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Mr. Robot “” 

Photo by: Peter Kramer/USA Network
Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/USA Network

Hello, friend. You had me at unreliable narrator. Add to that a well-told story of the dispossessed and you’ve just made this series into must see TV.

We live in a world that wants to be sedated. It’s painful not to pretend and Elliot has the urge — but maybe not the drive — to wake us up. But what does that mean? The vast majority of us are consumed by consumption, a lot of people seem to want to be famous for no reason and we’re all drowning in some form of debt. So, if you had a way to start a revolution, would you do it?

What do we really know about Elliot? He’s a cyber security engineer by day and a vigilante hacker by night. If you leave any kind of digital footprint — and the vast majority of us do — Elliot can discover your passwords and get the goods on you.

Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/USA Network
Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/USA Network

He’s in therapy against his will, but why? Anger management issues. Does that rage have something to do with the death of his father? Elliot could never prove the radiation from his father’s job caused the leukemia that killed him. Or what about his social anxiety? He’s weird and it’s hard for him to interact with people. He wants to be normal, but he can’t be. He also doesn’t want to be touched and social niceties are difficult because why pretend? He’s ok with awkwardness.

On top of all that, Elliot’s schizophrenic and has had delusions in the past. He been having trouble holding all his sadness in lately and has started having crying fits every other week. His drug of choice is morphine, which he uses to self-medicate. He knows hits limits, but Elliot doesn’t always make the best decisions when he’s high.

He cares about Krista, his therapist, and Angela, his friend since childhood. Unfortunately, he only person he could ever talk to was his dad.

It Scratched That Part of My Mind

Elliot doesn’t believe in good existing without condition. If it “scratches” his mind, he has to investigate, find out the truth behind the facade. If the person is engaging in illegal or morally reprehensible activity — like Ron and his child porn ring — he “deletes” them. He destroys their business, their life, their existence.

Krista’s boyfriend Michael Hansen also scratches his mind. It turns out that’s an assumed name and Krista is one of 7 women he’s cheating on his wife with. At least Flipper gets a new home. I mean, even if I could excuse the infidelity (which I can’t and won’t), who abuses a defenseless little animal? Does this man have any qualities? Part of me still wants to see him deleted.

Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/USA Network
Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/USA Network

Who is Mr. Robot?

He could be a delusion. Elliot can’t find any mention of Mr. Robot and/or F Society on any hacker boards, forums or blogs. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but it’s interesting.

I think we got some solid hints that Elliot might be the only one who sees Mr. Robot, but I’ll have to reserve judgment on that for now. Whether or not he’s real, he’s affecting Elliot’s behavior. Mr. Robot refuses to tell Elliot who he is, but he wants Elliot to be part of the revolution. His test was the E Corp hack and Elliot passed. Since Elliot is now the only one with access to the root directory, he wants Elliot to make it look like E Corp CTO Terry Colby is responsible for the hack. Elliot scoffs, calling Colby an idiot. Who would even believe that? He’s got a blackberry. A blackberry. But when Colby walks all over Angela in a meeting, Elliot won’t stand for that. He’d been willing to expose what F Society had done to E Corp, but now Colby’s gotta go down.

Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz/USA Network
Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz/USA Network

But what’s the endgame? If money is the operating system of the world, how will framing Colby accomplish anything? It only tears a limb from the beast of Evil Corp. Why don’t they strike at its heart? The point Mr. Robot makes is that as their illusion of control unravels, their business unravels. And by taking E Corp down, they can erase consumer debt. It’ll be the biggest redistribution of wealth in history. With the gap between the rich and poor at its highest level in twenty years, maybe we need that.

Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/USA Network
Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/USA Network

Who is Tyrell Wellick?

He introduces himself to Elliot as the SVP of Technology for E Corp. Things get interesting when Elliot is escorted to a meeting by some Men In Black (here come the MiBs). Wellick’s in that room and these are men who wield great power, the top 1% of the top 1%. They play God without permission. What do they want with Elliot and how can they possibly know what he’s been up to?

Random Thoughts

I love that the logo of Evil Corp is very close to the logo for Enron. A lot of people thought that company was too big to fail as well.

I’m feeling shades of Fight Club and I like it. Erasing consumer debt? Check. A possibly imaginary friend? Check. I’m not saying it’s derivative, because I don’t think it is. I just like that someone else is exploring these themes.

I like that Elliot has the urge to care for another living thing. He’s already got Qwerty and he adds Flipper to his growing little family.

Elliot needs at least one important person in his life and I’m glad that’s Angela. She’s the only person he’s willing to initiate contact with and I like their little spark. Hopefully he’ll decide to expose Ollie for the cheater he is. I don’t know if Elliot’s right for her, but Ollie’s so incredibly wrong.

Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA Network.

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