Welcome back to a very late recap for Mr. Robot S2:E6; let's roll right now!
Last we saw, the FBI were under direct attack by Whiterose and indirect attack by Darlene and Elliot, the latter of whom got beaten up by thugs for looking at Ray’s Silk Road-style website.
We open in a weeeeiiiirdd look at Mr. Robot as a USA Network sitcom (on Word Up Wednesday!); all the kudos for Darlene’s “what’s your damage?” from Heathers. Did you know Christian Slater is executive producing this show now?
Only Elliot is confused by this typical Americana , PsychoMama cracks jokes at his expense (lines! She has lines!), but Mr. Robot reminds them: Elliot needs their help sometimes. Where they’re going is a surprise, but he thinks Elliot is going to like this installment of the Annual Alderson Family Road Trip! It gets weirder but Elliot can’t concentrate, what’s that laughing noise (very Stranger Than Fiction, 2 snaps in a Z formation); it’s interesting that Mr. Robot brings up Angela and Elliot as a couple again. I’ve been thinking about it, maybe I shouldn’t be expecting that for her, a “regular Will They Or Won’t They” (as someone pounds on the lid of the trunk), maybe she has her own destiny other than making Elliot seem salvageable. Blah blah EYES ON THE PRIZE ELLIOT blah blah was the point of that. You wouldn’t want to end up “with a crick in your neck!”
Weirdest.Credits.Ever but kind of delicious 80s reboot complete with cheesy music (“used to be you could believe in heros!”) and so.much.pastel. Elliot waking up after being pushed out the window, captioned “Rami Malek”, Mr. Robot sitting in the doctor’s office “Christian Slater”, then Darlene “Carly Chaikin” looking shaken, and weirdest of all: Angela Moss “Portia Doubleday” crying at the coffin of her dead mother and er um. Giddeon Goddard “Michel Gil” reading a paper about his own death: IS MAYBE GIDEON NOT DEAD???????? Oh man oh man, no no, I saw him get shot in the neck and it wasn’t in one of Elliot’s dreams. “The Man in the Trunk” is guest-starring as the music goes on “imagine a wooorrrld gone insane” *bouncy beat* and I do you think Mr. Robot has officially gone too clever, too meta? Has it swallowed its own tail? Nah, that’s kind of awesome. Hahahahahaha and they give Christian Slater his producer credit I just mentioned!
We’re um. We’re still in sitcom hell at an EvilCorp gas station as PsychoMama puts a cigarette out on Darlene’s arm then punches her in the face. Elliot opens the trunk to find…is that Tyrell? “Not so fast, kiddo” that’s just baggage.
Holy shit. ALF. Sam Esmail brought Alf on to the show.
Angela’s working the till, she’s on track to being made full manager! It almost makes up for ECorp killing her mom! *laughtrack*Mr. Robot and PsychoMama come in, tossing Elliot a bag: grab the Cheetos! They’re robbing the place, Angela threatens the police until PsychoMama maces her. Don’t worry about her, it’s “one for Alderson, Alderson for one!”
Elliot keeps seeing people beating someone, in the car mirrors, in Darlene’s gameboy, but no sir, eyes on the road chides Mr. Robot. They swerve off; a flat tire has stopped the Alderson Clan for now. Eep, the police are pulling them over.
EvilCorp commercial: “still on your side.”
Oh and the policeman is Gideon! And then Alf runs over Gideon.
Mr. Robot wants Elliot to move past it! It’s been 12 seconds! Tyrell makes it out of the trunk, shouting “I’m a businessman!!” and then knocks himself out bouncing off the green screen while Elliot loses his SHITE. Mr. Robot isn’t done with the advice “believing it’s real makes it so.”
Awwww, Tyrell finally gets a line! “The shoes! They’re Ferragamo!”
Mr. Robot reminds Elliot; sometimes too much truth will kill you. Sometimes a lie is the only answer. Everything in this sitcom hell is there to help him, this has all been a distraction while Elliot heals from the massive beating he took from Ray’s thugs.
Elliot awakes to find Ray and Lone Star looking at him. Maxine, Ray’s puppy is sick with heartworm and everything he’s saying to Elliot does not bode well for Elliot’s future. Long(ish) story short: he’s Elliot’s master now, every breath he takes is because he allows Elliot to breathe; he wants Elliot to know he is pwned. Ray thinks that’s what killed Maxine before the virus and awww man, Maxine is dead?
Where is Flipper??
The Dark Army’s attack on the FBI has made it even more difficult for fsociety; Trenton is worried. They only have one day as the Fibbies will be departing EvilCorp and they’ve only just started with Angela. Mobley takes Angela (and us!) through the plan, she doesn’t do great with the coding but there is a backup plan in the form of a flash drive that can snag info. Let’s try again!
Mobley’s freaked now too, he doesn’t think Angela’s going to be ready in time and he needs the exploit so it can be tested. Darlene tells him to hold the course; she’s just waiting for the fem-to-cell antenna from Cisco.
Cisco gets the antenna from a Dark Army agent higher up the food chain, but. He pushes, he wants to know why they wanted to check out the antenna when he said it was good? He pushes and pushes and two men in dragonmasks (that freaked Dom out on the escalator in Beijng) hold him. The Dark Army agent reminds him: Cisco is a foot soldier and is there to do one thing: follow orders. They he forcibly injects something into Cisco’s finger and breaks off the needle.
Dom’s being sent for four weeks of psyche leave by Agent Santiago; he missed all of it in his room. She argues, backing off on the Dark Army is the LAST thing they should be doing right now. She was spared, two gunmen could have killed her in the hotel but chose to shoot themselves in the head and erase their histories instead; that is very interesting phrasing.
Phillip is on the phone with the Speaker of the House; “this Beijing thing” has tied the hands of the White House. They can’t borrow from the Chinese without the public losing their minds and that means maybe the Bailout won’t go through. Hmmmmm, Whiterose you crafty vixen you. Guess who isn’t answering the phone? No, GUESS???? That’s right, Minister of State Security with the non-existent sibling isn’t picking up. Phillip shows his first signs of cracking, yelling at his assistant to KEEP CALLING.
Phillip can’t even leave to go smash Lalique figurines in private, the EvilCorp building is surrounded by protesters and hey, maybe that will delay the FBI leaving and give fsociety more time to train Angela! Silver lining, Phillip! Well. Not for you.
Trenton and Mobley are slightly concerned by Angela whispering affirmations to herself; she knows she can’t do that during the hack, right? Darlene doesn’t care what she does as long as she’s ready, right?? Oh there’s a crazy moment that is everything; Cisco walks in (bandaged finger, I checked) and he and Angela stare at each other for a full minute. Ohhhhh this is the first time that she’s seen Cisco since he blackmailed her then-boyfriend with nekkid pics of HER and her entire computing history. Such a complicated situation. Darlene clearly wasn’t fully aware of how the Dark Army did their part, so she’s confused at the suddenly charged air. Angela plays it off, leaving nobody in doubt that she absolutely knows Cisco and not in a good way. She takes the antenna and leaves while Darlene stares at Cisco in askance.
Dom’s in to see her fave store owner; he has practically no stock and he’s thisclose to shutting down. She’s annoying me with her palaver but he takes it in stride.
Darlene’s in full disguise and everyone is in place as the caper starts; she snags a swipe off a hotel maid and sets up shop in a room. I’m going to do my best not to be a buzz kill because I KNOW IT’S NOT THE POINT, TTM, but none of that happened the way it would in real life. Hotels have cameras in hallways, they know where you are calling from and they would never send up a full cart to replenish towels. As you were.
Angela does her part to get ready, her ponytail is looking kind of scrubby compared to how it looked at the top of the season, she’s stressed. Darlene gives her the call: Game Time!
Angela is moving fast on the 23rd floor, but she has my unfortunate lack of poker face, she’s looking around too much and she looks like she’s gonna hurl. She makes it to the bathroom, so we watch between the doors as she starts to panic: the Enable Attack command isn’t working. An agent enters the bathroom as she’s on the line with Mobely and Darlene so we wait for that, but then we’re live. Time to do your thing, Angela!
Her scrubby ponytail has caught the eye of an agent; he’s been waiting for her outside the bathroom. It’s taking Angela a little longer than it should to figure out that he’s hitting on her, Mobely and Darlene make it easier for her but when she turns him down he gets unruly. Why is she on this floor? She figures out how to mollify him; some kind of date and then sends him packing. Should I address the part where she says “nobody’s ever handed a win” when trying to mollify him? As in, “I said no, but I meant yes and you’re a p*ssy for RESPECTING MY WISHES” because literally: everything in the world is wrong with that but I do know THAT’S NOT THE POINT, TTM.
The plan is for Angela to assume the entire floor is clear and spend 5 minutes hooking up network cables??? How is this the plan?? One random person brown-bags their lunch and the entire exploit is over? That seems like a not-best-laid plan.
Darlene advises her to wipe her prints; all done, it’s working. Get oot! But no, wifi is down now, she has to get to a terminal to bring it back up. Angela’s done but Darlene threatens her; if she can’t get wifi, she can’t wipe the video of Angela planting the fem-to-cell antenna (please don’t look that up, I’m sure it’s all wrong, but the boxy-thingy that Mobely showed us that Cisco had prepared and the Dark Army messed with). Angela leaves, but she can’t get to the elevator since Dom and two other agents are standing in the hallway. She goes down the stairs instead, but Dom absolutely clocked her and it’s just a matter of time.
Elliot is pondering the nature of submission; does it feel good to have a master, sometimes? To not have to work too hard at figuring things out, but to instead ride shotgun while periodically rolling over and showing one’s belly? Lone Star and a couple of other thugs come and grab him while he’s thinking it over: hey, don’t most master / slave relationships start with a contract? Did you sign something, El?
Angela’s being walked through the flash drive assist by Darlene as I stare at her lashes. How can you see anything with those fake lashes and several coats of mascara and THEN liquid liner?? Isn’t that itchy AF? People walk by and Angela loses track; oop, did Darlene re-start her in the right place? More typing and she’s almost done when: Dom says hi. Ohhh. It’s okay she can wait for Angela to finish her call!
A wounded Elliot is thrown on the floor of a dark, dirty basement, his lungs have been hurt at the very least. Mr. Robot shows up and Elliot launches himself at him, but all Elliot’s daddeh was trying to do was take those punches for him. Elliot breaks my cold, dead heart when he finally says “thank you.” We cry a little.
We’re back in the car with Elliot and Mr. Robot when he was Edward Alderson; he has something to tell Elliot (who’s just been in a fight with a kid at school but refused to defend himself to the principal). Last week, he was called in to see Mr. Fitch from the office and was fired for missing time at work due to doctor appointments. He explains, he’s sick and he’s been keeping it from everyone. He would like Elliot to keep that secret too and we all know how that goes.
The music on this show is as banal as it is ubiquitous.
It’s not all bad news, though! He’s gonna open up a computer store, Elliot’s first job is to name it! Elliot’s ‘CITED! What’s the first thing that pops into his mind? He closes his eyes and we’re oot. My money is on Mr. Robot!!
I know I complain a lot, but that was a fun episode! Ridiculous and delicious and confusing and GROSS (what’s the deal with Cisco’s finger??), all in all a great way to numb the pain of our culture of overweening consumerism. Cheers, Script Kiddies!