There are a few moments throughout “Mr. Robot” where we will be first to admit: There is no clear line between reality and fiction, what is important and what are interspersed character-ramblings. Maybe none of it is important, or maybe it all is.
There are times with this show where we look the show like one of those Magic Eye puzzles, staring at individual scenes and trying to extract the meaning. We don’t always see it. Then, there are times when we see things that we don’t ever want to see again. Elliot’s attempts to purge himself from his addictions may be one of them. Has anyone ever seen vomit played out so strongly, or so viscerally, than this? It was horrifying to say the last, almost to the point where we could smell it.
It’s too bad that after all of this, Elliot still managed to have 200 mg of Adderall that he believed legitimately cured himself of his demons. All of a sudden, he could talk to normal people again, he was aware, and most importantly to him Mr. Robot was gone. Here’s the problem: Guy hadn’t slept in three days. Kudos once more to Rami Malek once more for this performance, as he went from this moment of pure bliss to two days later, where he felt the pain of addiction and the weight of no sleep. Joy turned to panic, and eventually he looked ready to pass out in a sea of computer code and mixed messages.
Eventually, the Adderall started to leave his system, and as he started to await further normalcy and sleep, he dreaded the return of his god Mr. Robot. Then, he proceeded in group to insult and destroy the idea of the religious god, proclaiming him as “not a good enough scapegoat.” He didn’t want the presence, and yet was tied to it in his head. In summation, Elliot’s not any closer to being healed, if there really is such a thing. The only salvation he may have is Ray, the one person who seems reasonably interested in treating him like a normal person.
Elliot aside, “Mr. Robot” delivers with supporting characters like few others. They continue to deliver in the presentation of Dominique (Grace Gummer), a member of the law-enforcement world that Sam Esmail has convinced millennials to care about. She’s not the prototypical “look I’m a badass” cop. She’s a real person. Fancy that? Also, seeing Angela continue to alternate between flexing her corporate power and confidence-building affirmations proves to be remarkably compelling. Thanks to the presentation of “evidence” in the tail end of the message, she had a choice to make: Her new position, or the parts from her past she still held dear.
If you like your television more on the straight-and-narrow, Mr. Robot is a giant 404 error screen. Otherwise it is a remarkable and extraordinary journey, but one we wonder if it cannot be fully enjoyed on a singular viewing. We enjoy it as a series of disjointed moments, but are still waiting this season for the apparent connective tissue. Grade: B+.
Two episodes in, and “Mr. Robot” still rules in showing the complexity of the human mind, and the effects of mental illness and addiction on it. Meanwhile, it also shows the slow process towards discovery from the law-enforcement side. While some of our characters may be escaping this spotlight at present, sooner or later it could come beaming down on them in bright light.