Mr. Robot: eps1.5_br4ve-trave1er.asf
July 29, 2015 8:59 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Elliot attempts to hack Vera out of jail in order to save someone he cares about; Tyrell’s “game” gets crazy; and Angela digs deeper into her mother’s death.
posted by Catblack (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Holy cow. I didn't expect this episode to end like it did. Stellar acting by Rami Malek, as usual.

One moment in this that tickled my black little heart in this episode was how Elliot sort of computes in his head what Angela wants to hear while she's on his stoop, and then says it, and it totally works and she takes it as heartfelt. And then of course at the end he has to deal with the outcome of interacting with the world through that kind of realpolitik/game theory lens.
posted by whir at 9:55 PM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I didn't get what was happening at the very beginning, but damn that was a great opening. The whole thing plays out just like it should, it really ups the ante for this show.

I guess we can all agree that Mr Robot is in his head now.

I worry that he left his fingerprints on the key still stuck in the trunk. Standing next to a cut prison fence with two dead bodies is not where you want to be. That's the point your flight reflex needs to take over.

Interesting pissing contest (!) in that board room, too.
posted by Catblack at 10:47 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Every war has casualties
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:45 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


USA’s Mr. Robot actually does everything True Detective pretends to do

Minor spoilers for this season's True Dectective
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:57 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


This was a really intense episode, and the ending was... woah. Damn, can Rami Malek act or what!

This was also the first time so far that I've rolled my eye at the tech stuff. He's connecting to the cop car (via bluetooth?), and they show the connection on his screen - where his computer's name is "Elliot." Really?

Still, this show has really got me sucked in. I loathe Tyrell with the heat of a thousand suns, but was sort of embarrassed for him too. He underestimated, badly, the new CTO. That scene was riveting.
posted by gemmy at 9:17 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


THAT ENDING THAT ENDING THAT ENDING THAT ENDING

One of my absolute favorite things is when something happens in a TV show or in a piece of fiction that reframes something totally everything you'd seen before? And remember all those shots before of the car they were using with that ridiculous frog peace sign sticker? I saw it and thought it was a continuation of the good set stuff they've been doing where everybody has income/personality-appropriate apartments, that Vera's crew was driving a ridiculous stolen car with a ridiculous sticker, but maaaaaaaaaaaaan, the reveal at the end? And the way it drives you, as the viewer, to sort of hope against hope that Shayla is alive even though it's kinda cliche for him to be able to save her? And how that crumbles in actual real time as you see Elliott's face crumble?

The tech might be ridiculous, but oh my God, I kinda love this show and how it's the Rami Malek Acting Hour.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:28 AM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Everything about this episode I loved:

- Each major character hitting emotional "bottom" and being able to see it on his/her face. Tyrell doesn't get to be CTO, Angela realizing the truth isn't what will bring justice for her mother's death and implicate EvilCorp (come on, we all know that big money can nullify crime, Angela!), the lawyer realizing she's going to have to reopen an old case again because her conscience won't let her walk away from it, Isaac when he realizes Vera's wacky plan to break out is actually going to work, Vera when he realizes that his "business" isn't safe from his own brother and that Elliott's putting him in the bitchmade corner -- and finally, that last scene with Elliott opening the trunk. WOW.

I think the only mjor characters who didn't get the "oh shit, I'm fucked" face reaction this episode are Mr. Robot, Shayla, Darlene and Mrs. Wellick; one of those isn't real, one is dead, one's got a default "oh, shit" face and one is a secondary character (but I do love Mrs. Wellick with the fire of ten thousand suns -- their marriage is pretty close to functional, at least for two sociopaths).

- The sound editing. One of the things this show does exceptionally well and consistently, this ep gave me Requiem for a Dream flashbacks. The right sound/music bed makes all the difference in how each scene's emotional impact hits the viewer. By the end, I was borderline nauseous with stress for poor Elliott.

- Selective camera focus. Okay, that last 5-7 minutes was amazing, we all agree. But seeing the prisoners scatter in the background after emerging from that clipped fence gave it depth and kept me centered in the moment, thinking RUN YOU IDIOT, THERE ARE CONVICTS STREAMING TOWARDS YOU!!! YOU'RE GOING TO GET BUSTED/KILLED!!!!

- honorable mention goes to finally getting some character development for Angela, cementing her as a genuine person who'd believably be friends with Elliott but is still naive enough to have moved in with that douchetastic boyfriend.

I think this ep really drove home that Mr. Robot is likely not a real person, though I'm still convinced this isn't simply Hack Club: The TV Series.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:31 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really like, by the way, the way the show fucks with our expectations about the kinds of stories that TV tells about ladies.

Like. Darnelle looks and dresses and sounds like a manic pixie dream girl -- but has a serious anger problem that manifests in uncute, frightening, awful ways. Angela is and looks and sounds like the good girl next door -- but is so, so, so desperate and driven by fear and old anger and hurt that she has no qualms about loading the disk on at work, rather than just sort of crying and moping about his infidelity, and you can see the beginning of her new mission on her face. And Shayla was totally going to be set up as the good girl with ~ secret artistic talents ~ who gets in a bad situation, and gets redeemed by the white-knighting of the main dude hero and ~ teaches him to feel and be human ~?

NOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPE.

Here's to hoping we get more of Trenton in the future. I really loved that glimpse we got a couple eps back when we see her praying.
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:18 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


For a show which so artfully plays with viewer expectations I think the Hack Club thing might be too obvious and Mr Robot will actually be real.

Best thing on TV at the moment.
posted by fullerine at 4:19 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I find this show very, very rewatchable. Then comes the end of this ep. Damn. Frankie Shaw was so great as Shayla and I'm going to miss her amazing portrayal as much as the character herself.

But I watched it again anyway.
posted by the bird at the bottom of the tree at 5:48 AM on August 3, 2015


Unicorn on the cob: Each major character hitting emotional "bottom" and being able to see it on his/her face. Tyrell doesn't get to be CTO, Angela realizing the truth isn't what will bring justice for her mother's death and implicate EvilCorp (come on, we all know that big money can nullify crime, Angela!)

And worse for Angela, she thought she could just chat with Terry Colby, but he doesn't even remember who she is, after he humiliated her at AllSafe. Somehow, that was more crushing to watch.

Question: Mr. Robot said "Look at what you accomplished at Steel Mountain. You took them down. You won that battle." What did he mean? Elliott made it inside and installed the back door into their HVAC system, but the Dark Army didn't deliver on China, so nothing actually happened, right? And their window opportunity is likely closed, with Steel Mountain creating more off-site duplicates. Right? So what battle did he win? Getting past Steel Mountain's defenses? That's worth a high-five and some accolades, but there was no victory in their war against EvilCorp.


joyceanmachine: I really like, by the way, the way the show fucks with our expectations about the kinds of stories that TV tells about ladies.

I agree. Early on, I was concerned that Mrs. Wellick was going to be a doormat to the power-hungry sociopath of Tyrell, but now it looks like she's the one who has more ambition and vision than him, and even in their sexual power play, she was directing him.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:19 AM on August 4, 2015


My new theory is that Just as Elliot is Mr Robot, Shayla is Darlene. I think this show isn't Fight Clubbing with just one character.

Though in episode 5 in the flashback at Steel Mountain, Elliot's mom calls him 'Anthony'. So I'm pretty sure we'll find that Elliot is the constructed personality. Or something, not sure where this show is going to go if it's angling for a second season.
posted by Catblack at 9:19 AM on August 4, 2015


This was some good effing tv right here. so many power plays, so much tension. Except for Angela...I wonder why, in an episode with so much brinksmanship, she wasn't able to confront Colby?

Question: Mr. Robot said "Look at what you accomplished at Steel Mountain. You took them down. You won that battle." What did he mean? Elliott made it inside and installed the back door into their HVAC system, but the Dark Army didn't deliver on China, so nothing actually happened, right? And their window opportunity is likely closed, with Steel Mountain creating more off-site duplicates. Right? So what battle did he win? Getting past Steel Mountain's defenses? That's worth a high-five and some accolades, but there was no victory in their war against EvilCorp.


Mr Robot's words and advice in this episode seemed more like rationalizations and platitudes to me than 'truth to power'. Elliot doesn't trust him, or his advice (ignored him pretty much completely at steel mountain until it was time to pull the rug out from under the tour guide guy), he pretty much let Mr Robot ramble on the staircase, playing devil's advocate, until Elliot figured out his play. He's Tyler Durden, but without much influence atm.


I figure we haven't seen the last of Vera....
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:52 AM on August 4, 2015


It's very possible that the "victory" at Steel Mountain referenced by Mr. Robot is Elliott using his hacker/social engineering skills in meatspace on a known and very powerful inside entity -- Tyrell Wellick -- and escaping unharmed.

Sure, Elliott did something similar in ep 1 right out of the gate. But that pedo diner guy was a stranger, and he was forced into an endgame power play where both of them weren't walking out of there without one of them staring down a gun. This meatspace hack's ongoing, and with someone who's growing familiar with and in a position to potentially undo all of Elliott's EvilCorp chess piece-positioning until now.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 4:19 PM on August 4, 2015


Also, Elliot approached the Pedo with a plan, in a public space (even though it was the guy's own diner). He had back-up (police were on their way).

In Iron* Steel Mountain backup HQ, he was in a very different position: their plan backfired, and Elliot had to wing it, while deep inside the private facility. Still, I don't think surviving the encounter with Tyrell is the same as "taking down Steel Mountain."

*It's interesting to see that Iron Mountain also faced some data loss issues due to fires in their facilities around the world.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:48 AM on August 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Catblack: Though in episode 5 in the flashback at Steel Mountain, Elliot's mom calls him 'Anthony'. So I'm pretty sure we'll find that Elliot is the constructed personality.

I didn't hear that, so I checked a transcript and maybe you misheard her saying "Answer me"?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:53 AM on August 6, 2015


The way that shot just lingered on Elliot before showing us the inside of the trunk was fantastic.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:38 AM on September 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


"The way that shot just lingered on Elliot before showing us the inside of the trunk was fantastic."

A.) I thought finding Shayla dead was a little too women-in-refrigerators for me. I'm sure there's some way to have character growth without killing off women.

B.) I really wish they hadn't showed Shayla's body. Not because I wanted there to be some ambiguity about her death, or that I am squeamish, I just thought it undercut the great acting job that Malek did. I mean I knew for sure she was dead thanks to his reaction. The director's decision to show felt like when someone tells a great joke and then says, "DO YOU GET IT?" at the end.

But hey aside from those things (which are minor) I'm enjoying the hell out of this series and have zero idea what direction it's going and I love it.
posted by komara at 3:08 PM on September 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm not too thrilled that Shayla has paid the price for Elliot's ... everything.

I feel like maybe in this instance the show is lampshading the "Lady Macbeth" trope, by giving every ambitious powerful man in the show his own Lady Macbeth, and that the rival CTO's wife is just a better Lady Macbeth than Tyrell's wife, that together they were out-nerved at their own sexual psychodrama plan.
posted by rustcrumb at 8:46 PM on August 23, 2016


I'm deep into season two at this point but I still retain a nagging question about the objective reality and exisitence of Vera and the prison hack. I don't think the show wants is to take Elliot for a killer, but the scope of the prison hack is, if smaller scale than the Steel Mountain hack, more questionable. So if we posit the prison break is a delusional artifact but Shayla's death is real, who is the most likely culprit?
posted by mwhybark at 12:45 AM on January 27, 2017


btw a drive by on my way to another thread.

A Angela
B ? (Bot? Mr Robot? What is Eliott's Dad's first name?)
C Chayla
D Darlene
E Elliott
F Fernando (Vera, "Truth," "Faith".)
G Gideon

I don't think they stuck with the schema but I definitely think they started with it. If so, Fernando may be due for a return.
posted by mwhybark at 12:17 AM on January 28, 2017


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