Welcome back to my little corner of the internet, friends. I know there are a lot of places you could spend your time on Sunday nights, but this week if you spent it in the world of USA Network's Mr. Robot, you got something of a special episode surprise.
Oh – there are spoilers, in five acts. But you have to wait for the fifth act for any real excitement.
Surprise! Krista stabs Vera.
It's a pity it only took us all episode to finally get there.
For those who haven't seen the episode, you're not missing much beyond that one big event that takes 45 minutes to actually happen. That's 45 commercial free minutes, in case you forgot.
On a "gimmick" type note, this is done in a five act structure – just like scripts for shows are written. Lazy writing? Genius? Who knows, but I respect it and still hate it, thanks.
I mean, I am a film school snob™ and did study screenwriting, but this just seems like a little overkill. I mean, the purpose of the acts is to be a tool for the screenwriter, like how you'd structure an outline or lay foundation for a house – they're unseen in the finished product, not exactly advertised.
That is, unless you're this very dramatic episode of Mr. Robot. Even though it was in a marked classic television five act structure, it felt almost like a one act play. I mean, the fact they favored long takes in a single setting, often moving directly past walls to show the other room? Classic theater.
Putting the dramatic staging (and over dramatic story) aside, the episode does move the character development and season forward… maybe by sending Elliot spiraling backward.
Now, I am not one to judge a showrunner's choices until I see where it's going, but I am having a hard time figuring out the story and character motivation for this big reveal that Elliot's dad molested him (and possibly Darlene) as a child.
Vera felt like a cartoon supervillain stereotype with a scheme that wasn't even a little bit thought through. Excuse me – he doesn't know what he wants?! I agree with Mr. Robot here – "owning New York City" isn't a plan at all, stop wasting my time.
Krista felt less like a character and more like a plot device – the episode totally fails the Bechdel test, BTW. Speaking of Krista – can we talk about that reveal a bit?
That is not the reveal we thought was coming, and honestly? Not really one that was wanted either. It felt shoe-horned in story wise. Wasn't there a less caustic way to drive Elliot and Mr. Robot apart? Does this mark Christian Slater's departure from the series? Hopefully not, because I am prepared to write a very angry tweet if so. Hell, this season may even make it on my list of worst final seasons, if that is the case.
Obviously, we want to know who the other personality living in Elliot's brain is; that's the reveal I'm waiting for. When do you think we'll find out? Sadly, not this week. Probably whenever there's another slow week and they need something to reveal. Hooray…
Terrible reveal? Check.
Lackluster gimmick? Check.
Elimination of an annoying baddie? Check.
Here's hoping that next weekend's episode is much more action filled and back to normal (well, as normal as Elliot). Hear that, USA Network? We appreciate your experimentation… but please stick a little closer to the norm for the final few episodes. Please?