USA Network‘s Mr. Robot eps2.7_init_5.fve TV Show Review. Mr. Robot: Season 2, Episode 9: eps2.7_init_5.fve amplifies the surrealism of earlier episodes and makes viewers question their interpretation of the events depicted.
Of course, the show has hardly been straightforward up to this point. This past season alone we have already seen Elliot (Rami Malek) hallucinate that he was staying with his aging, incapacitated mother (Vaishnavi Sharma) and dream that he was in an old school sitcom after being put into a coma. On top of all this, the role of Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) in his day-to-day life and interactions constantly reminds us that all is not what it seems with him. But incredibly, Wednesday night’s show was able to do all these elements one better and cast doubt on Elliot’s perception of his own, unreliable perspective.
While most of the show takes place outside of prison, our introverted young hero spends the first ten minutes or so in prison. As he makes his way through the facility, we are given reason to doubt the presentation of something as innocuous as his daily behavioral regimen. The prison basketball court uncannily resembles the one he used to frequent in his neighborhood, his friend Leon (Joey Bada$$) is a fellow inmate, and the men who attacked him earlier a couple episodes back are not just thugs but a white supremacist prison gang, ready for the slightest provocation to set them off. The biggest surprise of all, however, is Elliot’s brief glimpse of Ray (Craig Robinson), who is addressed as “warden” by the guard.
Already within the first ten minutes of the program, viewers are forced to make sense of what they just saw. Has Elliot been in prison this entire time and trying (as he did in eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme) to keep it a secret from us, his “invisible friend”? Is it another of his myriad delusions that he tolerates in order to protect the audience (as well as himself) from an even uglier truth, whatever it may be? Or is it all just smoke and mirrors to make sure that we keep watching? Answers may be hard to come by at the moment, but you should definitely keep watching Mr. Robot to find out.
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