‘Mr. Robot’ season 2, episode 5 review: Too much versus too little

Knowledge is power … but how much of it do you want? Too much knowledge can be giving up your power when there is bliss in ignorance.

For Elliot Alderson, that is certainly true given that tonight’s “Mr. Robot” episode featured him being brutally beaten by Ray’s cohorts after he took a look at precisely what he was up to. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t good. Is this some sort of indictment on friendship for the guy? We would understand the logic in that given just one episode Ray looked more like a glimmer of hope. Now, Elliot’s fallen off into another pit after leaping into one with hacking the FBI.

Luckily, there was a sign of friendship elsewhere with Darlene, who made the bold choice to seek out Angela in hopes of getting her to assist with the hack, knowing that they both have a level of care for Elliot and could see where this road could lead him. It’s an interesting alliance, and one that puts Angela at a knife’s edge given her current position. The scenes with these three characters were brilliant in showcasing their broken tendencies, and yet also that undercurrent of love that exists underneath.

The political and social exchanges between these three were worthy enough to keep us from shouting about the other big reveal of the episode right away: White Rose is back! Granted, it is under a new pseudonym and in a new place; we are almost shocked that it took this long for the mystery man to resurface.

Dominique met with White Rose and in turn, realized that she may have been either Icarus or a moth darting far too close to a flame. Her field trip to China was one for answers, and what she received was not equal to the danger she felt. She became the One Who Knew Too Much, and was not able to take that step back into a more peaceful existence.

Would these people have happy lives without the knowledge they hunted? Maybe, but you can also argue that this is an addict, an insatiable need for answers and control. We’ve felt that way about Joanna at times over the series’ run, who at the end of this episode performed her mission and met a breathy voice on the phone.

What makes this show so remarkable is that you get a sense that there are no heroes, villains, or masters — everyone has something to offer. However, offering it has consequences, and temptation leads to pain. This was another visually-stunning and emotionally gripping hour; the scenes with Elliot will likely haunt us the most. Grade: A.

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