Mr. Robot 2×10 ‘eps2.8h1dden-pr0cess.axx’: In over their heads

Source: USA

Mr. Robot really is at its best when it decides to become a thriller.  Part of me enjoys when the show digs into the existential crises associated with living in the world today, but Mr. Robot has never really nailed that.  Sometimes, it absolutely excels at it, such as when we see Darlene struggle to understand who is she in the wake of the 5/9 hack.  Other times, such as when we hear Price talk about his ambitions, not so much.  But the sheer adrenaline associated with the Dark Army trying to gun down Darlene and Cisco, watching the forces that be zero in on fsociety, is absolutely riveting.

Source: USA

Source: USA

I’m even surprised that Joanna, for the most part, was integrated into the episode in a mostly successful fashion.  She’s one of the weakest characters on the show, to be sure, as she doesn’t really have a personality beyond her ambition and her sexual deviance, but she pushes Elliot further towards Tyrell, which is really the crux of the tangible mystery for Elliot this season.  Clearly, something surrounding Tyrell’s disappearance means everything for the season’s endgame, and Mr. Robot is funneling Elliot’s story towards that discovery by blocking out almost everything else.  This funneled approach makes the episode remarkably intense, emphasizing Elliot’s desperation to find out some sort of answer.  It also helps that the episode pairs him up for a scene with Angela, as the two of  them pair together remarkably well.  Highlighting Angela’s desperation works brilliantly, as it’s the natural profession of her desire to be two completely different things.

Source: USA

Source: USA

I’m also excited to see the direction that Darlene’s story is taking.  Watching Cisco call Darlene out on being completely out of control was remarkable in that it took the subtext of the season and made it text, escalating it to its endgame.  The episode also makes it easy to root for Dom, who has to deal with her incompetent boss as she hunts down both Darlene and Cisco.  The chase at the end of the episode, where Dom is looking for the two of them, trying to get to them before the Dark Army, is ridiculously tense, culminating in a fantastic shootout.  Darlene potentially losing her life is the climactic moment of her storyline this season, and the aftermath (if she’s alive) is sure to push her to some sort of revelation about her role in fsociety and what she wants out of it.

Source: USA

Source: USA

But really, the best part of this show is watching what really happens when people revolt.  The new era is messed up, just as much as the last.  Somebody is always in charge, and somebody is always suffering.  Elliot wonders if anything is better, and it’s a question that doesn’t really have a good answer.  He continually puts the people he loves in danger, with Darlene in the line of fire and Angela confronted presumably by the Dark Army.  And he still doesn’t know what is supposed to come next.

We’re moving to the final episode (or two episodes) of the show, and there is still so much unanswered that those episodes should be packed to the brim.  Just as the penultimate episode of the previous season had a massive reveal, it looks like one is coming in this season as well.  Even though Season 2 hasn’t been as good as the first, the build up to the endgame has been constructed masterfully, and Mr. Robot is as good as it has ever been.
What did you think of the episode?  Do you think Darlene and Cisco are dead?  Let me know in the comments!
Michael St. Charles

is just a Michigan State University grad who loves a good story. If he’s not off teaching the young ones how to solve quadratic functions or to write an expository essay, he’s watching old-school HBO shows, indie horror movies, or he’s playing Resident Evil 4.

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