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.

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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 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 4: “eps2.2_init_1.asec”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 4: “eps2.2_init_1.asec”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.3_logic-b0mb.hc” – click here
Pic 1Elliot (Rami Malek) hears incessant knocking at the door. It’s Darlene (Carly Chaikin) wearing the fsociety mask. They watch a movie (a fake slasher from 1984) called The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie; where the mask came from. They light up, watch the flick. Will Darlene taking a picture of the slasher movie, in which the mask for fsociety originated, and putting it on Instagram lead to her being investigated? Bit of a dumb move.
We get more of Elliot’s past, his issues. Darlene isn’t entirely stable, either. Together they’re aligned against the “Wall Street psychos” of the world, yet saving the world’s no good if you can’t save yourself, right? He shows her an old jacket that belonged to their dad (Christian Slater). She wants him to put on the fsociety mask, so he does. This almost rejuvenates him in a sense, he’s suddenly talking about becoming a “Trojan horse” within Evil Corp, to take them down from the inside. Under the mask, he’s filled with ideas, flowing out of him endlessly. Seeing it kind of scares Darlene.
Note: Beautifully orchestrated scene, using pieces of Phillip Glass leading into a stunningly shot scene, the music adding an extra layer on top of those unique camera angles so expected of Mr. Robot.
Pic 1ABrother and sister are at odds. Elliot doesn’t want to do anything more, not right now; it’s Mr. Robot who wants more revolution, no matter what the cost. He believes his sister isn’t being honest with him, hiding some other intention from him. But what?
Dominique (Grace Gummer) has the FBI crawling all over the fsociety hideout at the boardwalk arcade. She found a bullet casing. Did our hacker actually fire that gun from the popcorn machine? Shit.
Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen) is still dealing with things in the wake of her husband Tyrell (Martin Wallström) disappearing. Problem is the money’s drying up to deal with keeping people quiet. E.Corp hasn’t released any of Tyrell’s money. Wonder what this will lead to now. Nothing good.
What about Ray (Craig Robinson)? He and Elliot are getting closer all the time, playing chess together; both figuratively and mentally, it seems. Neither of them are stupid men, regardless of the things with which they’re involved. Dad shows up, though. He’s worried his son is going to confess to Ray the things he’s done, in turn likely bringing the Dark Army down on himself, anyone near.
Angela (Portia Doubleday) is still trying to do the right thing. All the while trying not to compromise herself or throw her ethics out the window as she chases the truth. Her situation is a sort of allegory about chasing monsters, making sure, in the process, you don’t become one.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 1.30.15 PMA chess game is set: dad v. son. If son wins, dad goes away forever, never comes back, and he can confess to whatever he wants. If dad wins, he “gets to be in charge, once and for all.” Then Mr. Robot tells him he’ll be in a “deep, black void” for the rest of his days, doing the bidding of his dead father’s momentum. Like it couldn’t even be stopped if dad wanted that. Meanwhile, Elliot is still seeking help from psychiatrist Krista Gordon (Gloria Reuben). She’s got his best interests in mind, sticking by him after so much. She now wants to talk to his father, but he’s afraid that will legitimise his power, in turn giving him more control. Resistance is the only thing that’s keeping him relatively sane.
Annihilation is always the answer. We destroy parts of ourselves everyday. We Photoshop our warts away, we edit the parts we hate about ourselves, modify the parts we think people hate. We curate our identity; carve it, distil it. Krista’s wrong. Annihilation is all we are.”
Elsewhere, Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) and Whiterose (B.D. Wong) speak via telephone, the former insisting things take time, the latter a stickler for time and not a fan of being patient. Moreover, Whiterose has lots of reach, so she knows about Dominique’s investigation into the Five/Nine Hack and the FBI discovering the fsociety’s hideout.
Scott Knowles (Brian Stokes Mitchell) gets a visit from Joanna, curious about her husband’s severance. He’s drinking himself into oblivion, wanting justice for his wife’s murder. She offers a deal: get her the money from Tyrell’s severance and she testifies he didn’t come home the night Sharon died. But it won’t be that easy.
That night Darlene senses she’s being followed. Suddenly, someone in an fsociety masks asks for her phone, giving her directions. Of course it’s Cisco (Michael Drayer), checking in with her about Romero, the FBI investigation, making sure she’s okay. This leads to them having sex in the bathroom, too. After that he says the Dark Army’s getting nervous with the FBI involved. Uh oh.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 1.56.50 PMGorgeous little cover of “Basket Case” by Green Day over Elliot imagining the future, a normal one with people he knows getting married, Darlene and Cisco happy together, he even goes to make up with the guy from Season 1 he berated to get a job done for fsociety. It’s a “future with friends and family” he never thought possible, everyone eating together at a big table out in the street. In the background a large building is demolished, they clap happily. Something to fight for, to motivate him in his resistance against Mr. Robot’s influence.
The big chess game comes to a stalemate. So they begin again. Or, he begins again. Another stalemate. Begin again. The pattern keeps repeating, nobody can ultimately win. They’re stuck together. Likely forever.
Angela’s putting the screws to Price. She realises there’s a reason for her involvement, that she has value to him, to the company. She asks for a nice office, a promotion, which only further impresses the old man. However, he won’t concede. This is a powerful, creepy man.
Elliot goes back to see Ray, telling him nobody won at chess. He also offers to help with the computer troubles, finally. Thus begins another strand of their relationship. Again, there’s some little thing about Ray that doesn’t quite sit right, something he’s concealing about himself to his new friend. He also asks for “discretion” about his online business. Very telling. Elliot also then uses Ray’s computer to communicate with Darlene privately, finding out about the FBI, Romero’s murder. All pulling him back to fsociety.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 2.09.24 PMAnother fantastic episode. The mystery’s always there, as little pieces are chipped away, and then comes all the brutal tension. I can never get enough of the series. Lots of good characters, all kinds of different intentions, desires, feeding so much plot.
“eps2.3_logic-b0mb.hc” comes next.

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 2: “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 2: “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail

* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt1.tc” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd” – click here
Pic 1CTO Scott Knowles (Brian Stokes Mitchell) is out in public, a big crowd, delivering the ransom money. Soon, a bike messenger shows up with a bag for him. Inside Scott finds one of the fsociety masks. He receives a call, “ten seconds” to do as he’s told or else everything’s finished. He’s informed to take out the money, wearing the mask, and then burn it in a pile as everyone watches on.
fsociety just wants to watch the capitalist system burn, they’re not in for personal profit. A dangerous foe to be up against, which Knowles understands.
Pic 1APhillip Price (Michael Cristofer) is finding business incredibly difficult, more and more. “The Big Three” are taking it hard, so everyone else is doing worse. Price has the FBI up in his grill constantly. Worse, he’s being asked to resign. He decides to go on an FDR-Great Depression rant, the nature of the American “business model” built on a con.
What about Joanna Wellick (Stephanie Corneliussen)? What’s she up to? Apparently she’s into some BDSM fetish stuff, the serious shit. She and a lover are playing with knives, she’s tied up. Nasty. But, hey, whatever gets her off! Long as it’s consensual. And it is, to a cold point on her part. When she’s done with him, she’s done.
We’re introduced to Dominique DiPierro (Grace Gummer), an FBI agent investigating the hack on E.Corp. She’s a smart, funny, quirky person. She’s sitting down now with Gideon Goddard (Michel Gill). Wonder what’ll come out in that conversation.
At the park, Leon (Joey Bada$$) neraly gets into an altercation as Elliot (Rami Malek) watches on silently. It’s all broken up by a guy named Ray Heyworth (Craig Robinson), a local prison warden. He gets talking with our hacker briefly, even knows his name. He seems to have an interest in the computer stuff he’s heard Elliot is into, though doesn’t get much of a response.
Maybe truth dont even exist
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 1.05.52 AMAngela Moss (Portia Doubleday) is continuing to keep her head above water, just barely. But she is forever stuck with the choices she’s made, the ones she keeps on making. Who knows if she’ll redeem herself, or if she’ll wallow in the mire of unethical businesses while the people she knows, from Elliot to Darlene, exist on the fringes.
Again at the park, Ray chats Elliot up. He says they were talking last night, came to some kind of understanding. Our hacker doesn’t remember. Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) crept back in. Now he’s wreaking more havoc on his son’s brain.
And this is why Im different. Sometimes my mask takes over.”
In a bar, Gideon hears a man rant next to him about the E.Corp hack, the general state of the economy, “Black Tuesday” among so many things. He speaks of societal change, and Gideon’s not keen on hearing any of it, being so intimately involved in the whole mess. The guy’s name is Brock (Chris Kipiniak), he recognises Mr. Goddard from the news, also susses out he’s been left by his husband. Then, Brock shoots him through the neck.
When Elliot goes to an NA meeting, he blinks and finds himself in a house, talking on a red phone. Someone is on the other end; is it Tyrell? “Bon soir, Elliot,” the voice says leaving our hacker shocked. Where is he? And how did he get there?
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 1.35.08 AMGreat episode to follow-up the Season 2 premiere. Continually mysterious, weird, intense, unsettling. One of the best TV series’ in the past 15 years, hands down.
“eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd” is next.

Mr. Robot – Season 2, Episode 1: “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt1.tc”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 2, Episode 1: “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt1.tc”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail

* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc” – click here
Pic 1We start on the fsociety mask, of course underneath is Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström), as many of us suspected. And the whole time he was recording that video, Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) was right there with him. So, what happened to Tyrell afterwards? Did our boy use the gun he hid in the popcorn machine ages ago on him? I’m not so sure.
Its almost as if somethings come alive
Flashback to when young Elliott got knocked out of the window by dear ole dad, Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) himself. At the doctor, the bills are naturally of concern considering dad’s unemployment. And doc wonders if there’s anything nasty going on at home.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 12.15.56 AMNote: I was late starting into this show, and can’t understand how that happened. Because not only is the acting and the writing fantastic, the visuals are outstanding, the cinematography is unique. So much to enjoy. But best of all is how the visual style, even the music, really helps to put us in the fractured state of mind where Elliot exists perpetually. Playing into the narration, where the audience is treated as the voices in his head, at least in the sense of us being who he’s talking to directly.
Leon: “The human condition is a tragedy, coz.”
Now things are all fucked up. Even Obama’s talking about Tyrell Wellick, fsociety, and their impact on the economy as a whole in the country, abroad. Everything’s gone mad. Elliot, though, he’s making new friends like Leon (Joey Bada$$), whom he hangs with often, eating together, watching basketball games at the park. Although our hacker doesn’t understand sports, except for the rules: “The invisible code of chaos hiding behind the menacing face of order.”
Because Elliot likes routine, normalcy, repetition. No more thinking, just a drone from day to day. He goes to see Krista Gordon (Gloria Reuben) regularly for psychiatric sessions. She’s not exactly thrilled with him, after all he’s done. But professionally she gives him the benefit of the doubt.
At home, Elliot deals with dad coming back, trying to force his way back inside. The son wants answers. All he gets is an imaginary bullet in the head. Yet he goes on, effectively ignoring Mr. Robot, that other part of him. I wonder, at what cost?
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 12.27.15 AMThe Wall Street bull is having its nuts cut off, fsociety sending that figurative message to the elites that they’ve neutered them. A clever gesture.
We’re introduced to Susan Jacobs (Sandrine Holt), she works as general counsel for Evil Corp. Nicknamed “Madame Executioner” for dealing with lawsuits often involving deaths. She lives a fairly normal life. Jobs, watches the news. Tonight, life is a little different. Her licks flicker while she’s swimming in her pool, music plays then stops. The shower nearly burns her skin. In the rest of the house, the temperature’s been dropped. Her TV turns, the phone rings. Someone’s hacking her Smart House. You just know Darlene (Carly Chaikin) is kicking around someplace.
Later, Elliot meets with Gideon Goddard (Michel Gill). Apparently the FBI believes Gideon was involved in the hack, in some way, shape, or form. He’s hiding away, scared, paranoid. Problem is our hacker has to contend with dad rambling in his ear while listening to his old boss plead for help. When he refuses to help, there’s the possibility of blackmail, plus the fact Elliot can barely tell reality from delusion anymore.
How do I take off a mask when it stops being a mask? When its as much a part of me as I am?”
Part of why I love Mr. Robot is that it takes a look at the toll on those who try to bring revolution, what it takes personally, professionally, ethically/morally. We see Elliot’s further deteriorating mental state, exacerbated by this feeling of wanting to save the world. We also see Darlene warped by a sense of power, not doing too well, either; she’s pointed in the right direction, but even those with good intentions can be warped, too.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 12.42.33 AMSeems the hack has made things a bit worse than better. People had their debt wiped out, though now the banks can’t verify how much people paid, if they did at all, their systems are all out of whack. And it’s getting worse. By worse, it’s Darlene hoping to make things better, to affect genuine change.
Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) and Scott Knowles (Brian Stokes Mitchell) meat with Susan, to talk over the hack, issues of money. She gives her thoughts on paying the ransom to fsociety in regards to the latest hacking move. She thinks it’s best to pay and be done. Then Scott offers to bring the money himself.
Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 12.52.33 AMDamn. A very intense, mysterious opener that has me curious about what’ll happen to Scott, where Darlene is headed, and most of all how Elliot’s going to keep coping with dad.
“eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc” is next.