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Mr. Robot - eps3.1_undo.gz - Review: "Reinvigorating"

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Week 2 of the third season of USA's Mr. Robot brought with it a fantastic overall hour which followed on from last week's premiere in superb fashion. "eps3.1_undo.gz" also rejuvenated my enjoyment of this series, which had been waning slightly on the back of Season 2. Creator Sam Esmail wrote and directed this episode.

The hour's opening 10 minutes were fantastic. Elliot had begun his job at Evil Corp as a security analyst, which was arranged by Angela. The only time she featured was when she was walking in the office - she wasn't seen again. The extensively narrated opening chronicled Elliot's first few weeks at the company which he had sought to dismantle. He set about patching the holes that he had opened in order to bring the company down, and even had a bit of fun with the shipping department, rerouting the paper documents that were initially being assembled in one building, where the Dark Army intended to blow them up.

Along the way, Elliot stood up for what was right in his own way, using his know-how to take down several members in the organization who were running nefarious schemes on the side. It was great to see this homage to the early days of Season 1.

However, despite all this, Elliot was still crippled by loneliness, so much so that he returned to see his psychologist, Krista. He had forgotten that today was his birthday, and he recounted the time he was pushed out of a window by his father, which refers back to Episode 9 of the first season in a roundabout way. Krista also managed to talk Mr. Robot out of Elliot in a fascinating display.

Elliot never told me how attractive you are. For a shrink, you're pretty foxy.

The same would happen to Darlene as well. Her time was spent between members of the FBI, including Dominique, and with Elliot. Darlene still wouldn't divulge any more information about her involvement with fsociety, or the whereabouts of Tyrell, but she reluctantly agreed to serve as an informant, and when Elliot invited her to stay at his place to help him stave off loneliness she took advantage and planted a bug on Elliot's computer.

This is where the second instance of Mr. Robot occurred. Elliot caught Darlene messing with his computer, and when she tried to leave, Elliot pinned her against a wall. Some excellent cinematography portrayed the transition from Elliot to Mr. Robot. The altercation continued, before transitioning back to Elliot again.

In the two episodes of the season thus far, Mr. Robot hasn't yet appeared alongside Elliot - but he has done just that with Angela last week. What this means is difficult to speculate about, but it's clear Mr. Robot is still present in Elliot's being - but he doesn't have direct control or a direct "feed" of Elliot's interactions. Mr. Robot did mention that he and Elliot had been compromised, so that's something we will have to watch in the coming weeks.

Darlene's ploy thankfully didn't work, with Elliot catching out the FBI agents monitoring his computer by pretending to email a link to someone, but he knew said link would be looked at by the FBI themselves. They were the ones that got hacked instead, and Elliot now knows the address of the safehouse the FBI provided her.

This email wasn't for Tyrell. It's for us.

Perhaps the most surprising and unexpected part of the episode was the death of Joanna Wellick. Her jilted lover was responsible for her death, and the critical injuries suffered by her bodyguard, Mr. Sutherland. Derek had witnessed Joanna declare her love for Tyrell in a television interview, This obviously sent her over the edge and he followed Joanna's SUV in his own car, forcing Mr. Sutherland to stop and order him away. Mr. Sutherland dropped the ball big time though, not observing Derek return with a gun, where he fired, wounding Mr. Sutherland, then killing Joanna before he himself was shot by Mr. Sutherland.

This was an impressively filmed scene - in fact the actual shooting segment was a one-take. Superb stuff. We then saw Joanna's skull get cut open during the autopsy, and it was here that Dominique was told by her fellow FBI agent that Joanna's baby would go to social services. If her death isn't enough to bring Tyrell out from hiding, I don't know what will. Other than that, killing Joanna is a shock move by the showrunners, and is on par with the murder of Shayla in the first season. It came out of the blue, and I'll be sad to see actress Stephanie Corneliussen depart. She's done a superb job with her character.

It's time Phillip Price's head got slapped.

The final major topic to cap off in this hour is the return of Phillip Price. the Evil Corp CEO. In a large conference, he revealed that ECoin was now being adopted by all major countries except China, who have stuck with BitCoin. A disgruntled Price met with Whiterose, who was representing China's interests, where Price threatened to pull out of the UN agreement which would permit China to annex Congo. Whiterose was prepared with that attempt at blackmail, mentioning his control over one of his favorite employees, Angela, who, we learned last week, is proceeding with Stage 2. We also have a date for Stage 2 with Whiterose stating to his assistant that he wanted it to happen on the day of the UN vote to annex Congo.

This was a really good episode of Mr. Robot overall. The fantastic opening, the shocking death of Joanna, the appearances of Mr. Robot in front of Krista and Darlene, and the sting from Whiterose, who is now definitively in control of everything, made this one of the more exciting and invigorating episodes in the season's history. Rami Malek was on another level in his scenes as well. Next week's episode promo looks fantastic as well. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and I'd love to hear your thoughts and theories on this episode in the comments below. See you back here next week!

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