Mr. Robot: with spoilers

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Jennifer
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Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 11 Aug 2016, 15:45

So is anyone else here watching that show? Last night's sitcom opening was great, I thought (I daresay I'd've liked it even more, if I were personally familiar with the late 80s/early 90s "TGIF" sitcoms it parodied), though so far, this season does seem to be moving more slowly than the first, in terms of how much the plot develops with each episode. Also, I do wish the story gave more information regarding just how everyday American life works, now that the economy has been trashed by last season's hack. There's occasional mention of the $50 daily cash allowance, which makes me think "These characters all live in Manhattan. How the hell can they even pay their rent, let alone buy food and all other necessities, on $50 per day?"
Last edited by Jennifer on 19 Sep 2016, 15:32, edited 1 time in total.
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 11 Aug 2016, 15:53

It's one of the most interesting shows currently airing and certainly something different. Elliot is obviously an unreliably narrator, so I just assume there's a high noise to signal ratio in the visuals as well as the narrative and concentrate on who's currently a good guy and who's currently a bad guy.

Ellie should get over her Christopher Slater aversion given that the role he plays will, if anything, only reinforce her ill will toward him.

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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 11 Aug 2016, 16:25

I read that Sam Esmail originally intended the story to be a movie, rather than a TV show, and I'll take him at his word (rather than assume this is another Battlestar Galactica-style "The Cylons have a plan" bullshit claim). But I'm still getting the feeling he did not think through the implications of all this (which is entirely different from saying "Elliot the insane narrator didn't think this through").

The season 1 plan was basically: we hack into the computers and erase all proof of debts owed, thus bringing freedom to those in debt. Of course, the problem is that erasing all proof of debts owed also erases proof of debts paid, as well as proof of assets. And this season has showed occasional glimpses of that -- there was a scene with a woman at Bank of E upset because the bank now refuses to believe her when she said her mortgage was paid, last night's convenience store owner who is going out of business because the "$50 daily" cash allowance isn't enough for people to buy his goods -- but that's all. Nothing to indicate that people are being made homeless (or how they avoid homelessness, with no proof that they own their homes), and no mention of how, for example, Angela pays the rent on her obviously expensive Manhattan apartment if there's a $50 daily cash allowance. (When Jeff and I were living in Leesburg, the rent alone on our not-very-nice townhouse cost more than $50 per day.)
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Kolohe
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Kolohe » 11 Aug 2016, 22:01

I have watched the 1st season but not the second season, so bookmarking after I catch up (haven't read anything above)
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Shem
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Shem » 13 Aug 2016, 16:22

Keep in mind, at the start of season 2, only about a month has passed since the events of the first season. Everyone still has their houses because at that point, nobody has gone more than a few weeks overdue on their rent. Besides, you can't really complain that he didn't think through the implications of things while simultaneously citing all the times he provided examples of the implications of things. They've said a couple times that there was at least one bailout, and there are people shooting for another one, meaning someone has slapped a bandaid on it for the time being. As for personal effects, they're putting examples in at places where it doesn't disrupt the narrative flow. What were they supposed to do, spend an entire episode talking about all the people who are screwed?
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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 13 Aug 2016, 16:44

Shem wrote:What were they supposed to do, spend an entire episode talking about all the people who are screwed?
No, but I'd like to see more indications that people are screwed, and exactly how. Ahmed the store owner did tell Dom the FBI lady that he's going out of business because he can't pay his rent -- so, presumably, whoever owns HIS building is not willing to let the rent slide awhile, in light of this massive economic catastrophe. But if he evicts Ahmed -- who, exactly, is he hoping to rent it to next? Anyone who happens to have enough cash (or maybe precious-metal bullion) to be undisturbed by recent events is doing well enough that they're unlikely to want to bother opening a little convenience store in Manhattan.

And think of the many wholesalers who supplied Ahmed with the goods he sold -- who, if anyone, are THEY selling to now? Who has the money to patronize their businesses? How is E Corp getting the money to pay its employees? No surprise that Dom is still getting paid -- she works for the Feds, of course, so I figure anyone with a fedgov paycheck or pension is still getting checks -- but what is happening with everybody else?

Basically, I'm curious about the implications here: what happens when all computerized financial records have gone kaput? And furthermore (based on that brief scene with the paid-off-mortgage lady arguing with Bank of E), no paper records are being honored either, on the grounds (or excuse) that maybe they are forgeries.
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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 13 Aug 2016, 16:56

To be fair, though: it may not be possible to offer believable answers to these questions in a way that still makes for good television.
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 18 Aug 2016, 12:39

Ah-HA! Once again, last night's "Fight Club-" style revelation justifies my decision to save, rather than delete, all earlier episodes this season, so I can re-watch them later without having to deal with the no-fast-forward versions available "On Demand."
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Shem
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Shem » 19 Aug 2016, 00:30

What the actual fuck was that?
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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 19 Aug 2016, 13:52

Shem wrote:What the actual fuck was that?
The revelation, you mean? (I'm deliberately avoiding spoilers here, just in case.) I read fan theories predicting this or a similar outcome from the first episode this season -- and after re-watching some earlier episodes, it DOES indeed work. I'm going to guess it also answers the question "Who was knocking on Elliot's door at the end of season one?"

I don't mind reminders that Elliot is a very unreliable narrator, but I still wish they'd address some of last season's questions before introducing answers to new ones. For all the things I AM curious about, I don't particularly care about such questions as "So, how did the computer store get its name, huh?"
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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 23 Aug 2016, 16:08

I was almost going to put this in the Random Observations thread, but on second thought it works better here: I have been regularly reading -- though not posting in -- the reddit forum about the show, and I'm rather amused by the fact that almost every day, somebody starts a thread sharing this "amazing new theory" they just came up with -- the same theory which has already been discussed in dozens of other threads. Last week's reveal about Elliot didn't surprise me, as I'd already seen that or a very similar theory discussed umpteen times before the reveal; since Sam Esmail is deliberately scattering clues throughout episodes, I'm going to guess the daily threads about this "new" theory regarding Joanna and her boyfriend are likely to come true, too.
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 02 Sep 2016, 13:14

Dang it, looks like they're starting to let the idiot ball move some of the plot forward. (Or maybe I'm being too harsh -- I wouldn't make such a mistake, but then I'm not dealing with the stress of knowing "the FBI is after me and I might go to prison for the rest of my life because I semi-accidentally helped carry out the biggest financial crime in history.") But, even so .... I'm not remotely "good with computers" and I outright DO NOT have what it takes to be a hacker, but unlike Angela, I do at least know "If you steal your boss' password and use it to surreptitiously go into his company email files, DON'T do this from your company-owned at-work computer ... because the company WILL have records showing you did this."
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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 12 Sep 2016, 20:26

The show is going absolutely bananas with hidden Easter eggs. I'll deliberately keep this vague to avoid spoilers, but: the last scene of the most recent episode took place in a diner. The camera filming it was across the street, so you-the-viewer could see what was going on inside the diner, but could not hear what anybody was saying (I assumed that the next episode will include the diner scene from the inside, so you can hear everything).

However, there's a thread on reddit's Mr. Robot forum (don't click this link if spoilers bother you); some viewers managed to do something-or-other with the audio recording, and isolated the dialogue from the diner scene. It still looks like something you're only seeing from across the street, but you can hear the dialogue.
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Shem
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Shem » 13 Sep 2016, 00:02

Jennifer wrote:Dang it, looks like they're starting to let the idiot ball move some of the plot forward. (Or maybe I'm being too harsh -- I wouldn't make such a mistake, but then I'm not dealing with the stress of knowing "the FBI is after me and I might go to prison for the rest of my life because I semi-accidentally helped carry out the biggest financial crime in history.") But, even so .... I'm not remotely "good with computers" and I outright DO NOT have what it takes to be a hacker, but unlike Angela, I do at least know "If you steal your boss' password and use it to surreptitiously go into his company email files, DON'T do this from your company-owned at-work computer ... because the company WILL have records showing you did this."
I'm pretty sure she was at somebody else's computer when she did that, which was part of the suspense. "Will the person come back and catch her?"
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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 13 Sep 2016, 00:51

Shem wrote:
Jennifer wrote:Dang it, looks like they're starting to let the idiot ball move some of the plot forward. (Or maybe I'm being too harsh -- I wouldn't make such a mistake, but then I'm not dealing with the stress of knowing "the FBI is after me and I might go to prison for the rest of my life because I semi-accidentally helped carry out the biggest financial crime in history.") But, even so .... I'm not remotely "good with computers" and I outright DO NOT have what it takes to be a hacker, but unlike Angela, I do at least know "If you steal your boss' password and use it to surreptitiously go into his company email files, DON'T do this from your company-owned at-work computer ... because the company WILL have records showing you did this."
I'm pretty sure she was at somebody else's computer when she did that, which was part of the suspense. "Will the person come back and catch her?"

She was at "Monica's" computer (or maybe Monica's boss's) to get the passwords, but at her own computer when she used those passwords to log into her boss's files and steal them (I re-checked that scene to make certain).
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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 13 Sep 2016, 16:25

And another "idiot ball" action from Angela: if I were going to be an anonymous whistleblower, I'd anonymously mail the incriminating documents to the nuclear regulatory agency, or even anonymously post them online, not "take a day off work and drive to the regulatory agency to hand over those documents in person."

But, again -- maybe this idiot-ball behavior actually is realistic; I've certainly never dealt with anything remotely as stressful as what Angela is going through, and have no idea how such stress would impact my own decision-making abilities.
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 15 Sep 2016, 02:24

I can't say for certain what that is I'm seeing off in the distance -- maybe a mere bit of garbage or driftwood, possibly a dolphin sighting -- but I fear it is a shark, and next week's season finale is gonna jump it.
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Kolohe » 16 Sep 2016, 21:13

Ah finally caught up, watched the penultimate episode of season 2 today.

I'm not seeing the drop off in quality that a lot of the rest of the internet seems to see. There are still problems, but those problems were also there in season 1. There is a bit of a shift due to which actors are more featured this season, and I don't think Esmail and Doubleday (Angela) are quite all the way in sync (a problem I think you, Jennifer, have alluded to on this thread)

I did like this seasons big reveal, though I saw it coming due to listening to a podcast after watching the early episodes where the guys were pretty quick on the speculation that Elliot was in an institutional setting. It was still a surprise though, that the fantasy world was a deliberate choice by Elliot. (Last season, the surprise to me was that Darlene was his sister, and not a Manic Pixie Dream Girl)

It was a good choice, I think, to play out the prison scene this way, to give the Mr Robot is Elliot reveal time to breathe, but without a plot line that would have gotten stale 1 or 2 episodes into it, if played straightforward.

Don't look at the episode description of the finale if you can help it. I did and there's a spoiler in there.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Kolohe
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Kolohe » 16 Sep 2016, 21:15

For that matter, I'm not sure if Esmail and Grace Gummer (Agent D) are always on the same page either.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 16 Sep 2016, 22:00

The main problem I have with this season so far, though, is not only that they continue to avoid answering certain key questions left over from the season 1 finale, but they keep dicking around and making it seem like those answers will be forthcoming, and then they're not -- you just get more questions. I remember Jeff (who has not watched this season) complaining about last season's finale that it offered no new information (beyond "the hack worked") -- and there's still not a hell of a lot more info available now compared to then.

I dunno; this strikes me as something that would've worked better as a Netflix binge-able series.
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Kolohe
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Kolohe » 16 Sep 2016, 22:58

The structure was a bit unusual in season 1, in that the the finale episode was more like a season premiere, and the episode before was more like the finale.

We have answered some questions though - who was the knock on the door at the end of season 1? Who is (are) BD Wong? Is there more to Mr Robot than just Tyler Durdenesque id? Why is Angela a flunky in E Corp - has she turned to the dark side? Did F society leave any breadcrumbs? What's next for Gideon with All Safe in obviously freefall?
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 18 Sep 2016, 15:46

We have answered some questions though
True; I should've specified "Didn't answer the questions we specifically wondered about" -- such as, what actually happened during those three days? Where is Tyrell? (Given Elliot's proven track record for unreliability, I'm not convinced we actually have an answer to that question.)

It's like -- I dunno, I can't quite put my finger on this -- there's a difference between "legit suspense to build up a story" versus "Lucy Van Pelt-ism": promising that this time, really, you're gonna get to kick the football, then always pulling it away at the last minute.

For instance -- I'm going to be vague here to avoid spoilers, though you'll know what I'm talking about if you've actually seen the episodes -- a couple of episodes ago, Elliot got a commission (of sorts) from a certain client to trace certain phone calls. So: Elliot does his hacking and social engineering, and finds out where the calls are coming from; the client's representative says something along the lines of "Dammit, that is NOT what I expected at all!" End scene. No more information forthcoming this episode.

Next episode, we see the client and representative talking about the phone call's source. Client says something to the effect of "Hooray! How wonderful, that this should be the source of those calls!" End scene. No more information forthcoming this episode.
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Kolohe
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Kolohe » 18 Sep 2016, 16:07

I'll agree that was annoying - I thought for a while that I missed something. They showed the address, but not the significance of the address, iirc.

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when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 18 Sep 2016, 16:35

Zl vavgvny thrff jnf gung vg jnf Fpbgg Xabjyrf (uhfonaq bs gur jbzna Gleryy zheqrerq), rfcrpvnyyl fvapr gur "cerivbhfyl" fprarf ng gur ortvaavat bs gung rcvfbqr fubjrq Wbnaan ng na RPbec cnegl zragvbavat gb gur Xabjyrfrf gung Gleryy nyjnlf tvirf ure yvggyr tvsgf -- onfvpnyyl, V svtherq Xabjyrf jnf hfvat gur cubar pnyyf, naq bppnfvbany cerggl-ohg-hfryrff tvsgf, gb fnqvfgvpnyyl shpx jvgu Wbnaan. Ohg gur unccl jnl fur ernpgrq hcba frrvat gur nqqerff nccrnef gb oybj GUNG gurbel bhg bs gur jngre.
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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 18 Sep 2016, 16:40

Kolohe wrote:I'll agree that was annoying - I thought for a while that I missed something. They showed the address, but not the significance of the address, iirc.
But anyway -- THIS can be said without encryption -- a LOT of this season has been annoying that way, IMO. I read an article (or maybe a discussion thread) comparing it to "Lost" -- which I have never seen, but I know many people who have so I'm familiar with certain complaints about the show: started out as a very interesting story about interesting people in an interesting situation, plus some mysteries and unanswered questions in the background. Except that after awhile, it became evident that the writers themselves didn't know the answers to most questions, and even when they did, anytime they'd answer a question, it was done in such a way that it didn't matter anymore, because there's a much bigger WTF question which remains unanswered.

And I'm getting very tired of the "all cliffhangers, all the time" scene and episode endings.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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