“The most invigorating season of the grim hacker show yet”, “a thrilling return to form” and “Back to its noir-inspired roots” are just three of the quotes I’ve just read about season three but I think it’s been a terrible season and I’ve not much hope for Mr Robot season four.
Aside from a few standout moments and one high-octane episode, this third season has floundered and, like the Star Wars prequels or The Hobbit trilogy, somewhat undone all the good work that came before.
The first four episodes were all filler – Elliot and Robot arguing back and forth over Stage 2 of the hack. Episode five, the Kor Ardana-written one-shot episode was joyous to watch and then… a return to tedium.
There have been so many problems it’s hard to place exactly where season three went wrong; Bobby Cannavale’s character, Irving is so out of place that he seems to have stumbled on set from The Sopranos.
Trenton, Mobley and Joanne Wellick’s underwhelming deaths did not befit how integral they were to the story. Tyrell’s incarceration was again just padding and one of the show’s most interesting characters, FBI Agent Dom DiPierro has had nothing to do.
But one of the biggest problems has been Esmail’s representation of time. After the terrorist attack on the 71 E Corp buildings, Angela has transformed from power-dressing E Corp employee to bag lady (complete with shopping cart) in the space of 36 hours.
Personally, I think the reason is that Sam Esmail (who I persistently labelled a genius auteur throughout the first two seasons) planned the show as a movie. He succesfully transplanted his concept to two seasons, then ran out of ideas; hence all the back and forth and treading water.
I’ll still going to tune into tonight’s final episode, but Mr Robot is going to have to pull something special out of the bag for season four.
Mr. Robot season three finalé airs tonight, December 13th on USA Network.