Mr. Robot—Season 1

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9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Visually compelling with good story and cast

The show is very extreme but the twist is kind of obvious

 
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No, this show isn’t a sequel to Styx’s Mr. Roboto

E Corp (or Evil Corp) is running and ruining society…that is how hacker group fsociety sees it.  Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) finds himself as fsociety’s newest recruit.  As he works at a cyber security firm called Allsafe, Elliot finds himself getting deeper and deeper into a web of cyber-terrorism led by fsociety’s mysterious leader Mr. Robot (Christian Slater).  Within Evil Corp, Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström) has his own plans for the future and no one at E Corp will stop him from achieving his dreams.  As Elliot finds himself questioning his sanity more and more, fsociety is planning an attack that will destabilize the world!

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I bet this guy will get in your head…literally

Mr. Robot—Season 1 aired from June 24, 2015 to September 2, 2015 on USA.  The series was met with critical acclaim and quickly gained a cult following.  The series was a surprise winner at the Golden Globe by picking up both Best Television Series—Drama and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for Christian Slater with a nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series—Drama for Rami Malek.

I heard a lot of buzz surrounding Mr. Robot.  With a rather stupid title (on the surface), I didn’t know what to expect.  Watching Mr. Robot, I was treated to a very smart series that is different than most shows on television (even in this highly competitive and inventive time).  Due to the nature of the show, a ******spoiler alert****** will remain in effect for the rest of the review.

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I wonder when they’ll hook-up? Oh wait, never mind…

Mr. Robot bases its premise around a pretty obvious twist.  Essentially it is Fight Club combined with Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (but less abrasive).  Even realizing the twist almost off the bat, the series still manages to surprise with twists and turns you are not expecting.  The show could end up like St. Elsewhere and all be an illusion inside Elliot’s head and it wouldn’t even surprise me after this season…the characters develop in unexpected ways that keep the show moving.

The cast is also unusual.  Rami Malek isn’t a tradition leading man.  He is soft spoken and has haunting eyes that make him appear even odd at times.  He’s paired with ’80s/’90s charmer Christian Slater who is generally a show killer, but here he works.  The surprise scene stealer has to be Martin Wallström whose craziness actually tops Malek (yeah, it’s possible).  A lot of the rest of the supporting cast is kind of fluid and I’m not even sure who will be around for the next season as a result.

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Long-live V! I mean fsociety!

What really stands out to me about Mr. Robot is how it is shot.  The show reminds me a lot of watching a long and odd Stanley Kubrick film.  The choices of shooting styles are generally completely off-centered or in contrast perfectly framed with a balance of the screen.  It can be unnerving and it doesn’t fit traditional TV.  When it combined with the odd characters it also garners a bit of a grungy Twin Peaks feel (and throw in V for Vendetta for good measure).

With the end of this season, I can’t imagine what direction Mr. Robot—Season 2 will head.  It seemed like the show was building to the crushing of E Corp (and I know it isn’t down and out), but this happened a lot sooner than expected.  With the characters essentially on the run and the potential that the police are on to Elliot, Mr. Robot—Season 2 could almost be an entirely different show…I hope they keep it fresh and new.  I’ll definitely will be tuning in…long live fsociety!

Mr. Robot—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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1.1       eps1.0_hellofriend.mov Airdate:  06/24/15

Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) cannot fit into society…but he also doesn’t want to.  Working at a security firm called Allsafe with his friend Angela (Portia Doubleday) and her boyfriend Ollie Parker (Ben Rappaport), Elliot spends his day protecting the companies that he hacks at night.  A mysterious boyfriend of his psychiatrist Krista Gordon (Gloria Reuben) peaks Elliot’s interest.  Elliot is contacted by a mysterious hacker calling himself Mr. Robot (Christian Slater)…leaving himself wondering if he’s finally cracked.

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1.2       eps1.1_ones-and-zer0es.mpeg Airdate:  07/01/15

Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström) makes Elliot an offer that he must refuse.  With Terry Colby (Bruce Altman) in jail, Mr. Computer is defending him on the internet leaving Elliot questioning if what side Computer is on.  Elliot fears of falling deeper into Computer’s plans but finds himself in conflict with Fernando Vera (Elliot Villar) who supplies Shayla Nico (Frankie Shaw) with his drugs.  Elliot fears he is spiraling out of control…and nothing can stop his slide.

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1.3       eps1.2_d3bug.mkv Airdate:  07/08/15

Elliot’s meeting with Mr. Robot leaves him in the hospital and his psychiatrist worrying about his drug problem.  Ollie is targeted by a cyberterrorist Cisco (Michael Drayer) and debates telling Angela.  Elliot decides to try to live a normal life and asks Shayla to be his girlfriend.  Tyrell tries to become the leader of Evil Corp but faces barricades when Scott Knowles (Brian Stokes Mitchell) is given the position…leading Tyrell to make a big gamble with his boss’s secretary.  Elliot’s plans to go clear from fsociety fall through when fsociety leaks information that Elliot’s father and Angela’s mother were killed through Evil Corp’s negligence.

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1.4       eps1.3_da3m0ns.mp4 Airdate:  07/15/15

fsociety’s plans are forced to move up when their next target Steel Mountain is planning to change their format.  While Elliot tries to kick his drug habit and suffers hallucinations, Romero (Ron Cephas Jones) and Mobley (Azhar Khan) question if Elliot can be trusted with the job.  Darlene (Carly Chaikin) and Trenton (Sunita Mani) try to locate Darlene’s Chinese connection and to solidify the second half of the job.  Angela debates what to do about Ollie and ends up spending a surprising evening with Darlene before making a drastic decision.

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1.5       eps1.4_3xl0its.wmv Airdate:  07/22/15

Vera questions why he has been put in jail and seeks the truth.  Shayla tries to make a new beginning as a waitress.  Elliot breach of Steel Mountain hits a snag when the plans go sideways and he runs into Tyrell.  Darlene learns that the Dark Army is backing out of the deal to crash Steel Mountain and the plan is falling apart.  Tyrell and his wife Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen) attend a dinner party at Scott leading to an awkward encounter between Tyrell and Scott’s wife Sharon (Michele Hicks).  Elliot learns his involvement in framing Vera is coming back to haunt him.

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1.6       eps1.5_br4ve-trave1er.asf Airdate:  07/29/15

Shayla’s been taken by Vera’s men, and Vera is demanding Elliot get him out of prison on a deadline.  Angela works to find a way to use the new intel on E Corp to bring them down.  Elliot finds that hacking into jail might be the least of his problems in his attempt to save Shayla.

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1.7       eps1.6_v1ew-s0urce.flv Airdate:  08/05/15

Shayla is dead, and Elliot tries to adjust without her.  Mr. Robot tries to get fsociety back together when the group is criticized about their effectiveness.  Darlene uses Cisco to try to reach the Dark Army to get the plans going again.  Elliot debates keeping Krista as his psychiatrist when his court ordered time is up.  Angela goes to Colby with a means to clear his name in exchange for his testimony in the cover-up about the leak the killed her mother…but it could be at the cost of Allsafe.  Tyrell makes another desperate attempt to try to connect with Sharon which leads to a shocking encounter.

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1.8       eps1.7_wh1ter0se.m4v Airdate:  08/12/15

fsociety is getting back together and working with the Chinese to crash Steel Mountain.  Tyrell tries to return to work after murdering Sharon and learns that Colby might be cleared of his charges.  Allsafe is attacked by a hack, and Elliot learns that it is a result of Angela’s actions…but also a means of the Dark Army to reach out to him.  Elliot meets with Whiterose (BD Wong) and learns to gain Dark Army’s trust he must hack Allsafe…and Elliot’s whole life could come crashing down.

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1.9       eps1.8_m1rr0r1ng.qt Airdate:  08/19/15

Elliot realizes that Mr. Robot is his father and Darlene is his sister and tries to come to terms with his sanity.  Tyrell ducks police questioning in Sharon’s death with the birth of his child as he tries to cover his tracks and gets bad news about his future at E Corp.  Colby comes to Angela with an offer for her future.  Angela and Darlene try to track down Elliot, and Elliot questions moving forward on the plot to bring down Evil Corp.

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1.10     eps1.9_zer0-day.avi Airdate:  09/02/15

Fsociety’s plan has been launched and the financial world is in chaos as Evil Corp. is falling…and Fsociety’s message is being picked up by the people.  Angela tries to adjust to her new job at E Corp and finds herself on the other side.  Fsociety works to cover its tracks as they become the number one targets of a worldwide manhunt.  Elliot searches for Tyrell but finds that Mr. Computer is running the show now.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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