Watch it now: Mr. Robot S3E3, You’re the Worst S4E9
Mr. Robot S3E3: “eps3.2_legacy.so”
Logline: Mumbling hacker vigilante deals with a personality crisis while stopping his own attempted end of the world.
Verdict: Spoilers, spoilers!
Mr. Robot is hitting the third season with its eye set on a bit of soul-searching, and this episode twists the format just a little, but for grand effect. After a static second season, the show has twisted and turned into a story not about little hacker Elliot (Rami Malek), but about corporatocracy and global currency wars. USA Network has pumped money into the utterly self-confident Mr. Robot to ride the wave of peak TV with its own prestige show. Each week, Sam Esmail creates an episode rife with cinematic allusions and giant sweeping camera motions unlike anything else on television.
For the first two seasons, we saw Elliot dealing with the other half of his personality, a dominant and reckless persona that erupts in the form of his own dead dad (Christian Slater) – a.k.a. the titular Mr. Robot. He causes economic collapse before resolving to figure out what his alter ego’s mysterious “stage two” is, as Elliot is scared it might go too far. Unfortunately, Elliot was unable to find answers before being shot by his comrade-in-hacker-arms Tyrell Wellick (portrayed to creepy perfection by Martin Wallström).
This episode takes a breather from the heavy “global” story that the third season is wrestling with as we focus down into some flashbacks. Yay! Esmail toys with Mr. Robot’s structure, zooming in on Tyrell as we watch the events of his life from the first season’s ending all the way to the present day. We are finally grabbing a look at how this character works and feels. Wallström plays all the quiet, exiled sadness incredibly well, and his big grins at the mention of his obsession in life, Elliot, are both creepy and somehow a tiny bit endearing. This is an episode about imprisonment, and it shows Tyrell even morphing his appearance to don a hoodie, trucker hat, and ruff beard to embody both sides of Elliot’s persona – a highly clever bit of costuming and character design that clues us into just how far Tyrell, in the rest of the season, will go for Elliot and Mr. Robot’s ideas . . . even becoming him, if that’s what it takes.
You’re the Worst S4E9: “Worldstar!”
Logline: Idiot bozos destroy their lives to form a self-destructive relationship.
Verdict: Spoilers, spoilers!
This week on Stephen Falk’s You’re the Worst we’re treated to a twisted turn of events involving motherly neglect and ignorant actions. For the past few seasons we’ve seen stupid novelist Jimmy (Chris Geere) and wild publicist Gretchen (Aya Cash) slowly move closer together, before Jimmy sabotaged their relationship at the closer of the third season. Their friends dipsy Lindsay (Kether Donahue) and nice-guy Edgar (Desmin Borges), in this season, have risen to the occasion to become the “serious ones” amid Jimmy and Gretchen’s ruined romance. You’re the Worst is a real oddball of a show from FX, tackling modern relationships with a mature but absurdist edge.
In its fourth season, You’re the Worst continues a trend of subverting expectations. This week showed “yogurt tube” Jimmy, after an eight hour phone call with Gretchen, swear off reconciliation and go off to find a quick “shag”. Gretchen helped Lindsay confront her sister, who has wrought torture upon Linds’ life, all the while trying to deal with going serious-but-not-serious with a new beau. There are standout moments in an episode otherwise showing more stalling in the Jimmy and Gretchen reunion, including a rapturous scene as Gretchen looks through a glass door to see Jimmy dipping his biscuit into someone else. She inquires, “What is wrong with me?” before, uh, self-biscuit-dipping, and the moment is equal parts tragic & funny. That’s what You’re the Worst is: the worst and best bits of these characters on display – and it’s utterly hilarious but sad to watch every week.