Mr Robot Decrypted S1: Part II

Hello friend.

“Please tell me that you’re seeing this too…”-Elliott (1×01)

There are imagestwo water paintings hanging up outside of Krista’s office.  The one on the left features a family heading into an old farmhouse, with one figure remaining behind, by the fence.  The one on the right features the same family, now behind the farm house playing together in the fields.  The fourth figure does not appear in the painting on the right, he only appears in the other one. The first time that we see these paintings is in episode two, right after Elliott decides that Vera, “can’t be allowed to exist anymore.” Then we observe his therapy session with Krista, where they discuss the “allusion of control.” Elliott is only comfortable when he feels in control. He assumes power by hacking into the personal lives of others online, and then constructs boundaries within his personal relationships. Elliott would choose to remain behind, by the fence, while his family goes to play in the fields.  That’s an easy choice for him, the hard ones come when others are involved.  Adding Shayla to the equation made Elliott force his hand in terms of Vera. But did he make a decision, or was the choice already “pre-paid” for him a long time ago?

“Intentions are irrelevant, they don’t drive us, daemons do.”-Elliott (1×3)

imageThe paintings can be see again, in the background as Krista lets Elliott into her office at the end of episode seven. Unfortunately, moments later Krista discovers that by having Elliott as a patient, she’s letting him into her entire life. Beneath the bank statements, online site profiles, pornography, beneath everything; Elliott finds their one honest connection; they are just two lonely people in the world. “I want out of this loneliness, just like you, is that what you wanted to hear?” cries Elliott in episode seven.  After the end of the title sequence during episode eight, we see Elliott facing the paintings again, as his monologue begins, “But you have to admit, she’s just like everyone else, too afraid to peek over their walls for fear of what they might see.” The camera zooms in on the lone figure standing by the fence.

When Shayla was still alive he could of possibly wanted to join the others and play behind the farmhouse.  Now that she is dead, he wants to remain behind while the others go ahead without him.  He wants to remain by the fence to control who comes in and who leaves.  Again, is it Elliott’s choice, or did a “daemon” already make it for him?  Is he in control, or under the false allusion imageof control?

“People who are violent get that way, because they can’t communicate.” –Mr Robot (1×03)

During the third episode’s opening sequence we see Tyrell Wellick come undone, and still remains in control. Now that Terrance Colby has been removed from the situation, Tyrell has the opportunity to become the youngest CTO that E-Corp has ever seen. Then Philip Price awkwardly turns him down, because Scott Knowles has taken the position, right out from under him. Instead of causing a scene at the office, Tyrell takes his anger to the street, literally. He exchanges money with a homeless man, and they agree to fight one another. Tyrell retains control as he stripes away pieces of his business attire; his watch, sports coat, tie, and undoes the top buttons on his dress shirt. Then he pulls out a pair of surgical gloves, not boxing gloves, or a knuckle brace to wear during the fight…but surgical gloves. Tyrell is a man of discipline, order, cleanliness, and sustainability. Therefore he is a man who needs to keep his imagehands clean; of dirt, germs, blood, but mostly importantly clean from failure.

Tyrell is without his control, his surgical gloves, while on the rooftop with Sharon Knowles during episode seven. “Scott plans on firing you, and you are clinging on to any chance you can get…you seem desperate,” explains Sharon moments before Tyrell chokes her to death. Yes, in the face of failure Tyrell is desperate for control. In one moment of pure impulse Tyrell takes the life of another, which simultaneously sends his own life into a tailspin. During the next two episodes Tyrell loses both his job and family to his mistake, his failure.  Again, did Tyrell decide to take the life of Sharon Knowles, or did the impulse stem from the “allusion of control,”pre-paid for” by a “daemon”?

“The lock pick, every hacker’s favorite sport.  The perfect system to crack mostly, because unlike virtual systems, when you break it, you can see it…hear it…feel it.”-Elliott (1×02)

“I don’t know what you’re master plan is, but I need to…and you’re going to tell me,” Tyrell calmly says to Elliott as he slips on his pair of surgical gloves. Instead of sharing the same guilt that Elliott felt for having a hand in Shayla’s death, Tyrell felt a moment of “pure power,”while strangling Sharon.  In this scene Tyrell posters and asserts his dominance as he describes how it felt to murder someone…by his own two hands.  Cut to Elliott letting him into the fsociety arcade.  Why would Eimgres-1lliott let in someone who diametrically opposes him?  If in the wake of Shayla’s death, Elliott chose to stay behind and be the gatekeeper, why open it for Tyrell?  Sam Esmail is the real “daemon” threatening to take down Elliott’s construction of reality. After viewing episode ten we will have completed one “perfect” maze friend.  Will you be ready for the next one?

Writer’s note:  A daemon is a computer program that runs in the background, without interference from the user in control.

 By Sarah Belmont
Featured Writer


X-Men:First Class Review(Some Spoliers ahead)

  Yeah, yeah, I know. I tweeted that my first official blog would consist of an article about “The Best Sports Movies ever” but after watching “X-Men: First Class” I felt compelled to get up and go. Now, I know I’m a bit late in doing a review of X-Men, considering it’s been out since June 3rd. Hey, I couldn’t help it. I was busy with the final preparations for my wedding, which was the next day. Anyway, I finally got around to it.

I have to admit, I didn’t realize X-Men would consist of so much story. I knew there would be some story with lots of action sprinkled throughout but story seemed to be about sixty to seventy percent of the film with action being a presence but just enough not to take way from the sharp writing. Then again when you think about it, “First Class” is the beginning, therefore a lot of story was needed to be told. Not to just satisfy the comic book viewer but also for the casual movie watcher as well. Not everyone knows the backstory of how Eric Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier or Magneto and Professor X came to be enemies who were once very good friends.

“X-Men: First Class” is a good prequel that helps set up future films that take place before the first X-Men movie. What I really enjoyed about it were the relationships, which really carried the film. The strongest being Charles, played by James McAvoy and Erik, played by Michael Fassbender. These two guys really help you understand their conflict with each other. It’s an issue that slightly pokes its head in throughout the film before rearing its full head in by the climax. Charles wants peace, Erik wants war. It’s as simple as that. However, their first conflict is with not each other. It’s with another mutant who wants to put an end to the entire human race altogether.

Introduce Sebastian Shaw, played very well by Kevin Bacon. He is the main villain of the story and on a couple different levels. His main goal is to eliminate the human race by having them go to war against each other. Nuclear war style. Enter the cuban missile crisis. A very important event in our world’s history. It was here where we almost blew the hell out of each other before cooler heads prevailed. In this X-Men story however, Shaw is the orchestrator of this whole thing. It’s his idea for russia to move missiles to cuba thereby instigating america into some sort of action. But he’s not alone, Emma Frost, Azazel and Riptide round out his gang of mutan who have things well in order before Charles, Erik and their newest group of young mutants intervene. However, his connection to Erik is a very strong and sad one. When Erik was younger he met Shaw who tried to force Erik to use his powers. When this did not happen Shaw killed Erik’s mother. Thereby causing a pain in Erik so large that the only way he would be satisfied was by killing Shaw.

This conflict comes to a head when Magneto and Shaw face-off at the end. It’s very dramatic and gripping because what Erik does goes against everything that Charles had been preaching to him throughout the entire movie. “Killing Shaw will not bring you peace” says Charles. “Peace was never an option” replies Erik. Good writing and great chemistry amongst these two actors.

Even though I mentioned action didn’t play the biggest role in the movie, when there was action it was very intense. Scenes such as when Shaw and his group infiltrate the compound where the young mutants are being kept. Watching Azazel teleport and take out every security guard reminded me a bit of Nightcrawler in “X2”. Not as intense but still kept you glued to the screen. The climax of the film, where the mutant war really begins, is just awesome. Watching Magneto pick up a sub and throw it on land, that pretty much blew my mind. Well done there and watching the mutants duke it out was very very cool as well.

I especially loved the little cameos in the movie. For example when Hank(Beast) is showing Charles cerebro and explaining what it can do(I did get a bit geeked  out seeing a just built cerebro). By “jacking in” to cerebro, Charles can locate any mutant in any place at any time. This is how they seek out and build their team. Seeing cerebro through Charles eyes is very cool, we first see a young Storm followed by other mutants. But what stands out here is probably the biggest cameo of the movie. Wolverine. Now I have to admit, I read a spoiler confirming his cameo I just didn’t know to what extent. But here its short, sweet and keeps Logan…I mean Wolverine true to who he is. When Charles and Erik approach Wolverine they are greeted with a typical opening line from Weapon X. “Go F*** yourselves.” To which they look at each other and walk away. Pretty damn funny and very cool. Another thing I noticed was a small bunker which Charles has one of the young mutants use to practice his ability in. I think we can all agree its the future site of the “danger room”. A very important part of the X-Men mythos. Lets not forget about one other cameo which definitely caught me by surprise. While morphing into different people Mystique also morphed into her future self who we all know is Rebecca Romijn. Very short and surprising cameo. But nonetheless cool.

Now not all was great with this movie. I had some minor concerns with the acting. Specifically January Jones. She was a decent at best Emma Frost. I just didn’t buy some of her lines which happened to be at key moments in the movie. Another thing and this was probably my biggest gripe, the cheesiness of this movie. I could not believe how thick the cheese was laid on. It’s like my friend @JERM_EL said, “it’s like they used cheesy one-liners from Smallville.” Those of you who know me, know that I LOVE Smallville. But this is in no way a compliment. Cheesiness can be tolerated for a network TV show but NOT for a big screen big budgeted movie. It should not happen. Sadly a lot of scenes and lines left me cringing and waiting for the awkwardness to end.

Despite the cheesiness of this movie I found it overall entertaining and fun. Great performances from McAvoy and Fassbender, very good writing and a setup that should help future X-Men prequel movies. I’m very intrigued to see what Matthew Vaughn(if he stays on for the sequel)has in store for the “prequel-sequel”. Hey, I had to call it something.


I hope you all enjoyed my first blog/movie review. Let me know what ya think, thanks.



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