Mr. Robot – Season 3, Episode 5: “eps3.4_runtime-error.r00”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 3, Episode 5: “eps3.4_runtime-error.r00”
Directed by Sam Esmail
Written by Kor Adana & Randolph Leon

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps3.3_metadata.par2”  – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps3.5_kill-process.inc”  – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 11.30.27 AMThe UN is gathering to vote on the Congo. At the same time, Elliot (Rami Malek) is headed back to work at Evil Corp with Angela (Portia Doubleday) watching over him. He gets a call from Darlene (Carly Chaikin), asking to talk to him. We continually hear the crackling of a potential system failure, Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) on the verge of breaking through, or maybe he’s the one in charge. Elliott wonders if his “daily program” crashed, if he’s merely going along the routine. Perhaps a “runtime error.” Either way he knows something’s wrong. He’s starting to not be able to distinguish between inner monologue and outer speech.
Meanwhile, the one-shot episode continues; I doubt it’s actual a real single take, rather a bunch of cleverly disguised cuts, which is just as perfect, and requires lots of artistry. So we watch Elliot try going about his day, however, he’s starting to realise his access is locked out. His paranoia starts working on him. Rightfully so, as the Dark Army is doing his thing while his account and employment at E.Corp is being shut down permanently.
Thus begins the intensity. Security comes looking for Elliot while motormouth Samar (Ramy Youssef) distracts them, and our hacker goes about his perpetual search for truth. He has to evade security, act natural. He winds up getting access to a computer again via some Bernie Bro douche, checking on the Dark Army Stage 2 execution. Takes a bit of finesse, though he manages to get himself out of there just barely and into an elevator. Except that’s when dad shows up, ranting and raving. And he still hasn’t finished what he needed to do before getting ejected from the building.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 11.48.48 AMOutside is a massive protest, and Elliot does the only thing he can do: he calls in to tell E.Corp there’s a bomb in their building ready to explode. Darlene’s there, too. She reveals to her brother she’s been working with the FBI. She tells him about everything, that they were onto fsociety, tracking them both for months, all of it. This is fairly shocking to him, obviously. Darlene acts like it was for their safety, that she’s been trying to help. The feeling of betrayal for him is deep, and it’s more unsettling than everything else that’s already going on. His paranoia is turned up past 10 at this point. This is when he finds out Angela’s been manipulating him, using Mr. Robot to her advantage. He remembers his brief waking moment with Angela and Tyrell.
Who can he trust anymore?
Soon from the crowd of protesters a bottle is tossed at the cops, tear gas is released, and a full fledged riot commences. Masked protesters invade Evil Corp, spray painting, destroying anything on which they can lay their hands. Employees are accosted and made to swipe the masked vigilantes upstairs through the elevator, where they’ll unleash further chaos. The whole play is tagged, smashed, turned upside down.
Angela gets a call from Irving (Bobby Cannavale); they’ve started the riot as a “distraction,” apparently. This also involves Elliot putting into place their contingency plan. Ah, how things have changed. Angela gets a package at the desk, which contains all the information the hacker will need to implement the plan necessary for the Dark Army. So while the hallways are utter chaos, she has to go looking for her friend, or her tool, as far as it looks from her perspective. Things get sticky once she runs into security, they see some of the things when she drops her package. She barely gets away after the guy’s beat down brutally by protesters.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 11.51.40 AMAngela makes it into a server room, attempting to hook up a hard drive. She winds up running into another woman, who’s suspicious of why she’s there. She claims to have been doing a physical security audit. They’re interrupted by more violence. Angela gets a bit of second hand mace, though not enough to blind her. She gets back to the hard drive, doing the work herself in lieu of finding Elliot amongst all the madness.
She finishes up, but now she has to get out of there in one piece. She finds one of the fsociety masks, so she uses it to her advantage, disguising herself for when she comes across more of the protesters. She gets to an elevator, a way out. But she lets Irving know a woman saw her, that she did the hacking herself. He’s not entirely thrilled. Although Stage 2 is going ahead as planned, all is right for the Dark Army right now. When Angela gets back to her office, she finds Elliot waiting, wanting answers.
Simultaneously, China’s been given the vote to annex the Congo via the UN.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 12.09.03 PMSam Esmail continually pushes the envelope, in many ways. This series is one of the greatest, it’ll go down with the best in the history of TV. No doubt.
“eps3.5_kill-process.inc” is next week.

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Mr. Robot – Season 3, Episode 3: “eps3.2_legacy.so”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 3, Episode 3: “eps3.2_legacy.so”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps3.1_undo.gz” – click here
* Fora  recap & review of the next episode, “eps3.3_metadata.par2” – click here


On the night of the Five/Nine hack, Elliot (Rami Malek) tried firing the gun at Tyrell Welick (Martin Wallström), Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) coming out to try stopping their big, destructive plans. Except the gun didn’t fire. A jam. Tyrell believed it was “proof” that the two of them were destined for huge things, an “act of God.”
So he asks Elliot to pull the trigger a second time. Although Mr. Robot won’t do it, realising a “second stage” is required beyond the Five/Nine hack, because they know Evil Corp won’t stop there, they’ll recreate the data lost. And Mr. Robot sees something in his crazy friend, something that can save him from himself.
Some things are better left unsaid. Subtext, yknow?”
Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 2.37.49 PMWe see Irving (Bobby Cannavale) took a few Dark Army contacts to meet with Tyrell and Elliot. Of course, Mr. Robot is still kicking around. Irving sends Mr. Robot to drop off Wellick’s car someplace, then to go home. Basically, we’re witness to more of the depths to which Elliot’s mental illness takes him. He’s met the supposed used car salesman before, the night of the big hack, he was there when Tyrell’s disappearance was manipulated into action by the Dark Army. Yet remembered none of it. This further shows Irving’s status as a type of cleaner, or a guy who does whatever, whenever and does all things necessary for the shadowy corporation.
If youre seeinme, that means you boys fucked up.”
All leads back to when Elliot was arrested because of his connection to fucking with the guy his psychiatrist Krista (Gloria Reuben) was seeing, and Tyrell was whisked into hiding. Elsewhere, Zhang aka Whiterose (BD Wong) watched on, controlling everybody like puppets as he so often does. He wants to push Trump for POTUS, as well. “If you pull the right strings a puppet will dance any way you desire,” he tells Frank Cody (Erik Jensen), another of the puppets under his orders.
Tyrell is in a shitty little place, as opposed to what he’s used to, and an old guy (Wallace Shawn) snorting cocaine is chatting with him about Stage 2. Wellick’s pissed off being cooped up for days. The old man is there to make sure he’s loyal to the Dark Army. They want to know if he killed Mrs. Knowles, all about his personal life, all his secrets. He gradually breaks the younger man down until the truth comes out. Tyrell says he will not be loyal to the army, but that he will never betray Elliot. Thus begins Operation Red Wheelbarrow, by request of the hacker himself; or, likelier, Mr. Robot. Here, we’re privy to when Tyrell called Elliot in jail, as well.
Love how Sam Esmail wraps us around to show us everything, yet it doesn’t feel too expository or drawn out or over-explained. It’s always exciting. We watch Irving try keeping Tyrell busy, chopping wood so he doesn’t go crazy, in part reliving the old life of his father he left behind.
Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 2.42.34 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-26 at 2.52.04 PMWe also get a look at Darlene (Carly Chaikin) back then, Cisco (Michael Drayer) meeting with Irving, who considers their relationship a “job.” He advises Cisco to stop caring about her, that she’ll be protected should anything bad happen; certainly, we’ve already seen the results of that. But what’s further obvious is the twisting, turning labyrinthine web of relationships spindling out from the Dark Army. We see just how much control they’ve had, from day one.
Things were tough for Tyrell, watching his wife file for divorce and the tabloids talking about her possible new relationships, et cetera. This prompted him to suit up one day, take off for a trek through the woods. Except a cop sees him, hard as he tries to stay relatively invisible. He winds up running back through the woods to get away, though the officer chases him down, catching him quick. They’re only an hour away from the FBI. The cop even wants a “selfie” before they turn him over. However, we can already see Tyrell working to break his own thumb to sneak out of his cuffs.
Eventually a black SUV arrives. They put a bullet in the cop’s head. Who’s the FBI contact? Agent Santiago (Omar Metwally). God damn. I’d not thought about that one before. He’s not happy when he gets back to Irving, complaining about all the other Dark Army collateral lately. After he leaves, we discover more of Irving, that his wife left when he fucked up their lives, took his kids, so he had to turn himself around to get them back. Just a story, a load of bullshit? I wouldn’t be too quick to believe him.
Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 3.10.37 PMInteresting use in this episode of “I’m Your Puppet” by James and Bobby Purify, right after the previous scene, also considering the quote by Whiterose earlier and all the Dark Army centred plot in this episode. Not to mention we see that, indeed, Irving’s story is a lie. He goes back home, to nobody except a windowsill of coffee cups, writing a novel on his laptop in front of the TV.
Next day he goes to see our old pal Leon (Joey Bada$$), wondering about Elliot and how he’s doing. Then it’s back up to get Tyrell, preparing for the hacker’s release from jail. A happy day for our crazy friend. Tyrell goes to where they’ve setup, their new computer lab in that dingy building. He’s then brought to a fancy hotel, where he’s given a nice room to wait until he gets to see Elliot. He doesn’t care about appearances, either; cops be damned. He wants to look spiffy for his friend. So he shaves, gets his nice suit back. Then he goes to see Elliot himself, back before we knew of any o this side to the story.
Naturally, this was prior to Tyrell shooting his friend, Elliot being worked on by the Dark Army surgeons at their hideout lab. This is where the hacker’s mental illness comes into play, how it affected those around him who didn’t realise what was happening in his head. Angela (Portia Doubleday) lays it out for Wellick, that Elliot can “become a different person.” And gradually, it all becomes clear to him.


Another quality chapter in the saga of Mr. Robot, as only Sam Esmail can deliver.
“eps3.3_metadata.par2” comes next week. As usual, I cannot wait for more.

Mr. Robot – Season 3, Episode 2: “eps3.1_undo.gz”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 3, Episode 2: “eps3.1_undo.gz”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps3.0_power-saver-mode.h” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps3.2_legacy.so” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 1.40.26 PMIt’s a brand new day. Elliot (Rami Malek) wants to undo his part in the “downfall of human civilisation.” Today, he’s headed up to the inner sanctum of Evil Corp. He’s found a “way to hit undo.” Angela (Portia Doubleday) was able to land him a job. He’s working from the inside out. He wonders if he’s able to keep Evil Corp in check, so long as they’re a “necessary evil” he can control. He’s growing up, medicating, partaking in the realm of “2D emotions” everyone else was living in around him.
It’s not selling out. It’s maturation, as well as figuring out a way to undo what he did in the Five/Nine hack. Likewise, he wants to avoid Tyrell’s (Martin Wallström) plan of destruction. He sets out to try convincing the upper-ups to go digital with their records, converting from paper records. When one dude won’t listen, he digs into his shady secrets, gets him arrested, then goes up the corporate food chain.
So for now it’s live that life, the supposedly normal life, while he keeps on going. The next bureaucrat goes down, as he pushes his agenda higher while manipulating the shipping of the records. Luckily everybody around Elliot is pretty much an idiot socially, where his social anxiety comes in handy.
Finally, he gets up the ladder to one of the women. She’s the one to listen, setting the wheels in motion to get Elliot’s plan moving. He’ll soon talk to the VP of Technology at E.Corp. After this, he’ll be further on the way to undoing the hack, and when E.Corp reboots, they’ll also be free of embezzlers, sexual harassers, and so forth. “Making it better,” not destroying it and never looking back.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 1.42.07 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-19 at 1.50.36 PMBut it’s not all roses. His loneliness, his mental illness won’t just go away. He spends the night weeping, alone, stuck in a void. The drugs can’t fix everything, and he’s struggling. He still sees Krista Gordon (Gloria Reuben) for therapy. Yet he forgets his own birthday. He’s fractured, wondering if the disappearance of Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) is what’s done this to him, even if things are relatively better. He tells Krista about a time with Darlene (Carly Chaikin) when they were younger, their love of Home Alone; also the day dad pushed him out a window, breaking his arm. Krista is shocked, she’s never heard of this before.
Frank Cody (Erik Jensen) has Joanna Wellick (Stephanie Corneliussen) on his show, after Scott Knowles has been arrested on charges of his wife’s murder. Joanna talks about her husband, that she knew he was innocent, as well as the fact she’s rescinded her petition for divorce from Tyrell.
In the meantime, a new fsociety has gone online. They’ve got a new plan, it says. Darlene is in custody, the video says they’re “malicious,” so who’s doing it? Dominique (Grace Gummer) and Agent Santiago (Omar Metwally) believe she knows more, they also mention her brother’s connection to Tyrell. Darlene doesn’t believe it. This requires her hearing a call between Wellick and Elliot to know the truth.
Later, Mrs. Wellick and Mr. Sutherland (Jeremy Holm) are followed by her boy toy, mad that he was lied to, that he was conned into helping her get her husband free of the charges. However, Mr. Sutherland tries convincing him not to get too upset. So the boy toy shoots the guy, before putting a bullet in Joanna’s head. Holy fucking shit.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 2.05.33 PMOut on the pier, Darlene meets with Elliot. She wants to stay close, he pushes her farther. He believes she’s his “trigger.” Although he loves her, he knows the brings on his illness worse when they’re together. She claims to be leaving, going upstate. They reminisce about Kevin McCallister the snowman, the one they made that day dad pushed him from the window. And then he realises he needs her around, no matter about any emotional triggers.
Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) gives a speech at the G20 in Turkey, talking of a “currency war” on the Chinese end when they won’t sign an accord to accept eCoin as the global currency rather than Bitcoin. In the audience sits Mr. Zhang aka Whiterose (BD Wong). He’s not happy, nor will he bow down. He wants his UN vote, or else. When Phillip gets angrier, Zhang brings up Angela, which does not sit well.
Whiterose: “Dont mistake my generosity for generosity
We see Elliot trying to get Krista to talk with Mr. Robot. She coaxes him out, then he’s there in the room, her patient changing into his father before her eyes. He’s not entirely forthcoming. He’s angry at her, too. Believing she wants to destroy him. Krista would rather understand, to help Elliot. She does begin seeing the depth of his mental illness.
But there’s worse things happening. Darlene seems to be cooperating with the FBI, after meeting her brother earlier. Things are changing. Elsewhere, Whiterose decides Stage 2 will go ahead, no matter what the UN vote outcome. He has a deep hatred of Price’s hubris.
Oh, and Elliot – he’s sent the FBI an encrypted link via e-mail, and he’s sneaked into his sister’s apartment while they’re watching. Hmm.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 2.21.00 PMThis episode shocked me with Joanna’s death, and even more than that it was a crazy ride the whole way through, so much poised to happen/already happening. Things are ramping up for a very serious, exciting Season 3.
“eps3.2_legacy.so” comes next week.

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 12: “eps2.9_pyth0n-pt2.p7z”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 12: “eps2.9_pyth0n-pt2.p7z”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail

* For a recap & review of the penultimate Season 2 episode, “eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 premiere, “eps3.0_power-saver-mode.h” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 4.50.39 PMElliot (Rami Malek) is wondering about Tyrell (Martin Wallström), how he’s just suddenly showed up again after all this time, sure that the man is dead. We go back to an old moment between the two men: “Youre not seeing whats above you,” our hacker told him. Tyrell repeats a few lines of “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams, something his father repeated often when he was a boy; it’s a reminder of his father and the man he never wanted to become.
Back to present day, as Elliot’s being led somewhere by Tyrell. They go an unsuspecting building, a relatively decrepit-looking place inside. A worker in a white lab suit and goggles (Stephen Lin) takes them in an elevator. Our hacker heads onto a dark floor where he’s shown what the Dark Army’s helped them setup, though he doesn’t remember what Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) has been up to while he’s been… asleep. Tyrell fills him in again, and Elliot is a bit bewildered.
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 4.59.58 PMIn an FBI interrogating room, Darlene (Carly Chaikin) invokes her “Fifth Amendment” rights. Although Dominique (Grace Gummer) offers condolences, for Cisco’s death. Agent Santiago (Omar Metwally) doesn’t have time for that shit, pulling out The Patriot Act and shoving that in her face, considering her an enemy of the country. This all prompts Dom to take some time alone with Darlene. She wants to get close, to make the young woman feel comfortable.
Except Darlene doesn’t want to do that. She bites back. Until Dom brings in the evidence from the Smart House – camera, tripod, the fsociety mask. And if they can link the camera to the videos made by the group, this might mean trouble. There’s also a bullet casing in the mix. The one linked to the Fun Society arcade. Shiiiiit.
Elsewhere in the city, Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen) has tracked down Scott Knowles (Brian Stokes Mitchell). He’s the one who’s been sending the gifts, calling on the phone. She mocks him saying the sonogram picture made her “wet.” Really, she’s there to figure out why he’d do such a thing. So he talks about his wife, when she found she was pregnant. Joanna doesn’t care: “Fuck her and her fetus corpse.” Scott goes mad and tries to strangle her, then beats the shit out of her instead when she continues mocking. Wow, that’s ugly.
Darlene: “If you want any other details, the answer is suck a dick.”
Elliot’s lamenting the fact he’s the leader of the plan between Tyrell, Whiterose (BD Wong), the Dark Army, all by default. His father’s been pulling the strings, he’s been along for the ride unwillingly. Now, there’s a massive plan put together, a huge operation against Evil Corp.
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 5.12.06 PMWhat does Joanna decide on after her beating? She wants her boyfriend to help her frame Scott for the murder of his wife, which will likewise get her husband off the hook, too. Hmm, so many things coming together. So many brutal things, too. And this poor dude, he’s wrapped around her finger. He protests, but not for long.
Dom keeps pressing Darlene, trying to get her to talk. Using any tactic she can think of to pull from her FBI back of tricks. Then she plays on the young woman’s curiosity, saying she has something to show her: “Youre a lot more special than you think.” As Darlene walks through the corridor, agents watch her, like people would a celebrity. Coincidentally, the brownouts flicker the lights as she passes while Aimee Mann sings. And Dom shows her all the work the FBI’s been doing, how difficult it’s been. That it was nothing of their own volition which brought fsociety into their web. Rather, an accident.
Elliot: “No matter what I do, he always finds a way.”
Our hacker doesn’t understand the purpose of Mr. Robot, or why he’s constantly fucking with him. No matter if he overdoses, goes to jail, dad is always around. Because they’re the same person, just different identities in one package, different iterations of an identical personality. It seems Mr. Robot is there to push Elliot to the end, towards his fate, towards whatever’s necessary; to distract him, long enough for things to get accomplished.
Elliot worries people will die if they blow up the E.Corp building. He pushes Tyrell out of the way, to take care of the malware. This prompts the disgraced businessman to grab a gun, pointing it at the hacker. Dad says walk away; the son won’t abide death. Elliot sees Tyrell and Mr. Robot as the same people, that it’s all a trick of the mind.
Is it? Is Tyrell actually there holding a gun, or is he a figment of his imagination?
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 5.27.04 PM (1)While Elliot feels he’s taking back control, he gets a bullet put in him. Blood spurting from an open wound. Seems Tyrell is very real. In the background, dad flickers in and out of perspective; he’s the one who gave the gun to their friend, to stop anyone who got in the way. A full circle of vicious delusion.
Afterwards, Angela (Portia Doubleday) gets a call from Tyrell who hates what he’s had to do, saying he loves Elliot. She does, too. She heads out, already knowing what’s going to happen. Just as a large blackout strikes, lights everywhere shut off, and cars honk their horns, crashing together.
In another place, working at an electronics store, Frederick and Tanya talk about something on their break, about generating keys, so on. Fred doesn’t want to hear more, though Tanya is insistent. That’s because it’s Mobley (Azhar Khan) and Trenton (Sunita Mani), they’re okay, hiding away from the wandering eye of the Dark Army and anybody else looking for them. Yay!
And who else shows up to ask for the time? Leon (Joey Bada$$). Whoa. C’mon Season 3!
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 5.33.59 PMPerfect season finale. Cannot wait for the new season, coming very soon. What’ll happen? How will Elliot move forward after this? What will Angela’s role ultimately be now that she’s integrated into the Dark Army’s plotting? And what will become of Darlene?

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 11: “eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 11: “eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “eps2.9_pyth0n-pt2.p7z” – click here
Pic 1Hes always a step ahead of me, because he is me.”
Elliot (Rami Malek) is still trying to solve the puzzle of his father, Mr. Robot (Christian Slater). Despite all he’s figured out, there’s so much more to unravel. His mind is an enigma. It’s not an easily life, being him.
Mr. Sutherland (Jeremy Holm) once again shows Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen) the location of where the calls came from, and it seems she knows something more, obviously. Just from his reaction in the previous episode, this location is a place they know. But where the hell is it? Whose house is it?
Somewhere else, stuck in the back of a van, Angela (Portia Doubleday) is transported by two silent people in the front seat, a cage dividing them. They turn up the radio to drown out her protest, so she eventually gives up and sits back down.
Pic 1APoor fucking Dom (Grace Gummer). She’s lived through another shooting by the Dark Army, men around her telling her she’s “in shock” and that she needs time to decompress, blah, blah, blah. When you know if it were a male agent he’d be frothing at the mouth for revenge.
Even as a high-profile FBI agent, Dom deals with misogynist bullshit. Plus, she blames her superior, Agent Santiago (Omar Metwally) for not believing her. She considers this “an act of war.” He likewise brings up the fact China bailed out E.Corp, a $2-trillion no-interest loan. Highly suspicious, certainly. In light of this, Santiago is more inclined to start believing Dom.
Angela’s taken to a house, by the man and woman in the van. She’s led inside through a very upper class, modern kitchen, living room. Down a hall with some creepy photos on the wall; they look like certain faces are cut out, or scratched off. She’s brought to a dark room. In it is a desk by a fish tank. She’s locked in there alone. On the desk is a lot of old technology, like an office ripped out of the ’80s. Soon, a little girl arrives and begins typing on the computer. After that she asks: “Have you ever cried during sex?” Good lord! She reveals marks on her side, saying that if Angela doesn’t answer she’ll receive more of the same treatment. One question gives way to another, each morbid, weird, out of context. What’s going on here?
In his ivory tower, Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) is angling to make eCoin the new currency, wanting to leave the old dollar, and Bitcoin, behind. This is all just a way for him to get richer, it isn’t about helping anybody, not even the economy. It’s about making sure he’s able to survive in whatever new world comes out of this fucked up revolution. He’s just another capitalist trying to save his skin.
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 1.19.51 AMFurther and further, Angela is led through questions until the little girl hands her the red phone after it rings. More instructions from a computerised voice, similar to the early type-and-play games from the early days of computers, like Hugo’s House of Horrors and others. She has to answer more questions, guiding the game along. But no answers yet. After a little more she figures out the game, to an extent, and this at least moves things on to the next step.
A scene between Dom and her personal assistant Alexa highlights the loneliness in the former’s life, seeing how even the computer PA doesn’t comprehend loneliness, being utterly alone, without anybody. Whereas Dom must suffer through it, coming home after nearly dying in a shootout to nothing except an empty apartment and old takeout boxes.
Soon, Angela gets a visit from Whiterose (BD Wong). And, as usual, they only have an allotted time. Whiterose is prompt. Plenty of cryptic conversation to start, centring around the Chinese woman’s concept of doors and locks. All comes around to her not wanting Angela to give up her “sensitive information” and not wanting her to die, either. If it isn’t necessary, anyway.
Later that night Angela goes to her lawyer, telling her to forget about their latest legal chats. She also tells her to stay away, no more calls.
Mind awake. Body asleep.”
When Elliot comes to, he can’t remember how long he’s been out. And dad is back, as if nothing ever happened. It’s like they’ve switched places, too. Like Mr. Robot is the one of flesh and blood, and he’s the invisible counterpart. Dad has a cypher, somebody is trying to get in contact with him. Hmm. Now he’s going about decoding the message.
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 1.26.51 AMA man in a cab is waiting for Elliot. They get going, but quickly Elliot is going nuts, wanting to know if the guy sees someone next to him. He’s falling apart.
Out of the blue, he’s dropped off and sees Tyrell (Martin Wallström) on the street. They’re ready for Stage 2, supposedly. Big things are happening. Is this real? Or is our hacker just hallucinating more? Hard to tell these days.
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 1.50.30 AMGod, this series gets better with each episode. Leading up to the finale, this is all so tense, so exciting. Sometimes you think Mr. Robot has reinvented itself already, its not going to happen again. And yet, it does. Time and time again. A big reason why it’s such a fantastic show.
“eps2.9_pyth0n-pt2.p7z” – the finale – is next.

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 10: “eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 10: “eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx”
Directed by Sam Esmail
Written by Kor Aldana & Randolph Leon

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps2.7_init_5.fve” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 12.18.41 AMTerry Colby (Bruce Altman) and Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) meet, the latter namedropping Trump as a “cocksucker” about the run for President; he’s got dirt, too bad he isn’t real. The two high and mighty bourgeois men discuss all sorts of international things, specifically Africa, China, Obama. Phillip also wants Terry to help him out, a favour for which he’d be eternally grateful. Beneath it all is a question of power, why people like Price seek it.
I intend to leave a legacy, the standard of which was set by God when he created Earth and man after his own image.”
We see Joanna Wellick (Stephanie Corneliussen) meeting Ollie a.k.a Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek). She wants to know where her husband is, though he says he doesn’t know. He’s got to be careful what he says next, he’s in quite the little predicament. She talks of her marriage, the twisted relationship she and Tyrell had since the beginning. Then she tells Elliot her husband calls, he’s sent her a phone. That’s strange, considering our hacker’s sure the guy is dead. Either way it’s gonna be awful hard to refuse Joanna.
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 12.25.47 AMElsewhere, Cisco (Michael Drayer) has dragged Vincent (Anthony Jennings), bruised inside and out, back to Darlene (Carly Chaikin). She won’t call an ambulance for him. She’s becoming ruthless, too. She’ll let this man die rather than help him, so Cisco tells her to “wake the fuck up.” But will she?
The investigation at the Smart House is well underway. Dominique DiPierro (Grace Gummer) is there to hear about a connection to the DC activists. Someone there witnessed a couple men leaving in a cab; one of whom is Cisco. When Dom brings this to her boss, he wants to just put out the word. She knows this will bring the Dark Army down, and they’ll kill Cisco.
Elliot: “Maybe wars arent meant to be won, maybe theyre mean to be continuous.”
Our hacker’s out looking for hardware, seeing as how the cops are jamming him up. He’s got to get his situation with Joanna settled. Suddenly he gets a call on the phone she gave her. Heavy breathing. Could it be Tyrell? Also, dad (Christian Slater) is gone. Why now? Great fourth wall break where Elliot looks directly at us, wondering if we heard the person on the other end of the call, as well. And we did.
While we hear a story about Darlene, in a sense what Elliot means to her, we’re also seeing her brother work away for Joanna. Elliot has to also listen to her driver/confidant yak about a bunch of nonsense. He takes that time to zone out, to wonder why dad’s vanished out of nowhere. He finally wonders if Tyrell might actually be alive. Furthermore, he asks for our help in looking for any clues, as to why Mr. Robot brought him there specifically.
Elliot has the NYPD working for him, hacking through whatever’s in his way to try finding out from where the calls originated. He tracks it down to an address, and it seems Joanna’s guy knows more than he’s letting on. Cut to Dom and the FBI breaking into an apartment belonging to Francis Shaw a.k.a Cisco.
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 12.46.46 AMAfterwards on the subway, Elliot meets Angela Moss (Portia Doubleday). She wants to know why he started fsociety. She wants answers, after the FBI’s been to her home, her life is starting to uproot from what she once knew. She’s ready to confess to what she’s done, but she won’t talk about anyone else. Regardless, everything will change. Before he leaves the subway, they kiss. Once he’s gone, two people arrive for Angela on the train.
Meanwhile, Dom is getting more and more information about Cisco, his girlfriend, and the wheels in her head are turning, she’s hot on their trail. Sooner than later he and Darlene are going to find themselves in very hot water.
At a diner several blocks from the hospital, Dom’s found Cisco. She calls for FBI backup to meet her there. Then, a gunman arrives off a bike, opening fire on the place. Dom puts a couple shots in him and his friend on the bike leaves him behind. No matter, the gunman shoots himself before they can take him alive. Just like in China. The Dark Army strikes again.
Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 1.01.27 AMA-ma-zing. Nothing else to say. One of my favourite episodes yet.
“eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z” comes next.

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 9: “eps2.7_init_5.fve”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 9: “eps2.7_init_5.fve”
Directed by Sam Esmail
Written by Kyle Bradstreet & Lucy Teitler

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx” – click here
Pic 1Elliot (Rami Malek) is arrested for “unauthorised use of a computer” among other charges and taken into custody. His apartment is looted by the authorities, as they process him. Fingerprints taken, questions asked, a few truthful answers in return. The sleazy boyfriend of Krista Gordon (Gloria Reuben) got him into all this trouble. Yet Elliot doesn’t try getting out of it, pleading guilty. Even though dad (Christian Slater) wants him to do otherwise. This is our hacker’s way of taking responsibility, something he’s wanted to do for a long while.
Thus begins his odyssey into the American prison system. Same place Ray (Craig Robinson) works, Lone Star (Michael Maize), too. This is a head trip. He’s there with Leon (Joey Bada$$), who initiates him into the life, telling him about the place. He likes a lot of 1990s stuff; he’s ready to start watching Seinfeld next. I love how Mr. Robot again this season pulls the rug from under us, in such a way it’s unbelievable, the execution of which is beautifully orchestrated.
Pic 1ANow, Elliot’s out of jail. The hack, through all that’s happened, wound up affecting many things, involving the prison industrial complex. He’s released because his crimes were of a non-violent nature. Back to the real world. Or, well, whatever that is to him. At least Darlene (Carly Chaikin) is there waiting. Although she, and things, have changed, quite a bit.
In other news, Angela (Portia Doubleday) is enacting further plans with the Rubbery Ducky she was given by Mobley (Azhar Khan). She slips in and out with relative ease, getting a ton of E.Corp personal information, allowing her to login and find files on the Washington Township leak, copying all its files over to a zip drive.
Darlene is worried, both Mobley and Trenton (Sunita Mani) are nowhere to be found. She thinks Evil Corp is “cleaning house.” Yet her brother believes they played a part in him being released early. Needs more investigation. He stops in to see his mother (Vaishnavi Sharma) in a care home, to thank her for helping him survive in jail, the memory of her one of the few soothing entities in his mind.
Whiterose (B.D. Wong) is at the cemetery, visiting the grave of a previous CEO at Evil Corp. To literally piss on his grave. She was the one who put him there, believing now she may have to do the same with Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer).
Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 8.09.18 PMScreen Shot 2017-09-24 at 8.09.35 PMMeanwhile, remember Darlene knocked Cisco (Michael Drayer) out with a baseball bat? Well, we’re back there with them again, arguing over what’s going on, what to do. And Mr. Robot is out calming them down, as Elliot hears him gearing up for a rant. He’s still not entirely stable, jail did him no favours. One good thing is Cisco has a Dark Army contact, so this gives our hacker a few ideas.
Price doesn’t feel that threatened by “veiled death threats,” pushing back against Minister of State Security Zhang. The two men are entirely at odds after the bailout money got figuratively flushed. Money is what E.Corp requires. It’s all a twisty, turny pot of unethical soup. “I would rather see you lose than win, myself,” Price makes clear.
The question is, what do the Dark Army want? fsociety set out to change the world, now Elliot wonders why they’re into the whole game. That’s his next task, to figure out the puzzle. He’s hacking them, one rung of the ladder at a time. He insists he’s got a plan. All the while Mr. Robot is in the back, whittling away his confidence. But there’s a strange power in Elliot, waiting to explode.
Except maybe it’s not power. Something is wrong. He can’t seem to bridge himself with Mr. Robot anymore, like they’re literally two different entities yet he’s trapped inside. Or perhaps it’s all just visions. Doesn’t make Cisco feel any better while they’re headed out together to meet with the Dark Army. When they get there, the contact isn’t happy. This is when Elliot gets serious, telling them to ask Whiterose for information on “Stage 2.” They leave without a word, so I’m curious as to how this will pan out. We know Whiterose doesn’t fuck around.
One problem arises: Darlene thinks they left the fsociety VHS tape with her face on it back at the Smart House belonging to Ms. Jacobs. Cisco offers to go back and check, just in case. Don’t like the sounds of that.

 


Out of the blue, Dominique (Grace Gummer) shows up at Angela’s door for a little impromptu chat, a bite to eat. Dom talks about an unusual dream, a violent one. She then explains Ollie told her about the CD at AllSafe, since then she’s been tracking Angela. She can’t put all the pieces together, not yet. What will Angela do next?
Over their tap, Darlene finds out that Elliot is actually the originator of Stage 2. Or, should we say, Mr. Robot was the originator. Seems the Dark Army’s well aware of his issues, at the same believing they have to tread carefully: “He is a master.” Simultaneously, at the Smart House, Cisco stumbles onto something else while looking for the VHS tape. And who’s waiting for Elliot when he gets home? Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen). For what, exactly? We’ll see.
Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 8.36.54 PMAmazing, mysterious, wild episode. This series delivers consistently like no other.
“eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx” is next, promising many interesting things.

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 8: “eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 8: “eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12”
Directed by Sam Esmail
Written by Courtney Looney

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.7_init_5.fve” – click here
Pic 1Now that fsociety’s hacked into the FBI via Evil Corp, what’ll happen next? They’ve got the e-mails, all kinds of accounts of people linked with the federal government. So much could go down right now.
First, we flash back to Mobley (Azhar Khan) meeting Trenton (Sunita Mani) at a coffee place, albeit awkwardly. They’re noticeably computer nerds. They bond over phones, as he tries hard to talk with her and keeps on fumbling. They wind up comparing speeds on their phones, him not knowing she’s doing a bunch of coding at the same time. Until Darlene (Carly Chaikin) shows up talking about dropping the “proverbial soap” like she would, bringing them together. This is the first time she brings them a message from Elliot (Rami Malek) about E.Corp, the shadowy businessmen running the world from behind the curtains.
Flash forward to all of them, including Cisco (Michael Drayer), listening in on a conference call between the FBI and the Department of Justice about “Operation Berenstain” – like the Bears? Everything’s laid out for fsociety to hear plainly. They find out there’s illegal surveillance of about 3 million citizens, among other things like the fact they have 16 specific people under their focus, one of whom’s dead; i.e. Romero.
Darlene dons the mask to bring another unfettered message to the masses in hopes of causing more unrest for the revolution. Big uh oh when Susan Jacobs (Sandrine Holt) shows back up at her Smart House, their little base. That’s gonna cause some shit after they’re forced to zip tie her by the pool. The hole gets deeper.
Pic 1ABut it all gets worse when Trenton is about to help Susan use the bathroom, then the woman berates her saying she’s part of “ISIS” and Muslims are all a bunch of “animals.” One slip sends Susan’s skull cracking into the wall. Complicates the situation, big time. She needs a doctor, her head’s busted open. So that means fsociety’s got to think of something quick.
They dig into her life. They need to own her.
Darlene goes to talk to her. She was the lawyer who ultimately fucked her father (Christian Slater) over, before he died. She laughed at them, something only four-year-old Darlene saw. Now, she’s planning big things for Madame Executioner. After all that she stun guns her, now there’s a death on her hands. And everyone’s pretty sure she did it purposefully, to kill the woman. I don’t doubt it, either.
Everyone’s left reeling. Mobley’s known, for a while, things are all wrong. Slowly we see Trenton discovering the same. Too bad they didn’t get away from Darlene before, she’s let the power of it all sour her morality. All that’s left is the body. So they get back to familiar territory, the dog kennel where they burned fsociety’s paper trail. Worst part is Susan has to “pay for her own funeral,” as Darlene uses money from her cold storage to pay the kennel guy. More proof of the jaded, disappearing ethical self.
Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 1.31.07 AMParanoia is getting to both Mobley and Trenton, they worry people are watching them, coming to kill them. And the scariest part is it’s likely true. The FBI comes to get him, Dominique (Grace Gummer) interrogates him in relation to the Five/Nine hack. She found him from the party poster, took her all the way back to a DJ Mobley Angelfire page he was linked to, years ago. They’re looking for Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström), they need more information.
But Mobley’s lawyering up. He gets free, sending word to Trenton they’ve got to get out of Dodge. Only she waits for him and he doesn’t show up.
When Darlene wakes up later at Cisco’s place, she’s suspicious. She finds messages from his Chinese contacts. He’s letting them know that Darlene is there. Something dirty’s going on. So she knocks him out with a baseball bat.
Whoa.
Gimme “eps2.7_init_5.fve” right now.

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 7: “eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 7: “eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 11.59.39 PMJoanna (Stephanie Corneliussen) keeps finding gifts left for her, the baby. Of course they’re from estranged, lost husband Tyrell (Martin Wallström). We see that these little gifts were always a thing. We’re briefly flashing back to a time when Sharon (Michele Hicks) was still alive. Then quickly we’re back to the present, where a woman tosses a bucket of red paint all over her: “Capitalist pig!”
What about Elliot (Rami Malek)? He’s still down in the basement, dad (Christian Slater) trying to keep his spirits up, holding him close. It’s become a rough life for our hacker. His altruistic, if not foolishly heroic intentions have landed him in a bad way. Now they’re trying to retrace memories, to figure out what actually happened on the night of the big hack with Tyrell.
And back over at E.Corp, Angela (Portia Doubleday) is surprised to find Dominique (Grace Gummer) at her desk, inquiring as to what she’s been up to, floor to floor, looking busy. The FBI agent knows who she is, sweating her subtly. But off she goes, leaving Angela to finish off her coding. Darlene (Carly Chaikin) lets her know all is finished; they’re in deep.
Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 12.04.30 AMDad’s telling Elliot they killed Tyrell. Of course it’s all under the guise of protecting his son, protecting them all. Supposedly, they used the gun from the popcorn machine. But is that true? Hard to tell. Just as control is an illusion, as is the truth most often.
FBI’s discovering the hack, though Dom doesn’t take it too hard. She expected it, almost. And she knows Angela, whoever else is behind it, has wiped every trace of their tracks. Might as well try finding another, better way inside fsociety. Meanwhile, Angela’s only just now putting together all the pieces of the puzzle about her childhood friends.
Back out of the basement, Elliot is brought to see Ray. He’s bending to the master’s will now, or so he pretends. He’s back at the computer, working on migrating the black marketplace site. At least he’s needed, which keeps him alive, safe. For the time being.
We see Joanna dealing with Derek dissatisfied over their relationship. He wanted her to come publicly be his girlfriend. She was busy, though now shows up to present him with the divorce she’s filing, separating herself from Tyrell. But I wonder, how does a divorce work when the other party is nowhere to be found?
Later, the literal chess Ray and Elliot play mirrors the mental, figurative chess they’re playing. The black market kingpin talks about his wife, that she was involved with him creating the site. He talks about morality, how Elliot is his “answer.” He realises the hacker turned him in, that the cops are coming. In a way, Ray recognises he’s been, effectively, saved from himself.
Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 12.12.08 AMThe missing Wall Street Bull’s balls come crashing down on the senate floor.
Perfect. Everyone can see.
Elliot gets a visit from a few tough guys. Lots of people aren’t happy with the Ray situation, Bitcoin money fucked up in limbo. One guy wants to get paid back. He’s watching Elliot. Ah, more trouble. No good deed goes unpunished, huh? Love Leon (Joey Bada$$) referencing “the Sword of Damocles.”
Angela is still trying to change things from the inside. She keeps trying to get what she can from Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer), angling to whatever’s in her best interest. Even if her own father doesn’t trust her anymore. In a way, Price has become a kind of father figure. At times, a threatening one.
Now, Elliot is going back to his father, to find inspiration as what to do next, to finish what he started concerning Evil Corp. But dad reminds his boy that it’s all him, he’s the one who’s done all of this to begin a revolution: “Because you are a leader.” Except our hacker doesn’t want to be one. A big transformation is ahead if he is to become one.
At the office, in her new department, Angela gets an overview of what she’ll be doing. An internal investigations department. She has to work discreetly, fast, smart. Help the company. She’s starting off with the Flint water contamination case that’s on the horizon. Oh, that’s great.
Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 12.32.02 AMElliot keeps running into the tough guys, they beat him more. They’re about to do something awful when he’s saved by none other than Leon, always watching out for his friend. A vicious, bloody scene that was totally unexpected. Leon only asks that Whiterose (B.D. Wong) hears about how he did right by our hacker.
You cant destroy a part of yourself
At the psychiatrist’s office, Krista (Gloria) helps us see that Elliot hasn’t been staying with his mother. He’s in jail, meeting with her. He keeps on seeing the outside world, an illusory experience. Illusion has now given him control, rather than the other way around. That’s why we had the bloody scene, Leon’s knife-wielding ninja act. All the while, since Ray’s arrest, he’s also been kicking around in jail. Using his mind to project another place, somewhere he could hang on to sanity, even if delusion and illusion are his current best friends.
So it’s pretend, pretend, pretend, to make it through the day.
Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 12.45.34 AMJesus, this show constantly reinvents itself, and flips the script on the viewer so well, in interesting, inventive ways. So much to look forward to going forward, particularly where things go with the FBI.
“eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12” comes next, many things are about to go down.

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 6: “eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 6: “eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes”
Directed by Sam Esmail
Written by Adam Penn

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps2.3_logic-b0mb.hc” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme” – click here


We switch to Mr. Robot if it were a late ’80s or early ’90s sitcom. Elliot (Rami Malek), Darlene (Carly Chaikin), dad (Christian Slater), and mom (Vaishnavi Sharma) are driving down the highway in their car, having the typical sitcom-like conversations. Except much darker. On Darlene’s Game Boy we see Elliot being beaten by Ray’s (Craig Robinson) men briefly. The whole while Elliot is mystified, whereas the rest of the family seems to be a part of the whole deal. Even when he’s “hearing voices” – as in the laughter of the studio audience – it’s passed off as his usual mental health issues. A brilliant opener, along with the Full House-esque theme song and credits sequence.
They head to a gas station, stopping to fill up. In goes Elliot where he bumps into none other than ALF. Afterwards, he discovers Angela (Portia Doubleday) is working there, cracking bad jokes about the death of her mother. Before long they’re off again, stumbling in and out of shitty situations. Plus, dad has a guy tied up in the trunk. Then the cops show up.


Gideon (Michel Gill) is the officer, though he winds up being run over by ALF, dead again even in this weird TV show. Brutally killed all over. Elliot’s done with whatever Mr. Robot is doing to him, he wants out. “Itll feel good if you let it,” he tries soothing his son.
Oh, the guy in the trunk? It’s Tyrell (Martin Wallström). Seems that between Gideon and Mr. Wellick, the TV show dad’s created is bits of the subconscious, cobbled together in similar yet slightly different ways. Great bit of writing. And it’s only temporary. He’s actually lying in the hospital, beat the fuck up after Ray let his boys loose.
This whole place is a lie. Nothing here is true.”
He wakes to Ray, Lone Star (Michael Maize) over him. The black market kingpin tells a sob story about his dog having heart worm. A roundabout way of discussing the master v. pet relationship, the one in which he and Elliot exist now.
Angela (Portia Doubleday) is working with Darlene, Mobley (Azhar Khan), and Trenton (Sunita Mani) to enact their plans. Problem is they can’t just teach Angela to hack in a day. But Darlene is adamant things are going ahead.
Poor Cisco (Michael Drayer) gets in big trouble with his Chinese contact. Two men in masks, the same Dominique (Grace Gummer) saw in the airport, grab him from behind, then he has an injection needle cracked off under his fingernail.
Speaking of Dom, she’s being asked to take time off; a month. To recover. She’d rather keep fighting the Dark Army, investigating the hack. And she’s of the belief the attack was part of trying to silence them, as the gunmen committed suicide after shooting the place up, even leaving her alive.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 11.23.53 PMJust about time for Angela to work whatever magic she can. First, Darlene sets up in a hotel room nearby with all the computer gadgetry necessary. Across the way, in the heart of Evil Corp, Angela starts in on her end of the hack. In the bathroom she clicks away on the keys, rushing against time. She barely slips away from an FBI agent before she can get on to the rest of her tasks.
That is until their wifi signal goes down, sending Angela back to her desk. She has to work with more coding, via Darlene’s instructions. Just as she’s about to finish, who shows up? Agent DiPierro herself, Ms. Dom.
Every relationships a power struggle. Some of us need to be controlled.”
Elliot’s being taken from his hospital bed, forcibly, by more of Ray’s henchmen and Lone Star. They take him to a basement. He’s, naturally, frightened. He still sees his father there with him, explaining he was trying to “take those punches” for him with the whole sitcom dream.
Then we flashback to young Elliot, a bruised face, dad driving him home from school. Dad tells a story about being called into the office at work, where he’s terminated from his job. All because he had to go get blood work at the hospital. This is the moment he reveals to his boy his cancer; the only person who knows. Also when he shows Elliot the new shop, the future Mr. Robot store.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 11.46.25 PMWhat a killer episode, in many ways. Heavy, dreamy at first (as are many of these episodes). Plus, we really get to see Rami do good stuff, and also Slater, whose star shines brightest in a long time here on this show. Cannot wait for more, as we unravel the new dark relationship setup between Ray and Elliot, too.
“eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme” is the next one at bat.