Amazon's Mr. Robot Season 4 Review

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by Casimir Harlow
Movies & TV Review

50

Unmissable
Amazon's Mr. Robot Season 4 Review

Amazon's Mr. Robot Season 4 Review

Inventive, intoxicating, exquisitely shot and scored, and superbly cerebral, Mr. Robot has demanded your attention for four years, but is it any good at goodbyes?

The twist in the first Season of Mr. Robot has surely got to go down as one of the greatest Sixth Sense-esque reveals on the Big or Small screen. Coupling a fabulously rich portrayal of mental illness with a wonderfully authentic depiction of world-changing computer hacking (this isn't the hilarious glam-hacking that we normally get, even since Swordfish), whilst telling a socio-politically charged story which actually presaged (and probably presages) many current events, it was a genius project from creator, writer, director and executive producer Sam Esmail, who has since worked an interesting spiritual spin-off into his Julia Roberts vehicle Homecoming, but who is still going to be forever synonymous with Mr. Robot.

Esmail would personally ensure the authenticity of both psychology and technology in the show, and gift it a wonderfully paranoid flavour at once paying tribute to the 70s conspiracy thrillers it takes inspiration from with its style and score, whilst also updating for a modern age, further getting career high performances out of Christian Slater and Rami Malek. It is easily one of the best TV shows of all time.

 It's one hell of a bang to kick-start a season with - flawless - reminding you of how tough it's going to be when the show is finally over, but also how amazing it is going to be to watch it go out on a high 

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Robot's first three seasons, read no further as there will be inherent spoilers on the run up to the final year, so load up Amazon Prime Video now. It's unmissable TV. The first season detailed a young hacker named Elliot (Malek), who gets recruited by an anarchist named Mr. Robot (Slater) to join a movement called fsociety, who are intending to reset the balance in society by destroying all of the electronic debt records held by one of the world's biggest corporations, E-Corp. With an enemy-of-my-enemy relationship with dangerous Chinese-backed hacking group The Dark Army, fsociety pull off their hack, and start the revolution, even though Elliot himself is in pieces after realising that he is Mr. Robot, a split-personality he created based on his dead father's persona.

Season 2
proved that the misdirection of the first season wasn't unique, pulling off a wonderful twist as Elliot is saved from the physical torture of prison by the mental barriers of Mr. Robot, realising upon release that he's now heavily in bed with the Dark Army - who are protecting him - and that there are more stages to his plan, with E-Corp (and society) flailing, but the potential for backups to be restored, which need to be destroyed to push through on the movement. Come Season 3 and Elliot is battling himself - named Mr. Robot - as well as the omnipresent Dark Army as he has seen that the damage done as a result of the hack hasn't necessarily changed the world for the better, settling about trying to undo the hack. 




As M83's gorgeously cinematic track "Intro" plays out and Elliot watches Christopher Reeve's Superman spin the world backwards to fix the unfixable, and as Malek's Elliot and his alter-ego, Slater's Mr. Robot finally make peace and work together to undo the hack, it felt as though the end of Season 3 was the perfect finish to this seminal TV show.

Yet there is unfinished business, and Mr. Robot now has a longer - but still scarily finite - 13 episode fourth season to close off the loose ends and tie it all together with what will likely be a far from pretty package, as the Dark Army close in, the body count rise, characters are ruined, and Elliot - and Mr. Robot - have to figure out how they can still fix society even without the hack.

The first episode of Season 4 is a stunningly tense piece of TV. The Dark Army is putting pressure on its "newly acquired" FBI Agent, Dom, and have put an expiration date on Elliot's life; his sister Darlene is circling the drain though an increasingly dangerous drug habit; Tyrell is empty despite his supposed 'win'; and Price's revelations to Angela might not save her from her fate. It's less than an hour of tense, lean, compelling TV - kicking off with a tense surveillance/extort sequence which will have you on edge, and culminating in another fabulously inventive bit of acting and camerawork (not wholly unlike the beautifully choreographed Elliot vs. Mr. Robot time-jump sequence in the last season) which will have you absolutely glued to the screen. And this is just Episode ONE.

  It is easily one of the best TV shows of all time

Malek and Slater are still on top form - whilst it's clear that the former will have a burgeoning career ahead of him (Bohemian Rhapsody), it's almost tragic that Slater could potentially slip back into obscurity when you forget just how good he is as the flip-side to Elliot's mental coin. And Esmail, who wrote and directed the first episode, and will likely continue to have almost complete control over every part of this final season, still trades in that wonderful blend of expertly chosen songs, score pieces, and atypical camerawork, all blended together perfectly into a well-oiled machine of a TV show. It's one hell of a bang to kick-start a season with - flawless - reminding you of how tough it's going to be when the show is finally over, but also how amazing it is going to be to watch it go out on a high.

Scores

Verdict

10
10
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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