In the latest ‘Mr. Robot’ recap, Elliott comes home from prison but finds a whole new set of problems awaiting him and Angela finds out she’s in over her head…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
When last we spoke, Darlene’s leadership of FSociety had gone off the rails as she ended up murdering Evil Corp’s lead counsel Susan Jacobs as a life long plan of revenge came to life after unveiling just how far she would go to pay back the company responsible for her father’s death.
As if killing a person wasn’t enough, Darlene also unleashed a hacked conference call that revealed the FBI had been hacking into people’s private information for months in search of information related to the Five/Nine hack.
Unfortunately for all her well timed plans, Darlene found out that the Dark Army — the master hacker group with connections across the world — was keeping an eye on her and potentially behind Romero’s murder several weeks back. To make matters worse, Mobley and Trenton got so spooked from their own paranoia that they both either left town or disappeared as part of the Dark Army’s plan to tie off any loose ends.
The sad part is Darlene was only trying her best to keep FSociety afloat while her brother Elliott was in prison doing an 18-month stint for hacking into his psychiatrist’s shit back ex-boyfriend a season ago. Remember this guy? He was cheating on his wife and Elliott busted him and even took his dog away as punishment? Well he came back with a vengeance and it landed Elliott in jail, but it also allowed him an escape to keep his alter ego Mr. Robot in check.
But did it work? Was it all for naught?
Let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Mr. Robot’ titled “eps2.7_init_5.fve” to find out….
This week’s episode begins with a brief flashback into Elliot’s trip to prison, which began after his psychiatrist’s ex-boyfriend turned him over to the police for hacking into his personal information at the start of season one. Ironically enough, it was Elliot taking the guy’s dog that served as proof that he had blackmailed and coerced this guy after stealing his personal information. Of course, Elliot took this as a sign that it was time to lock down Mr. Robot as well so rather than accept a reduced sentence, he plead guilty and took the full 18 months in county jail.
It’s there Elliot shifted into his “routine” including his first encounter with Leon as well as finding out that Ray was actually the prison warden in charge. Elliot somehow functioned amidst this madness because there really was nowhere else to go, but eventually his self made prison crumbled just like the one he was really locked inside.
86 days into his sentence, Elliot was let out of jail — part of an early release program for non-violent offenders, although he believes the Dark Army played a hand in this happening. Upon his release, Elliot is greeted by his sister Darlene and a mountain of bad news that has unfolded while he’s been behind bars. As much as Elliot was to celebrate freedom, she begins to tell him all the problems that have developed since he’s been gone, including the Dark Army coming after FSociety and seemingly wiping them out one by one.
Back at Cisco’s apartment, Elliot is trying to enjoy his first moment of true freedom — taking a piss without an audience around — but the solitude is shattered when he hears two distinct voices — Darlene and Cisco — arguing in the next room and his entire world falls apart again when he also hears a third.
The one belonging to Mr. Robot.
When Elliot re-enters the room, he takes back control of his own consciousness and finishes the conversation about a plan to find out what exactly is happening with the Dark Army, but his behavior has everyone a bit spooked. That includes Mr. Robot, who believes Elliot is short circuiting or in his words “overheating” because something isn’t right. Mr. Robot says he had to take over because Elliot simply disappeared and now they are flashing back and forth out of each other like a TV flickering between two signals.
Angela’s climb up the corporate ladder at Evil Corp hasn’t been without purpose.
She’s been quietly positioning herself into a job where she could finally get the goods on the company responsible for poisoning the water supply in her hometown that cost numerous people their lives — including her mother and Elliot and Darlene’s father.
So after Angela’s boss shut her down from retrieving the paperwork surrounding her town’s case file, she decided to take matters into her own hands by using the hacking program given to her by FSociety to steal the passwords necessary to get the info on her own. Angela downloads the entire file — with all the dirty secrets that had been kept hidden — and she attempted to turn it over to the government.
Unfortunately, Angela’s plan to bring down Evil Corp from the inside backfires when the Deputy Director of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission starts hinting at information that she never gave up. Angela gets spooked because it’s clear to her — whether or real or through her own paranoia — that the deputy director may be working directly for Evil Corp and this is a warning shot not to try this kind of maneuver again. Perhaps the deputy director had sincere intentions, but she did seem to know a lot more about Angela than she ever revealed.
Still, Angela gets scared enough to high tail it out of there and back to her house but that ended up being an even worse decision.
When she returns home, Angela is greeted by Dom DiPierro, who pretty much just waltzes in unannounced and starts chomping down on some delectable snacks she brought along. It’s there when Dom tells Angela bout a dream she just had recently about a beautiful woman that then devolved into an attack with her being drowned under water. Only when Dom finally relinquished control and stopped struggling did the drowning stop.
Dom’s dream was a metaphor for Angela’s own situation because she finally reveals that Ollie — the idiot ex-boyfriend — gave her up on the first day he was brought in for questioning by the FBI. He told them all about the CD that Angela imported into the All-Safe computer network, which was the first step in a chain reaction that ended with the Five-Nine hack. So the FBI has been watching Angela for two months just waiting for her to slip up and lead them to the people behind the hack.
Dom gives Angela one final warning before leaving that once she stops struggling to hold on, peace will finally wash over her and she’ll be free to breathe again. If not, Angela might find herself choking underwater while a Federal agent stuffs her into a 6×9 cell with no windows until she’s finally ready to give up the real people responsible for the hack.
Dealing with a Mercenary
After Whiterose reveals a past encounter with a former CEO at Evil Corp — an executive who dared to try and shut down one of his projects — that ended with a plane crash and his death, the master hacker behind the Dark Army says that maybe it’s time another person follows in his footsteps. In other words, Whiterose is starting to have less and less use for current Evil Corp CEO Phillip Price.
Price is threatening to hand over control of one of Evil Corp’s nuclear facilities to the Federal government. The problem is that facility is actually run by Whiterose and the Federal government sniffing around would be very bad news for the Dark Army. Price tries to come up with an alternative – one where the Chinese government gives Evil Corp the much needed financial bailout that the U.S. government declined to pass through Congress.
Whiterose doesn’t want to hand over any money or even consider a bailout when a death threat seems to be a much quicker way to handle the situation. Unfortunately, Price isn’t anything like his predecessor and the first whiff of a threat sends him into a furious rage that shows Whiterose he’s up against a very worthy adversary.
“The only move left in that scenario is a third World War. You see, I’m a mercenary. I don’t play fair. I play when I want. You deal with a mercenary then all decorum gets tossed out the window. So you go ahead with your cheap threats and your watch beeps. Order will not protect you anymore, my friend. I will rain chaos. Even if it hurts me. Cause I would rather see you lose than win myself.”
~ Phillip Price
Whether or not Whiterose is willing to go after Price now remains to be seen, but there’s something going on at that nuclear facility he’s hiding and it appears they are at a stalemate over this current financial bind. Either way, Whiterose seems backed into a corner and something tells me, no one is going to enjoy it when he finally lashes back.
Elliot is not quite himself right now but he can’t stop because he needs to know what the Dark Army has been up to and why Mobley and Trenton have suddenly disappeared. Of course it doesn’t help matters much that there are moments when Elliot can literally watch Mr. Robot hold a full conversation with someone else and yet he’s trapped behind a closed door, unable to reconnect to his own consciousness. Remember in the past when Mr. Robot took over, it was very much like Tyler Durden in “Fight Club” — a switch in personalities where one became the dominant and the other the submissive. Now Elliot is just watching from the outside looking in like a spectator on his own life before blinking back to reality.
At this point, he’s too far into this plot to track down a mysterious plot by the Dark Army called “stage 2” and he can’t worry about his fragile psyche splintering into even more pieces. Elliot was able to hack into Cisco’s Dark Army contact’s phone and now he’s going to quiz them about “stage 2” so hopefully they will start chattering about what’s really going on with this plan.
When Elliot meets the Dark Army contact, it’s brief but it’s enough time for him to demand to know about stage 2. Cisco’s contact quickly leaves the room but it’s clear Elliot’s words spooked him enough to ask a few questions.
Later that night. Darlene realizes in a panic that she accidentally left one of the copies of the FSociety VHS tapes at Susan Jacob’s smart house so Cisco ends up going there to retrieve it. Meanwhile, Elliot decides he needs to go home just in case the FBI is watching him so they believe he’s back to his prior humdrum, normal life.
Once Elliot leaves, Darlene listens in on the phone conversation between Cisco’s contact and another member of the Dark Army after her brother paid them a visit. Cisco’s contact is clearly rattled by the encounter with Elliot after he asked about stage 2. That’s when the bottom falls out on Darlene and the rest of FSociety.
The other member of the Dark Army — possibly Whiterose although we never get confirmation on the voice — says that Elliot’s questioning is rather strange considering stage 2 was his idea all along. The “Fight Club” references don’t stop — it’s almost like Edward Norton running around New York asking about Project Mayhem when he was actually the one setting it all up, even if he didn’t consciously remember it.
My theory is this — Elliot’s fractured psyche didn’t just split into two parts with his own voice and the one belonging to Mr. Robot. He’s actually got more personalities hiding within, just like the invisible person he speaks to each week on the show who never responds to his voice. Perhaps Elliot had yet another personality that’s working directly with the Dark Army or could even be a part of the Dark Army and he doesn’t even know it.
All we know is the episode ends for Darlene with a loud knock on the door and when she answers, the person on the other side isn’t revealed. And Cisco is able to retrieve the tape at Susan Jacob’s house but it turns out he’s not alone in there — who else is occupying the smart house in the month since FSociety vacated?
As for Elliot, he thought after prison and his reconnection with Mr. Robot that the days of him struggling against his own mind were finished. That he could finally return to some sense of normalcy. This latest revelation proves there is nothing normal about Elliot Alderson.
“For me there is no such thing as normalcy. My dead father appears and disappears at will. I talk to you, an invisible friend. I’d ask if you’re normal but you never talk back. How can I return to normal when the SUV belonging to the man I murdered is parked outside my apartment. Normal — I have no normal.”
Elliot approaches the SUV and a window rolls down he is greeted by Joanna Wellick, who says “hello Ollie” just as the screen fades to black. Remember last season when Elliot went to Tyrell’s house after the Five/Nine hack took place and he woke up in that SUV after three days, he ran into Joanna and told her his name was Ollie. Elliot also noted that whenever he was talking it was if Joanna could hear every word he was saying even in his own head. Perhaps Joanna has seen Elliot’s multiple personalities at work and Ollie is yet another piece of his splintered mind?
There have even been theories that Elliot was actually Tyrell Wellick this entire time — is that even possible? Is that how Joanna knows so much about him? Is that why she’s been receiving cryptic messages from him all season long, just waiting for her husband to finally come home? Is Joanna going to retrieve her husband from inside Elliot’s damaged mind?
A lot of questions and hopefully a few answers when ‘Mr. Robot’ returns next week.
Here are the songs featured in Mr. Robot this week.
“This Ain’t No Hymn” by Saint Saviour
“The Order of Death” by Public Image Ltd.
“Walking in My Shoes” by Depeche Mode