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July 27, 2016

Mr. Robot – S2 Ep 3 Review – “k3rnel-pan1c.ksd”

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Written by: Joel Reaves
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If you thought that Mr. Robot couldn’t get any weirder, you’re in for a f**king shock.  Hit the break to find out details about the third episode of the second season – “eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd.”

The episode begins with my least favorite style of filmmaking – a flashback.  The flashback depicts two of the f society soldiers (Romero & Mobley) discussing the old arcade that becomes their HQ.  Romero tells a long-winded story about a murder and a wrongful conviction which only serves as a set up for him becoming the very illegal owner of the arcade.  He tries to sell it to Mobley who counter offers with a job with Elliot… and the rest is history.

Romero & Mobley

Speaking of Elliot, he gets that oh-so-coveted call from Tyrell but in a classic cat & mouse game, still can’t figure out where he is (Tyrell is such a tease am I right?)  Elliot questions if the phone call with Tyrell was even real, “I talk to you too,” he quips at Mr. Robot.  Before things can get too heated between the two, Elliot hears about the murder of Gideon which pushes our already psychotic protagonist (?) over the edge.

In an attempt to permanently get rid of the devil within, Elliot scores some Adderall from Leon (Joey!) and tweaks out hard.  With the Adderall in his system Elliot is in total control once again… for a second.  In an elaborate hallucination, Elliot is abducted by FBI agents and force-fed a ridiculous amount of cement.  Turns out he’s just in his room puking up the Adderall under the influence of good ole Mr. Robot.  In probably one of the grossest scenes I’ve seen on TV in a while, Elliot digs through his vomit to pick out the Adderall pills and RE-INGEST THEM to show Mr. Robot who’s really in control.

If you’ve never taken a little too much Adderall, it makes you feel like you can literally do anything; and I’m not just talking about, “I can do all my homework and clean the apartment today!”  Elliot is taking so many pills he’s up for a whole six days.  He’s enjoying his meetings with Leon, he’s enjoying his rehab group, he’s even enjoying watching basketball.  Good for him, I bet this lasts for a while.


When we catch up with Romero and Mobley, one of them is shot in the head and the other stumbles upon their body.  Alright it’s Romero; Romero is dead.  Mobley freaks out and calls an emergency meeting with Darlene and Trenton (another f society soldier if you can’t remember last season) to express his worry that the dark army is offing them.  Darlene assures them that neither she or Elliot has spoken about the f society members to the dark army and that there is nothing to worry about.  After Darlene leaves Mobley proposes to Trenton that Darlene and Elliot are covering their tracks… and that the f society crew are those tracks.  Seems like a legit theory to me.

Angela (yuck) is back and she’s climbed that E Corp ladder pretty high, working directly for Phillip Price (E Corp’s CEO you lazy bums!) now.  When Price takes Angela to an extravagant dinner with two other E Corp higher ups he eventually reveals that they were directly related to the cover up her mother’s death.  In a weird turn of events, Price gives Angela a disk with enough evidence to put the two men away for life.  Is this a reward, or a test?

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 3.45.04 PM

Craig Robinson is back as Ray and he’s still on the hunt for a hacker who can do something for him; there was talk of a bitcoin wallet and needing to move “the server.”  Ray finds Elliot at the diner (how? I’m beginning to question if Ray is real) during what Elliot describes as “kernel panic” – his real life starts glitching, his hands start pixelating and things are on a constant repeat.  Ray is able to persuade Elliot to talk to him using a story about how he still converses with his dead wife.  Remember when Mr. Robot was gone for a good while?  Well freaking Ray says, “… keeping this inside isn’t gonna last” and guess who shows the f*ck back up?!

Dominique DiPierro (an FBI agent that was briefly introduced in episode 2 talking to Gideon) gets a little character development in this episode as we get to see what her lonely ass life is like.  She never sleeps, frequently masturbates to text-porn, and her only friend seems to be the Amazon Echo (what odd product placement).  Despite being an average human being, DiPierro seems to excel at her job – being the only one who knows Romero’s computer has a failsafe installed, and finding a flyer for Mobley’s “End of the World” party in Romero’s mother’s house.  Lucky?  Perhaps, but enough due-diligence-digging and you’ll always find something.  The episode ends with DiPierro finding the f society headquarters (which literally has an “f society” sign on it) and being completely shocked.

f society building

I found this episode slightly less exciting than the first two, but the plot development of DiPierro getting on to f society’s trail, and the inevitability of Elliot now working with Ray made it enjoyable for me.  Shout out again to the cinematography for the scenes during the kernel panic scene; the trick with all the colors and the flashing lights was really cool.

Catch Mr. Robot on USA next Wednesday at 10PM/EST.

About the Author

Joel Reaves
Joel Reaves
Joel (Aka The LA Nerd) is an independent filmmaker and podcaster that loves comic books about zombies, really short walks to the bar, and redheads named MJ but he's definitely not Spider-Man so stop asking, okay? Jeez.



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