Original Airdate: November 30, 2013
Director: James Head
Writer(s): Melody Fox
So from what I understand, I'm halfway through the home stretch of season three, as I only have three more episodes of this season to review. And heeeeere's another one!
Phillip is a science nerd with a secret: he has a robot that he ordered online and programmed himself, and it originally did anything Phillip asked, but the robot gradually overpowers Phillip's programming and is now doing what is "best" for Phillip, forcing him to do things like exercise and eat tasteless nutrient food. Phillip couldn't return the robot to the factory and the robot has actually scared his parents away, so he begs for his friend Tim's help in destroying it. They trick the two school bullies into helping, and while they do shut down the robot.
One of the things I liked about this episode was Phillip, specifically the direction they take with his character. At first, he seems like the most stereotypical nerd possible (minus a Steve Urkel esque voice). However, as the episode progresses, there are implications that Phillip might've forcibly become this way due to the robot's overbearing nature. This add an interesting layer to Phillip's character as it not only shows how abusive the robot can be but it also makes the robot itself seem more intimidating.
Another thing I liked was the robot. While its design and voice are a bit campy, it doesn't do much to take away from how horrifying it actually is. Most of what makes it horrifying is that it's so overbearing, that it seems like it's abusing Phillip. To make matters worse, Phillip had virtually no way to get rid of this thing and for a long time, he was basically left alone with it. The factory it came from wouldn't take it back and his actual parents had been scared away by it. To me, this robot is a symbol of overbearing parenting and the episode really does its best to show the consequences that this style of parenting can have on a child.
Much like Coat Rack Cowboy, the one thing I'm split on is the ending. Without giving too much away, Phillip betrays Tim when the robot gets reset. On the one hand, the ending goes in a direction that I was not at all anticipating, which I really appreciate. On the other hand, it puts a dent in Phillip's likability and seems unfair to Tim as he stood up for Phillip against some stock bullies (who get their comeuppance via the robot) and helped him with his robot problem.
Overall, My Robot was a very enjoyable episode that took a couple of unexpected and interesting turns. Although it can be a bit campy at times, it still does a great job of dishing out the horror.
Overall Grade: A