Who Is Mr. Robot's Landlord? Pet Peeves + News
Who Is Mr. Robot's Landlord?
So, during the season (Season 2 starts on July 13th) I write recaps of Mr. Robot. Mr. Robot is one of the best shows on television not least of all because its story, when most series try to ground their stories in algorithmic safe-spaces, is made up almost entirely of pure courage (the protagonist, for instance, near the end of last season, literally caused a financial collapse on purpose - and that's the protagonist).
If you have not seen Season One yet, *SPOILER ALERT*
Here is the most recent Season 2 Trailer.
Mr. Robot, Recruitment, and Pet Peeves
I started doing recaps because of Mr. Robot (Episode 7 in particular) and since then I have done recaps of Vinyl (HBO) and Game of Thrones (every once in a while I dabble in The Flash and Daredevil as well). During my short time doing recaps, I have started to get really annoyed by "writers" who write about television shows in the mainstream press but who, apparently, have not actually watched the shows.
Hell, maybe they have watched the shows but are just sloppy, I don't know but it drives me batty.
Let me give you an example:
Digital Spy said: "Mr. Robot follows computer hacker Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), who is recruited by hacker group fsociety, one of their main missions being to take down E Corp in order to cancel all debts."
Technically, that is not true.
Elliot (Rami Malek) is not really "recruited" to fsociety at all. In fact, he is the leader of fSociety and its best hacker. It was Elliot and his sister, in fact, that recruited all of the other members of fsociety to the team.
Sure, he doesn't always remember all or any of this, heck sometimes he forgets that his sister is related to him (Elliot is a genius but a genius with some serious mental issues), but he is the leader of fsociety.
I suspect that he has to concoct instigators for his actions to absolve himself from the guilt he feels about being a tech-savvy Robin Hood. One thing the show continually reinforces is that he understands that his actions often have negative consequences on real lives.
In fact, Elliot may try to disassociate his guilt by using personas like his Father (Christian Slater) to defend his actions, but, in the end, he can't maintain the illusions.
This is what makes him different than Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) on Vinyl (HBO), Richie still 100% believes his own bullshit while Elliot is constantly caught between what he feels is his moral duty (fsociety) and the consequences of the actions that he takes against Evil Corps.
Which brings up another problem.
Yes, I know that even show creator Sam Esmail calls Christian Slater's character "Mr. Robot" but he is known as Mr. Robot because (when he was alive) he owned a computer repair store with the name Mr. Robot (and Elliot likes to remember him wearing his work clothes).
In fact, the whole reason I call me recaps "who is Mr. Robot's landlord" is because technically, Mr. Robot is the store his father owned.
Anyway, Think of it like one of those stereotypical "angel" on one shoulder and "devil" on the other discussions in all those old movies and television shows.
Elliot constructs one of those players (The Christian Slater could be the Devil in actuality) in the form of the person he admires the most "Mr. Robot" (his Father who died of cancer, cancer theoretically caused by pollution from Evil Corps waste) .
His father was not actually a hacker, he just owned a computer repair shop.
Elliot's brain is using the image of his Father to try to add gravitas and weight to the pro-fsociety suggestions and strategies that he wants to take in the real world. It would be kind of like me trying to make my bad ideas look better by having my brain project images of Gandhi to deliver those bad ideas to me.
His attack on Evil Corps was also partially motivated by avenging his Father's death. This is the other reason why Mr. Robot appears to defend the hack and any other actions that Elliot is thinking of taking against Evil Corps.
His Fathers face is the face of why he wants revenge on Evil Corps in the first place.
Of course, the morality of the attack on Evil Corps it is certainly debatable, and I think that is really what the show is about. I suspect Sam Esmail watched Fight Club and was left wondering, okay you destroyed the financial system, but what happens now?
In other words, I think Mr. Robot is less an homage and more of a logical follow-up to Fight Club.
This is a profound moral set of questions for Esmail to ask, what happens when we - even with good intentions - unmoor Capitalism. And I think answering that/those question/s will be what the entire series is really about.
Elliot clearly wants to do good in the world, but he also wants revenge on Evil Corps. Are his and fsociety's actions more about doing good in the world or about getting revenge for his Father?
And can you have the best intentions but act in ways that cause great evil. Or were your intentions pure in the first place (or are they impure, represented by a phantom dressed in the clothes of your dead Father pushing you to satisfy a grudge)?
If a corporation is evil and amoral, and you destroy that corporation, are you (ipso facto) good?
But, at the end of the day, it is not a battle between Elliot and Mr. Robot (as virtually every publication in the world continues to suggest). Mr. Robot is Elliot.
Oh, and the financial crisis happened in Season One. It was already a national story and there were mass riots in NYC. So, please stop saying that in "Season 2 the hack of Evil Corps has become national news." For the last several episodes all of the instruments of a functioning economy had come unstuck."
Yes, there is an image of POTUS Obama talking about the hack, and there were allusions to his concern in Season One as well. The whole point of the last several episodes of season one was that all of the main characters "were present at the revolution."
Last but not least, Tyrone Wellick (Martin Wallstrom) may not have caused the hack, but he did 100% kill his bosses wife in Season one (another thing I have seen people write sloppy copy about).
Not much else to report recently, hope everyone is fired up for Season 2!
Are you ready for Season 2? What do you think about the trailer? What are you excited for? Let me know, leave a comment!