Friday, September 16, 2016

Mr. Robot 2x10 Review: "eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx"(Unreliable Memory) [Contributor: Jon]


"eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx"
Original airdate: September 7, 2016

As this season of Mr. Robot is winding down, a bit of the endgame is starting to form. While Elliot’s memory may (once again) not be as what it seems, Dom and the rest of the FBI begin closing in on fsociety. Joanna recruits Elliot for finding Tyrell, while Angela comes to a sobering truth.

As the show heads towards its conclusion, it continues to push the envelope in ways not seen on cable television. If you have yet to see the show, I highly recommend catching it on demand or buying it. With that said, let’s pick up with what happened to Elliot this week, as Joanna made a sudden appearance into his life.

MIND GAMES


To be completely honest, Elliot wasn’t the main focus of the episode and that felt kind of refreshing. With Elliot, you usually find him as the focal point of the episode. While he still is one of the more fascinating parts of the episode, the other characters’ arcs are just as interesting.

After the return of Joanna this week (whose introduction is set to death metal, which I found hysterical), it’s revealed that Joanna still believes that Tyrell is alive and well, and she wants Elliot to help to track him down. Elliot — who believes Tyrell is dead due to what Mr. Robot told him — refuses but soon changes his mind after Joanna threatens him.

After Elliot gets the equipment he needs and discusses the issue at hand with Mr. Robot, he gets a call on a phone Joanna gave him. He hears breathing on the other line and realizes it might be Tyrell. Elliot also discovers Mr. Robot has suddenly (perhaps conveniently) disappeared. Whether this means that Mr. Robot’s been playing Elliot this whole time is yet to be seen, but considering it seems a bit too quick he’d want to reconcile differences, it’d be interesting to see what happens next between the two.

SAYING GOODBYE

This is further evidenced by a seemingly final moment (for the season) between Angela and Elliot on the subway. Angela tells Elliot that she’s going to admit her role in the hack to the FBI but will leave Elliot and fsociety out. After a small talk with Elliot, he realizes that his memory hasn’t been as reliable as he thought and Angela warns him to be careful with Mr. Robot. Elliot then kisses Angela right as he’s about to get off.

The final image of Angela in the episode is her being approached by a mysterious man and woman.

What’s so interesting about these two is that there never was a will-they-won’t-they as is the case in most shows. Instead, the relationship between Elliot and Angela is one of close friends, with only the slightest hint there’s something more. It’s not until we hear Elliot’s genuine care of her that the first seed of that "something more" shows. It’s a beautiful moment that feels earned.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING


Seeing as how Cisco and Darlene, as well as the rest of fsociety, have bigger targets on their backs, you would think their first thought would be to lie low.

Instead, the two end up having to take Vincent — another fsociety member who is heavily wounded — to the local hospital. While they take him to the hospital, Darlene tells Cisco that everything they’ve ever done thus far has been because of Elliot, claiming that he’s the special one. Fueling the whole “big gaps in memory,” it makes one wonder just HOW much was Elliot doing things in fsociety and how much of it was Mr. Robot.

Elsewhere, the FBI has released a photo of Cisco to the public, inciting a city-wide search for the hacker. Dom pleads with her superior to not show the photo, claiming the Dark Army could potentially retaliate. Dom then tracks the pair further to a local restaurant.

It should be noted that the next shot simply holds on the outside of the restaurant across the street. We see a motorcyclist (supposedly a member of the Dark Army) begins to shoot up the restaurant only to be massacred by the police. Dom then comes out of the restaurant bloodied and dazed, while the fates of Darlene and Cisco remain unknown.

The camera never moves from this shot while everything happens and that’s one of the best things about this series. Mr. Robot takes risks with its cinematography and camera movements (we had a 90s homage this season for heaven’s sake), leading to one of the more visually unique and striking shows on television right now. It’s one of the show’s high points and one of the better aspects of the series as a whole.

With the fates of everyone involved left unknown, it’s going to be fascinating to see how Sam Esmail wraps up the season with the finale.

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