“Master Slave”‘s opening sequence proves once again that Mr. Robot is not only a unique show, but one that is not afraid of bending the rules of TV. The show is no stranger to fantasy sequences, but it was hard to imagine that Sam Esmail could pull off a 90’s sitcom-like scenario for 15 minutes, and still keep it relevant to the plot. The whole thing was apparently a weird dream by Elliot, who unconsciously combined his childhood with the shows he used to watch as a kid, and the background noise from the TV. Elliot hugging his father for (mentally) protecting him and the flashback in which he tells him he gets to name his computer store were easily the most touching of this episode. Aside from that, Ray’s character fails to be an imposing villain, probably because what’s happening at Angela’s end was much more exciting and dangerous.
For the first time in the story, the hacking focus was on Angela. The new ECorp employee finds herself doing the last thing she imagined she’d be doing in the beginning of the season. Teaching someone to hack in just one day is impossible, but the folks at FSociety still do everything they can to teach her the basics of what she needs to do. The whole operation was very reminiscent of Elliot infiltrating Steel Mountain last season, and of how a big part of hacking has to do with social engineering: Elliot had to destroy Bill’s self-esteem, while Angela does everything she can to escape creepy, flirty guy. We will have to wait until next week to see if she can also work her way around Dom after she has caught her mid-hack.
Speaking of Dom, the FBI agent refuses to get psychological help for what happened in China, and is instead focused on taking down the Dark Army, even if her boss doesn’t believe hackers were responsible for the attack. Among other things that happened, there’s Cisco‘s complicated relationship with the Dark Army, as well as him bumping into Angela, who pretends she doesn’t know him. Who would have thought that that rapper in the street would turn out to be such a relevant character? There were some other mysteries in this episode, and while this season is somewhat slower than the first season, it’s hard to mind after having gotten so attached to these characters. And the hacking scenes are as exciting as ever!