In the latest ‘Mr. Robot’ recap, Elliot encounters an old friend, Angela runs into the Dark Army and Dom tries to make a connection with anybody…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
When last we spoke, Darlene, Cisco and Agent Dom DiPierro were caught in a hail of gunfire courtesy of the Dark Army, Elliot was close to tracking down Tyrell Wellick, or at least somebody pretending to be him, and Angela was ready to turn herself into the FBI to confess to her part in the Five/Nine hack.
As the penultimate episode of ‘Mr. Robot’ picked up this week, it felt like one part follow up from what happened previously as well as some kind of ‘Sopranos’ like fever dream that piled on a lot of questions without many answers being doled out in exchange. Hopefully, the payoff happens next week in the finale because this week certainly felt like one big tease to what’s coming next.
We didn’t find out if Darlene or Cisco survived but Dom certainly did only to find out that her investigation is going to be neutered thanks to a new deal that was struck as China bailed out E-Corp to the tune of $2 trillion dollars with no interest. That kind of financial investment binds the biggest corporation in the United States to China, which virtually ensures that the government won’t be digging into any secret Chinese hacker groups any longer like the Dark Army perhaps?
The hunt for Tyrell potentially ended — if he’s actually there — and Angela’s subway encounter didn’t lead to an FBI interrogation but instead a series of strange questions that eventually ended with a meeting where she met the infamous Whiterose.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Mr. Robot’ titled ‘eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z’
Have You Ever Cried During Sex?
As Angela gets whisked away from her subway encounter with Elliot, she’s convinced that the FBI has finally caught up to her or perhaps the people working for E-Corp have discovered her rouse and they are dealing with the mole inside the company. When she finally arrives at a nondescript house, Angela is locked inside a room with two chairs, a desk, a fish tank and an old Commodore computer.
A little girl then enters the room where she loads up a game — The Land of Ecodelia — that prompts a series of questions she asks to Angela. The first one — have you ever cried during sex? — immediately puts her on the defensive but the little girl explains that if Angela refuses to answer, the people in charge will punish her again. After the girl shows off some bruises, Angela sits back down and answers the long series of bizarre questions including a phone call that comes into the room with even more odd inquiries into her personal preference or decision making on certain scenarios.
One of the questions about Angela being locked in a room ends with her quoting the book “Lolita” — the key was in my fist, my fist was in my pocket — which just happened to be sitting on the desk next to the computer.
Much like many sequences on ‘Mr. Robot’, there’s no real clue why Angela is undergoing these tests but two things are made clear in the end — the little girl was never abused, she was just a tool to get Angela to show empathy. And the fish ended up dying.
Finally after the strange interrogation, Whiterose enters the room to have a conversation with Angela. It’s clear now that the people who picked her up a week ago were members of the Dark Army and not some FBI agents looking to arrest her.
Whiterose begins to explain how Angela should have probably already been dead 90-days ago if not for divine intervention on her behalf (my guess is Elliot saved her from execution no matter how many times the group probably should have tied off the loose end) but now they have something more important to discuss.
Whiterose needs to convince Angela to let go of her vendetta against E-Corp with the attempt to expose the water tampering scandal in her hometown that claimed the lives of her mother and Elliot’s father when they were kids. Whiterose promises that tainted water scandal wouldn’t bring down E-Corp, but it would bring a lot of eyes on a much bigger deal that she’s working on currently and Angela’s constant pestering is starting to bring a lot of undue attention on the situation. Whiterose also vaguely mentions how the original scandal may have been pre-planned and that her mother and Elliot’s father took one for the team — more or less — to expose the evil corporation.
It’s all a lot of double talk and fancy monologues, but in the end whatever Whiterose said got the point across because Angela leaves the room and goes straight to the lawyer she’s been consulting with on the E-Corp case since a season ago. Angela tells her to drop the case and to never contact her again. Whether it was the warning from Whiterose or something she disclosed in the conversation they were having that led her to believe that it was in her best interest to let this go, Angela is letting it go.
Something tells me, Angela now knows that the Dark Army (and Elliot) are still going after E-Corp but her plan to bring them down for a measly water scandal could muck up their much larger operation to topple the company for good.
Following the bailout from the Chinese, Phillip Price is back on Capital Hill talking to the lawmakers about instituting E-Coin as a new form of currency to dish out loans as opposed to handing out the American dollar to consumers. Obviously, Price is positioning himself and E-Corp to control the economy with their own monetary solution and now thanks to the deal with the Chinese, the U.S. government is hamstrung on making a move against either of them.
The Greatest Gift
The start of the episode is intertwined with a brief interlude featuring Joanna Wellick having a meeting with her employee, Mr. Sutherland. Joanna instructs him to show her the phone — presumably with the snapshot he took of Elliot’s computer last week that supposedly had the location where Tyrell has been hiding — and she says that this will be his greatest gift of all.
Of course, no one knows what the location might be or what this mysterious gift really is, but Joanna seemed pretty excited by it all.
Alexa, Do You Love Me?
Following the machine gun shootout at the diner last week, Dom is in the hospital being tended to while she’s begging to carry on the investigation into the Dark Army after watching numerous bystanders get gunned down by an armed assailant. Of course, Dom never mentions whether Cisco or Darlene survived — we’ll have to wait for the finale to find that out apparently.
Unfortunately, Dom’s best attempts to usurp her boss are cut down after he tells her about the deal between the Chinese and E-Corp, which pretty much makes this entire situation untouchable no matter how much evidence she has linking the Five/Nine hack to the Dark Army and the Dark Army back to the Chinese government. For now, all those entities are in a position where they are protected and not even the FBI can touch them.
So as much as Dom wants to dig into her own investigation, she’s forced to go home and get some rest.
Of course, Dom falling asleep is much easier said than done (as documented earlier in the season) so she ends up holding a full conversation with her Amazon Alexa, which demonstrates two things. First, it shows how desperate Dom is to connect with somebody — anybody or anything really — because she feels so alone. Second, it demonstrates Dom’s own dependence on technology, even as she’s trying to battle cyber-villains who have basically crippled the world through computers.
The pre-programmed answers don’t satisfy Dom’s urge for connection and it certainly doesn’t satiate her mind’s curiosity enough for her to fall asleep either.
Mind Awake, Body Asleep
When we first find Elliot this episode, he’s trying to trick his mind into a state of lucid dreaming where he essentially escapes his own body while at rest except he’s still conscious through it all. This is his attempt to find out what Mr. Robot has really been up to while he’s been slipping into the background, unaware that his alter ego has taken over.
Now if you remember from a week ago, Mr. Robot was desperate to get back to Elliot’s apartment to find something left behind there. With Elliot seemingly asleep, Mr. Robot finally acted by finding a takeout menu that had been dropped into the mail slot that was covered in code. Elliot actually watched from the outside looking in as Mr. Robot deciphered the code and found that it led to a phone number. When he called, a voice gave him an address to meet where a taxicab would be waiting.
At some point after leaving his apartment, Elliot takes back over his own body and finds the cab waiting for him at the designated address. He sits there for a minute as the driver asks for a destination, but that’s not anything he’s been given. Out of nowhere, the door opens and another passenger gets into the car — its Tyrell Wellick!
Now at this point, Elliot is convinced that he’s seeing things because Mr. Robot assured him that Tyrell was dead so this can’t really be him — can it? Add to that, throughout the episode, music from the original ‘Back to the Future’ movie continuously played over scenes and if you remember that just so happens to be Elliot’s favorite movie. So perhaps, Elliot really is dreaming all of this — some of the ‘Back to the Future’ music even played during Angela’s car ride to the house where she met Whiterose.
Real or not, Elliot freaks out because he believes his mind is playing tricks on him no matter how many times Tyrell promises that he’s really there.
Tyrell then tells Elliot that Stage 2 — the mysterious next step that Elliot apparently commanded when speaking to the Dark Army — is about to unfold. Tyrell says that Elliot will be very pleased with the results. This once again feels like an homage to ‘Fight Club’ with Elliot lost in a haze of confusion just waiting for Tyler Durden to show up and explain it all to him.
In the end, Tyrell puts his hand around Elliot’s shoulder and says “Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” — which of course is a famous line from the movie “Casablanca”.
What does it all mean? How does it all tie together? No one knows for certain but I suspect there’s a lot more to this episode than what we actually saw unfold this week. Remember, this was set up as a two part season finale so this is just one piece to the bigger puzzle. Somewhere, Tony Soprano is even scratching his head wondering what just happened.
‘Mr. Robot’ returns for the season finale next Wednesday night at 10pm ET on USA