A few thoughts on tonight's “Mr. Robot” coming up just as soon as I glove up to fight a bum…
You may recall that I liked “Mr. Robot” a lot – particularly Rami Malek's lead performance – based on the first two episodes. “eps1.2_d3bug.mkv” was more of the same, while expanding on things I was intrigued by in the earlier installments. Bouncing around:
* Even more than the first two episodes, this one offered a ton of fuel to the “Mr. Robot is Elliot's Tyler Durden” fire. The appletini scene in particular played like one where Elliot was the only actual customer at that end of the bar, and the other hackers' reaction to his return seemed like a group of people relieved their leader had returned. It's entirely possible that this is just Sam Esmail messing with us, and a future episode will provide incontrovertible proof that Mr. Robot is a separate person, but my antennae remain raised.
* This one gave Martin Wallstrom a lot more to do as Wellick, who is revealed to be every bit as damaged as Elliot, albeit in a more socially functional way. There is the risk of having both protagonist and antagonist become too collectively quirky – Wellick fights bums! Sleeps with men for purposes of industrial espionage! Has a very pregnant wife who still enjoys being bound and gagged! – but Wallstrom's intensity has so far made Wellick an interesting counterpoint to Elliot.
* The show smartly introduces Michael Cristofer as a top Evil Corp executive. Not only was this guy born to play shady New York business types, but he even compliments Wellick on his necktie, which suggests that Esmail, like all of us, loved this scene from “Rubicon.”
* Ollie is such a tool, and such an obvious mistake for Angela, that those scenes are the closest “Mr. Robot” comes to filler so far. But getting the two of them enmeshed in another piece of computer crime helps, even if you would hope Angela would either have enough skills on her own to deal with this guy, or at least the sense to take the problem straight to Elliot. She may not know the extent of his vigilantism, but she knows his kung fu is mightier than hers.
What did everybody else think?