Mr. Robot ‘Python, Part 1’ Review: Keeping (Too Many) Doors Locked

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Remember when we thought ‘Daemons’ was a strange episode? Yeah… ‘Python, Part 1’ is the first of the 2-part finale of Mr. Robot‘s very confusing Season 2, and it seems like the show plans on saving all the answers for the very last moment.

Spoilers!


Elliot’s “relationship” with Mr. Robot has certainly changed a lot during the course of the series. Elliot has now accepted his dissociative identity disorder, but that doesn’t mean that he can understand it, much less control it. Mr. Robot is Elliot, so he realizes that the obvious answer is to stop freaking out about his disappearance and just think about what “he” would do. But that’s easier said than done. When Tyrell enters the cab, Elliot says it’s no longer a matter of what he’s seeing, but a matter of what he’s not seeing. And hasn’t that been the source of all problems since the beginning? In Season 1, the all our confusion came from Elliot’s mental state, his identity and perception. In Season 2, things like Tyrell’s situation or his sudden change of accent are also a consequence of Elliot not remembering what happened. However, this season is also keeping things from us that don’t even have anything to do with Elliot. These are events in which we should have an omnipresent point of view: what happened to Cisco and Darlene, what Price and China are really talking about, or what the whole deal with Angela in that strange room was.

Actually, Angela’s side of the story was one of the most dragged out storylines in this episode next to Dom talking to Alexa (although at least that one carried some emotional weight). Everything about the place where Angela was taken to screamed creepy: the fish tank, the old computer, the kid who was forced to ask those questions… it all seemed to come out of some sort of creepypasta or old horror videogame. It’s still unclear what the purpose behind all those questions was, and we also don’t know what Whiterose told Angela to make her back down from the Washington Township case. Still, the thing that caught my attention the most was the statement that Angela is “at the intersection of everything”. Angela might not be a hacker or a member of society, but she’s always been in the same situation as Elliot in this whole mess, and she has also had her own role in it. Just like WhiteRose, I’m also surprised that she’s managed to survive for this long.

There are several themes going in ‘Python, Part 1’, although it’s hard make some sense of them. WhiteRose talks about her fascination for doors and the possibilities they offer: opening, closing (“body asleep, mind awake”). The title of the episode most likely refers to Python, a programming language that is often used for teaching beginners. In fact, Python is taught in many schools to introduce kids (like the kid used by WhiteRose?) to programming. There were also a lot of references to time. There were tracks from Back to the Future, the room Angela was in had 80s technology, WhiteRose mentioned once again how valuable time is to her… In fact, many viewers appear to be relating last season’s references to Fight Club with this episode’s Back to the Future, but I find it hard to believe that Sam Esmail would introduce time travelling because that would be too sci-fi.

Speaking of time, ‘Python, Part 1’ was a slow episode, probably made even slower by the fact that it was hard to tell what’s going on. As mentioned before, Season 1 had Elliot’s confusing internal struggles, but we were also getting big revelations and explanations along the way (so much that the finale was not as shocking as many expected it to be). However, it seems like the opposite is happening this season as the show has been hiding key pieces of information to leave viewers… well, confused. This is not necessarily “bad”, and it could even be considered retrospective storytelling. Tying in to the door metaphors, keeping doors locked when it comes to plot points can be fun as it feeds into fan’s theories and speculation. However, there is a fine line between teasing some mysteries and straight up leaving your audience clueless as to what they’re watching. We will have to wait until ‘Part 2’ to talk about whether it was worth it in the long run, but it’s certainly been a risky move when it comes to audience ratings.

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24-year-old TV journalist. I especialize in fangirling over TV shows and anime. Currently fighting for fan studies to be recognized as a valid academic field.

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