Mr. Robot is a USA network show focusing on a young man named Elliot Alderson who has antisocial disorder and who suffers from severe depression. By day he works at Allsafe, a computer network security company, and at night in his apartment he hacks his way into people’s’ lives, learning all he can about them. If Elliot finds out he or she is a bad person in society, he dishes out his own form of vigilante justice. In the first episode of the series he takes down a cafe owner who is a secret pedophile. I thought Elliot would blackmail the cafe owner but instead it was a sting operation with the police arriving on the scene to arrest the cafe owner.
Other lives Elliot delves into are those he cares about like his psychiatrist, Krista Gordon. He finds out she is dating a man who is hiding from her that he is married with children. Elliot confronts the boyfriend and orders him to come clean to Gordon. When Elliot arrives at his next session he can tell Gordon is unable to focus on what he is saying to her which tells him, her boyfriend is out of the picture.
This is the type of world Elliot feels comfortable in. Then he meets a man calling himself Mr. Robot who runs a hacking group out of an old amusement park. They are called the fsociety. He wants Elliot to join them in taking down E corp a massive corporation with it hands in every industry. Fsociety’s goal is to take the wealth away from the big corporations and the 1% of society and see that the wealth is evenly distributed to the masses.
Elliot refuses wanting his world to stay as he likes it but as time rolls on he finds he can’t go back to how things were, they have already changed. So Elliot decides to help them but as the days pass he finds out his involvement with the group is not easy to end. He turns from occasional morphine use to constant as he struggles to cope and at the same time, unbeknown to him, others in his world are being affected by fsociety as well.
Angela Moss, a long time friend of Elliot’s who works at Allsafe, and who is dating a co-worker named Ollie is the first to be affected. One day she and her boyfriend are pestered on the streets of New York by a man who says he is a musician begging them to take his album. Finally they agree but when Ollie tries to play the CD on his laptop it doesn’t work. At least that is how it seems until Ollie starts getting mysterious messages from Chinese hacking group liaison, who turns out to be the musician. He threatens to reveal to Angela that Ollie is cheating on her with another woman. Ollie can avoid this if he infects Allsafe’s network with the virus on the CD. Instead of bowing to the demands Ollie comes clean to Angela who grows angry but then it slowly sinks in there is a danger to herself and her father, not just to Ollie if the demand is not met. Angela tells Ollie she used his laptop for all sorts of personal things and that he has to do as the group wants. Ollie refuses so Angela does the deed herself without Ollie’s knowledge, until that is she tells him herself before leaving him for good.
Around the same time Elliot has decided to do another job for fsociety but first he has to become free of his morphine habit so an attack, in conjuction with the Chinese hacking group, can be made on Steel Mountain, a massive data storage company. At the same time he continues to try to protect not only the place where he works but those he cares about including Angela and his next door neighbor Shayla, his supplier for morphine. He even sees to it her abusive boyfriend is arrested which results in Shayla no longer being able to push drugs.
I have enjoyed this show. I find it has an interesting premise and although I have watched other television programs with hackers, Mr. Robot doesn’t feel like it is a rehash of these other programs. It feels fresh and new. My only concern is if the writers can keep up the momentum they have built with the quality of their writing and continue it through the rest of the season and into season two. I sure hope they can.