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by Sean Fennell

3 Aug 2015


“I, Elliot Alderson, am flight. I am fear, I am anxiety, terror, panic.”

Thus begins episode six of Mr. Robot, “Br4ve-Trave1er.asf”. Last week we saw Elliot in what turned out to be his most triumphant moment in the series so far. Having successfully infiltrated the “impenetrable” Steel Mountain, Elliot, still on a visible high from his caper, calls his girlfriend Shayla to, well, just talk. It is one of the first times in the series that we see Elliot both completely sober, and seemingly content. Even Shayla remarks that he sounds different and new to her.

by Anthony Merino

29 Jul 2015


I don’t want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone’s *really* hoping makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated R movie, you know, the guy you’re not sure whether or not you like yet. You’re not sure where he’s coming from. Okay? You’re a bad man. You’re a bad man, Mikey. You’re a bad man, bad man.
—Vince Vaughn as Trent, Swingers, 1996

It took until the sixth episode, but True Detective’s writer and creator, Nic Pizzolatto finally got around to giving his audience the single thing that engaged his viewers in season one; strong chemistry between two of the lead characters. The thing that drove season one was the complex relationship between Matthew McConaughey’s detective Rust Cohle and Woody Harrelson’s detective Marty Hart. With the exception of Colin Farrell’s Ray Velcoro and Vince Vaughn’s Frank Semyon, this lack of chemistry is, in part, due to none of the characters knowing each other prior to the beginning of the series. Additionally, Pizzolatto concentration on the character’s backstories has limited the amount of time for them to bond. While there were a few moments that popped, the exchange between Velcoro and Rachel McAdam’s Detective Ani Bezzerides at the start of the episode finally indicated that these three had a little bit of chemistry, but there were just as many moments that did not ring true. In episode four, Velcoro gives an existential angst-filled pep-talk to Taylor Kitsch’s Officer Paul Woodrugh, in which he comes off sounding like a self-important stepdad trying to cheer up his stepson after a little league loss.

by Anthony Merino

24 Jul 2015


“It’s been 66 days since the alleged murderers of Vinci City Manager Ben Caspere engaged police in one of the deadliest shootouts in state history. The so called Vinci massacre was determined closed by Attorney General Geldof, who used the conference to announce his candidacy for governor.”

In audio from a local news story spoken over the opening of the fifth episode of HBO’s True Detective, new director John Crowley borrows a trick from Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane, 1941. He uses the press report to provide some of the important details of the story. This helps because writer Nic Pizzolatto seems heavily influenced by director Roman Polanski and writer Robert Towne’s 1974 classic Chinatown. He has layered and cross pollinated corruption, blackmail, lust, incest and environmental terrorism.

by Sean Fennell

24 Jul 2015


“People make the best exploits,” says Elliot in his head, presumably to us, just as he and the F Society team approach the Steel Mountain facility they have been planning on infiltrating for weeks. This is it, the time has finally come for F Society to stop talking about their epic plan and start doing something about it.

It’s the Steel Mountain heist that concerns much of episode six, entitled “3xploits.wmv”, and just as the title promises, much of their plan rests on exploiting the faults in the human mind rather than in the facility’s security system. Finding human faults is not a new notion in Mr. Robot. Ever since episode one, Elliot has continuously flexed his hacking muscles, usually finding his way in by picking apart the person rather than the system.

by Sean Fennell

20 Jul 2015


As we enter the fourth installment of Mr. Robot’s first season we begin to recognize some patterns. One specific structural pattern is that each episode has a theme that shows up in the title and is also an allusion to an idea in computer programming.  These are introduced within the episode by Elliot’s inner monologue and serve as the backbone for the episode’s development. Last week, the theme was “Bugs,” and explored the problems within each character’s inner code.

This week, we delve into daemons, which Elliot tells us are background programs that run whether or not we are aware of them. Just like “d3bug.mkv”, “da3mons.mp4” uses this computer program as a metaphor for what goes on within our own psyche. Although the last episode tried to extend its metaphor to encompass many characters, “da3mons.mp4” puts the focus squarely on Elliot. This isn’t to say that Elliot eats up a hundred percent of the screen time in episode four; “da3mons.mp4” does make an attempt to remove itself from its main character a bit, with stories that, while somewhat necessary, are a bit clunky in execution.

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Mr. Robot: Episode 6 -- "Br4ve-Trave1er.asf

// Channel Surfing

"When episode six opens to find Elliot in terror and panic, it is soon confirmed that he should be.

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