Musings

Mr Robot – The Art of Silence

WARNING: This article may contain Mr Robot spoilers if you’ve not yet watched “S04E05 Method Not Allowed”.

I’ve been a fan of the television series Mr Robot since it first began in 2015. The show is an intense thriller based around a hacker group known as ‘fsociety’, which “aims to destroy all debt records by encrypting the financial data of E Corp, the fictitious largest conglomerate in the world.”

Not only is the story and scripting of this series fantastic and engaging, Mr Robot has become famous for testing the bounds of traditional cinematography.

https://tvline.com/2019/11/03/mr-robot-recap-season-4-episode-5-method-not-allowed-no-dialogue-silent/

For example, rather than use traditional cinematographic techniques, creator Sam Esmail has pushed the boundaries to create a stunning visual look and feel. The following video provides an excellent explanation of what this means within the show.


In the current and final season, Esmail is taking us towards to conclusion of the story in even more interesting and stunning ways.

This is where S04E05 is remarkable. After watching it and being – (yet again) – amazed by the experience, I carried on with my evening.

The next day, I read a review of the episode and found myself shocked. The review described the episode as a “silent episode” – and I’m like, what?

Within the first couple of minutes, Darlene tells Elliot that “we don’t have to speak”. And they don’t – there isn’t a single other line of dialogue until the last few seconds of the episode.

This is where the writing of Esmail shines. I thought to myself that “no, it wasn’t silent, I was listening the whole time”.

And I was.

But the story is so well written that I believed I heard the story being spoken. The only “talking” in the episode is done with characters sending or receiving text messages.

I was blown away – I literally remembered hearing the story being told – but I went back and watched again.

No dialogue. And I didn’t even notice.

Stunning television that is truly art.