Mr. Robot Recap S2:E4 eps2.2_init1.asec

Cover

Okay, this is it! We are all caught up on Mr. Robot so WOO HOO! For one day until USA Network drops the next installment. Things were starting to devolve further for our Elliot on the grossest fecking episode EVER of Mr. Robot; let's see how this one goes. Getting my safety glasses and barf bag oot, rolling after the break:

We lost Romero last time and gained a little bitta knowledge into Ray's life. Far from being the gently hen-pecked hubs he presented himself as at first glace, he's a dark man with a serious disease and a habit of talking to people who aren't there. He's Elliot but also exactly the opposite and he needs some computing help.

The Dark Army is starting to creep back into the picture, are they who killed Romero and Gideon? Darlene doesn't think so, but she sort of treats the Dark Army like a bad puppy; they've never reacted the way she expects.

Angela is discovering how hard it is to take down EvilCorp from the inside, she's working again herself, you see. I have a half-formed theory that she's capitulating only for show and is secretly about to blow the lid off ECorp, once she gets deep enough to set a charge right by it's beating heart, Mr. Phillip Price. However, since I saw The Big Short over the weekend as well, I have no doubt at all that the system is self-sustaining and can't be brought down by the loss of any one person or group of people, so.

We ended last time with Fibbie DiPerro staring at the F...Society Arcade in Coney Island, I do hope her nether regions have rebounded after her insomniatic pawings last week.

I get a little shouty and finger-pointy at this show, but by the time we're done, I always have tonnes of respect for how they've rendered complicated plots beautifully; drawing me along kicking and shouting and then amazed. It's high art, but watchable art and if sometimes I feel like it swallows it's own tail, I'm still always blown away.

We must be back in time as we open, because someone's knocking at Elliot's door and he's putting away a disc marked Van Halen (which is how he used to hide the evidence on the people he hacked) and awww man, it better not be Shayla. It's not, it's Darlene and she's wearing the fsociety mask and that's how THAT started. She found it in a discount bin and decided to wear it for Halloween.

Is it okay to say how hawt Rami Malek used to look in season one? Because he totally did. Somehow he lost even more weight, farked up his hair and got pale as milk in season two, but back in the beginning: foine AF.

Mr. Robot Elliot

Darlene snides away about his lack of social skills; he makes to run from her like he always does, probably because of her "c*nty way(s)" as she calls them. She stops him with "Emmet won" (I fink - she mumbles when she's not addressing everything to the ceiling. Maybe "init1", as in the title?) and that means she's serious. Please hang out with her tonight.

They're smoking up and watching a film from 1984 (George Orwell ref?) called "The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie" and THAT is where the fsociety mask originated and that's why she dragged it out of the bargain bin that dollar store. This movie debunks the idea of American as a class-less society (as does "White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America" by Nancy Isenberg) but since I've never thought of America that way, it's all lost on me. Of course America isn't class-less; massive wealth is passed down and it's influence is dispersed among friendlies: you show me an extremely successful individual in America, bootstrapped or no, and I'll show you a history of political horse-trading and illicit money-making skewed against the poor. Ain't nobody clean.

Darlene is espousing the same theory to Elliot: "Long live the oligarchy!" while they watch; this movie has always been the root of their psychological dysfunction. He asks if she's still having panic attacks and she thinks that's a totally normal reaction to society. It's interesting to see him tend to her, though, she's always been so strong (if obnoxious) and he's always been the fragile one. It's nice to see he can help, although I guess, he did help before. That's what he would do, hack and expose people and put them away. I'm guessing the loss of Shayla is a factor in his fragility.

Darlene InstaGraham's pics (that right there is a trail) from the movie and wants to order Indian food. She's really into Papadum these days and has been hacking around, scrounging for coopns (in Ron White's voice, you know it). When he doesn't jump up with a high five, she ask if he's been scurred straight or someping. Nah, he got fired from the InfoSec gig and is seeing a shrink.

He was disillusioned at work, hacking to hacker-proof and everyone else wanted to go home for Memorial Day weekend but they couldn't, because of him and so they locked him in the Server Room. Wait. They physically locked him in the server room?? Those spaces are hot! And they LOCKED HIM IN a room at work?? Also pissed about that was Mr. Robot, who presumably came out and destroyed the servers while Elliot slept.

I keep being confused by Mr. Robot's aggression this series, but he was always Elliot's dark side. Previously he kept to plots and plans and didn't lose his temper or use direct violence is all.

The judge made Elliot go to therapy for Anger Management (which is essentially Mr. Robot Management, which Elliot has been doing with the help of his Regimen. I finally figured it out last episode, that Elliot is numbing himself the same way he thinks society does: friendship, church, sports, and eating, just without the overweening consumerism.

He turns to Darlene with a smile on his face, holding in the hit "I guess it's official. *smirk* I'm crazy."

She thinks the real psychos at Wall Street are the real crazies, though, he'll get another job. Like at AllSafe, where Angela's trying to hook him up. Ahhhh Gideon, owner of AllSafe, brutally shot through the throat two epis ago.

They talk about their PsychoMama a bit; neither one sees her but they both miss their dad. Darlene wishes she remembered him better; wanna see something, says Elliot? He pulls out his dad's Mr. Robot jacket out of the closet. He puts it on as some weird Jumanji score-shite plays in the background, seriously what the hell is up with the music? I expect to see a talking tree soon.

Side note: Carly Chaikin has the most interesting face; I said last recap that she looks like a Picasso painting; this week it looks as though her mouth stretches from one side of her face all the way over to the other. And dose enormous eyes!

So. We have the Mr Robot jacket and the fsociety mask and THIS is where fsociety is born. Death to the oligarchy!

He muses; maybe he should take the AllSafe job, be a Trojan Horse to get into EvilCorp. She laughs, but the mask and jacket give him a certain gravitas that she can't read.

He starts to plan, the actual take down would be easy, but the after, during the fallout, that would be the key. The follow-through; they'd need to take down ECorp fully just then, instead of easing off they'd need to completely destroy public confidence. Is that Angela?? Please let Angela be the coup be grace as I said above. Please.

Darlene's getting weirded out, but he thinks it could work, it could change the world! Is this something he's actually thought about? He doesn't answer (but yes, clearly) as he stares at the mask illuminated by the glow of his computer screen and we have horror sound effects for our titles.

That would be AWESOME if there was a plan in place to finish everything off and a path forward and not just the apparent floundering we've been seeing since five / nine.

We're back in the present with Darlene and Elliot doing their day to day

Wait. Why is there a guys in gas masks on the train just down from Darlene? I get the VR headset later, but not the gas masks.

AND THIS MUSIC. WHUT? Like background noise for Fantasy Island or a Buzz Berkely musical, all angels singing just out of range.

Elliot has asked Darlene to come see, he needs to patch his vulnerability by exposing it to her. Calm down, that's his SISTER. Sheesh. He knows what's she's been up to, but he doesn't know about Romero yet. She's trying to approach it gently, from the side, but he's all done; he has no stomach for what she's doing and nothing about the Bailout vote either.

She reminds him of his words (above^^^); the hard part being after and it's as though he's a different person from before. He's frightened all the time. He says that WASN'T him before, that was "him" meaning Mr. Robot (stick with me!), so maybe now she needs Mr. Robot. Not him. She's completing the hard part when he's faltering over the loss of Gideon.

Elliot has been down this road with Darlene before, he knows she's holding something back and she wants his help but she's not being honest about what. "This is her default." In her defense, telling him about another death is probably not going to make him any more helpful.

Agent DiPerro has brought the rest of the Fibbies to the arcade in Coney Island; she figured out that on the printout of FBI contact details, the common thread was that they interviewed Gideon Goddard. They're taking apart the arcade and have found pictures of the whole End of the World Party online (eep, Mobely was the DJ on that poster) but Dominique thinks that's the hackers' MO: to hide in plain sight.

The other agents are veeery skeptical that this is a place of importance, surely fsociety isn't going to be hiding in an arcade with a huge sign "F...Society" out front but she has hard evidence that she found tucked away. We don't getta see it right away, but the other agents shut up for a mo'.

Joanna's in the back of her car with a very nervous dude (I FINK the guy that told Elliot he'd been parked in a lot for two days when he woke up after five / nine) that she's trying to calm down. She's been paying disguy every week, whut? Kareem (Kareen Savinon) is not reassured, so Joanne makes Important Eye Contact with Mr. Sutherland in the driver's seat and I bet Nervous Kareem isn't getting any more payments. Or any more weeks for that matter. Okay, he gets one more from Mr. Sutherland but I bet he doesn't get very far with it. He looks long and hard at her before leaving and Joanna asks Mr. Sutherland why he's so grouchy looking. They're running out of money and someone has placed a stop on the money ECorp owes Tyrell as part of his severance package. He tells her they can't afford to keep paying disguy but she's done talking.

Angela is listening to her affirmations and realigning her new neural pathways as she watches Saul and Jim be escorted from the ECorp offices in handcuffs and "all of my dreams are coming true right now" plays on repeat in her head phones. That's genius, but it doesn't look as though Angela feels that way right now; was she not the one who turned them in for helping Terry Colby to cover up the toxic spill that killed her mother and Elliot's dad?

Ray and Elliot are playing chess (far too apt) while Ray's computer screen lurks in the background. Ray wipes the board with him, but Elliot resets the men, let's go 'gain! Ray asks Elliot if he knows the definition of insanity ("he clearly doesn't know who he's talking to" is a LOL moment and so.odd for Mr. Robot) is repeating mistakes, blah blah, take the board and practice. You might even beat yourself! Seeing as Elliot is typically accompanied by one full-fleshed manifest, I'd say that's a great idea! I bet Mr. Robot is always gonna play the dark pieces. Who wants some of that action??

Ray thinks Elliot's been wrestling with someone since they met (like five / nine wonders Elliot?), maybe he should lay his burden down with some self on self chess playing. OR! Or confess to Ray! It's cleansing!

"Talking doesn't really help me" says a almost-laughing Elliot, but Ray wants him to maybe try it out loud. See if that works better to make sense of it. I can see how telling someone everything would be really useful, but Mr. Robot immediately appears and threatens to swandive off a building. I did not think that was the contemporary definition of swandive, huh. Unless Mr. Robot is going out with a bang.

Elliot argues, who cares if Ray goes to the police, he'll own it all. Mr. Robot reminds him about the Dark Army though, they probably wouldn't look too kindly onnit. He does offer an alternative method of release "if you want to unburden yourself, go jerk off" and I included that because I swear to god it was J.D. from Heathers, when Christian Slater burst onto the scene as a young Jack Nicholson.

Ray watches Elliot struggle "you need that game a lot more than I thought."

Ah and it was Angela you turned in her new pals Jim and Saul; she turned that information over to Nayar, who arranged for their arrests the following day. Angela sees this as Price creating leverage with her; he needs something from her but she doesn't know what yet. She wants to go over the drafts of the settlement agreement and see what they missed. Nayar argues that their lawyers have pored over every line looking for EvilCorp's shite, but Angela's convinced that she's the missing link. Only she will be able to tell what's wrong with it. I thought they were using Angela for leverage to get to Elliot myself, but if so, it is an extremely long game they are playing.

And now we have the chess match foretold lo those many paragraphs before: Elliot vs. Mr. Robot. One game, winner takes all and the other persona takes a walk. Is it wrong that I kind of want Elliot to find his dark side again? He's been farking around doing nothing; yes, Gideon got killed but I do not believe that was Elliot's fault at all, any more than Romero's death was. Elliot needs to either finish this revolution, stab the final blade through EvilCorp's chest. I don't think I can watch him go through his daily Regimen for much longer.

As an incentive, Mr. Robot offers up the 3 days after five / nine and no more blackouts entirely. For the record, blackouts suck and I'd TAKE that deal if I were Elliot. Mr. Robot hates this infighting (like, really in) as much as Elliot does, "let's play for it."

Elliot is at Dr. Krista's office thinking about Mr. Robot's offer, is he Elliot's only manifest? Slight nod to us, don't worry, we're safe, another LOL I mean. She wants to talk to Mr. Robot, but nooooo, nope, that's a bad idea. Elliot is worried that it would legitimize Mr. Robot, but Dr. Krista argues that Elliot's dear old dad is clearly a presence. This angers Elliot, what does she want? He lays it out for her; he acknowledges that he talks regularly with his dead father and loses periods of time and forgot his sister and FINE. Now let's get on to the part where she helps.

She tells him this game he is agreeing to is dangerous; he is trying to destroy a part of himself, good or bad and annihilation is never the answer. Elliot disagrees. He thinks we edit ourselves everyday, "curate our identity" and yay!! In the middle of that we get Whiterose (B.D. Wong. I fcuking LOVE B.D. Wong) who is carefully curating her identity as a transgender woman running the Dark Army.

She's on the phone with Phillip, who's convinced that all they need is Angela, no backup plan required. He likes to keep to the simple path, "Occam's Razor" and all that. Whiterose is impatient, however, it's taking forever and as always with Whiterose, time is of the essence. Phillip complains; he didn't start this game, Whiterose did and now he's being pressured to resign and everything. He blathers on about the Administration not being ready (the President isn't desperate enough) and utters the unacceptable "it will take time" so Whiterose hangs up on him.

A young Asian man enters and they start to speak in Cantonese or Mandarin (clueless!) but I miss the first part and have to re-watch because I'm so distracted by Whiterose's suddenly extremely high voice. She was speaking in a much deeper voice with Phillip, this high-pitched awkward tone threw me off entirely. They speak of a second schedule, which means 6 months and he hands her a dossier about FBI Agent Dominique DiPerro. He leaves to find out what she knows, but not before helping Whiterose choose earrings and receive a peck on the lips of thanks. Er-oooh?

Huh. Joanna's in to see Scott Knowles, that's an odd choice, since her husband killed Scott's wife Sharon. Scott is a wreck, no more the fastidious bore waxing on about his wine collection, but a widower deep in grief and dirty dishes. He doesn't get it either, asking "why the fcuk are you in my home?" She wants to know about Tyrell's severance package, but he won't release it until he finds out who killed his wife.

Sure, says Joanna, I'll testify to all of that, just gimme my moola. That's cold, yo, but she always did make Claire Underwood look like Mrs. Claus.

He pours more wine and tells her that "Tyrell Wellick's baby gets what it deserves. Nothing" and I can't see her taking that. I'd be careful, Scott. But not too careful, you're kind of an ahole.

Now Darlene's being followed by dark-suited types and it's making her jumpy. She's passed by a group of people in fsociety masks, one demands her phone. I think that's her ex-boyfriend, who worked for the Dark Army, but it's kind of hard to tell. He directs her to a meeting spot.

This is the longest Mr. Robot recap ever, we're not even half done. You may want to stop for a cuppa and biccy, like I am. See you back here in five!

It IS her ex-bf, woot! He tells her that the FBI found her arcade as a really bad Neil Young cover floats on the air around them. The dark suited man enters as she presses: is this Dark Army? He swears not and asks about Elliot. She's got to tell Elliot about Romero. Hm. Was that supposed to be a trigger?

Aww, they have gross bathroom sex in the most weirdly wallpapered washroom ever. He tells her it's worse, though, it was meant to look like Romero was researching the FBI when he died so the Dark Army is nervous he says WHILE HE'S STILL INSIDE HER. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA she says the same thing!! HAHAHAHAHA sorry, sorry, I'm just not usually on the same page as Darlene, but it didn't even look like he was finished dispensing the troops before he started freaking her out.

Romero was investigating something called Operation Berenstain (like the bears?), he tells her as she pees and gets out the toilet paper. I don't get it, this new fascination with watching young women void their bladders on screen. On HBOs Girls, I swear those women all had hamster bladders or Lena Dunham had them all on diuretics during filming.

Darlene finally gets it, this is very bad for fsociety and she wants to rabbit, but that's even worse. The Dark Army will kill her for sure then and she doesn't understand how it got like this. Me and her boyfriend are like "really? Really, you don't know how that happened? Like for reals?"

Leon's yakkin' on at the diner about the Good Samaritan Rule, wherein people can get off if they're doing something good, I dunno. I just know they used it on site a lot when people tried to use First Aid instead of letting people die like THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO. It's not that Safety didn't want people to live, the just didn't want TWO people to die because some moron ran into deadly gas after someone else ran into it.

Leon asks if Elliot wants to play the chess game sitting there? Nah, it's not for him, but Leon says back in the Age of Enlightenment, people used chess as a method of self-improvement and I would really just like for Elliot and Mr. Robot to play now, okay? Please?

Elliot says he's playing for "existence" so Leon asks him if he wants to be here right now? That's not what Elliot hears, though, he hears "Do you dream, Elliot?" and then it segues into using dream therapy to figure out what kind of existence Elliot wants anyway.

Joanna and Derek are snuggling on the couch talking about visiting Spain, she cries and asks if he really ever sees himself being able to afford that? She needs serious money and Derek is not it. She asks if he knows why she's dating him? He's broke as a joke and he will never be able to take her anywhere and she doesn't care. She's had all those things and they didn't make her happy, so she doesn't expect him to be anything other than exactly what he is. Derek and I are SO CONFUSED. He's the worst Dom ever, she won't go out with him and she's still scrounging for money. SO CONFUSED. Is she going to murder him and drink his blood to retain her unearthly Angelina-Jolie-like beauty?

Elliot is trying to dream, as directed, in bed looking all chumfy and looking forward to his future fairytale. Awww, innit he sees Angela, sitting down for a drink and meeting up with old co-workers at a BBQ, then watching an ecstatic and maybe pregnant Darlene get proposed to (again, she dumped her boyfriend last time he tried that) and then dinner with the Wellicks. My favourite part is when he apologizes to Bill, who's heart he broke back in season one during a reconnaissance trip to a data stronghold. He was very mean to Bill.

Everyone is together now, having supper in the middle of the street and even we get a chair as EvilCorp's giant building collapses around us. We cheer! That's the world Elliot would like very much to fight for.

And now we have our showdown, a chess match in the park at a picnic table with Mr. Robot. I told you Mr. Robot would be the dark pieces! Elliot tells us that chess is about where your previous choices take you and I hadn't thought of it like that before, but that's pretty much the crux of it, and life too, I gather he's suggesting.They reach stalemate over and over, resetting each time and bantering about who's hurting people more. Edward first taught Elliot how to code on a computerized chess game, it's about knowing the moves ahead but then again, Elliot's playing himself, not Edward aka Mr. Robot and they reach stalemate for the third time, which is impossible. He can't beat Mr. Robot and Mr. Robot can't beat him and they will always end at this impasse.

Elliot refuses to admit that Mr. Robot is there for a reason, he wants to play again and again. I mean.

This show can be very repetitive (says the person using the same 8 words multiple times). It's...tiring sometimes.

Angela has been lurking in the parking garage; she attacks as soon as she sees Phillip Price wander into her lair. She wants an office on the 20th floor and Melissa's job and it's non-negotiable. She's identified the pattern; in every version of the Washington Township settlement case, there was one point they could never agree on: the third party company must perform inspections on the Washington Township plant. The class-action lawsuit always included that clause and that's why Phillip gave her the job and arrested those two men, so she could convince them to do drop it. She's willing to do all that if he gives her what she wants. Those are her terms. He calls her impressive but my dear, it's all in her head.

He walks away, as she calls after: she knows she isn't wrong. How could she have misjudged it?

Darlene invokes her and Elliot's secret password, it's "innit 1" (I FINK, not Emmet One as above), which was an old computer code between them that means she's crashing. She needs to talk to him right away on a secure channel and gets his attention with "we might be pwned."

Mr. Robot waits in the dark next to the phone; did she mean it when she wanted Mr. Robot and not him? But no, she wants Elliot and only Elliot and Mr. Robot looks down, resigned. Stand down, daddeh, big bro is still in charge.

Mr. Robot yells at Elliot some more while we wait, ahh, he's in to see Ray, who he hands the chess game. He's not there to confess to Ray, as Mr. Robot shouts about suicide in the background, he's there to help Ray with his computer problem. Is this so Elliot has access for Darlene right now? Mr. Robot and I are confused but at least one of us has shut up (for once).

Did you know Moses, Abraham and a bunch more mythological people all heard voices? It can be divinity. If you let it and that's what everyone is chasing on this show: who's your god?

He hands Elliot the instructions he was given for the site migration, looks pretty simple, let's get to it! But first Ray needs to explain about his online business, he's pretty attached it it. In walks his heavy with the neck tattoo; Ray's asking Elliot to fix the site but not look anywhere else and Lone Star (Michael Maize) is there to help.

Elliot logs into the private chat with Darlene right away and gets the deets, no time for niceties, all FBI, dead Romero and Berenstain (bears?) coming home to roost. Elliot makes his non-choice (his sister is in trouble), clicking away and hacking the FBI.  And we're oot.

I won't lie, I'm glad Elliot's getting back into the game, watching him ignore basketball games was getting a little...numbing. It was nice to see Tyrell Wellick again, even if only in Elliot's dreams. I do not understand what Joanna is up to, she's so creepy and mercenary, I can only believe she's playing possum. I really REALLY hope Angela is their Trojan Horse too, fingers crossed! Thanks for reading all the way through, turns out the words don't go away when I have a few days off, they just lie in wait, like Angela in a parking garage. Until next time, Script Kiddies, deuces.