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Mr. Robot - eps3.7dont-delete-me.ko - Review: "The Movies"

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USA's Mr. Robot is nearing closure of its third season, but last night's episode appeared to be more of a filler than anything, which was surprising given the roll the series is on at the moment. That being said, however, it was still a very well put together hour, titled "eps3.7dont-delete-me.ko", written and directed by showrunner Sam Esmail.

This episode again began with a flashback to Elliot's younger days, circa 1995, where he and his father, Edward, were about to see a movie. Edward was visibly ill - likely thanks to leukemia - and Elliot wasn't thrilled to be at the cinema for a supposed traditional father/son movie night. Before they went home, we watched as Edward mixed a box of M&Ms with the popcorn - something I've never seen done before, but will likely see the internet replicating over the next wee while. Elliot's arm was also in a sling, linking the timing to when Elliot was pushed out of a window by his father.

You’re just sick and don’t wanna admit it.

In present day, the theme the episode presented was the idea that nothing - and no one - is truly gone, even after being killed or deleted. This follows on from last week's tragic hour which saw Trenton and Mobley killed by the Dark Army. Before she was killed, Trenton scheduled an email to reveal critical information to someone she trusted, and the hour's final seconds saw this email arrive in Elliot's inbox, the contents of which may help him undo the 5/9 hack.

More to come on that later, but in the interim, Elliot sought to bid proper farewell to Trenton and Mobley, and he felt a sense of responsibility for their deaths. However it appeared both their families had effectively disowned them - particularly Mobley's. In Trenton's case, Elliot spent a good portion of the episode replicating his childhood, though this time he was the father figure to Trenton's younger brother, who snuck away from his family to go to the movies with Elliot, meeting Elliot at the beach. Elliot was about to resort to drugs once more, having bought a sizable quantity of pills from a very, very dodgy dealer, but the young fella snapped Elliot out of it and gave him some timely perspective on his current situation.

The movie they chose to see was Back to the Future, the famous Oscar-winning 1985 adventure/comedy/sci-fi. It's theme alludes to undoing the past, much like what Elliot was hoping to be able to do about the 5/9 events. They enjoyed the M&M/popcorn combo from Elliot's youth, too, and the nod to the cosplay community was a nice touch. Interestingly, as a homage to the movie theme in general, this episode was screened in a cinema standard aspect ratio of 2.4:1, which explains the black bars above and below the video on your standard 16:9 television.

Somehow the young kid slipped out of the theater without Elliot noticing. An interesting fellow in an ice cream truck took him to a mosque. The kid had subtle dig at the US political system, mentioning to Elliot that he was the only one in his family who is able to become President because he was born in the US.

After Elliot returned the kid to his parents, he paid a second unsuccessful visit to Mobley's brother, who held a dim view of Mobley to say the least. Since his first visit, Elliot did what he does best, hacking the guy's company emails and threatening to release their contents should he refuse to give Mobley a proper funeral. This was a great scene to watch, and combining this with an earlier CD burn of Trenton and Mobley's files, and destruction of his storage devices, we saw the Elliot of old once more.

There’s always that moment of hesitation.

As mentioned earlier, it was Elliot whom Trenton trusted with the information that could potentially reverse the consequences of the 5/9 hack. Here's the picture of its contents:

Romero was the hacker who died early in Season 2. He worked closely with Trenton and Mobley, and alongside Elliot to an extent. He was responsible for fsociety's initial home in the arcade. The information Trenton provides now gives Elliot a reason to interact with the NYPD or FBI in some capacity, which would be fascinating to watch for sure.

Maybe there are still things left for me to do.

In other news, this episode had a very light cast. No Mr. Robot in present day, and only Darlene and Angela made brief appearances. Rami Malek carried the episode in superb fashion despite the limited supporting cast. Darlene came to Elliot's apartment to try to snap Elliot out of his depressive streak since 5/9, and to also warn him that Angela was suffering from a similar condition, and made it known to Elliot in no uncertain terms that he owes Angela for the numerous times she's helped him over the years. Later in the episode, Elliot did just that, and although they didn't talk face to face, seeing him talk to Angela through the door was powerful stuff to watch.

In the end, this episode of Mr. Robot was pretty light progression-wise, but still plenty watchable thanks to Rami Malek's performance. An episode focused on Elliot's mental state and vague references to repairing the damage while the overall storyline is at its absolute peak right now really isn't ideal in my opinion, and earns it my 'worst episode of the season' title. The most important piece of information this episode gives us is a direction for Elliot to follow, and with two episodes to go in this season, I really hope the creative team get things on track to knock it out of the park in the next fortnight.

Thanks as always for reading. Please do share your thoughts and theories on this episode in the comments below. See you all right back here next week!

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