darlene, a character Elliot has interacted with on a regular basis since the beginning of the season, leading into episode 8, is revealed to be his sister, which she has known from the start having assumed Elliot knew as well. The character whom led Elliot to the hacker group Fsociety is first revealed to be his father by episode 9, but then is later understood as merely a figment of his mind that only he himself can see, as his father died years ago, pointed out to him by Darlene and his closest friend Angela. His lack of memory, and ability to see people who perhaps don’t even exist, confuses the audience almost as much as it confuses himself, in the most fascinating and wild fashion that I have ever seen in television. Christian Slater portrays this imaginary father figure as erratic and awe-inspiring, making strict decisions without Elliot knowing he does them himself, and essentially reminding Elliot with every moment that he will always be a part of him as long as he stays in his head.

The series returns for Season 2 on July 13th, 2016 at 10 PM, this summer in USA.

Written by Shelby Luongo

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