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TV Review: MR. ROBOT: Season 3, Episode 3: [USA Network]

Bobby Cannavale Mr Robot

Mr. Robot Review

Mr. Robot: Season 3, Episode 3: takes a big risk by shifting its attention away from Elliot (Rami Malek) but it pays off spectacularly.

While Elliot has always been the focal point of the show, Wednesday night’s episode shook the formula up by focusing not on him but on his former partner Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallstrom). Believed to be dead for the vast duration of Season 2, Tyrell’s surprise reappearance at the end of the season prompted serious questions about what he was up to while he was missing. It’s this exact question that the show answers in legacy.

For the most part, Tyrell has been something of a wild card, accountable to no one but himself as he flouted the laws of society and decorum and evaded arrest. Not so in this week’s episode where try as he might, he’s at the mercy of the Dark Army, the one group of people who might very well be nastier than he is. He’s been in tight spots before, but not tight enough for him to squirm like he does in legacy, and it’s strangely captivating to see him function under such circumstances since we are used to seeing him act as he is wont to. We even get to see a softer side to him when he pulls up the camera in his baby’s room on his computer. Of course, it’s Tyrell so he doesn’t burst into tears at the sight of his child, but Wallstrom’s quietly-pained expressions subtly convey the longing that his character must feel to be reunited with his family.

Unsurprisingly, the scene where Tyrell is the most vulnerable is also the best edited one in the entire episode. Depicting the one-time E Corp CTO’s questioning by Mr. Williams (Wallace Shawn), the sequence cuts rapidly between Williams barking questions at his prisoner, marking checks and x’s next to said questions on paper, and Tyrell answering him. Edited together at an increasing pace, the scene generates a feeling of franticness that is appropriate to Williams’ line of questioning and calls to mind the infamous interrogation scene from William Friedkin’s The Birthday Party. It doesn’t exactly induce the nerve-wracking madness that the Harold Pinter play adaptation does, but it comes impressively close.

Shawn’s role is limited to the above scene, but he makes one hell of a impression, with his strangeness exceeded only by the menace he projects. Bobby Cannavale is no less menacing and somehow even stranger as Irving, the guy who seems to actually call the shots around the home that serves as Tyrell’s prison. Here’s hoping we see more of them in future installments of Mr. Robot.

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About the author

Reggie Peralta

An aspiring writer, longtime film junkie, and former disc jockey (where I graduated with a BA in Political Science), I've made the jump from penning book reviews and current events editorials for to writing movie and TV news and reviews.

When I'm not working towards my certificate in Radio and Television/Video Production at Fullerton College, I enjoy reading (horror, science fiction, and historical/political nonfiction are particular favorites), participating in my school's TV and theatre clubs, attending movie screenings, plays, concerts, and other events, and trying to come up with pithy things to say on social media. Believe it or not, there are occasions where I find time to write for my own leisure.

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