Mr. Robot

The USA Network’s summer debut

Mr. Robot

is turning out to be one of the most exhilarating thrillers on television since the end of Breaking Bad. The story of Mr. Robot covers timely themes including economic inequality, the growing influence of the internet, and loss of privacy through social media. The third episode of the first season offers a number of thrilling and through-provoking moments.

1Tyrell is tough on himself

The beginning of this episode shows a deeper profile of antagonist Tyrell Wellick, a Swedish-born Senior Vice President of Technology at E Corp seeking to climb the ladder by any means. He rehearses a proposal to become Chief Technical Officer to the board in front of a mirror. Tyrell insults and slaps himself when he falters from his ideal and assuring himself he will be the next CTO. (Tyrell may be a reference to the Tyrell Corporation in the film Blade Runner).

2Tyrell beats up a homeless man

After his rehearsed bid for promotion is brushed off in a reschedule, we see Tyrell on the streets of New York paying a homeless man to be his punching bag. Another example of Tyrell’s sociopathic mindset.

3And seduces to get his way

After a tense moment with his wife, Tyrell loiters in front of a gay club to seduce an office assistant at E Corp in order to gain access to his phone and install a spyware kit. This shows the lines Tyrell is willing to cross to climb up the corporate ladder.

4Elliot, even when bedridden and injured, still holds power

While recovering in the hospital after last episode’s tumble on the beach, Elliot describes the lack of security in the hospital. He chose that hospital as his primary hospital because of its deep vulnerability, which gives him the ability to change records. He lies to his psychiatrist Krista because he can change the records and keep her in the dark. This scene shows that while bed ridden and sedated, Elliot still has power over others.

5Is Mr. Robot Real? Exhibit C

A recurring debate in the series is whether Christian Slater’s character, fsociety figurehead Mr. Robot, is a real person or a part of Elliot’s delusions. In this episode, he visits Elliot at Allsafe’s office and takes him to a bar to make amends for pushing him over. Notice that Mr. Robot doesn’t interact with anyone except for Elliot. This is more evidence for viewers who believe that Mr. Robot is imaginary.

6Elliot tries to be normal…

After last episode’s tumble on the beach, Elliot tries to cut ties with fsociety and Mr. Robot. With Mr. Robot supposedly accepting his rejection, Elliot tries to live like a normal person in a perfect maze.

“Maybe Shayla will be my girlfriend”

I’ll go see those stupid Marvel movies with her. I’ll join a gym. I’ll heart things on Instagram. I’ll drink vanilla lattes” Elliot narrates to the viewer. He also accepts his boss’ dinner invitation and invites Shayla to come along as his date.

7Elliot tries to listen as Shayla opens up

Elliot often relates to people by hacking their internet profiles. Although he learns a lot from what they share online, some things don’t appear online. Trying to get through to Elliot, Shayla interrupt’s Elliot’s monologue to the viewer by saying that there are things she doesn’t share online. Instead, Shayla shares her quilts and artwork.

Elliot starts showing empathy for Shayla when she reveals her “bug” is like his, wanting to be normal but not being able to. However, his persistent inner monologue drowns out Shayla sharing her story, so Elliot still has some issues relating others.

8Elliot is as scared of human contact as being caught in a lie

Elliot tries to lie to his his boss about his encounter with fsociety in the DDOS server attack when speaking with him at the grill. He is surprised that Gideon believes him and is worried not that he’s been caught, but that he will have to let his boss hug him.

9Elliot is pulled back into fsociety

Just as Elliot is becoming comfortable in his “perfect maze” at his boss’ dinner party, fsociety leaks emails to the press that exposed E Corp’s cover up of the toxic waste leak that killed Elliot’s father.

10Angela breaks down

Elliot’s childhood friend Angela goes through a barrage of revelations in this episode. Fsociety reveals that E Corp covered up the toxic waste spill that killed Angela’s mother. Her boyfriend Ollie reveals he was cheating on her, and her financial information was revealed by the Dark Army’s blackmail against Ollie. In that emotional stress, Angela demanded to break up with Ollie and demands he plant the infected CD in Allsafe’s network.

11Tyrell’s bound, blinded and tied wife makes the rules

Near the end of the episode, there is a scene with Tyrell’s Danish wife lying in bed. She had been waiting for him to return after seducing the assistant, and orders him to engage in sadomasochistic sex acts. In a fascinating contradiction similar to Elliot’s power while in the hospital, the wife dominates and orders Tyrell to have dinner with their rivals even when tied, blindfolded, and weighed down by pregnancy.