We Need To Talk About Mr Robot

"I wonder if he's talking to me." "I am!" "Who said that?"
“I wonder if he’s talking to me.”
“I am!”
“Who said that?”

The first season of USA’s Mr Robot ended last night after a one-week delay for the finale and we need to talk about it.  After watching all 10 episodes I’m left…confused?  That’s an honest question because I’m not even sure if I’m confused, that’s how confusing I found this show.  I may understand it all perfectly and not realize it.  Jump after the break if you care to join me in this exploration of such a unique show.

[WARNING: IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO TALK ABOUT MR ROBOT WITHOUT SPOILING MR ROBOT SO IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED MR ROBOT BUT ARE THINKING ABOUT WATCHING MR ROBOT THEN YOU SHOULD PROBABLY GO WATCH MR ROBOT BEFORE YOU READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE ABOUT MR ROBOT.  HOW MANY TIMES CAN I SAY MR ROBOT IN THIS SPOILER WARNING?  SEVEN, APPARENTLY. ]

Hi.

I don’t know where to begin.  I don’t know who I’m talking to.  Did anyone else watch this?  Am I the only one whose jaw was left hanging open time and time again?  Am I imagining an audience for this show just like Elliot imagined so many characters in the show?  Am I talking to an actual reader or an imagined reader just like Elliott was talking to us until his imaginary Dad told him to stop?  Why did his Dad tell him to stop?  That seemed cruel when Elliot was just using the inner dialogue to help figure things out and keep us slightly better informed after–

slater

Right.  Good point, imaginary Dad.

I can understand and appreciate the unreliable narrator.  It gives the story a sense of mystery–especially when the narrator talks directly to us but in a way that doesn’t break the fourth wall.  He tells us he is probably crazy, that he’s certainly paranoid, and that his drug use is also probably making him hallucinate.  Or not.

We see that all take place when people in suits are always looking at Elliot.  Why are you looking at Elliot, Suit People?  STOP LOOKING AT ELLIOT!  But we didn’t think the hallucinations went beyond that.  We certainly didn’t think that Christian Slater was a hallucination.  He was in Heathers!  Wait, was he a hallucination in Heathers too?  Must rewatch Heathers!

But that was the SECOND big reveal for him–first was, oh yeah, that Mr Robot guy…he’s your dad.   Your dead dad.  The one that Evil Corp killed by giving him leukemia.  It only turned out at the end that Elliot was hallucinating him, his own personal amnesiac Tyler Durden because Elliot was Mr Robot.  It wasn’t that his dad actually lived and went into hiding, it was that he was in your head turning you from a social activist hacker into a giant international anarchist social activist hacker.  With a plan to delete all computer debt records (and their backups) so that the world can…start over?

I ask because I’m not sure what the plan was really all about–or if Elliot knows either.  Does that make it more intriguing or less?  It actually feels more believable than if it was just explained down to the details.

The overall story of the hack actually became the story of how to get rid of backup tapes.  That was a refreshing and incredibly realistic portrayal of a systemic attack like this–because of course that data would be backed up many times over.  I’ve seen articles suggesting the hacks and technology loopholes used in the show are realistic–I don’t know if that’s true but it felt real enough.  Certainly it was better than Angelina Jolie and Johnny Lee Miller running around in club kid clothes.

How have I gone this long without talking about Tyrell Wellick, the most bizarre corporate executive you’ve ever met.  Heck, the most bizarre person you’ve ever met until you meet his wife.  There needs to be a show about just them.  I will watch it with my hands covering my eyes so I can peek out and not be terrified by their psychopathy.  Or is it sociopathy?  Can it be both?  Can you not care about social norms while being trapped in–

slater

Right.  Thanks again imaginary dead-Dad-Durden-hacker.

Elliot can’t remember his sister either.  He remembers his friend from childhood.  And his evil mom.  And we learn a lot about all of them but nothing that matters.

But in the end, what did we see?  The world is in chaos but the people atop their ivory towers don’t care much.  Well, one guy did but he won’t be around for season 2 thanks to another jaw dropping moment in the finale (and the reason for the one-week delay).

I’m confused.  This article is confused.  I’m not sure what I saw or where it’s going.  It is completely unpredictable and yet every episode has a moment or two that will shock you immensely.

There’s a second season coming next year.  What will happen?  I don’t know.  But I can’t wait.

Score: 9.5 out of 10 hacked thermostats

 

Published by

Ryan Garcia

Father of two boys, husband, attorney for Dell (Social Media, Retail, Gaming), Broadway geek, comic book geek, science fiction geek, gadget geek.

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