Decrypted, Ars Technica's TV podcast

Welcome to Decrypted, Ars Technica's weekly podcast that follows TV shows like Mr. Robot and Westworld. We'll be diving into the shows in a way only Ars can—which is to say it'll be thorough, we'll talk with experts, and no detail is too minute or nerdy. // Mr. Robot S2 starts 7/13/16. Show is produced and hosted by Nathan Mattise. // Westworld S1 starts 10/2/16. Show is produced and hosted by Annalee Newitz, co-produced by Jennifer Hahn.
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Decrypted, Ars Technica's TV podcast


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Now displaying: September, 2016
Sep 28, 2016

"As I was preparing to utter the first part of the sentence I just stopped," says Stephanie Corneliussen, aka Joanna Wellick. "I looked across the table at Sam Esmail and gave him that kind of 'What did you do? I can’t say this' look. And he just gives me one of those famous Sam scowls that’s like 'Go ahead, do it.' I said it, and everyone is reading along but hearing it out loud... we just burst out laughing because it’s so over the limit, so over the top.”

Mr. Robot S2 ended with its share of fireworks, Joanna Wellick's nasty streak chief among them. On the final episode (pyth0n_pt2) for this season of Decrypted, we unpack the many highs (and few lows) of the season at large: Elliot is like Batman, we all love Leon, and everyone seems to have a different favorite character or S3 theory.

And after that debrief (roughly the 26m mark), Stephanie Corneliussen joins the podcast to discuss Joanna Wellick's wild ride and her dreams for S3 (including Bloody Marys with Whiterose). 

Sep 17, 2016

Only one hour of Mr. Robot S2 remains, but many questions do. Before the second half of season two's finale, GQ's entertainment and culture critic Scott Meslow helps us take stock of what answers we can expect and what's likely to linger into S3. 

"I have such a hard time getting mad at a show for being ambitious," Meslow says. "And they are really swinging for the fences. It's been a lot of fun, but ultimately it's a season that doesn't know which cards it should be playing at which times. Even right now, they're still dangling cliffhangers that I go, 'There's no reason we shouldn't have this information yet, except it's being withheld.'"  

Sep 11, 2016

It's penultimate episode time for S2, and in the classic style of The Wire we may have a death or two on this week's Mr. Robot. "h1dden-pr0cess.axx" ends on a cliffhanger with possibly tremendous repercussions, so this week we start by examining the possibilities and evidence surrounding Darlene's drama.

Then, professional psychologist and TV writer Cameron Brown (@couchpotpsych) joins the podcast to dive deep into the mind of Elliot... because even within an episode that ends on such an action sequence, everything ignited when Elliot's struggles with mental illness and alternate personas came to the forefront.

"Elliot as a human has all the information," Brown reminds. "But as an identity, Elliot doesn't have all the information at all."

Sep 3, 2016

"Who was behind the door? We already knew that," Mr. Robot staff writer Lucy Teitler told us this week. "I think it happens a lot with the show, the big questions the fans are obsessed with are things we all decide. They’re foundational. So the individual pressure is on with the way scenes are written.”

Teitler is a new staffer for Mr. Robot S2 and, no pressure, her first episode assignment happened to include the fallout from that big Elliot reveal. She co-wrote "init_5.fve" with colleague Kyle Bradstreet and joined the podcast to discuss what that process looks like (plus how it's similar to her other gigs—writing stage plays and reporting on infosec at Motherboard). 

Before that, we *had* to dive into that big PwnPhone cameo. The team from PwnieExpress got in touch to explain how their signature device showed up this week and just how feasible Elliot's SIM card hacking really is.