Where did Mr. Robot come from? Is the Dark Army behind the murders? What are Elliot’s ultimate dreams and aspirations when all this is over? Well, those are some of the focuses of this episode.
Darlene | Elliot | White Rose | Angela
Main Plot (with Commentary)
Topic 1: My Brother & I (Darlene and Elliot)
With us being introduced to Darlene, originally, as a potentially love interest to fill in the shows Elliot wishes Angela would fill, it has made their relationship a bit weird and complicated. This episode tries to change that. It has us see her come to her big brother when she is in trouble and also simply try to hang with him since, outside of her Dark Army contact/fling/ ex-Cisco, who else does she have? Perhaps the most important thing though is this episode shows how it all began. How after Elliot got fired, he came up with Mr. Robot and this grand scale plan he has since backed down from. All of which Darlene was there for. The impressionable little sister who was hesitant at one time like Elliot is now, but now they have switched places.
However, no matter how good Darlene is, ultimately this was Elliot’s plan. This was his vision and while she is a loyal soldier she isn’t the mastermind. Because of that, she is starting to drown. So she initiates init 1. The first code she learned and which is her and Elliot mayday button meaning “Drop everything! I. Need. You.”
Topic 2: Dealings, Negotiations and Consequences (White Rose and Angela)
With the FBI on F-Society’s heels comes the Dark Army becoming quite worried. Though their being worried, or people assuming they were, is quite strange. Yes, the FBI coming after them is worrisome, if not simply an annoyance, but with White Rose having contact with Mr. Price, in a rather friendly fashion, and her talking in a voice with more bass, it is all a very weird relationship. One in which there are conversations about a UN vote, closing a plant, and honestly the scene deserves a second run through just to understand the politics of what is going on between what you’d think would be two polar sides. Though, lest we forget, not all hackers are revolutionary types like F-Society. Some have their own agendas.
But on the other hand, there are those like Angela. Those without power, who assume they do and try to use it to negotiate. However, if Re: Zero has taught us anything, it is that you don’t play your cards early. For while, yes, ambition is an admirable trait, if you don’t know what you’re doing you’ll just end up looking like a fool. Hence why Mr. Price laughs, kindly, at Angela when it comes to her talking about the ongoing settlement which led to the two men from last episode going down (Angela turned the information over to her lawyer friend). She thinks this one factor which hasn’t budged, a 3rd party performing inspections on the aforementioned plant that White Rose spoke on with Mr. Price, she can help with. However, she wants an office and Melissa’s job. Grand plans and ideas, but Mr. Price is a long game kind of guy. He isn’t for making quick moves which leave him vulnerable. After all, people already want his head, why run to the guillotine instead of figuring out a way to take down the executioner?
Topic 3: Living the Dream (Elliot)
Getting rid of Mr. Robot, maybe rekindling things with Angela, Darlene being happy. These are some of the things Elliot dreams of. However, how can he get this? The question of what he dreams of is posed by Leon, and the means of getting it Mr. Robot tries to pounce on. For after trying to propose a winner takes the body chess game, which ends in stalemates, again he tries to convey this idea they are stuck with one another. Which, of course, Elliot rejects.
However, despite Elliot usually being indifferent to life, one could argue when his sister is in trouble, or if Angela or even Leon was, he will act. Such is the case now. Elliot needs a terminal because speaking to Darlene in the open isn’t smart. So he decides to use Ray’s, under the impression he is going to help with his computer problem, and on the dark net Darlene reveals everything. She reveals Romero’s death, the FBI being onto them, and it seems Darlene being in trouble, due to Elliot’s own actions, may lead him to getting back in the game.
Ray says to him that like Moses, Jesus even, the voices in one’s head maybe divine. Now, Elliot may not necessarily agree to that thought, but after fighting Mr. Robot for so long, maybe he could learn to perhaps take control. Maybe he could make a deal with the devil. If, at the very least, it saves Darlene.
Things To Note
Mrs. Wellick is running out of money and her husband’s severance package seemingly won’t be released until he is brought to justice. A bit of problem since she is running out of hush money and enough money to handle other things perhaps as well. Though, despite coming off as a gold digger, it seems she only wanted the stability and opportunities money bring. With her love interest, Derek, it seems all she may desire now is romance. I mean, a healthy divorce settlement could be an option, but what she really wants is the affection Derek gives. For what money afforded her didn’t make her happy, so she wants a person who can.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
Is Elliot ever going to find a new job?
[…] do you want to be here right now? […] I don’t mean like, here-here, but I mean here in a cosmic sense, bro. Like, existence could be beautiful, or it could be ugly, but that’s on you. […] Dream. You got to find out the future you’re fighting for. Sometimes you got to close your eyes and really envision that shit, bro. If you like it, then it’s beautiful. If you don’t? Then you might as well fade the f— out right now.
— “eps2.2_init_1.asec” Mr. Robot
Annihilation is always the answer. We destroy parts of ourselves every day. We photoshop our warts away. We edit the parts we hate about ourselves, modify the parts we think people hate. We curate our identity, carve it, distil it. […] Annihilation is all we are.
— “eps2.2_init_1.asec” Mr. Robot
The hard part would be after, not the during or before.
— “eps2.2_init_1.asec” Mr. Robot
The only way to patch a vulnerability is by exposing it first. […] The flip side being that exposing a vulnerability leaves you open for an exploit.
— “ eps2.2_init_1.asec.” Mr. Robot
- I love how Joey Bada$$’s character isn’t some token Black guy nor some odd thuggish type who just rambles on and allows Elliot to fool himself into thinking he has friends. Like most of Elliot’s interactions, he challenges the pseudo-genius and makes him think. There are levels to this dude and in some reviews I note the lack of diversity when it comes to roles Black actors have, since many of them are roles of professionals good at their job with issues in their romantic/ personal lives. With Joey Bada$$ and Ray’s character, though, while one can argue they are some sort of magical negro type character, I feel they are given enough weight where you can make a real argument against that. Yes, Bada$$’s character hasn’t been given much of a background of what life is like outside of his interactions with Elliot, but we still got quite a few episodes to go.
- I liked that they not only established how Mr. Robot started but further developed the relationship between Darlene and Elliot. Granted, it might have had ground work in season one, but being that a good portion of it I remember him falling for her, I feel like this episode acted as a real good restart button.
On The Fence
- Both Angela and Mrs. Wellick I just teeter totter between giving a damn about and feeling like they are the fat on this show’s bacon. Angela I am growing to enjoy little by little, but even with Mrs. Wellick’s cute moment with her little mistress, or whatever the male form of that word is, it feels like she lacks complexity. I mean, separate Tyrell and she flounders since it is like she was never meant to be an individual.