Mr. Robot “eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes” Review (Season 2 Episode 6)

Okay, so… that was a downright bizarre episode of Mr. Robot, specifically in how unlike Mr. Robot it was. Some of these changes worked, others didn’t, but whatever the case, there’s no denying that “eps2.4m4ster-s1ave.aes” was just an off entry for the show. Your mileage may vary, obviously, and I still don’t know what I even make of this episode myself. Let’s discuss.

The big discussion point for this episode, of course, is the opening twenty minutes, and easily the weirdest thing the show has chosen to do in its brief history. What I’ll say about it is that, though initially amusing, it went on for far too long. It becomes apparent as soon as we see Darlene’s Game Boy screen that Elliot has buried himself deep in his own mind to avoid the beating he’s taken. There’s a lot of fun elements to this segment – the classic commericals, the theme song, ALF for some reason – but the fun of it runs out pretty quick. The acting is intentionally hokey, but that it goes on for 20 minutes makes it hard to stay invested it.

Similarly, while Angela’s hacker training with Mobley was familiar, the actual hack put Darlene and Angela right in the middle of a spy thriller, complete with a grooving soundtrack to score everything. I actually really liked this segment – it brought just the right amount of life and flavor to a familiar scene – but it still felt outside of the show’s usual wheelhouse.

Still, as I write this, I wonder if this isn’t the direction the show should be going as the scope of things broaden. This season has been all about putting greater emphasis on the rest of the cast; the first season was so focused through Elliot’s point-of-view, that that became the definitive look and feel of the show. In fact, the parts of this episode that felt the most “right” were the present-day Elliot scenes with Ray’s threatening speech and Elliot thanking Mr. Robot.

So I’m not opposed to the show changing up its style, but this week felt like an overcorrection. If the show wants to broaden its horizons, that’s fine, it just needs to take its time to introduce these new elements. If nothing else, it could do with being less self-indulgent than the extended sequence that opened this episode.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!