It's season three of Mr. Robot but..it doesn't really feel like it this episode. See what I mean after the break on S3:E1 eps3.1_undoqz
We're listening to Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) monologue about fixing what he did with fsociety, we can always undo, yes? Even fcking up really badly and destroying the world's economy?
"New Sensation" by INXS plays as we watch Elliot resume work at EvilCorp, back on anti-depressants and wearing a shiny new shirt every day. He's found a way to hit Undo, it involves working his way up the chain at EvilCorp, which he now calls a necessary evil and I wait for the laugh track.
Um, what Elliot?
He's surrounded by two-dimensional emoji-humans, of which he is now one, getting through each day with his meds and going through his higher ups one at a time, having them all picked up one by one by the Feds for various illegal activities. It's just like season one again as he listens to a profane co-worker (Ramy Youssef) explain where the primo "poon" be. Something about "slippery when wet" and "I just dove back in"?
As he's going through boss after boss doing his anemic presentation on not storing all the paper together, he's stalling for time by messing with shipping, sending the docs back and forth to South Dakota.
This is a very slapstick epi of Mr. Robot, you should watch it.
Elliot grudgingly admits that not everything is wonderful; people are starving, there's little electricity and apples cost $25/3. He finally makes it in front of the right person and next stop is the VPs office. He bides his time by cleaning out one scumbag after another.
Totally a throwback show.
The Loneliness came back, worse than before, so that means a lot of crying, Zoloft, emoji heads and Dr. Krista Gordon (Gloria Rueben).
Hey, it's Elliot's birthday! She asks about Darlene (Carly Chaikin) but Elliot thinks his sister triggers Mr. Robot and he's trying to avoid any manifests right now. It's better without Mr. Robot, but...
Elliot flashes back to a memory of Darlene and him when they were kids, it was a great day in the winter. They built a snowman and called it Kevin McAllister because they loved the movie Home Alone. Erp, that was the day his dad pushed him out the window and he broke his arm. Just a reminder that Mr. Robot didn't start life as a well-meaning revolutionary out to avenge the world, he was a child-abusing ahole with anger management problems.
Dr. Krista is horrified, Elliot hasn't told her this before. Really? He told us five minutes after meeting us, it's kind of his thing. What made Elliot even think of that? He doesn't know.
Truth Bombs with Frank Cody (Erik Jensen - and I think it's called Let's Be Frank) has a special guest: Joanna Wellick (Stephanie Cornliussen) who's there to talk about her love for her missing husband Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström - LOOKIT THE UMLAUT!!) who is apparently taking all the blame for 5/9 in absentia.
Frank wants to know how Joanna really feels about Tyrell, what with poor unfortunate Scott Knowles being arrested for the murder of his wife (totes was Tyrell) after a bartender testified to that effect. Ten bucks says it's the bartender Joanna was banging on the side and even filed divorce papers to seal the deal!
Don't take that bet.
That was a weird interview, who cares globally about whether Tyrell and Joanna's relationship was good or not? And on Frank's show, where he talks about economic conspiracies? Bizarre.
A new tape has been released by fsociety, but for SURE it wasn't Cisco (coz dead) and Darlene disavows all knowledge. Since the masked person mentions time, I'm positive it's Whiterose behind it, but Agents Dom DiPerro (Grace Gummer) and Santiago (Omar Metwally) aren't buying my theory. They're more interested in Darlene as far as flushing out Tyrell. They know Elliot and Tyrell are pals, but Darlene needs some convincing. The tape of Elliot getting a call from Tyrell is jail seals the deal.
I totally argued with that in my head - NO, Elliot was at that halfway home with his mom when he got that call! I remember the hallway with Tyrell's "bonsoir Elliot!" And then I remembered that was Sam Esmail messing with our melons in season two when Elliot was in jail but didn't tell us for ages.
"Listen to Your Heart" by Roxette plays in the background as Joanna is driven away from her interview, her bodyguard Mr. Sutherland (Jeremy Holm) felt it was unwise and is pouting until he realises that the duped and drunk bartender is staring at him.
Derek (Chris Conroy) is dealt with swiftly, he will never be talking to Joanna again, capiche? Turns out that's indeed true, as drunk Derek has a gun and enough motor function to shoot Mr. Sutherland in the head. Then Joanna, who is frantically scrambling to get to the gun in the front seat. She's dead and the baby is SCREAMING and then they show him covered in blood just as Derek is shot by the non-quite-dead Mr. Sutherland.
Come on, Mr. Robot. Too much. Far too much. What the FECK
Oh, we're not done yet I see, the whole next scene is conducted in front of Joanna's autopsy, starting with her skull being pried open.
All that is left is the baby and if Agent Santiago has his way, the child is headed to Social Services. Dom protests, but they're coming from different sides re: Darlene and apparently this ties in.
"Renegades" by X Ambassadors plays as Elliot meets Darlene by the midway; Ferris wheels cavorting in the background. He thinks Darlene is his trigger (IT'S ANGELA) but Darlene is leaving in the morning anyway, heading upstate to hang out with a super vague friend. She had been hoping they would be close, that's why she moved there. He asks her to stay with him for her last night, he doesn't want to be alone on his birthday.
EvilCorp CEO Philip Price (Michael Cristofer) is holding forth at an economic conference. China has refused to sign the International Accord to use Ecoins as THE currency, preferring Bitcoins and Philip has had it with Whiterose (BD Wong) smirking at him from the audience. China is "declaring a currency war."
In private, Whiterose has little time for Price's blustering, he should remember that "your success will always follow mine." Price is stupid enough to threaten the upcoming vote at the UN regarding China's annexation of the Congo, so Whiterose has to get mean. He brings up Angela (Portia Doubleday) and makes it clear that she is in danger.
Elliot wakes up very early the next morning, to find Darlene already up and at 'em and messing near his computer. Oh but it's not Elliot attacking and threatening Darlene, it's Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) and he is PISSED.
Elliot is back to see Dr. Krista, she would really like to meet this Mr. Robot, peez. Really? He's kind of a jerk since season 1, doctor, you might want to rethink that. She doesn't listen to me and puts him under.
He hits on her, hey, "crazy can be sexy" then wanders around being glib, touching her books and monologuing about a "phony cooze playing friend" which must refer to Angela. He brings so much menace to the room that he sucks all the air out of it.
Elliot wakes up - when were they gonna start?
Elliot treks home, who compromised him? Who is the phony friend (ANGELA)? The most important thing is that now he feels ALIVE again! He arrives home to find a blast from the past waiting, Michael Hansen (Armand Schulz) and his puppy Flipper! That is literally all I fixated on that whole scene, is Elliot getting Flipper back?? Is he?? HE IS!!
JFC, this really is an Undo, innit?
Elliot sits at his computer, unsure, then starts tapping away. Also watching his screen are the FBI in a safe house, thanks to Darlene. Damnit girl.
Whiterose tells his assistant Grant (Grant Chang) to schedule Stage 2 to start on the day of the UN vote, whether is goes their way or not. Grant is aghast, that would have serious consequences for them, why would he want to hamstring them like that? Because it's time Price's hand got slapped.
Dom gets to the safe house to watch Elliot work away on his computer, other agent Norm (Rizwan Manji from The Magicians!) is mocking until they hear a noise. Is Elliot there? He clearly knows his computer was bugged, what's the deal with the noise? And we're out.
So. Holy shite did we tread a lot of previous ground here. It felt like season one, but season one after an almost-breakup, so it's all strained and polite but not quite the same. Since when is Mr. Robot SUCH an ahole? He's been getting progressively worse, from the harmless visionary in season one to the disturbed bloodthirsty pirate in season two, now we're circling back around to the essence of the man. After all, who pushes his child out of a second story window?
Production note: they used a lot of popular songs from the 90s in this episode and others, but the scoring in the scene with Dr. Krista and Mr. Robot was the best. I LOVED that scoring, it has that authentic Mr. Robot energy to it and it's so much better than the radio-friendly stuff we heard the rest of the time.
Until next time!