Mr. Robot Eps3.7_dont-delete-me.ko Review
Mr. Robot: Season 3, Episode 8: Eps3.7_dont-delete-me.ko is an unexpectedly quiet episode but boasts some of the season’s most profound moments.
Opening up on a flashback, the episode treats us to a scene from Elliot’s (Rami Malek) youth that is as revealing as it is sad. Mr. Alderson (Christian Slater) tries to get a young Elliot (Alex Bento) into the spirit of the movies by mixing Skittles with popcorn, coughing all the while, but the child is disturbed not only by his father’s poor health but his refusal to acknowledge it. Seeing a grown man get called out for denying his troubles is pitiful enough, but it’s all the more pitiful when it’s a young boy doing the calling out. Indeed, Bento is exceptionally good in his role, projecting the proper amount of emotional distance between him and his father for the situation, and Slater is no less impressive when he admits defeat with a simple “yeah” and keels over into unconsciousness.
The relationship between young Elliot and his father serves as a template for that between the adult Elliot and Mohammed (Elisha Henig), the younger brother of Trenton (Sunita Mani). Forced to look over him when his parents unexpectedly leave, Elliot finds himself in the same position as his father was all those years ago: reveal that something terrible has happened (in Elliot’s case, tell Mohammed that his sister was framed because of her work with fsociety) or act like everything is hunky dory. This dynamic serves to demonstrate the extent to which Elliot, whether he wants to or not, identifies with his dad. He resents his father for not being honest with him as a kid, but as an adult with a child under his care, he understands why.
Elliot’s decision to follow in his father’s footsteps leads to the rawest moment in the program. Frustrated at Elliot’s refusal to tell the truth about Trenton, Mohammed yells that he wishes he was dead, to which Elliot angrily exclaims “So do I!” Now we’ve seen Elliot upset before, but there is a distinctly non-put-on hurtfulness to his outburst here that undoubtedly sent shivers down any number of viewers’ spines when they first heard it. In fact, I might even go as far to say that it’s the most intense Malek’s performance as the character has been to date.
In short, dont-delete-me is a restrained installment of the show’s third season, lacking the real and implied violence as well as the backroom intrigue of the episode’s immediate predecessors. Yet all in all, this proves to be a boon to the program rather than a problem.
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