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‘Mr. Robot’ “Python-Pt.1” Review

Mr. Robot
Courtesy USA

After a brief introductory scene featuring Elliot and his monologue about lucid dreaming, the episode immediately moved to Joanna who was tenderly caring for her baby. When the sweet moment was over, she looked to her guard and asked to see what we’re assuming is the address Elliot found last week. Judging by her remark about how what she was looking at was the greatest gift she ever received, the address likely belongs to someone else she’s been tracking. This was our only moment with Joanna this week, so hopefully we learn more about who lives there during the finale next week.

Angela’s van shows up at a perfectly nice country home. See? Everything will be ok. Or not, as she enters a room with a fish tank (complete with fish), disc drive, and an ancient PC. Things get stranger still when a young blonde girl who looks strikingly like Angela enters and begins asking her questions. The “Hang in There” poster behind Angela is a nice callback to her affirmations addiction from earlier in the season. The girl asks her questions ranging from personal to random. Then, we leave. If only Angela could.

During the encounter, Whiterose told Angela that both she and Elliot became who they are today because of what happened to their respective parents. Apparently, the reason Whiterose grabbed Angela off the streets and put her through the test was because she was curious why she kept showing up everywhere, and how she was connected to Price. Whiterose wants Angela to drop her mission to bring down those responsible for covering up the E Corp scandal. Whatever Whiterose did to Angela worked because when she arrived at her lawyer’s home later on, she told her to never call her again. Of course, her hand was likely forced, but still achieved the same result.

We didn’t catch up with Elliot until the latter half of the episode. After his lucid dreaming attempt seemingly worked, Elliot took on the role of the “unseen observer” and followed his Mr. Robot counterpart around. It was weird to say the least, but informative for Elliot and us viewers. He watched his alter ego crack a cypher that led to a phone number. Once he called it, a mystery voice told him to go to an address and get in a cab.

Tyrell tells Elliot that this is the start of a beautiful friendship, and we get to frantically scour the internet for clues about just what the hell is gonna happen next week.

Luckily, Mr. Robot is still intriguing without all the answers, and even when we know we’re being toyed with. However, this first part of the finale felt less like a penultimate hour and more like one of the hours that USA added to the season just weeks before the Season 2 premiere. A lot still needs to happen in order to call Season 2 a success.

This season is the opposite of how television works. It becomes more unclear and inscrutable as the episodes go on. Where we start in episode 1, we’re pretty sure we know what’s up. Elliot is back at his mother’s, relaxing. The world has changed. E. Corp is defeated. Every subsequent episode since hasn’t confirmed or clarified that state of affairs any further – only muddled it.

Season two of Mr. Robot has only gotten more inscrutable as it’s gone along precisely because this is the end of the world (as we know it). It shouldn’t make sense. We cannot conceive of it. The reality (or at least what we’re pretty confident reality is) on the show reflects that with the aforementioned blackouts and unprecedented loan from rival superpower to private company. But so does almost everything else. Elliot’s dissociative identity is disorienting. The editing is disorienting. The storytelling choices like all the cliffhangers and Tyrell’s extend absence is disorienting. And that’s the point.

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