RECAP: MR ROBOT S2EP4 - THROWBACKS, CRINGEWORTHY ENCOUNTERS AND CHESS
The latest instalment in the trippy television show that is Mr Robot throws it all the way back to the inception of the revolution at hand.
Darlene’s entrance with the eerie mask that is the literal face of f.society got me really confused, because at first you’d think it’s just another Halloween with Darlene being her usual “really, Elliot?” self but then there’s just something innocent in the air. Elliot’s about to start his job at All-Safe and he isn’t the pedantic, manic version we’ve become accustomed to. This time, Darlene and Elliot are just two siblings smoking weed on Halloween watching a shitty movie from their childhood called The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie. And that’s when you realise that the entire technological war against Evil Corp hasn’t started.
Shuffling around his closet, he pulls out the missing piece to what will set it all off; his father’s Mr Robot jacket. Placing the jacket and mask Darlene brought over on, the seed of the idea is planted and here is where it all began.
This flashback was timed perfectly, as this relationship shown between Elliot and Darlene was actually kind of loveable. They were two siblings stoned, discussing the lives they were living and memories lost and for once, Elliot wasn’t frantic and Darlene wasn’t stressed out. But I guess that’s just because they haven’t brought down the largest transnational corporation in the world yet.
Ray, the ominous character that Elliot is slowly giving into makes another appearance in the show, as some sort of other therapist? And it’s weird. Elliot kind of tells him that Mr Robot exists so Ray hands him a chess board to battle it out with Mr Robot to see who really controls Elliot. It’s a super great idea, but Ray gives off some weird vibes. The fact that he does believe Elliot so easily is kind of suspicious and the fact that Ray first approached him at the courts in the way that he did adds to this. Is Ray even real?
Joanna Wellick is still a head bitch in charge and heads off to find Tyrell’s severance package but Scott Knowles is still super sus. He knows that the Wellicks killed his wife so he’s going to be a dick to them. Joanna needs the package for the baby but Knowles gives her nothing. It’s pretty deserved because he doesn’t play into her games but Joanna will probably end up getting what she wants. One way or another.
Angela’s encounter with the head of Evil Corp is cringeworthy as she fails to be the dominant figure she craves to be. There’s nothing scary about her. She’s like a Jack Russell in a pen full of Rottweilers and Pitbulls. She listens to recordings to hype herself up and all you want to do is yell at her to really think herself through. She’s a great character filled with insecurities and she knows but she’s only now just learning how to play the game. By requesting so much as a promotion to Phillip Price, as she emerges from the shadows of the parking lot, you want to look away as she tries to bark loudly to someone who has enough power to step on her. And you think, for a second, that he actually could break her down like that. But since Price has some sort of soft spot for her, she leaves unscathed.
Joey Bada$$ is once again proves to be a great actor, as he starts to question Elliot’s behaviour and suggests that he dreams.
Which he does.
A utopian dream sequence towards the end of this episode, and it was nothing short of beautiful.
Elliot outlined the perfect life he wish he could carry out; everything from apologising to the sales associate at Steel Mountain that he belittled to meeting Joanna and Tyrell Wellick’s toddler son to watching his sister getting proposed to by on-and-off boyfriend to having dinner with Angela (cue the tears because I do ship them very hard). All of the characters in the sequence were then, all seated at a long table with Elliot at one end of the table. Tyrell and Joanna were sitting next to Leon! Too many favourite characters of mine sitting in one place! It was actually too much for my hopeful heart to handle.
There was even a seat for us at the other end - how nice. They were all gathered in some street and together watched the fall of the Evil Corp building, clapping joyfully.
The scene ended with Elliot smiling and falling asleep, using this dream as a marker for what his ideal world should look like. I’m so down for this to be the reality he strives for because it’s beautiful. To be honest, just thinking of Leon and the Wellicks talking at the same table gets me excited.
Mr Robot and Elliot play that chess game that Ray recommended to play, but came to 3 stalemates. It’s some scary stuff because you can’t tell if Elliot is in control or not. This suggests that he isn’t in control but you just beg that it’s otherwise. Elliot wants so bad to be rid of his dead father’s presence and all you want to do is cry for him. I feel like I’ve done a lot of crying in this episode.
That earlier flashback of a relatively sane relationship between the Aldersons is broken as Darlene begs to Elliot to join the previous f.society chat because things are not chill. An FBI search around Romero’s death showed up an ‘Operation Berenstein’, and Darlene is having a freak out. Elliot uses Ray’s computer to log in and take care of things, concluding that he needs to hack into the FBI.
This episode was intense. It took me two watches to realise what was actually happening. I am rooting so hard for Elliot to get things right. There was a slight fragility in the relationship between Darlene and Elliot and that leaves me a bit upset, as Elliot is still failing to realise what reality he is living in. The chronology of this episode was a bit of a mess for me, as the small bit with the White Rose and Price was so random. All of a sudden, things are coming full circle? Does Elliot know that he’s really helping the head of Evil Corp? Probably not. Will he ever? Who knows.