(We’re going to kickstart our weekly discussion of USA’s Mr. Robot season 3 by answering one simple question: who had the biggest mental breakdown in this week’s episode?)
Following up last week’s dour episode, Mr. Robot takes a trip down the cinematic rabbit hole. “Don’t Delete Me” has Elliot (Rami Malek) once again grappling with his guilt, but this time it’s not limited to the thousands of people who died in the E Corp explosions, but over Trenton and Mobley being framed for them. His ensuing depression results in him taking a subtle step back from reality — the entire episode is once again deeply embedded in his POV, shot in the widescreen 1.85:1 format.
It lends to the surreal quality of the episode, as Elliot wanders through New York cleaning up loose ends and trying to atone to Trenton and Mobley’s families. But their rejection of his efforts only sends him down a deeper spiral that finds him sitting alone at a deserted beach on Coney Island, with a bag of meth pills in hand. It’s a dark image for an episode that turns out to be one of the season’s most hopeful yet.
This Week’s Breakdown: Angela
I guess this one depends on whether you think Mobley’s brother Mohammed was real or not. I’m going believe that he did exist, though his filling in of the “pure soul guides our wayward hero back to the light” trope did come at stunningly convenient time for Elliot, who spends much of the episode contemplating suicide.
In that case — though we saw a flashback of the birth of Mr. Robot in an unsettling scene of young Elliot watching his father collapse at the movie theater — Angela (Portia Doubleday) takes the cake this week. But there’s a ray of hope for Angela, who has been in a delusional funk for weeks since the attacks happened. This breakdown is actually a positive one, with Elliot, who had been avoiding his best friend since she helped enact Stage 2, finally breaking through her mental barrier. They never see each other as Elliot calmly recounts their favorite childhood game on the other side of her door while Angela slides down in despair, but it’s enough. She cries as he reminisces about their “wishing game,” finally answering him when he asks what she would always say to him at the end of their game: “No matter what happens, everything will be okay.” The pop music swells at this emotional climax — the stellar needle drop of this episode is the funky Robbi Rob song “In Time” from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures — and Angela is broken out of her numb shell.
This emotional zenith is the final cherry on top of the episode’s many allusions to time travel and alternate dimensions, which showrunner Sam Esmail has been cryptically teasing as well. With one episode left before the season finale, could Mr. Robot break the world go full sci-fi? Who knows.
‘Something I Gotta Do’
“Deletion. When you make that decision, there’s always that moment of hesitation. Yes or no. Yes means ridding the world of Mr. Robot and myself forever. That includes you.”
“Don’t Delete Me” offers a lethargic, introspective break from some of this season’s more action-packed episodes, playing out Elliot’s suicidal contemplations in an out-of-body cinematic display. The credits rolling to a movie logo of Mr. Robot‘s title was proof enough that though we spend the episode embedded in Elliot’s mind, he’s not quite there himself. He robotically goes about the city “wiping down” his presence. Visiting Mobley and Trenton’s families to pay their respects, dropping off his dog at his neighbor’s house. Finally, after a particularly fragile encounter with Trenton’s parents and brother, he makes his way to Coney Island, sitting at the barren beach with a bag of pills. But he never get to do that horrible, unspoken deed — he’s interrupted by Trenton’s little brother, the precocious and stubborn Mohammed.
Rami Malek may have showcased some of his latent comedic potential here: He spends the next few minutes baffled and stuttering at Mohammed’s refusal to leave his side, in an endearing performance that almost gets a chuckle out of me. But Elliot is eager to get rid of the boy, who keeps badgering him in a way that preteen boys can only do. “There’s something I gotta do,” Elliot monotonously repeats, only to be ignored by Mohammed, who insists he take him to the movies. And here’s where the episode takes on that surreal atmosphere that its cinematic presentation keeps promising.
Back to the Movies
The day that Elliot takes Mohammed to the movies happens to be October 21, 2015, the illustrious Back to the Future day. It’s jarring to see the two of them stroll up to a small theater surrounded by Doc and Marty cosplayers — the theater itself is reminiscent of something you’d find on the set of Back to the Future. Elliot is suddenly excited to see the movie despite Mohammed’s protestations that he wants to see The Martian, and the two of them sit down at the theater in a scene that plays out in a eerily similar fashion to the opening scene of young Elliot creating Mr. Robot. Here is where you can question whether Mohammed exists or not — his empty seat is an exact parallel to Mr. Robot’s empty seat next to little Elliot in the flashback — but either way, it’s a bright prognosis of Elliot’s mental state. Either he dreamed up a young boy who blocked his suicidal attempts, or the universe intervened and Mohammed approached him of his own volition. He’s a heartening little plot device who acts as a nice litmus test of whether you believe in fate or an innate sense of self-preservation.
The episode never lets up on that surreal atmosphere. The passerby milling about in ’50s costumes and wild white wigs, the empty lounge except for two men kissing and a disgruntled Lorraine cosplayer, the friendly Jewish ice cream truck driver playing “War of the Worlds” on his radio — they all lend to that dreamlike quality that feels like watching a particularly trippy French New Wave movie. Even when he takes Mohammed home and the boy gives him a lollipop (“because you said you were sick”) and Elliot cries, it all feels so distant from the dark and broody Mr. Robot that we’ve come to know.
“That’s the thing about deletion, it’s never permanent,” Elliot says, ending the episode on one of the show’s most hopeful notes we’ve seen. Though the “Don’t Delete Me” goes in some dark places, its undercurrent of hope and redemption makes it one of my favorite episodes of the season. Maybe, like the Lorraine cosplayer says at the movie theater, the show is “about how one mistake can change the world.” But this episode seems to respond, it’s also about how those mistakes can be fixed.
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Channel Zero, one of the best horror TV shows you’re probably not watching, is about to wrap up its second season, No-End House, and it’s wasting no time getting to work on season 3. A new teaser for the next season just arrived, and with it comes a new plot synopsis and a new cast. Get the Channel Zero season 3 details below.
Like American Horror Story, Syfy’s Channel Zero is a horror anthology that tells a different story with a different set of characters each season. Unlike American Horror Story, however, it’s really good! Created by Nick Antosca, Channel Zero is inspired by internet tales of terror known as “Creepypasta“, which are the same types of scary stories that gave us the character of Slender Man. The latest season, Channel Zero: No-End House, wraps up this week, and if you’re already itching for more Channel Zero, you’re in a luck. A new teaser for season 3 just arrived, complete with a title, cast, and synopsis.
Channel Zero Season 3 teaser
Season 3, titled Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block, is based on the Creepypasta tale Search and Rescue Woods, by Kerry Hammond. Per Deadline, season 3 follows “a young woman named Alice (Olivia Luccardi, It Follows) who moves to a new city and learns about a series of disappearances that may be connected to a baffling rumor about mysterious staircases in the city’s worst neighborhoods. With help from her sister, she discovers that something is preying on the city’s residents.”
Deadline also has the following breakdown of the new cast, which includes both the incredible Rutger Hauer and Krisha Fairchild, star of the intense indie drama Krisha.
- Holland Roden (Teen Wolf) as Zoe Woods, Alice’s sharp, tough older sister whose struggles with mental illness have worn her down over the years;
- Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) as Joseph Peach, a 1950s meatpacking magnate who grew increasingly reclusive and then disappeared after his beloved daughters were murdered;
- Brandon Scott (Wreck-It Ralph) as Officer Luke Vanczyk, a young but already jaded cop, living in the shadow of his father, the Chief of Police.
- Krisha Fairchild (Krisha) as Louise Lispector, a retired journalist who has lived in Garrett, Michigan her whole life. Now she spends her days doing taxidermy and working on her personal project: A book about a pattern of disappearances in the city’s worst neighborhood.
It’s exciting to think that Antosca and company aren’t wasting any time jumping right into season 3, and adding Rutger Hauer to the cast is an excellent move. Channel Zero obviously has somewhat of a following, but not nearly as big of a following as it deserves. It may not be as splashy as some other shows, but it excels at creating dread and tension. If you’ve never seen the show, I highly recommend catching up with it.
Channel Zero season 3 will air in early 2018.
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When you take over a famous franchise, like, oh, say, a line of superhero movies, the first thing you likely want to do is put your own stamp on things. It can be tempting to wipe away all the ideas, motifs, and images used by the old creators, in favor of seeking out the new, the fresh, the exciting.
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Marvel Studios has been hosting marathons of their superhero movies for years. Back in 2015, watching every film released up until that point (including Avengers: Age of Ultron) took 29 hours. Adding up the runtime of the movies released since then, including Thor: Ragnarok extends the length to over 41 hours. But even that staggering commitment would pale in comparison to watching every single episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones, and one movie theater has decided to give fans the opportunity to see their favorite show play on the big screen all in one massive chunk. Get the details about this upcoming Game of Thrones marathon below.
Game of Thrones fan site WinterIsComing noticed that the Facebook page of the Prince Charles Theater in London is celebrating the home video release of the seventh season with this mind-boggling event in which all 67 episodes of the world’s biggest fantasy series will air over the course of four days:
To mark the release of Game of Thrones: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON and THE COMPLETE SEASONS 1 – 7 BOXSET on Blu-ray™ and DVD, die-hard fans of the record-breaking show can view it all in its entirety on the big screen for the very first time for four days and nights. The non-stop, cinematic takeover will begin at 7pm on Monday 27th until 6pm on Thursday 30th of November 2017, when lucky Game of Thrones fans will be able to experience this unique one off event.
Game of Thrones has played on the big screen before. The series made headlines a couple of years ago by being the first show to play in IMAX theaters, but that was just for two episodes of season 4. This is the first time I’ve heard of a series of this length playing in its entirety (well, minus the eighth season, which hasn’t aired yet) in a theater.
It’s worth pointing out that all of the episodes won’t be played uninterrupted with no breaks. A site called BingeClock says that if you were to watch the entirety of the series as it stands right now, it would only take 63 hours, which is a little over two and a half days. But HBO partnered with a company called MOD Pizza, and they’ll be providing pizza to the audience during dinner breaks throughout the event and offering the chance to win a year of free pizza for anyone who stays for the entire marathon. So those dinner breaks sound like the source of the extra time gaps in there.
The event is free, but as you might have expected, it’s already booked solid. Still, the venue will be offering some free tickets at the door, so stay tuned to their Twitter page for more info if you’re interested in making the trek and braving what’s sure to be an overpowering stench in the theater. I’m not sure if even Tormund Giantsbane could put up with circumstances that intense.
Still, there’s something intriguing about the idea of starting at the beginning and watching the whole show in one colossal burst, seeing how the characters grow and change (both physically and emotionally – those Stark kids used to be tiny!) and watching fan favorites pop up only to be killed off later. Would you be willing to drop everything and watch the whole show in a marathon form like this?
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Say it with me: dance, magic, dance, the Goblin King is returning to our lives! This time, Jareth — the original Babe with the power of voodoo (over my heart) — will be casting his spell over readers of a new Labyrinth comic book from writer Simon Spurrier and artist Daniel Bayliss. The comic book series, titled Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, will explore the origin story of Jareth the Goblin King and how he came to reside over the titular mystical labyrinth.
Lisa Henson, Henson’s daughter and the CEO and president of the Jim Henson Company, described to Entertainment Weekly the story of the ongoing comic book series, which would trace the Goblin King’s origins all the way back to 18th century Venice:
“It’s the backstory of how Jareth came to be in the Labyrinth himself. The Goblin King, he’s not a goblin, he’s human. Many people have asked, ‘Well, how did he get there?’ So, that’s something that we thought we would explore.”
EW also provided a sneak peek at cover and variant covers of the comic book series under Boom! Studios imprint Archaia. The cover is by Fiona Staples, with a subscription cover by Rebekah Isaacs, and variant covers by Laurent Durieux, Jill Thompson, and Bill Sienkiewicz.
Spurrier described the influences that David Bowie, the late musician and actor who originally brought Jareth to life in the 1986 fantasy film, had on the comic book. But that didn’t stop Spurrier from taking creative license with the story, adding his own spin on a character who helped bring leather pants back into fashion (this can’t be confirmed, the movie just personally made me love leather pants):
“We’re sort of having our cake and eating it. The ‘Bowie form’ version of the character is very much present in our story. But there’s a huge amount of stuff about the people who loved him and he loved. What happened to them? How did this all shake out? How did he come to be who he is? I hope that by exercising both sides of that picture, as well as leaning into all the other amazing things that are fantastic about the Labyrinth as a concept, we should hopefully get our Bowie itch scratched while also enjoying the fantastical, surreal wonder of this world.”
I received a battered copy of Jim Henson’s cult 1986 fantasy film on VHS for Christmas as a kid, and it forever imprinted upon me the image of David Bowie in glorious feathered hair and too-tight pants. The story of a Goblin King kidnapping a baby Toby at the behest of the impudent teen Sarah, leading her on a quest to retrieve her baby brother, at first traumatized me but soon became one of my favorite forgotten fantasy films — with a song that acts as a great litmus test for finding likeminded fans. The Goblin King was a source of many a young girl’s childhood crush, so there will definitely be a built-in fanbase when this comic book origin series hits bookshelves.
Issue #1 of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth in February 2018.
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