Warning: Spoiler Alert
“I’d like to offer you a position, here at Evil Corp”.
The one line that I’m sure Elliot was not expecting to hear when he was all but dragged into this high-rise. The otherwise alluring prospect of being a multi-millionaire inside of the next five years may not have the power that these executives think it will. Elliot doesn’t shut him down immediately, but his request to think it over prompts the head of the table to empty the room. He continues to give Elliot the hard sell. Including invading Elliot’s very valuable personal space. Despite the hard sell, Elliot decides to stay where he is. Even if Evil Corp plans to consolidate its security vendors, ultimately forcing All Safe to close its doors.
On his way home, Elliot runs into Shayla who is having her own work related issues. Elliot tries to score more morphine but she has run out of the right batch. And almost stands firm in not giving him the wrong stuff. Elliot is insistent in his own way despite the promise she made.
After a few lines of morphine, Elliot and his inner self need to get to work hacking Tyrell Wellick. Which as it turns out was simple. Perhaps too simple. Just the notion that Wellick wanted Elliot to hack him prompts Elliot to wipe everything. For the computer advanced this scene in particular should be very satisfying. Elliot is doing everything the right way. Microwaving memory cards drilling holes in hardware, the whole shebang.
At All Safe, everyone eyeballs Elliot as if they know of his secret meeting. Elliot sits down with Gideon who wants to give him a raise for saving the company. Nothing huge, just a gesture. One that Elliot is still reluctant to take. Gideon pries about the DAT file which is curious enough. Then Gideon references the hackers by name.
Gideon: Regardless, I need you to stay on it. Now more than ever. I mean, who knows what these f_society hackers are going to do next.
Elliot: What did you just say?
Gideon: The ones that were working with Colby.
Gideon enjoys the rare moment of being ahead of Elliot. f_society is threatening to dump terabytes of information if Colby isn’t released. There’s even a video. Even refers Colby as their ‘leader’. Their threat comes with demands.
1) Release “our leader” Terry Colby
2)Release all of the people of the world from your prisons of debt
3) Dissolve your corporation and donate all of your assets to charities around the world
Amidst the haze of this new information that in no way lines up with what Elliot was told, he runs into Angela and Ollie. Not paying much attention, he lets Ollie ramble. Right about the time Ollie suggests they take advantage of a groupon at Morton’s Steakhouse, Elliot notices men in black suits. Then Elliot does something he would ordinarily never do. Agree to hang out. In public. With Ollie…and I guess Angela too. And just like that Elliot is gone.
Elliot arrives at home. While Elliot tries to convince Elliot that he needs to sever ties with f_society, he notices the Flipper is whimpering and the shower is running. The lady in the shower is not Shayla which was the only thing that made sense. It is instead, Darlene. The woman outside the old f_society work tank that wanted the access to the root kit. They walk through a subway station and she abruptly forces him into a subway car. As it departs the station, two men in black are left outside the car.
Inner Elliot: Did she see them too?
Inner Elliot is essentially freaking out over the myriad of what ifs. What if Tyrell finds out. Would Gideon understand if he came lean? Is he about to walk into a trap and end up dead? Inside, f_society is back up and running and Elliot is welcomed this time to a relative standing ovation.
Next on the list is to blow up a natural gas plant near Albany, NY. Which just so happens to be strategically located next to Steel Mountain. Steel Mountain is the offsite and data storage location for every corporation on the S&P. Mr. Robot is nowhere near as concerned about Tyrell Wellick as Elliot is. The “Colby is our Leader” thing was a red herring. Something to keep the attention off of the actual f_society.
Elliot’s task is to use his All Safe security clearance to hack into the plant to cause an explosion. This explosion would take out Steel Mountain. When the concern of civilian casualties comes up, Mr. Robot shrugs it off. “Sound some alarms. Give ’em a head start”. The other slightly surprising news is the Elliot is the first of the team to hear this plan. I imagine tugging on that part of the brain that doesn’t allow for good. There feels like there is more afoot. Is Elliot being set up to be the fall guy?
Along with Elliot, this team and Mr. Robot we discover that the members involved reach much further. Even a rogue group called the Dark Army. A hacker group of mercenaries who apparently have no code of ethics. Like selling arms to both sides of the war, so to speak.
Elliot: I’m not killing anyone. (starts to walk away)
Mr. Robot: Tell me one thing Elliot, are a one or a zero? That’s the question you have to ask yourself? Are you a yes or a no? You gonna act, or not?
Elliot: You’ve been staring at a computer screen for way too long homie. Life’s not that binary.
Mr. Robot: ISN’T IT? Sure there are greys. But at its core, for every choice, there is a one or a zero. You either do something or you don’t.
Mr. Robot moves right passed the imprisonment of Terry Colby. Even passed the revolution. This is about Elliot having a chance to do something after he couldn’t. This is about Elliot’s father. Pulling the dead father card, not exactly the most tactful move. Ultimately Elliot storms out confirming, at the moment, that he’s a zero. Darlene, who is smoking outside, gives him the business. Even insinuates that he’s involved even if he’s not involved.
Inside Shayla’s apartment, Elliot doesn’t notice the blonde guy smoking something out of a glass pipe in the corner. This would be awkward for normal people, but this is a social nightmare for Elliot. This ‘guy’ is Shayla’s supplier. And a grade A p.o.s. Elliot has long since hacked him. It would be easy to take him down. Much easier than Ron and his coffee shops. But, cut of Shayla’s supplier, and no more drugs for Elliot.
The one-sided conversation between Elliot and Fernando is painfully awkward. Maybe it’s because Fernando is high and Elliot doesn’t care. Maybe it’s because Fernando is one of the those peculiar people who has convinced himself that he is more important and more intelligent than he actually is. Or maybe it’s because on some level, Elliot cares about Shayla and isn’t positive she’s alive on the other side of that locked bathroom door.
Eventually, Fernando leaves allowing Elliot to pick the lock. Only to find Shayla’s been beaten and appears to be unconscious. She wakes slowly. She feels the bruised and bloody part of her head just behind the temple and asks, “why am I in the tub?”
Elliot desperately wants to get her out of this situation. She resists. He even offers to find the pills somewhere else, but it doesn’t matter. She needs the money. There it is again. The invisible hand at work. She makes him promise not to turn Fernando in, then asks if Elliot will sleep there tonight. He agrees. Maybe Mr. Robot was right. Life comes down to a series of yes’s and no’s. It seems pretty evident that Fernando has groped Shayla before. But now he’s graduated to rape.
Inner Elliot: Just like Shayla, he’s given me no choice. He can’t be allowed to exist anymore.
Elliot meets with his therapist. She starts differently this time. He actually opens up to how he’s feeling. Then begins to put his perspective of the world in a this or that context. Yes’s and no’s. Ones and zeros. While we listen to this diatribe, we see Elliot at work uploading his Fernando hack in .zip form to the NY Police’s report a crime website. Then, still discussing the lack of control, Elliot walks back home to find Fernando and his goons handcuffed on the sidewalk. This is the part where, unbeknownst to his therapist, he brings it back around the f_society and the apathetic approach of doing nothing that he should’ve taken. Like his father did.
She continues on with her blindly optimistic therapist approach. “I can’t help you if you keep me in the dark”. Going on and on about the parallels between what Elliot is going through and what his father went through and trying to find a connection. Then Elliot, again, does something unexpected.
Elliot: SHUT UP! SHUT UP!
Kristin keeps pushing forward. Recognizing symptoms of previous problem areas and demands to know what’s going on. Next we find Elliot at home copying the Fernando files in order to delete them from his computer. Angela calls but Elliot doesn’t answer. This is supposed to be their double date night. While Angela is sincerely concerned about Elliot, Ollie checks his email and finds a solicitation from Stella B. He replies that he’ll try. Angela wants to drop in on Elliot to check on him. Thus, giving Ollie an opening for Stella B.
Earlier in this episode, my apologies for leaving this out, a guy is peddling his new CD outside All Safe. Eventually, Ollie accepts it. He tries putting it in the drive of his computer, but it just freezes the computer. After Ollie leaves, we find that same guy has just gained access to Ollie’s computer. Up to and including the webcam, directed at Angela in the bathroom. He types a series of lines in what looks like Chinese. Then the close captioning translation shows, “we’re in”.
Elliot finds Mr. Robot in Coney Island, but not at HQ. Mr. Robot is steadfast in his reluctance to let Elliot back in after walking away. Even if he has a real plan that won’t involve blowing anything up. There is a price to pay to come back. That price, is opening up about his father.
He tells the story you expect he would. They were extremely close. Best friends. Then he told Elliot he had Leukemia shortly after being fired from Evil Corp. Elliot promised to not tell anyone including his mom. Eventually it got so bad, that Elliot cracked and told him mom. This infuriated his father. Elliot went in for a hug, to say he was sorry. His father pushed back hard enough that Elliot flew out of the window breaking his arm. They never spoke again. Even on the night he died, he would not even look at Elliot.
The story was interesting enough. When it was over and Elliot asked if they were ‘good’, Mr. Robot extends his arm and gently strokes Elliot’s shoulder. Something that would normally prompt Elliot to cower away, didn’t this time. He relates to Elliot on loss. Then Mr. Robot asks if he thought maybe his father was right. Elliot replies that he was only trying to help. Then Mr. Robot comes back with, “by betraying his trust?” Elliot begins to explain how he was only eight years old, then Mr. Robot pushes him off the hand rail they were sitting on some 20-30 feet to sandy beach of trash below.