Monday, December 18, 2017

TV Show Review: Mr. Robot (Season 3)

This techno-thriller continues to stun and impress with a third season that renews the suspense and ups the stakes for the troubled and untrustworthy protagonist. Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) must still contend with his split personality Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) who takes the form of his dead father, but this begins with them not communicating at all. Elliot has managed to block him out but has to deal with the times that he loses control and can't remember. At the end of the second season, Elliot had been shot in the stomach by Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström). The mysterious Irving (Bobby Cannavale) is a fixer for the Dark Army and he helps Elliot recover from his injury. Stage 2 is the next big step in Mr. Robot's plan and the Dark Army led by Whiterose (BD Wong) hopes to enact it but Elliot is set on stopping it.

Darlene (Carly Chalkin) knows that she and her brother Elliot are in over their heads so she agrees to cooperate with FBI agent Dominique DiPierro (Grace Gummer). Angela Moss (Portia Doubleday) works with Wellick and Mr. Robot to ensure that Stage 2 goes through for the Dark Army convinced in a delusional dream that this attack will somehow bring her mother back. Elliot tries to stop himself from causing more trouble Tyrell hides out in a cabin under the supervision of Irving. As more chaos ensues, Agent Santiago (Omar Metwally) turns out to be a mole helping Wellick avoid arrest. In one amazing episode with great long tracking shots, Elliot eludes the authorities and tries to stop the explosion but Angela pulls it off and tons of Evil Corp buildings go up in flames. 

The plot isn't always the easiest to follow along especially as I watched it week to week and often forgot what happened before. Irving was a great new character because often after very violent scenes he would return to his small apartment and continue his work on his novel. Trenton (Sunita Mani) and Mobley (Azhar Khan) are taken hostage by Leon (Joey Bada$$) who eventually uses them to take the blame for the Evil Corp attacks and push suspicion away from the Dark Army. Elliot tries to clear his friends' names but is unable to save them though he does meet Trenton's little brother. 

Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) conspires with Whiterose so that China can take the Congo and Evil Corp can establish its own currency. I wasn't so sure what happened in the next few episodes but Darlene ends up in custody after she seduces DiPierro and Sanchez plans to take her to the Dark Army but DiPierro intervenes only to be captured by Sanchez as well. Elliot finally makes up with his split personality and together they conspire to put an end to the Dark Army's plan. Irving ends up catching Elliot and Mr. Robot as they search Sanchez's apartment and brings them to where Darlene and DiPierro are held captive. Price reveals to Angela that he is her father after he and her mother had a fraught relationship. Elliot manages to make a deal with Whiterose to spare his life after Irving brutally murders Sanchez in front of DiPierro to turn her into a mole. The finale puts a lot of pressure on Elliot to follow through as he reverses the effects of the five-nine attack.

Mr. Robot is a better show to binge watch than to catch week to week but I found a lot of the episodes really entertaining on their own even if I didn't pay attention enough to follow all the major plot points. I enjoy Rami Malek as the schizophrenic protagonist and Slater is creepy as his dead father and alternate hacker personality. Doubleday and Chalkin are great as supporting characters while DiPierro is one of my favorite FBI agents on screen. Bobby Cannavale really raised this third season as he has done for other shows as he can be hilarious but also menacing in a single scene. Sam Esmail has done a great job with this show and I look forward to seeing what happens in the next season. 

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