‘Mr. Robot’ episode 6 review: A surprising death rocks Elliot to his core

We have to say, we did not think that a show like “Mr. Robot” would have the guts to kill off a major character so early on in the series’ run. This is no slight against it, but more of a commentary on the state of a cowardly TV landscape in general when it comes to shows early on in their run. The tendency here is to see who viewers like and dislike first and foremost, and then decide from there when the drop the guillotine, and then also on who.

Yet, tonight brought us the death of Shayla, a beloved character for many who will be missed. Why her? The answer to us seems simple: The show needed to find a way to isolate and damage Elliot as a character further. He took steps forward, and now this is a major step back. How he recovers from this (and if he can) could be a theme for the rest of the entire first season, especially since the way that Vera constructed some of her own actions could make Elliot feel somewhat responsible for what transpired.

Elliot’s pain and sorrow led the way for him in this episode, as we had an unnerving mixture of inner monologues and quiet moments. More of the proactive action was instead handed to Angela, who is becoming increasingly intent on taking out Evil Corp with just about every subsequent hour. We hope she succeeds sooner rather than later; to us Tyrell is the weakest part of the show, and someone who could easily go in favor of someone a little more tangible.

There is some irony in us saying this, given of course that the most intangible person on the show is the same one in the title. We’ve read the theories that Mr. Robot is not exactly real, but more of an illusion of Elliot connecting build within his brain. There was clear evidence supporting this tonight; this is someone who we think wants him to do good at times, but the methods at times could cause him to think otherwise. He complicates matters, and Elliot caring for someone who is now gone thrusts that into overdrive. This is an emotion he is not accustomed to feeling, and we are not sure he is equipped to handle it. Then again, that is part of the intrigue with this show: There hasn’t quite been a character like Elliot on TV; in some ways he is cast in the traditional hero role, but heroic is the last thing that he’d use to describe himself. Often, his actions are a mirror of that. Grade: B+.

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