‘Mr. Robot’ season 2, episode 8 review: Darlene takes center stage

Darlene -One week after presenting us with the biggest twist in arguably its entire history, what does “Mr. Robot” do? Well, let’s just say that they’ve chosen to defy expectations once more.

We wondered going into the episode whether creator Sam Esmail would really give us an episode without Elliot, and he definitely did that. Also, you could argue that this same episode was the one where Darlene truly went to another level. We can start here by discussing Susan Jacobs and her death by Darlene’s hands. This was a chance for vengeance, and her journey to get to that point was well-orchestrated and fantastic. All it took was a stun gun to change her for the rest of her life.

Was this the only life she took in the episode? There was that ending with Cisco and a baseball bat, but we’re not sure that we saw enough of that to say one way or another. What we did see through the hour was a determined woman, intent on keeping fsociety alive and leaving E Corp on a ledge. She has a larger mission and purpose, but has to be simultaneously cognizant of her own survival.

While everything for Darlene was deathly serious, there were moments of levity for Angela tonight. She had a good time at karaoke, she had a verbal argument, and she didn’t give the time of day to a guy from a few weeks back. Angela’s been our vessel for relatability this season; she’s shown vulnerability, and that connects us to her and makes us root even more for her when she does manage to have her flashes of power. They’re the opportunity to see her affirmations become actualized.

If you want to add one more layer to this cocktail of crazy for the night, it is Mobley being briefly taken in and later released, which does in turn little other than make Dom continue to circle. We do appreciate what she brings to the table in terms of an adversary who, were this a different show with different characters, we’d probably root for. Unfortunately for her, circumstances in this case render that close to impossible.

As a whole, we would say that Wednesday’s episode still shined without Elliot — though to be honest, we were so transfixed by Darlene that it was challenging to focus elsewhere. Grade: A-.

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