USA Network’s “Mr. Robot” delivered another thrilling episode as the series heads towards its two-part season finale on September 14 and September 21. (The third to last episode airs tonight, September 7.) David Buchanan, Daniel Montgomery, and I recap this week’s offering, titled “eps2.7_init_5.fve,” written by Kyle Bradstreet and Lucy Teitel and directed by series creator Sam Esmail.
As Elliot is released from prison, his handle on Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) has become tenuous, and his alter ego is also confused about Elliot’s mental condition. But when he reunites with Darlene (Carly Chaikin) he still finds himself thrust into the tense conflict between f-society and the Dark Army. Elliot arranges a meeting with a high-ranking contact in the Dark Army, determined to uncover the details of the organization’s “stage two.” However, after hacking the Dark Army’s phone Darlene discovers that Elliot himself is the architect of stage two, and Elliot seems to have no memory of it.
Meanwhile, Angela (Portia Doubleday) delivers damaging information about E-Corp to the federal government, only to retreat after an unsettling encounter with the agency’s suspicious lead investigator. Afterwards Agent DiPierro (Grace Gummer) shows up at Angela’s apartment to offer her a last chance to get herself out of trouble, warning her that her next visitor might not be so helpful.
We all agree that the episode’s highlight was a tense confrontation between mastermind Whiterose (B.D. Wong) and his volatile E-Corp puppet Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer). Montgomery exclaims, “I love [Cristofer] in that scene.” I agree, arguing that the scene was both beautifully shot and tremendously acted by both Cristofer and Wong. Buchanan adds that the two scenes involving Wong were “really effective and impactful.”
We also discuss the show’s increased momentum leading up to the final episodes of the season. Montgomery argues that if the show continues the trajectory of the last three episodes, the entire second season, which had some of us frustrated, will look much better in hindsight. Buchanan agrees, saying that he is confident the show can pull of some great dramatic moments in these final installments.
With only two weeks of episodes left of the season, more questions remain. What does Joanna Wellick (Stephanie Corneliussen) want with Elliot? Who was knocking on Darlene’s door? What, or who, did Cisco (Michael Drayer) find in the f-society’s former headquarters?
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