Sunday, July 12, 2015

Review of Mr. Robot on USA, Episodes 1 - 3

Mr. Robot, played by Rami Malek

I watched the first three episodes of Mr. Robot on USA, and below is my review of the first three episodes.

Please note that the following contains graphic subject matter that is not suitable for children

Mr. Robot, Episode 1

We learn about Elliot (played by Rami Malek), a brilliant computer IT guy, who can hack into anyone's account, and find out people's dirty little secrets.  He has a crush on his childhood friend, Angela, but she has a boyfriend, Ollie, who happens to work at their company, AllSafe. We find out that Elliot has hacked him, to learn more about him, and that Ollie has been cheating on Angela with another woman.

Elliot is seeing a therapist every week.  She too, is being cheated on by her boyfriend, who Elliot has hacked.  He turns out to be married, so Elliot makes it a point to blackmail the guy into never seeing his therapist again.

Elliot has a drug problem.  He is addicted to morphine.  He also takes withdrawal medicine, so he doesn't have withdrawals.

Elliot meets a guy on the subway, who leads Elliot to an abandoned warehouse, where the hacker group "fsociety" operates out of.  The man is known as Mr. Robot, and is played by Christian Slater.

Elliot is socially awkward.  He doesn't like to be in groups of people, and parties.

By the end of episode 1, I was sort of intrigued, because Elliot was escorted by henchmen in suits to an upper floor of a high rise, where he was met by an executive of Evil Corp., Tyrell, surrounded by 11 lawyers, all around a conference table.  It is not until the beginning of episode 2 that we find out what Tyrell wants with Elliot.

Mr. Robot, Episode 2

The beginning of episode 2 starts where we left off, with Elliot in the room with Tyrell and 11 lawyers, and they offer him a cushy job with Evil Corp., and the promise of being a multi-millionaire within a few years.  Since Elliot has never liked Evil Corp., he responds by saying, "Can I think about it?"

Tyrell is not amused with the fact that Elliot did not jump at the offer. He asks the lawyers to leave the room, to have a word with Elliot alone.  Again, Elliot does not take the offer.  The business suit henchmen escort Elliot out, and Elliot is relieved to be free from these people.

He feels stressed out, so he runs into Shayla, and asks for a "re-up" on his morphine. She initially declines because he made her promise not to ever give him more than his allotted drugs within a period of time.  She eventually relents, and he finds himself snorting more morphine than normal.  He then hacks Tyrell's business server at Evil Corp., and finds it to be unusually easy to hack.  Elliot gets paranoid that it was so easy, so he immediately takes precautions to destroy his computer, so that there is no evidence that he hacked Tyrell's account.  He drills holes in his computer hard drives and fries his computer components in the microwave.

Elliot has a change of heart after his IT boss shows the public video that a hacker group called "fsociety" has made.  Elliot then tells Mr. Robot (Christian Slater), that he wants out.

At the end of episode 2, he runs into Mr. Robot again, and talks with him, sharing about his broken relationship with his father.  Elliot shares that his dad has Leukemia, and made Elliot keep his secret.  Elliot finally breaks and shares the secret with his mother.  The mother and father get into an argument, and the father pushes Elliot off of a balcony, breaking his arm in the fall.  After this, Elliot's father will not speak to him or look at him again.

After Elliot shares this with Mr. Robot, Mr. Robot pushes him off of the wooden railing he is sitting on, and the episode ends, leaving us to wonder what happened to Elliot.

Mr. Robot, Episode 3

Elliot wakes up in the hospital to the faces of two people, Shayla and his therapist.  He speaks alone with the therapist and she makes him promise to stop taking Morphine, after his admitted drug use.  He promises, but secretly plans to continue, and only make it appear on his drug tests that he is clean.

In episode 2-3, Elliot finds himself falling for his drug supplier's girl named Shayla.  In the first episode, he wakes up naked in a bed with her, which hints he was intimate with her while high on morphine.  His crush, Angela, comes over at the end of episode 1 and finds Shayla still asleep in his bed, naked.

Elliot likes Shayla and pursues her as a girlfriend in episode 3, but first he has to get rid of her drug dealer boyfriend.  He tells Shayla that he had nothing to do with him being arrested, and put into jail.

Mr. Robot shows up unannounced in this episode at Elliot's cubicle at work (which is not believable). He then says that either Elliot goes with him to a bar next door, or else he will stay there at his desk and make a scene.  Elliot agrees to go to the bar, Mr. Robot and Elliot sit and have Appletinis and discuss why Mr. Robot pushed him off of the balcony.  Mr. Robot says he has violent tendencies and was angry that Elliot would help fsociety with their plan.  As Mr. Robot is walking out, Elliot stops him and says, "What about the plan?"

This was another moment that I did not feel the character's were being honest to their characters.  I don't believe Elliot would have been so forgiving of Mr. Robot to want to jump back into the master plan of hacking Evil Corp.

Honest Feeling about the Show

In episode 3, I start to lose interest in the show, Mr. Robot.  Mainly because the character's choices are just not believable to me, but secondly, because it contains sexual themes that are immoral, and wrong.

First of all, I don't care for the Evil Corp. executive, Tyrell, who is very dark and twisted.  He is planning on taking over as Evil Corp's CTO, and when he doesn't get it, he goes out and beats up a homeless guy, for $300.  I don't believe that would happen.

He is married to a Swedish woman, and talks to her in Swedish.  He is seen at home later, getting dressed to go to a night club.  She questions what he is doing.  He grabs her by the face and says "whenever he is doing something for himself, he is doing it for them" and then forcefully kisses her.  She seems to take it without problem.  He is then seen outside a gay night club.  He meets up with another male (that he is trying to blackmail).  He tells the guy that he is there to take him home.  Next scene, they are having gay sex at the guy's house.  Tyrell tells him to go shower, and then hacks his phone while he is in the shower, and then leaves.

Tyrell returns home to his Swedish wife, that is in her bondage clothes. He ties up her arms and legs, at her request.  She is visibly pregnant.  It then goes on to a different storyline, and does not show what he does, but infers that he is intimate with her.  Since this is his wife, it is not wrong for the intimacy here, but his other relations with a man before this (only to hack his phone), was very dark, and morally sinful.

By the end of episode 3, Ollie reveals to Angela that he has been cheating on her, and shows her pictures of his fling.  He does this in fear of getting caught when a hacker threatens to make all of the information on his laptop public.  Angela seems upset at first, and through their discussion, acts more upset that her and her father's information has been potentially hacked through Ollie's laptop.  She acts as if it is the end of the world if the hacker does something to their credit.  She is willing to forgive Ollie on his indiscretions, after he promises to make everything right. The scene ends with them talking about putting a virus on their company server, in an attempt to save Angela's personal information.

I did not find this discussion on infidelity, realistic, and did not find the outcome realistic, either.  I don't think Angela and Ollie would really consider planting a virus on their company server and give into a hacker like that.

Final Thoughts on Mr. Robot on USA

I think Rami Malek is a superb actor, and rightfully deserves a lead role on a television show.  Mr. Robot on USA started out as something different.  But the newness is wearing off, and I just don't like where some of the storylines are going.  I am uninterested in Elliot and fsociety hacking Evil Corp.  Christian Slater's character is just too unbelievable.  I am uninterested in Tyrell seducing men to hack their phones.  I am uninterested in Angela and Ollie infecting AllSafe with a virus.  Overall, the major storylines are boring, and I am left uninterested by the end of episode 3.

What I have seen so far proves that Rami Malek is a great actor.  However, in episode 3, there are several characters and interactions between characters that I didn't find believable, as well as the sexual content, drug use, in addition to using God's name in vain that I find unappealing.

Z. Love's Blog does not recommend this show to other viewers.

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