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Mr. Robot “eps1.4_3xpl0its.wmv” Review (1×05)

23 Jul

620

“People always make the best exploits.”

Even though hacking–and technology in general–oftentimes comes with a depersonalizing element, Mr. Robot is still fundamentally about what it means to be a human in modern society. To be a human is to have deep fears and vulnerabilities, to care about others, to be someone easily exploited by the harsh outside world. As Mobley so aptly puts it: “People are all just people, right? When it gets down to it, everyone is the same. They love something. They want something. They fear something. The specifics help us, but the specifics don’t change how everyone is vulnerable. It just changes the way that we access those vulnerabilities.”

It’s a scary thought because it’s true, and the episode really nails it when it comes to exposing that very thought. A huge part of that is Rami Malek, whose face is absolutely blank as he delivers a brutal takedown of who poor Bill Harper is. It’s a chilling and compelling scene all the way through, and it’s an example of Elliot exploiting the fears of a vulnerable human being. The same goes later on when FSociety sends Trudy a fake text from her husband about what they fear, and it’s like we’re seeing a face to face manifestation of a hack play out on screen.

Plus, the way Mr. Robot exploits these people through Elliot–still don’t know if they’re the same person, although various interesting clues are dropped in this episode–is very similar to the monologue Tyrell delivers about the waiter in the restaurant. “What must he think of himself?” he asks scornfully, following that up by detailing every single painfully average element of the waiter’s life. Then, Tyrell turns it on Elliot himself, calling his desire for revenge “ordinary” and saying that “even extraordinary people are driven by human banalities”. It’s just a perpetual cycle here of people exploiting each other’s fears, exposing them and making them feel small, and it’s both unsettling and intriguing to watch. In the end, as Elliot states, “we all change the world”. The thing is, though: most of us are unable to change the world in a “meaningful” manner, and we end up floundering in a sea of mediocrity along with the other pawns. And at any time, we can be fished out of the water, the people who catch us getting to decide where we go next.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-That’s right, I just used shoehorned in some fishing and water metaphors.

-I’m starting to find Angela’s character to be more interesting–Darlene’s as well–especially with the introduction of her dad in this episode. The show nicely establishes who he is in the span of a few minutes, and it also delivers a more ominous note at the end that plays into the fear/weaknesses theme of the episode.

-So, how ’bout that bathroom scene. It makes great use of silence early on, and it’s pretty compelling to watch play out.

Photo credit: USA Network, Mr. Robot

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3 Responses to “Mr. Robot “eps1.4_3xpl0its.wmv” Review (1×05)”

  1. Matthew Thompson July 23, 2015 at 2:22 am #

    The infiltration bits were so good. Felt bad for Bill though. I also agree that this ep (and the last I think too maybe) helped make some of the supporting characters more interesting like Darlene and Angela (who is infinitely better with Ollie kicked to the curb). Tyrell is so weird, but it is interesting watching him. Never quite sure what he will do. I like Elliot and Shayla together. Between the opening and Elliot saying he was good on the phone it felt like something was definitely going to happen to her. Curious to see what direction that brings us next week. I really feel like Elliot and Mr. Robot are the same person. The only thing giving me any second thoughts is how obvious that seems!

  2. 13mesh July 23, 2015 at 9:40 am #

    Hi PB, I hope it’s okay to post it here because I nominated your awesome blog for two awards (Dragon’s Loyalty & Versatile Blogger):

    https://meshthemoviefreak.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/2nd-blogiversary/

    Cheers!

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