In the latest ‘Mr. Robot’ recap, a huge twist is finally revealed, Angela gets a new job and FSociety strikes on the even of July 4th….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The last time we spoke, Elliot was finally coming to an understanding of sorts with his other personality better known as Mr. Robot after taking a vicious beating from his chess playing friend Ray after he stumbled upon his very illegal online business.
Mr. Robot had been painted as a psychological terrorist all season long, but the fact that Elliot created him in the vision of his own father had to come from some sort of good place so it shouldn’t be a surprise that he wanted to take those punches from the thugs. In the end, Elliot finally came to accept Mr. Robot as another part of himself — a part that wasn’t going away but a part that he could co-exist with rather than eradicate.
Elsewhere, Darlene used Angela to hack into the FBI to erase any trace of their involvement in the infamous Five-Nine hack, but just moments before she unleashed the final keystroke to finish the job, Agent Dom DiPierro happened upon her desk with an inquisitive look upon her face.
Now Angela has to explain what she’s doing while Elliot is still stuck in his own living hell — this time not because of Mr. Robot, but instead thanks to cyber bully Ray, who wants his website up and running now and not later.
Of course all of Elliot’s problems are relative to a much bigger revelation made this week — the one where everything from his mother’s house to his lunch meetings with Leon to his church group sabbaticals — was all a part of an elaborate ruse created inside his own head to deal with what’s really been going on this whole time.
Elliot is in prison.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Mr. Robot’ titled “eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme”…
A Handshake Agreement
All season long Elliot has been searching for two things — answers and resolution.
Perhaps in many ways those go hand in hand, especially considering Elliot’s scrambled brain ever since he complete the Five-Nine hack that single handedly took Evil Corp down to its knees. Of course, Elliot didn’t deliver the knockout blow so Evil Corp is still surviving while he’s been living a life of routine in a feeble attempt to eliminate or at the very least tamp down the other voice that’s been rattling around his head for quite some time.
But after last week’s brutal beat down courtesy of Ray and his thugs, Elliot has finally come to accept Mr. Robot for what he is — a part of his own brain that spawned from inside his head with the same face as his father because that’s exactly what he needed and always wanted. Now that Elliot has come to terms with Mr. Robot’s place in his head and in his life for that matter, it’s time for the two of them to come clean with each other.
So after Mr. Robot reveals what he did to keep Elliot safe from the punches he took while locking him away in a looping 1980’s family sitcom, the looming question about Tyrell Wellick’s fate is finally answered. Elliot hasn’t been able to let go of his desire to find out what happened to Tyrell on the night they executed the hack and since he hasn’t been seen since that time, it’s only made him more curious with each passing day.
Finally, Mr. Robot let’s Elliot in on the secret — amidst Tyrell’s ravings about killing a woman and acting like a god — it was finally time to acknowledge that only one of them was going to survive this. So Mr. Robot made sure Elliot was the one who walked away when he grabbed the gun left in the popcorn machine and shot Tyrell where he was standing.
Mr. Robot: “I didn’t want to but I shot him.”
Elliot: “No. I shot him.”
It’s not easy for Elliot to accept what he did, but at least he finally knows. Of course, Mr. Robot fails to mention if Tyrell is actually dead because don’t forget in the dream state 1980’s sitcom, he was merely bound, gagged and locked away in the truck but at no point during the vision did he actually die. Gideon Goddard died just like in real life, but Tyrell survived. Something to think about.
Finally, Ray’s men retrieve Elliot from the basement where he’s brought upstairs to finish the job he first started before digging into the kind of site his new friend was running. Elliot knew to stay alive he had to complete the job, which then made him valuable to Ray and not nearly as expendable as before.
A few hours later, Elliot finishes his work and the money from the website starts rolling in at an even quicker pace than before. Unfortunately, Elliot’s good work didn’t give Ray much use for him anymore but rather than sign his own death warrant, he instead asked his “friend” for one more game of chess.
As the pieces shifted across the board, one move at a time, Ray told Elliot a story about how the site got started in the first place — apparently it was all his wife’s idea. Over time, the site grew and expanded, but Ray did his best to keep his head buried in the sand so he’d never truly know what was going on behind closed doors. He tried to have good intentions about the website despite knowing that bad things were happening under his nose.
As the game continued, Ray finally looks at Elliot and asks him the question he’s wanted to know ever since the job was finished — how long would it be until cops arrived?
It seems Elliot not only fixed Ray’s website, but he altered the code that the secret trading place for underage sex trafficking, gun sales and other illegal activities would start showing up in search engine results. Add to that an anonymous tip to the FBI and Ray was on his way to prison.
Instead of reacting or finishing the job on Elliot, Ray simply sat back in his chair and waited for the inevitable to happen. He also told Elliot to get out of there before the cops arrived while wishing him luck on all his future endeavors. It’s almost like Ray knew he got outplayed and that was his way of saying “checkmate”.
With just a few more commands to type until the hack into the FBI database is complete, Angela comes face to face with Agent Dom DiPierro, who is already looking at her with suspicious eyes.
Dom is curious about Angela’s appearance on the 23rd floor — the restricted area where only FBI agents are allowed — in the same way she’s curious about how Angela quit All-Safe just one week before the Five-Nine hack was unleashed.
Perhaps it’s all coincidence, but Dom DiPierro doesn’t look like the kind of person who buys into that bullshit. Of course she has no proof that Angela has done anything wrong and when she explains her stop on the 23rd floor to make lunch plans with a certain flirty FBI agent, it seems all the answers have been given.
Dom leaves and Angela types in the last bit of code that opens up the back door for FSociety to gut the FBI from the inside out. Dom’s worst fears are realized when she heads upstairs looking for security footage to find out what Angela was really doing on the FBI floor and miraculously all of the video has disappeared.
Dom realizes in an instant that the FBI has been hacked and all of their data has been deleted. She even goes as far as saying Angela is the one behind it, but Dom doesn’t even want to go through the effort to check her computer because assuredly there’s nothing on there that would incriminate her.
When Angela leaves work, she ends up handling two pieces of business.
The first is Angela convincing her father to take the E-Corp settled over the contaminated water that killed her mother without pressing for further testing and investigation into the matter. Angela’s father is not only disappointed to hear his daughter suggest letting it go, but he even says after this kind of insulting offer, it’s clear he can no longer trust her.
Unfortunately, Angela’s father is far out voted in this matter and he eventually signs over his endorsement to settle the lawsuit and get paid off before E-Corp potentially burns to the ground.
The other piece of information that Angela receives this week is final confirmation that Elliot and Darlene are the masterminds behind FSociety and the Five-Nine hack. In a way, Angela says she’s always known because those creepy FSociety masks looked an awful lot like the killer in a god awful movie titled “The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeois” that she was forced to watch with the Alderson clan every Halloween
Following a brief meeting with Darlene and her father, Angela then pays a visit to Philip Price where she explains how she managed to finish the lawsuit against E-Corp for that water contamination that helped kill her mother all those years ago. Price is obviously pleased but he’s also concerned with the actual cost behind this settlement. Angela has to want something big, right?
Angela asks for a job in risk management where she believes she’ll be put to the most use for E-Corp. Price grants her wish and Angela is made a manager the next day.
On her first day, Angela attends a director’s only meeting as a way to catch up to all the fires they are trying to put out in this division as a result of the Five-Nine hack. It’s there where Angela attempts to get her hands on the full paperwork involving the water contamination suit in her hometown. Unfortunately, Angela’s boss sees right through her and instead reveals that when she landed this job Philip Price gave him one very explicit instruction regarding her future in the deparment.
To treat her however he saw fit.
Angela has the job she wanted but her leverage over Price is gone and now she’s stuck working under a director who has no obligation to coddle her in any way, shape or form.
And while Angela was maneuvering her way around the E-Corp power structure, Darlene and her cohorts at FSociety decided to unleash one more sizable prank. Remember the bronze bull statue from Wall Street that was castrated at the beginning of the season? Well the balls finally came back around after crashing through the ceiling during a meeting at the House of Representatives while trying to take a vote about another bailout for E-Corp.
Now that we know Tyrell Wellick was at least shot but perhaps not dead, his wife Joanna is essentially hanging onto a memory while waiting for her husband to come home — even if it may never happen.
Joanna is still attached to Tyrell in a very profound way and no amount of rough sex with her new boyfriend is going to replace the person she truly loved and shared a live with for all these years.
Still after her boyfriend offers an ultimatum to either be seen as his girlfriend or walk through the door and never come back again — Joanna offers him a third option.
She gives him the one thing he’s always wanted since they were first together — Joanna has drawn up divorce papers to officially cut ties with her wayward husband. He smiles. They hug. And all seems right with Joanna’s world.
At least until Tyrell returns from the dead…
My Own Prison
Back in Elliot’s world with Ray arrested and a reconciliation with Mr. Robot, it appears he’s ready to get back on the right track. Of course, Elliot never quite gets a moment alone thanks to some sellers who did business on Ray’s website and now they are out a lot of cash after the entire marketplace was shut down.
Elliot offers the brutish man no answers and even his friend Leon is there to stand up for him in a moment of need. Leon ends up playing an even bigger part when those same angry sellers from Ray’s site attempt to teach Elliot a lesson — by beating him up and raping him. Thankfully, Leon shows up out of nowhere and kills ever member of the gang with his blade. When it’s all over, Leon tells Elliot something he’s probably been curious about all season long.
“Gonna get a letter on Tuesday. Do what it says. Yo man, when you see Whiterose, make sure you say I did you good. I’ll be rooting for you cuz. Always.”
Somehow, Leon is attached to the Dark Army and he’s been by Elliot’s side just waiting for the moment when he’ll be forced to spring into action. Now that time has come and gone and Elliot’s attackers are laying bloody and dead.
Finally, Elliot sits down with his therapist to go over everything that’s happened recently while he’s clutching onto a letter in one hand. It appears this is the letter Leon mentioned but Krista has even more news for Elliot that soon reveals exactly where he’s been all season long.
Instead of staying with his mother and playing chess at Ray’s house, Elliot has actually been living inside a prison cell while creating this entire world around him as a way to cope with his intimate and down right frightening surroundings. Every situation Elliot told us about this season came from this place — including his lunch time friendship with Leon to the basketball games they attended. In Elliot’s vision, the courts were at a nearby park close to his mother’s house. In reality, the courts were just in the prison yard and that’s where Elliot found himself most days.
Remember — everything we see when Elliot is on screen is through his point of view and that includes the bouts of psychosis when he believes he’s playing chess, talking about ‘Seinfeld’ or sitting in a church group talking about prayers and spiritual guidance.
As each piece of the puzzle comes together, it all starts to make sense.
Even the prison guard who locks Elliot in his cell every night became part of this elaborate illusion as he envisioned her as his mother.
Finally once he realizes what he’s been through and how he’s fighting to come back from it, Elliot apologizes to us for lying and not letting us in on his little secret.
“Control can sometimes be an illusion but sometimes you need illusion to gain control. Fantasy’s an easy way to give meaning to the world. To cloak our harsh reality and escapist comfort. After all, isn’t that why we surround ourselves with so many screens? So we can avoid seeing. So we can avoid each other. So we can avoid truth. I’m sorry for not telling you everything. But I needed this in order to get better. Please don’t me mad too long. This will be the last time I keep things from you. I promise. I know what you’re thinking and no, I didn’t lie to you. All of this really happened. This was just my way of coping with it but now I’d like it if we could trust each other again. Let’s shake on it.”
Of course there are still a million questions following this episode including Tyrell Wellick’s true fate not to mention why Elliot ended up in jail in the first place — especially when it appears like that letter he received was his release paper.
The fantasy fades and reality sets in and that’s a place Elliot Alderson hasn’t seen in quite some time — but he’s finally ready to face it.
Mr. Robot returns with a brand new episode next Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET.