Meet the Aldersons! Mr. Robot gave us some nostalgia in “master-slave” last night [Wednesday, August 10th]. The episode opened up with late 80s/ early 90s sitcom [think Full House, Family Matters or Married with Children but with a dark twist] saxophone, credits, old USA logo, laugh track and all. We got to see old school commercials from that era during the first commercial break, along with some 90s-style E-Corp branded commercials and Darlene playing with a Gameboy Color throughout the sitcom part of this interesting episode. This is the first time in a long time I actually paid attention to the commercials because of the homage to the era I grew up in.
A few special guests made appearances last night as well. Alf, from the 1986 sitcom of the same name, made a few cameos and ran over Gideon, who played a police officer in this acid trip. Tyrell also made an appearance as special guest “Man in the Trunk”. This world really threw Elliot and us as an audience, for a loop. Elliot was able to hear the laugh track while the other characters either ignored it or couldn’t hear it, driving him even more insane. The whole sitcom portion of the episode had many people, including myself, laughing at the absurdity of it all. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed watching an episode of this show. In an interview with the NY Times, director and show creator Sam Esmail discussed how they stayed true to Mr. Robot while also doing justice to 90s sitcoms:
The one thing I didn’t want to do was my warped version of the sitcom, although there is some [expletive] that happens that wouldn’t typically happen in a sitcom. We had to keep a little of the “Mr. Robot” tone in there. But at the same time we wanted to be really authentic to what those sitcoms looked and felt like. We researched how they shot them. We brought on a guy who does the laugh tracks for sitcoms. We actually hired the people that created the music not just for Full House, but for Family Matters and the rest of the T.G.I.F. lineup, including the T.G.I.F. theme song, which we created our own version of with Word Up Wednesday. We really tried to follow the model as close as possible.
I was really hoping that we would get to stay in the sitcom portion of this episode a little longer but it was time for us and Elliot to jump back to reality. Mr. Robot protected him from feeling and experiencing the beating but as Ray said, there is a lot of work to be done still. When Elliot comes to we see exactly how f***** up he really is; they guy can barely breathe. After a creepy comparison to his dog, Ray has Lone Star and another Thug grab Elliot and remove him from the hospital. He is then brought to a basement of some sort and we get the most heart wrenching scene between Elliot and his Dad (Mr. Robot). Elliot thanks his Dad for taking care of him, essentially thanking himself for actually giving a crap, and they hug. Christian Slater (Mr. Robot) and Rami Malek’s (Elliot) portrayal of those two characters in that scene are the epitome of perfection. They play off each other so well.
We also get a flashback of a young Elliot and a still alive, but dying Mr. Robot. After Elliot gets beat up at school his Dad proceeds to tell him that he is sick and has lost his job. Tasking his son with the burden of keeping his sickness secret from his mother and sister, Mr. Robot brings young Elliot to his new store and asks him to name it. He tells Elliot to think of whatever comes to his mind first and that is what the computer store will be named. A real sweet father/son moment becomes just a little sweeter when Mr. Robot promises to never leave Elliot. This is why Mr. Robot is a figment of Elliot’s imagination.
Cisco helps out Darlene and FSociety once again but this time pays for it. He gets his finger stabbed with a syringe by a member of The Dark Army. Angela meets up with Darlene and sees Cisco for the first time since her ex-boyfriend Ollie got that infamous CD from him. She then goes undercover to hack the FBI in an attempt to erase any evidence against herself and Elliot. Darlene sets up shop in a nearby hotel and walks Angela through the script after the wifi jams. Not having blown her cover yet, Angela is greeted by Dom. Is the jig up?
How does Angela get out safely and not blow her cover?
Elliot learns the truth about Tyrell, 5/9 and the 3 days he lost after the hack. What did Elliot do?
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