USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 3, Episode 8: “eps3.7_dont-delete-me.ko”
Directed & Written
by Sam Esmail
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps3.6_fredrick+tanya.chk” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps3.8_stage3.torrent” – click here
Flashback to 1994, young Elliot and dad (Christian Slater) are at the movies. It’s clear dad is not well, coughing a lot. The kid isn’t really enthused with being at the theatre. They’re going to see Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave, definitely not a film he should be seeing at that age. This is after dad put his son through that window, after he hid his illness from his family. What follows is dad coughing until he passes out right on the floor in front of everybody. Little Elliot only takes the Mr. Robot jacket and goes in to see the movie after all.
Now we see the aftermath of Trenton and Mobley’s death, the linking of fsociety to Iran, and so much more that Elliot understands is absolute bullshit. Nevertheless, he must move on. Their identities are just “too much space” on the computer, they become burned CDs in a folder, all marked as music. After that Elliot goes to work on permanently destroying his electronics, from drilling holes in the motherboard to microwaving computer chips. Then Darlene (Carly Chaikin) shows up, in the middle of his “wipe down.” Sister’s there to let her brother know about Angela (Portia Doubleday) and her breakdown. She doesn’t realise the extent to which Angela went in manipulating her brother. Above all else, Elliot is still upset with himself, he won’t allow the blame to fall on Mr. Robot; because they are the same person in one body. He takes full responsibility: “I liked it.”
Something is strange about our hacker. He’s hellbent on “deletion.” He sees the only way out as taking Mr. Robot out of the world; forever. But, what does that mean for him? If they’re the same person. Well, next stop after getting rid of a bunch of his things, is a drug dealer in a shady motel room. Needs a bit of morphine, his drug of choice. First, he’s gotta strip down, prove he isn’t a narc. He wants a whole bag of pills, so it makes the dealer curious. He realises the hacker’s not selling, neither is he a narc. That leaves suicide as a reason.
Elliot sees the wreckage of the Dark Army everywhere. He goes to see Mobley’s brother, who believes his own flesh and blood was a terrorist. This revolution the fsociety once dreamed of, it’s become a dirty war, and no one is innocent. We see the price people pay when looking for revolution, finding the greater, darker system at work behind society. Elliot finds much of the same personal horror when he visits Trenton’s parents.
On the beach, Elliot’s on the verge of taking all those pills. Except Mohammed (Elisha Henig) has followed him. The kid sits with him, despite the hacker’s worries. Mohammed would rather be there, instead of home, packing, having to flee because of Islamophobia. So Elliot tries to take the kid back home, as they chat about all sorts of things. They pass a National Guard detention centre right on the street, checkpoints. This is the future of America.
But he can’t get Mohammed home, his parents aren’t there. Apparently they won’t be back for a couple hours. The little man suggests going to a movie. They’re in luck, it’s Back to the Future day. Elliot is hammered when the boy hasn’t seen either of the films. He’s also wanted to see the movie on this particular day since he was a boy himself. Deja vu, as he pours M&Ms in the popcorn like he did all those years ago with his dad.
“The Martian has 92% on Rotten Tomatoes”
“That‘s because most critics have shitty taste”
In the middle of the flick, Mohammed leaves, and Elliot can’t find him. Our hacker then goes looking for a mosque, running into a Hasidic ice cream man who knows just the place. There, he locates the boy. Mohammed wants to know more, about him, why he showed up at their home. Elliot accidentally reveals his suicidal thoughts when the two argue. But mostly we find he’s trying to fix some of the wreckage of their revolution, he’s trying to take blame upon himself for all that’s happened. Soon enough the two are sitting on the mosque floor, chatting together, about being President, about the country of America.
“What‘s a dictator?”
“It‘s like a really bad president”
Seems that Mohammed had the keys to his house the whole time. He just wanted to go to the movies. Or perhaps the boy sensed right from the start Elliot was depressed, that he was on the edge. Now, our hacker agrees to see The Martian with the kid before the family moves.
SAM ESMAIL – WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME WEEP?
Later, Elliot goes to Mobley’s brother, telling him he’ll be having a funeral for Mobley. He likewise threatens blackmail if there isn’t a funeral. That drug dealer he met is one of the brother’s shady buddies. Instead of suicide, Elliot uses them as leverage. A beautifully devious way of coming full circle in this episode for him.
And then he goes to see Angela. He refuses to leave, he wants to be there for her. Outside her door he reminisces about their childhood together. Their bond is unshakeable, no matter what’s gone on between them. As it turns out, in general, Elliot does not want to delete anything.
Oh, and when he goes about undoing the deletion, he receives the e-mail triggered by Trenton’s death. Explaining that there may be a way to reverse the hack after all. Maybe Elliot still has purpose.
“No matter what happens, we‘ll be okay.”
This episode tore me apart. So gorgeous and tender and real. There’s always surprises with Mr. Robot, and particularly so when Esmail is both writing and directing. He’s a genius, to me. I can’t get enough of Season 3; almost over, too. Lord, I can’t wait for the next one already.
“eps3.8_stage3.torrent” is next week, the penultimate Season 3 episode.