Mr. Robot ‘Zero Day’ Review: Setting the Ground for Season 2


WARNING: This review contains spoilers

Far from providing answers or big revelations a la “I am Mr. Robot”, ‘Zero Day’ was all about formulating more and more questions that we will sadly have to wait a whole year to get answers to. What happened in those 3 days? How did Angela take the job at ECorp? How did the revolution start? Where is Tyrell? Who was at the door? What was that final scene with Whiterose about?

First things first. The meeting between Christa and Lenny, which seemed a bit random at first, was probably the first time that we got to see Elliot’s hacking as something negative with illegal implications. We are used to thinking of Elliot as a hero, but is he really? Did he do the right thing? Did he go too far? These were some of the hidden questions lying in the subtext for us to think about.

mr. robot - zero day - the daily fandom

Angela is slowly but surely becoming one of the most interesting characters in the show. We don’t know what happened for her to accept that job offer at ECorp. We don’t even know if Elliot knows about it. During the episode we saw a very confused and traumatised Angela for having witnessed James Plouffe blowing his brains out in front of her because “this will be impossible to fix” (is Elliot responsible for that death?). The scene in which she’s at the shoe store was, to me, one of the best scenes in the entire finale. Who didn’t somewhat agree with the seller? Angela has become a clear metaphor for trying to find the balance between having a job to pay the bills and doing the right thing.

As a matter of fact, half of this episode was the consequences of the global hacking erasing financial data and the other half was a confused Elliot trying to figure out what happened and where did Tyrell go. As for fosciety’s role, they were left without their “fearless leader” and “cleaning after him”. To be quite honest, I couldn’t help but to see the scene in which they release the puppies as some kind of metaphor for freeing people. As good as that might feel, we all know the potential danger of freeing a bunch of puppies in the streets of New York. Will they survive and make it on their own? Darlene is the only one to seem to feel positive about the revolution, later throwing an “End of the world” party in the Arcade.”They’re free because of us”, she says, “they’re finally alive”.

mr. robot - zero day - the daily fandom

Mr. Robot doesn’t make an appearance until the last quarter of the episode, just in time to stop Elliot to confess to 911. Many thought that the Fight Club references would stop after the big reveal from ‘Mirroring‘, but we still got plenty of similarities. Who else thought about Edward and Tyler fighting over the bomb? This whole scene was also very interesting because now we get to see what people witness everytime that Elliot talks to himself. But Elliot is far from caring at this point.

And then for the craziest scene in the entire episode. Mr. Robot makes it a point that we cannot be sure about the realness of anything. Are he and the family Elliot is seeing real? Is Elliot real? Is reality real? “You have to dig pretty dig before you find anything real”, he says after giving a speech on everything that is wrong with our society. This is the side of Elliot who hates society and that we have seen many times before. No, you can’t make the world stop by closing your eyes and hiding in your shell, but Elliot tries and realises (after all, he is talking to himself), that his family is going to stay with him, whether he wants it or not. Ironically, Elliot has become a much more complex and unreliable character since he started discovering his reality.

day zero - mr. robot - the daily fandom

We did not get to see Tyrell in any scenes (although many are speculating that he might be the one behind the mask in that video from fsociety). However, Tyrell was present during all episode, both in Elliot’s head and in our heads. Elliot meeting Joanna was one of the strangest and most tense scenes of the whole episode. Does Joanna know him? Did they meet before but Elliot doesn’t remember? “I feel like she can hear us”, Elliot tells us. Why did she speak to him in Dannish? And now for the big plot twist speculation going on on Tumblr: is Tyrell Elliot? Time to re-watch the whole season.

This was indeed Day 0 for the revolution. The reason why they delayed the episode was understandable after getting an on-screen suicide. After all, this show feels so real because it is incredibly relevant in our current society and the global economic crisis. The line between fiction and reality is getting more and more blurred and, if that wasn’t enough, the show used found footage to reinforce this feeling when we even got to see Merkel and Obama.

After that incredibly hype-filled promo, the show knew what we wanted to see: what actually happened in that time gap, which is exactly what we didn’t get to see. This season finale didn’t have the shock factor from episodes 8 and 9, but instead was filled with mystery and confusing moments, leaving many doors open to speculation. I have deeply enjoyed this show since the Pilot and I couldn’t be happier to see how the show has gone from having a small fandom to being one of the most talked-about shows of the summer. Congratulations, Sam Esmail! Well deserved.


About Author

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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