‘Mr. Robot’ Impressions: Episode 1.2

The previous episodes of Mr. Robot may have come off as a little slow, apart from the cliffhanger of an ending, but the third episode, titled 1-2_D3BUG.mkv, changes up the show’s potential future quite a bit.

Warning: Spoilers ahead

It also gives us viewers more insight into the dark… tendencies, we’ll call them, of Evil Corp executive Tyrell Welleck, who offered Elliot a job at the company in the second episode and whose ambitions are clearly for his own personal gain.

Rather than starting us right off where the cliffhanger left us dangling, Mr. Robot episode 1-2 instead starts us off with Tyrell practicing his speech to the board of executives to cement himself as the new CTO before heading off to the offices of Evil Corp to make his case.

Character development has consistently been a strong suit of Mr. Robot, and that is only amplified in this episode; we see Tyrell as a perfectionist. If he’s going to do it at all, he’s going to do it the right way.

Unfortunately for Tyrell, things don’t go according to his plan. Once he arrives at the office, he’s immediately told that his meeting had to be rescheduled — evidently, the board has found an exciting candidate as the company’s new CTO, and it doesn’t sound as if Tyrell is that candidate.

We’re then shown a scene where Tyrell and his bodyguard park at a vacant street, his bodyguard standing and waiting while Tyrell does what he came for: venting his anger by paying a citizen to beat him. Apparently, he doesn’t believe in punching bags of the non-human sort.

It’s only then that we’re once again shown Elliot, and what he sees when he first opens his eyes, in his hospital bed, isn’t exactly what he expected. Shayla, his drug dealer, is also apparently his emergency contact. Standing beside her is his therapist, Krista Gordon.

After excusing herself, Shayla exits the room and Krista doesn’t waste time in asking Elliot what went wrong. The doctors had told her that he refused a drug screen — which, considering his abuse of morphine, would make sense — and before long, he caves in. He tells her the truth.

Except, as he puts it, he’s not a junkie — and Krista humors him, saying that if he’s willing to submit to bi-monthly drug tests, he’s free to go. Just as she’s saying this, Elliot narrates to himself — the audience — that it would be no small task to fake the records.

And in the very next scene, we see Elliot standing in a store, Shayla at the register, as he indulges in his “medication.” In an attempt to use his Evil Corp credit card to pay for a few items, it turns out the card was declined. Fsociety, it seems, had a hand in that.

Next, we see Angela once again, going out for her run. When she sees a man drop a wallet, she attempts to do the right thing by alerting him and handing it to him. Turns out, that “wallet” was a woman’s purse that had been stolen by the same man she gave it to.

She comes home tired, seemingly flustered by the events. She attempts to tell her boyfriend Ollie, who has secretly been cheating on his “lover” with a woman who goes by Stella, about what had happened. Occupied by an on-going conversation, he offers simple explanations and brushes it off.

At around this time, it’s revealed that this wasn’t just some online fling he was having with Stella — in the previous episode, a man, seemingly promoting a new album, gave Angela’s boyfriend a disc, asking for shares. Turns out, that music CD wasn’t… well, it wasn’t a music CD.

Due to malicious software on the disc, Ollie inadvertently installed malicious software that gave an unknown hacker access to his webcam, his infidelities and, as we’ll find out later in the episode, far worse than that. For the time being, Ollie receives a call from a voice-masked hacker saying that Ollie has 100 hours — after that, all information will be released.

It’s unclear who this mysterious hacker is and what his motivations are, but it undoubtedly has ties to Mr. Robot in some way or another.

Speaking of Mr. Robot, it seems that he is insistent that Elliot get on-board with the great “plan” — even if he pushed him off a pier the episode previous. He makes an attempt to explain it away, but Elliot has nothing of it. In the end, Mr. Robot finally reveals what should have been obvious: without Elliot, there is no plan. It’s over. He’s free.

If only it were that simple, right?

For a fleeting moment, Elliot decides to turn a new leaf — be one of the “normal” people. Enjoy a Starbucks. Use Instagram for things that don’t involve illicit activities. And, hey, what about socializing? That seems all the rage. Now, Elliot is willing to give it a try.

Earlier in the episode, Allsafe boss Gideon asked several of his favorite employees — Angela, Ollie, Elliot — to come over to his place for the night to enjoy some steaks. Elliot initially refused, but after becoming free? Suddenly everything was open to him. Now, he actually wanted to go.

All throughout the episode, character arcs were turned up several notches, and Gideon’s was just as much. While at the gathering at his place, he probed Elliot about his hesitancy to bring information forward to him regarding the original Evil Corp hack.

Elliot then went back inside, talking about the olden days with Angela — and then as they often do in this show, the good moment took an ominous twist. It had come to light that Terry Colby, the man Elliot framed as a hacker, was in no small part in the death of Elliot’s father. To him, this changed everything.

Towards the end of the episode, once Angela returned home, Ollie was finally forced to admit what had been going on with Stella. Worse, he had to break the news that sensitive information, very sensitive information, had been taken from not only Ollie, but Angela as well.

As for Elliot, he had a sincere change of heart. He went to fsociety’s headquarters, set up his laptop, and simply asked where the plant was. It is, as they say, on.

Mr. Robot continues to surprise me, and the preview for the next episode shows that it’s about to get much, much heavier. You’ve got me hooked, Mr. Robot.

Check out the preview of the next episode below.

[Image credit: USA Network]