“Normal. I have no normal.”
It’s interesting that Mr. Robot spends so much time discussing the idea of control, especially considering it seems to be losing control of its own narrative a bit. It’s relying more on “gotcha” reveals and moments than on creating compelling drama, and it seems like the high-brow approach took in season one is crashing down to Earth now. Case in point: the unnecessary double cliffhanger that closes out the episode. I don’t mind a little playing with the audience’s expectations, but as I said last week, the pretension of something like Hannibal worked better than the pretension of this show does. This season is inconsistent, to put it simply. At one point, it’s the most compelling show on television. At another, it’s dull and eye-roll worthy.
“eps2.7_init_5.fve” is, unsurprisingly, about the battle for control that’s waging in the show’s universe. “Order will not protect you anymore” seems to be the thesis of the episode, and that’s a good assumption to make when we have two giants like whiterose and Philip Price clashing before our very eyes. Add onto that the fact that Elliot’s in the thick of it without him really knowing what he’s doing. Stage 2 winds up being his plan all along, and he sees Mr. Robot conducting conversations for him at every turn. Control as an illusion isn’t just a figure of speech; it’s literal in a sense here.
And finally, we have Angela, someone who believes she’s in control up until the point when it becomes painfully clear that she’s not. Even the regulatory commission is being operated by larger forces with ulterior motives, she realizes, and it places her in an even deeper hole as a result. Dom showing up at the end of the episode is just the icing on the cake.
Photo credit: USA Network, Mr. Robot