Warning: Spoiler Alert
Tyrell Wellick begins tonight’s episode preparing for his pitch to step in as the new CTO of Evil Corp in a scene that is not unlike the painfully awkward cilice scenes from The DaVinci Code. Yet in this case it seems to be pure self motivation as opposed to suffering for religious sacrifice. Tyrell sits focused while he awaits his meeting with the board. A meeting, as it turns out, he’s not going to get. Today at least. There is apparently another CTO candidate the board is very excited about, who is not Tyrell. His expression is ‘stuck in pain’ for lack of a better term.
Tyrell’s driver stops in a very shading part of town so that he can inflict pain onto another. A homeless man who is content to take a beating from Tyrell in exchange for money.
Inner Elliot monologues about the nuances of debugging. Suggesting that it’s not about fixing the bug. It’s about finding the bug, then trying to understand it. “Kill me or embrace me”. All over the backdrop of the hospital room he finds himself in after his ‘fall’.
He wakes up to find Shayla and Krista staring back at him. Shayla reminds him that she is his emergency contact and that nothing can move forward until he meets with a psychiatrist. Apparently, he requested Krista over a doctor on staff. Krista starts probing, beginning with why he refused the drug panel. She suggests he agree a voluntary drug testing almost as a good faith gesture. Something like that should be considerably easy to bypass with Elliot’s abilities. Especially when you consider how small the ‘IT Department’ is. One man with a very small budget.
Shayla confronts Elliot about Fernando and his entire crew getting busted. He lets her ask the questions before he denies them. Standing in front of his apartment door, Shayla notices its been broken open. Darlene, surprise surprise. She’s not completely rude this time, but Elliot is. Elliot wants her gone and with nothing to discuss before she is.
Ollie is on the phone with Stella B discussing the strange situation regarding the CD from last week when Angela gets home. He swiftly hangs up and makes lame small talk with Angela about her run before she gets in the shower. Then his phone vibrates again.
Ollie: I told you I can’t talk.
Voiced Disguised Hacker: You have one hour precisely, everything we own will be released.
Gideon gives new directions to his tech team. Not marching orders, but him best suggestions as to how they can monitor more. Social media, IRC, etc. He then invites his team to dinner at his house, which naturally Elliot avoids. “I’ve got plans”. This prompts Gideon to ask for a moment alone with Elliot. Gideon starts to build towards asking about Elliot’s private life in lieu of his physical appearance and missing work. Elliot squashes that line of questioning quickly and leaves. Inner Elliot explains internally in a computer savvy way how he protects himself. Never let anyone in. Then he sees Mr. Robot.
Mr. Robot criticizes the office and then oogles a female employee before Elliot picks him up by his lapels and demands he leave immediately. The choices are escort Mr. Robot to a bar next door or witness him make a scene in the office until he does. If you’re on board with my theory that I have suggested in a non-recap article, you should really enjoy the irony.
Mr. Robot apologizes for his actions while enjoying an ‘appletini’ if you can believe it. Then after making an anecdote about fathers and pushing kids away, he attempts to leave. Then he tells Elliot that he is the key to the whole plan. Without Elliot, there is no plan. At the moment, it appears as if the f_society movement is dead.
Quite possibly the most disturbing thing I’ve witnessed on this show or any other in the calendar year is the image and inner thoughts of Elliot seeing the world as if he were just a normal person. Embracing the things he hates. Social media, bad movies and vanilla lattes. Truly disturbing. Then like nothing happened, he walks into Gideon’s office and asks if the dinner is still on. And could he bring the girlfriend he doesn’t have yet (Shayla). Elliot leaves and Gideon pokes his head out to ask his assistant a strange but funny question.
Gideon: Was he drinking Starbucks?
Tyrell stands in his very impressive walk in closet (at night) as he picks out what to wear to a club called “Kiss and Fly”. His wife (I assume), pregnant and seemingly annoyed, asks in a language that is clearly not English if its necessary. He forcefully explains that everything he does is for us. Even if he has a strange definition of ‘us’.
Elliot sits in Shayla’s apartment and actually does ask her to accompany him to the dinner party, as his girlfriend. He doesn’t get the answer he was hoping for. She claims that there is something seriously wrong with Elliot and begins into how he doesn’t really know her. He fades out into Inner Elliot and snaps out of it just in time to hear, “and I don’t mean the stuff you find online”. In a very unlike Elliot way, he doesn’t hesitate to ask her to tell him then.
She hands him what looks like clothing designs representative of different forms of art that she has posted online. Inner Elliot believes she has a maze too. Her bug is wanting normalcy while stuck on the outer fringe. Elliot looks them over and is genuinely impressed. Whether from the craftsmanship or the realization that they both share something very real in common. He slowly looks up at her with a glow, a sense of comfort. He asks, “can I kiss you” and before he gets the ‘you’ out from that phrase, she plants one on him.
Inner Elliot: Bugs usually get a bad rap, but sometimes…
Shayla: Don’t let me down, OK?
Inner Elliot: When the bug finally makes itself known, it can be exhilarating. Like you just unlocked something. A grand opportunity, waiting to be taken advantage of.
Outside of Kiss and Fly, Tyrell is recognized by a subordinate employee. Tyrell deflects that he comes to places like this. He even goes so far as to suggest he’s there because the subordinate that noticed him is. Tyrell tells the man that he is beautiful and wants to take the man home. Despite his married status, Tyrell grabs the man’s face by the ears and kisses it.
Elliot, Shayla, Angela and Ollie stand awkwardly outside Gideon’s residence, which might as well look like another club entrance. Harry, Gideon’s boyfriend opens the large sliding metal door. The ‘dinner party’ is painful. Awkward doesn’t begin to describe it. Gideon asks for Elliot’s help outside with the grill. In part to tell Elliot that he followed up on Elliot’s work. Essentially hacking Elliot on the off-chance he was up to something. While Inner Elliot warns that Gideon wants no part of this hornet’s nest, Gideon apologizes for even considering anything other than Elliot, the hard worker for All Safe. Elliot gives an explanation for not informing Gideon about the .DAT file. He didn’t want to get Gideon’s hopes up. Or at least that’s what he tells Gideon.
Inner Elliot: S***, I’m going to have to let him hug me, aren’t I?
The dinner party from that moment opens up a little and becomes much less awkward. Elliot and Angela share old stories. Inner Elliot embraces the notion of the normal life. Things like dinner parties. Maybe even like it. Then Elliot’s phone vibrates. He quickly stands up and turns on the closest television. More hacks. CTO Terry Colby has been implicated in a previous leak that dates back over twenty years. A leak the correlates to a cover up over a number of leukemia cases. If you’re doing the math this is where the normal life will fade away and the motivation for Elliot to do what he’s compelled to will recommence.
Inner Elliot: My perfect maze, crumbling around me…Mr. Robot finally found my bug.
Flashback sequence. We have to assume that this is an actual flashback between young Elliot and his mother shortly after the death of his father. She is cold to say the least. Elliot asks too many questions. And why should she be sad? It’s a nice evening and she’s enjoying her cigarette.
What follows is a graphic scene between Tyrell and his newest conquest. While the subordinate takes a shower, Tyrell runs a hack app of some sort on his phone.
Angela returns home after not finding Elliot. She apologizes to Ollie for running out like she did, but she also makes it clear that she doesn’t want to talk about it. Ollie kind of barks back that maybe he does. Except what he wants to talk about has little to nothing to do with Elliot. Ollie tells her about Stella B (with text above the pictures claiming what the hacker has already told him). Ollie tries to make this right and her solution is to break up. This transitions into a more practical approach to the problem at hand. Angela quickly discovers that her colossal problem (the hacker having her personal information such as bank accounts as well as her Dad’s) is secondary to Ollie keeping his job. She is secondary to his job. The hacker apparently wants Ollie to infect All Safe with this same disk. After a moment’s pause, Angela reconsiders her break up idea.
Gideon looks over an examination report on f_society. With one specific line of code highlighted. Elliot’s name is at the far end of the form. He makes a call asking to speak to a man named Scott about this particular ‘case’ again.
Tyrell returns home to find his pregnant wife blindfolded and sprawled out on the bed. The is clearly something he is familiar with. They make small talk while he binds her wrists and ankles with red satin straps. She suggests that they need to have dinner with this vetted future CTO before it’s too late. Tyrell, in this moment, doesn’t appear to be the one that wears the pants in that relationship. He reluctantly puts a gag over her mouth. She gladly embraces all of this.
Elliot returns to f_society HQ where no one is working on anything. Everyone slowly stops what they’re doing to gather around him. Mr. Robot standing in the background.
Elliot to the group: Here’s the plan.