By Caitlin Brenner

Spoilers for “Mr. Robot” follow.

Mr. Robot logo

Source: Wikimedia

The third season premiere of “Mr. Robot” left fans excited but also very confused. As an avid fan of the show, there is always a common feeling of confusion that comes along with every episode, but “Power Saver Mode” was next level. However, in no way does this mean I wasn’t intrigued. With new information revealed to us and a new character involved, this episode lived up to the hype and left me desperate for more.

The major takeaway from the season premiere is the answer to what we’ve been asking since the beginning: is Elliot Mr. Robot, or is Mr. Robot Elliot? The answer: both. Or maybe, neither. Confusing, right?

The revelation that Elliot is the embodiment of both himself and Mr. Robot was hard to grasp at first. As a viewer, it took me a few minutes to understand what was truly happening.

Angela (Portia Doubleday) was interacting with Mr. Robot (Christian Slater), speaking with him and even mentioning Elliot in the third person. It was Doubleday’s outstanding acting that assisted the viewers in understanding just what was going on.

Angela adapted to Elliot’s change to and from Mr. Robot with ease, even without the audience noticing it. Some viewers are quick to judge, claiming that Angela is a traitor and cannot be trusted. Personally, I have hope for her, and I still believe that her intentions are good. Angela is dealing with an internal struggle that has yet to be fully revealed, and I’m excited to find out more about what she is truly hiding.

Another actress that stole the show in every one of her scenes was Carly Chaikin. In the previous seasons, Darlene has put on a confident exterior. She’s constantly wanting to ensure others that she can handle whatever is thrown at her. It seems that season three will be a different story for the show’s hacker-heroine.

Carly Chaikin’s acting during Darlene’s panic attack scene was remarkable; I could feel her stress and fear through the screen, making me feel as if the Dark Army was closing in on myself as well.

After losing Cisca in the conclusion of season two, Darlene is vulnerable. I’m eager to see if Darlene will gain her confidence back, or if she is more likely to crumble under the stress.

The season premiere also brought about Irving, a new character played by actor Bobby Cannavale. Irving brought the charm and snarky commentary that the episode was craving. After scenes that were particularly heavy, he gave viewers a break from tension and offered some comedic moments.

Irving plays the role of a “worker bee” for the Dark Army. He assists with cleanup after Tyrell shot Elliot in season two, he ensures that Elliot is alive and he gets the FBI off of Elliot and Darlene’s tail in the exciting car chase scene. I’m hoping Irving has several appearances this season; he seems like a fun character.

My favorite part of the episode was Elliot’s internal monologue. If you’re a usual fan of the show, you know that Elliot takes time out of the episode to speak to his “friend,” which is actually you, the viewer at home. Except this time, the show took a different approach.

Rami Malek's character is shown in the show.

Elliot Alderson, the show’s protagonist, is played by Rami Malek. (Source: Vimeo)

Rather than speaking inside his head, Elliot begins to speak aloud. Multiple times, he even glances at the camera in his speech about the worst-case scenario for the future of America. Elliot’s remark about his fear that people might “choose weakness over strength”, as a clip of Trump’s inauguration is shown, was my favorite moment overall.

This scene was remarkably done, as it broke the fourth wall and took a moment to speak to a country that isn’t too far off from the chaotic society depicted in “Mr. Robot”. The society we live in currently is the society Elliot wishes to avoid. As Evil Corp remains influential, Elliot cannot help but blame himself for any wrongdoing that has or will happen.

The final takeaway from the season premiere was the reveal of stage two: blowing up Evil Corp. Elliot swears it was entirely Mr. Robot’s idea, but technically, that means it was his. However, Elliot has proven many times that he is unaware of who is truly in control.

Is stage two taking it too far? Or does Elliot need to stick to Mr. Robot’s plan? Most importantly, who is really in control? “Power Saver Mode” was only the first episode of the season, but it left fans with several questions and a need for more information.

After this premiere, one thing is certain: “Mr. Robot” continues to be a cinematic masterpiece on TV. If this episode is an example of what is to come, this season will be the best yet.  

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