‘Mr. Robot’ — eps2.5h4ndshake.sme — Where Is My Mind?
Each week, Social Underground will go over the newest episode of the hit show Mr. Robot. There will be a recap of what happened, and then some commentary on what happened and where the show might go next. Trying to figure out where this show goes is pretty difficult since there are many plots that interweave. The good thing about that is having a show that’s unpredictable. No one like knowing the end of a season at the beginning.
LAST WEEK’S RECAP: ‘Mr. Robot’ — Recap And Analysis — eps2.4m4ster-s1ave.aes
In a recent post about the show, I noticed that Elliot’s routine of waking up, seeing his restrictive Mother who he’s staying with, going to watch basketball, meeting the same guy for lunch, talking to his friend Ray, staying off the internet… it all seemed like a strict routine you’d see in something like a mental institution. I mean, the situation was changed because of all the stuff he was doing in what seemed like the real world, but it still had that feeling that something wasn’t right. After all, Elliot is an unreliable narrator. What we’re seeing could be all bullcrap. Guess what? It was. But I was off a bit in my prediction.
More on that after I go through the episode fully. Let’s just say when the episode ended, I sunk into my couch wondering: “Did this show just nuke the fridge?” Yeah, it was that type of episode, guys. It all depends on next week. I trust the show.
Anyway, the episode starts off with Wellick’s wife being weird and putting on earrings in her dining room or something. Tyrell Wellick suddenly walks down the stairs behind her. They’re both wearing white. It wasn’t that big of a deal until they show up at a party and everyone is wearing white. White party?
A woman notices her earrings before the shot cuts to her walked her baby down the street. Was that all an illusion or a flashback? I think it’s a flashback because the scene transitions from her earrings at the party to her wearing the earrings while walking her kid. Before I could really grasp that, some cat lady runs up with a bucket of red paint, throws it on her (while she’s with her baby, yeesh) and yells, “Capitalist pig!”
She wasn’t too happy when that lady did that.
Back to Elliot giving a voice over and talking to Mr. Robot after he was thrown into that dark basement room. They go back and forth about Tyrell being in a trunk. Robot is resistant to tell him what happened to Tyrell, but finally gives in unwillingly.
“What’s that last thing you remember?” Mr. Robot asks.
“Popcorn… I remember popcorn.” Elliot responds.
If you remember, a gun was hidden in the fsociety headquarters popcorn machine right before the hack was initiated with Wellick looking upon what was happening.
I know this sounds hacky, but Slater and Malek’s back and forth is so brilliant. Like Batman and the Joker in a room together where they both have sympathy for each other. Reminds me of the end of The Killing Joke where they both share a moment.
We cut back to Dom interrogating Angela about why she was in a restricted area. Angela uses her cover of going out on a date with an agent as a reason for being there. Angela is really good at covering her tracks, but Dom pounces on her with all the coincidences that Angela is involved with “considering her history.” I assume she is alluding to Elliot and fsociety. Darlene tries to reassure her that she has nothing, but Angela looks like she’s a deer in the headlights. The camera angles of Dom looking down on Angela really shows a position of power. Dom will get her, but when?
I’m really loving the Dom storyline. She’s a badass with problems. However, my rational brain tells me that she’d be on leave because, you know, she survived a mass shooting where a lot of her friends died? Remember that? Remember how she barely survived? At least a week off or something. Police who are involved with stuff like this are immediately put on leave.
She leaves promising to come back, and Darlene pressures her to keep going on with the hack a second later. It appears to be successful since Darlene is watching the progress claiming that they now own the FBI. Is hacking the same company again really the smartest thing to do?
Back to Elliot and Mr. Robot. Elliot learns that he killed Wellick. Robot tries to rationalize the killing by telling him that he was raving about killing “some woman.” Elliot presses him on how he killed him, and Mr. Robot says he shot him with the popcorn gun, obviously.
“I shot him.” Mr. Robot confesses.
“No… I shot him.” Elliot says, correcting him.
Elsewhere, Wellick’s wife is getting choked out on purpose by that one guy because she’s into that kinky stuff. Then they have a mini-fight about her not coming to his 30th birthday party as his girlfriend. Dude, you just had choke sex with a supermodel, let’s not get too invested here. Trust me, fictional guy in a TV show.
A little more is shown about how the world is in shambles after the hack. People sleeping on the streets, fires burning out of control, a TV playing in the background describing how messed up everything is. All of this while Angela looks on in a taxi after she just help those responsible. Everyone using taxi services has to use E-coins to pay. E-coins is now a big part of the money system for those that had accounts? It’s not really made clear.
This hack is looking to be more of a disaster for the average person instead of the bankers. Angela points this all out to Darlene, which was pretty great to see Darlene taken down a bit. She also points out the movie that they watched when they were younger with the iconic fsociety mask and how she put together who fsociety was because of it. Never use major memories to commit a crime when your friends know it too. I still remember everyone I was with when I saw the movie The Gate. That horror stays with you.
Elliot is now out of that basement room, and Ray returns with his henchmen intimidating Elliot as he sits behind a computer screen.
“You’re gonna sit your ass right here until you do what you gotta do. Once the site’s up, you’re going to crawl back into your hole until we’re sure this baby is purring like a kitten.”
Mr. Robot knows that once he does what he wants, Ray is going to kill him, but Elliot reassures him for now. I love that they’re a team again… in a lunatic way.
Wellick’s wife and her boyfriend are in his apartment. They were broken up, but she explains that she was busy with her lawyer drafting papers for divorce as a gift for him. Awe! Let’s choke each other! Plus, I think she’s pregnant with his kid. Unless that was a flashback to when she was pregnant with Wellick’s kid?
Elliot finishes the “fix” and now he and Ray are playing chess. Ray turns back into the lovable guy from earlier episodes. He has turned back into that therapist character that made me think Elliot was in a mental institution. He explains how he and his wife started his site, but didn’t know what it really turned into. They both didn’t want to look at all the crazy stuff that was happening… until Elliot revealed it. Ray is full of regret because of all he has done and looks to Elliot as a savior for him. The dialogue here is pretty muddled. I’m not sure I even understood it correctly. What happens later in the episode really shows that I’m not entirely sure what happens. However, I do know that you never put Elliot behind a computer with the intent of trying to get one of on him.
Remember when Elliot reassured Mr. Robot before he put the site back up? This is Elliot. It hearkens back to the first scene in the very first episode. You do evil stuff, Elliot will end you. And Ray knows this by asking how much time he has left before they come to get him.
“With their response time, I would guess they have us surrounded by now.” Elliot tells him.
Ray then tells him to get out before they come in, which he does immediately, but not before Ray tells him to be careful. It seems that Elliot was working with the “authorities(???)” after e-mailing them anonymous tip. He walks out of the home they were in as SWAT went past him. A more important person tells him to stay right there, but he’s not being cuffed or anything. Anonymous tip? That’s not how that works, but you’ll understand later.
The scene cuts to congress voting on a bailout for E Corp, when suddenly, the testicles cut off from the bull on Wall Street crash through the ceiling. That’s just expert trolling right there.
Elliot is sitting with Leon watching some basketball and is told by him that people are happy/angry about what he did to Ray. Cliche thugs approach who seem to want to beat up Elliot. Leon remains by his side and refuses to allow them to beat up Elliot after he caused them to lose all their money from the website/Ray. Something is off. It’s not a mental institution…
Angela requests that she be transferred to the risk management position by her boss. He is confused because it’s a lateral move, but he then randomly explains that his actual birthday was that day. He uses this as a way to hit on her and take her out that night. She refuses, but still gets the job. Creepy old men, man. Creepy old men.
Elliot returns to the meetings he was going to before he had an outburst and apologizes for it to the lady who runs it. She hugs him and lets him know that she “sees him talking to him.” Elliot is shocked, but then she mentions it was Jesus he was talking to. Soooo far from the truth. Then again, when I see people praying, I think they’re talking to themselves, which they are.
For one moment, Elliot seems to talk to Jesus… but then…
Elliot asks him for help and guidance on what to do. He’s clearly gone deep down into the rabbit hole of having an alternate personality. He needs to finish what he started with E Corp, but “I don’t know what to do.” Mr. Robot asks him why he started listening in the first place. Why he followed all the clues to find him. Why he followed Mr. Robot to hack E Corp. Then Mr. Robot insists it was he who followed Elliot into everything, not the other way around.
Angela is shown her new workplace, and her boss mentions a case about a class action lawsuit in Flint, Mi that no one knows about yet. She asks to sit in on the daily debrief meeting, and with a little resistance, she manages to get an invite so she can “catch up” faster.
Back to Elliot hanging around the basketball yard with the crazy girl who likes to burn things. Elliot lights fire to his notebook he used as part of he routine to keep Mr. Robot out. Right after that, those same thugs that wanted to beat him up abduct him into an alley with the intent to rape him. THIS ISN’T A MENTAL INSTITUTION. Right before his rape, his lunch, Leon, comes to his rescue and kills all 4 of them. He tells him he’s going to get a letter on Tuesday, to do what it says, and to tell White Rose that he did Elliot good. Oh, and he stabbed a dude in the balls from behind right after that. They sorta showed it, but it was more of a quick flash. WHOA.
Talk about a bodyguard you want on your side. That was more brutal than anything on Game of Thrones because it was realistic and scary.
Angela sits in on the meeting and they talk about dealing with settling cases. Angela wants to write a summary about past cases, which means she needs access. She’s been way too obvious with her stuff she’s trying out lately. She has practically no subterfuge.
They end the meeting right after that, but not before her boss, who she first met on the risk management floor, talks down to her about how she got the job. Again, she’s way to obvious with her trying to get information to the point that everyone hates her. Oh the irony of having the biggest risk work in risk management.
Elliot is back talking to his “real” therapist. The letter he got was good news, according to her after she reads it. She wonders why he’s not happy about it (check below for my speculation, which is probably true).
SUPER SPOILERS!!! TWIST!!!
“Since I’ve been at my Mom’s, I wanted to get rid of him, but you were right… you can’t destroy a part of yourself.” Elliot explains.
“Elliot, I need to ask you a question… where do you think you are right now?” She asks him.
“What do you mean?”
“Elliot? You know you haven’t been staying with your Mother, right?” She reveals to him.
“–I know.” Elliot says after a slight pause.
A loud buzzer/alarm starts to go off in the background.
“When you get released, I hope you keep seeing me in my office.” She expresses to him.
All of it! All of it was in jail. I thought it was a mental institution, but it turns out that the similarities between jail and a mental institution are pretty similar when it comes to routine (minus the getting your ass kicked, rape, and watching people get murdered). It makes more sense now that you think about all of Elliot’s interactions in the first half of this season. One where Angela visited and seemed sad and concerned is especially telling when you look back.
“This will be the last time I keep things from you… I promise.” Elliot tells us or someone else?
Okay, so, there are A LOT of questions this stunning, but predictable twist gives us.:
- How long has he been in jail for?
- What was Ray really up to? It wasn’t a website in jail was it?
- Did Elliot just snitch in Ray and that’s why people were mad?
- Did the hack even happen?
- How did Elliot get caught? Why is he in jail exactly?
- What is his sentence? (since the therapist alludes to the release)
- Could the first season and a half all be him in jail?
- Was that scene with Ray when he’s caught just his jail cell where guards just went in? Probably.
- Did all of this “really happen” as Elliot promises at the end?
- Is Wellick really dead?
- Who did Wellick’s wife get called by if it wasn’t Wellick?
- What will fsociety do with the FBI hack besides silly Project Mayhem stuff like drop nuts into Congress?
- Was the letter that Elliot got actually news of his release? Was that why the therapist wanted him to keep seeing her after he gets out?
- What the hell is going on with Wellick’s (soon to be ex) wife and that guy? I don’t get the plot of that at all.
- What will Elliot do when he is released?
- Did Elliot ask for help from Mr. Robot with fsociety because he knows he’s about to be released? Probably.
- The timeline at the beginning of the season is 4 months after the end of last season. He’s been in jail for 4 months, and then there’s the time that went by in these 7 episodes. What the hell could his crime be if it’s such a short sentence in what looks like a maximum security prison. Murdering Wellick is certainly not that small of a crime, but then again, the news says that Wellick is still missing and suspected of the hack.
- Was Elliot in jail for a drug offense? It’s not unrealistic since people go to jail for having a few joints on them.
What the reveal also hinted at that I don’t think any other website has mentioned is that Elliot is obviously mentally ill in jail. His therapist/psychologist or whatever comes in and speaks with him all the time and doesn’t say anything to police/authorities that he shouldn’t be in a max prison. What a garbage therapist. This type of thing happens all the time in real life. Prisons are becoming mental institutions because we don’t take the time to address stuff like this. Nice to see a TV show portray it like this.
The next episode should be really good. I look forward to getting some answers to at least one or two of those questions. So, until next week!
Feature image: USA Network
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.