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'Mr. Robot' has multiple personalities, but not in a good way

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “eps1.6_v1ew-s0urce.flv” | Aired Aug 5, 2015

It pains me to talk this way about Mr. Robot, but this week’s episode lacked direction and focus. There, I said it. The story is fractured into four separate entities, which makes it harder for audiences to invest in a larger picture … assuming there is one.

While I usually like the ambitious multitasking of previous episodes, this week feels like four separate shows. The lack of cohesion makes for a lack of interest, especially when I can’t see my favorite characters interact with each other.

I want to see Elliot mourn Shayla in a real way. His isolation is probably meant to be an allegory about his own feelings of despair and disconnection. But what about my feelings?

His poignant memory of their first meeting is a good start, but it is just not enough. Shayla is so endearing, and so obviously connects with Elliot, that it seems disrespectful to reduce his grief to one singular scene in the cold open. Elliot is struggling, but the writers aren’t letting us in. I’m emotionally frustrated.

Elliot struggles to deal with Shayla

I want far less of this Dark Army/White Rose nonsense. I know that Mr. Robot started as a hacker show, and Elliot’s relationships with its members are intriguing, but this fsociety scheme is the least compelling thread of the show.

Darlene is unrelatable, even in the scenes with her boyfriend-turned-foe. I just don’t want to care about this heist anymore, and I resent Mr. Robot for forcing me to. The show would benefit from fewer scenes of Mr. Robot losing his cool on Romero’s aroma profile, and more of Trenton describing her immigrant parents living out their American dream.

Darlene tries to do her part in

Do we really still care about the takedown of the remote, faceless, generic Evil Corp by fsociety when Angela is coming face-to-face with an ACTUAL villain? Colby’s menace plays out really well against Angela’s pale, quivering indignation, and their face-off is probably one of the best scenes of the week.

My jaw dropped wide open when he told her to ask him the question again once she had his balls in her mouth. He’s a bad guy for real, and I’m loving it, but this storyline is so disconnected from the others, I forget how I should connect the dots.

I’d really like to be reminded why I should invest in Angela (and Ollie, for that matter). Is it because she’s important to Elliot’s well-being? Then show us that, and stop trying to make Angela happen on her own.

Angela faces off with Colby from Evil Corp in

The most intriguing story out of this jumbled mess is Tyrell. I don’t even know where to begin; I just can’t even with him. He murdered Scott Knowles’ wife. Let that sink in for a minute.

All along, he’s been borderline American Psycho, but he went over the edge this week, and I have to hand it to the writers for really going full-throttle. What the hell are they going to do with him now? Tyrell as the main antagonist has been my hope all along, but the murder of this CTO’s wife is so far afield from the rest of the show, it might as well be in a different galaxy.

Tyrell is off the rails on

As much as I admire the multifaceted nature of Mr. Robot, I need this show to synthesize. And fast! Make me understand the stakes of all these stories and stop treating them like vignettes. That’s the real talent: stringing together all these story threads. I have no doubt Mr. Robot is up to the task.

Well, maybe a little doubt. What about you? What was your experience with this episode?

Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 10/9C on USA.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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