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July 29, 2016

Mr. Robot – S2 Ep 4 Review – “init_1.asec”

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Written by: Joel Reaves
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Mr. Robot season 2 episode 4, “eps2.2_init1.asec,” was the slowest episode of the series; and while slow isn’t always a bad thing, it didn’t quite help this time around.  I classify this episode as what most TV fans call a “filler episode.”  The entire episode was based upon the premise of one thing: dreams.  Towards the end of the episode, Leon asks Elliot if he dreams and it hit me, everyone in this episode is chasing something.


After last week’s Dark Army scare from Mobley, Darlene is dreaming by way of paranoia.  She’s seeing someone follow her on the subway, she thinks a pack of hoodlums is going to mug her, and she’s being suspicious of someone following her into a bar.  Cisco confides in her that he’s afraid someone talked to the FBI, and while Darlene reassures him no one has, this is just more fuel for her Dark-Army-paranoia-fire.  Personally, I think the Dark Army is definitely onto them, and Darlene absolutely needs her brother to bail them out of the situation they’ve gotten themselves into.

Tyrell’s oh-so-important-of-a-character wife Joanna is dreaming of money. Typical.  E-Corp has withheld Tyrell’s severance package (another surprise) and while she says she needs the money to take care of her baby, she’s just money hungry to keep Karim silent.  This opens up a can of worms, really. Karim told Elliot at the end of last season that the car he woke up in was only paid for for three days; this means that Joanna likely knows something about those three days Elliot “disappeared.”  This theory is more important and fun than her actual storyline at the moment though… so we move on.


Angela (still yuck) probably has the grandest dream of all.  She thinks she’s figured out Price’s grand plan and she calls him out on it.  While she’s had pretty good luck with Price so far, this time he tells her it’s all in her head and she needs to go home.  Angela accuses him of some heavy stuff and demands an awful lot, and yet he doesn’t fire her… this leads to me to believe that she’s not wrong and that Price has even grander plans for her.

Now there’s Elliot.  Poor Elliot.  Losing a game of chess to Ray, Elliot gets some advice, “Play yourself … who knows, you might beat yourself,” Ray says.  Amidst everything this advice sets in motion, the most important thing that happens is the showdown between Elliot and Mr. Robot.  One game of chess to settle it all.

Mr. Robot makes a deal with Elliot: one game of chess, whoever wins gets full control of Elliot’s psyche.  With all the originality this show has, this was the least surprising scene to me.  If Mr. Robot wins, Elliot is gone forever and the show is over; if Elliot wins, he’s happy and not crazy… and the show is over.  So the game ends in not one, but three stalemates. Surprising.  Neither of these characters can exit the show right now, so I again, call this all filler.

MR. ROBOT -- "eps2.2_init_1.asec" Episode 204 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/USA Network)

The only thing that saved this episode was Elliot’s dream.  He dreams of having a normal life; with his sister, with his friends, even with Tyrell and his family.  Elliot sees a future with friends and family that’s, “… not so lonely.”  He goes so far as to tell Mr. Robot, “… you’d even be there.”  Through all of this Elliot is just trying to find balance and with that balance comes hacking.  He finally agrees to help Ray with his problem and this is definitely the snowball plot in season 2 seeing as Elliot says he’s going to hack the FBI.  I can’t wait to see how this plays out.  And while Ray seems like a nice guy, he definitely gives Elliot a scary warning before leaving him to his work.  Can anyone say Tyrell vs. Ray in the end? OoOooOoo.

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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