Mr Robot S02E02 “unm4sk-pt2.tc” REVIEW
Airing on Amazon Prime Video, new episodes every Thursday
Writer: Sam Esmail
Director: Sam Esmail
Essential Plot Points
- E Corp CTO Scott Knowles is sent to deliver the $5.9m ransomware ransom to fsociety. He receives an fsociety mask from a bike courier with instructions to wear it, and burn the money. Which he does.
- E Corp CEO Phillip Price goes to Washington to seek a government bailout for E Corp. They are less than pleased, refuse and demand his resignation. He refuses and says if that’s the best plan they can come up with, they’re the ones who should be proffering their resignations.
- Joanna Wellick has a new playmate; seems he’s still learning the ropes.
- We see agent DiPierro of the FBI; she buys a lot of energy drinks, and a sandwich.
- She’s interviewing Gideon Goddard, with a sandwich.
- Elliot is watching basketball with Leon. He meets Ray and his dog Maxine. Ray wants Elliot’s help with something computer-related. Elliot declines.
- Angela Moss is working as a PR Manager at E Corp. She’s playing hardball with the TV networks.
- Joanna receives a gift, an anonymously delivered creepy music box. It has a phone taped underneath it.
- Elliot is talking to Ray again, but this time Ray seems to think Elliot has already agreed to help him. It appears Mr Robot paid him a visit in the night.
- This prompts Elliot to race home to check his journal; seems he’s been losing time to Mr Robot.
- Mr Robot and Elliot fight again. Mr Robot still won’t tell Elliot where Tyrell Wellick is and Elliot still won’t get back in front of a computer. Having seemingly gotten the better of Mr Robot, Elliot leaves for church group.
- Gideon is having a drink at a bar and gets talking to a stranger. Turns out he knows who Gideon is and tells he says that Gideon is going to be the new Jack Ruby. He shoots Gideon in the neck: fatally, it would appear.
- Joanna misses a phone call on her new phone.
- Elliot falls asleep at church group and wakes up at home with a phone in his hand. Tyrell is on the other end.
Part two of the season opener starts with E Corp’s CTO Scott Knowles setting fire to almost six million dollars in the middle of a park. It serves to remind E Corp, and us, that the members of fsociety aren’t in this for the money. They’re continuing their efforts to change/save/destroy the world.
Being a part two, this episode continues in much the same vein as the first. Elliot is still trying to stick to the regimen and keep Mr Robot at bay, although this seems to be getting harder to do.
The most interesting scenes this time around come courtesy of Miss Angela Moss, fully embracing her role as corporate bitch. PR Manager for E Corp, another cog in the soulless machine. Hard-ass by day, vulnerable and repeating self-help mantras by night. Portia Doubleday plays the part well, and gets to stretch her acting chops, showing us she can be more than last season’s helpless victim.
We are all too briefly introduced to newcomer Agent DiPierro (Grace Gummer – American Horror Story, Extant), set to be another new regular character in season two. All we know at this point is that she can speak Iranian, knocks back a lot of energy drinks and likes sandwiches. She’s investigating Gideon for his part in the hack, although probably not for much longer. After surviving getting his throat cut by Mr Robot in part one, this time Gideon gets killed for real. The scenes of him being shot in the neck and bleeding out on the floor of the bar are more shocking – is it real, we wonder? Seems like this time it is.
Elliot and Mr Robot square off again, and on the surface of it, this round goes to Elliot (well, at least he doesn’t get shot in the head again). Rami Malik is superb at taking his normal levels of crazy up a gear and Christian Slater plays off against him well. “What do they see when they see you coming?” asks an increasingly desperate Mr Robot. “They see me.” Elliot’s illusion of control is just that, though, as Mr Robot ups his game and puts Elliot on the other end of the phone to Tyrell. It’s all gone a bit Fight Club, mind; the church group scenes being a bit too reminiscent of the help groups Tyler Durden attended.
Mac Quayle’s music is used to superb effect throughout the episode, but fits especially well during the confrontation and final scenes, building the score to a discordant and disjointed crescendo perfectly matching the on screen action. The episode picks up nicely by the end, giving us back some of the intrigue and disjointedness the first episode was missing. “Bonsoir Elliot” coos Tyrell from the other end of the phone before the credits role.
- Rami Ismail and Christian Slater are still superb together.
- Mac Quayle’s music is as good as ever, and fits perfectly.
- Tyrell Wellick is still at large somewhere.
- It’s still a bit slow going…
- That music box is really creepy!
- No hacking this time around.
- It’s a bit reminiscent of Fight Club (although that’s not necessarily a bad thing).
And The Random:
- Qwerty is still alive! Angela has him. But where’s Flipper?
- The creepy music box is playing “Till We Meet again”, a song from 1918 later popularised by Doris Day.
- When DiPierro is buying her sandwich we see In Touch magazine with the headline “Inside the glamorous wardrobe of Tyrell Wellick’s Wife” – a neat touch.
Review by Arthur Scott