‘Mr. Robot’ season 2, episode 9 review: There is no freedom

Elliot Alderson received some great news on Wednesday night’s new episode of “Mr. Robot”: He was finally out of prison! He served less than 90 days of a sentence, and with that, he should be happy and feel rather fortunate.

Yet, this isn’t a story that tends to yield much good fortune, given that as the episode went along Rami Malek’s character was at the mercy of more line-blurring between himself and Mr. Robot over a potential Stage 2 of the operation (which Darlene realized may have been his / Mr. Robot’s creation all along), paying a visit to his mother, and then also seeing Joanna in the closing minutes. (Alas, no Tyrell.)

Before all of that, it was nice to start to understand more of who the key players in prison truly were. Ray the entire time as the warden, Leon was a sitcom-obsessed roommate, and we started to understand the routine more than ever before. This was necessarily, so kudos to Sam Esmail for deciding that now was the time for answers. We also learned that dog theft is what put him in this sort of trouble in the first.

While Elliot and Darlene were sifting through the pieces of the plan, Dom was forging one of her own: Getting closer and closer to Angela, and doing almost everything other than take her in at this point. Sure, Angela may be a burgeoning force within E Corp and the hacking community, but she’s still imperfect. Also, “Mr. Robot” so far is one of the few shows willing to make people within law enforcement intelligent.

Finally, wasn’t it nice to get some more Whiterose? While we don’t necessarily see a ton of the character, what we do is pretty darn fantastic, especially when it involves threats against Phillip Price, who could easily be on borrowed time.

In the end, “Mr. Robot” is at its best when it has the head full of steam it had here. Tonight brought us answers for sure, but also realizations. Elliot’s still in prison, and the difference this time it is a prison of purpose. He doesn’t know his own creation, and the recklessness that comes with that puts everyone he cares about in danger. Grade: A-.

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