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?

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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 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.

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.