Warning: Spoiler Alert
Darlene apparently spent the night with someone far better dressed than anyone we’ve seen her interact with to this point. On the surface, it feels very casual in nature. This new ‘suit’ leaves Darlene in his shwanky Manhattan apartment. Once he’s gone, Darlene searches for his safe. It seems she was only after his gun. Darlene walks into a dance studio and begins to stretch along side Angela. They are familiar. There’s something very unsettling about Darlene in a ballet class.
Mr. Robot has the team back together. Elliot shows them what he’s been doing since Steel Mountain. Their reaction to him now is dramatically different from the Steel Mountain job. Everyone in the room shares a sense of wow.
On a subway car, Darlene sees two Asian men staring in her direction. She slowly puts her hand in the front pocket of her book bag, presumably to have the stolen gun at the ready. The men get invading space close to her. She doesn’t look up. The larger of the two says in her general direction, “Tell him to follow the proper commands. Then the sequence will initiate”. Then they both walk away.
Darlene finally shows up. She intercepts Elliot at the door and safely presses a gun into his torso. Darlene suspects that the meeting with White Rose may not go the way they want it to. Elliot turns down the gun. Darlene is visibly concerned and they even share a hug. The hug is eerie on two levels.
Darlene is not the only one shaken. Tyrell Wellick walks through his office building with that crazed look of a man trying to get away with murder. He instructs his assistant to hold all calls and cancel anything on his schedule. She jumps in to say that Gideon Goddard is waiting on him. His mood seems to change after hearing this news.
Gideon shares the news that one of his employees confessed to doctoring the file that removes Colby from Evil Corp. Keeping that under wraps is important, but Gideon focuses on the efforts All Safe has put forth to try to catch the real hackers. Tyrell stops him short and asks to look over All Safe’s findings when they get them. Meanwhile, Gideon is getting rapid text messages that the entire system is down. He keeps that information to himself for the moment.
As soon as Gideon leaves, Tyrell jumps on his computer, plugs in headphones and starts searching for something on his own. His assistant comes in and he barks at her about not being disturbed with his headphones still in. She informs him that the police are here. Tyrell ducks the issue and politely asks his assistant to make an appointment with the police and he’d be glad to speak with them then.
Gideon instructs his team on what to do regarding this latest attack. He almost turns to head into his office when Elliot walks in. Both Gideon and Ollie display an expression and body language towards Elliot that is both cold and new.
Elliot gets to his desk and begins working on this current hack. Inner Elliot identifies that this attack different. Whoever it is, isn’t trying to get anything. A distraction to the bigger heist perhaps. Then Ollie suspiciously approaches Elliot’s desk. Ollie’s holding a couple drives and asks Elliot to stop what he’s doing and deliver the drives. Something I imagine is considerably beneath Elliot’s job description. Then Ollie pulls rank. Clearly, this hack has something to do with Ollie, Cisco and probably the Dark Army as well. Ollie is trying anything and everything to get Elliot away from his terminal. One quick search of Ollie’s email and now Elliot knows Angela is involved.
Elliot heads straight for Angela who is waiting outside. She is unremorseful and very matter of fact about the entire conversation. Elliot has been incrementally but increasingly more distant. That’s when he realizes that the chaos at All Safe isn’t about the hack. This is about him. Angela barks at him to say something. He manages only to mutter, “You’re right, we don’t talk anymore.” She replies to that with a typical guilt trip. Elliot doesn’t cave. This is his wall. She can never know exactly what is going on nor can she be let in to who Elliot is or has become. He can’t let her in and they both know it.
Elliot walks into a run down looking data recovery store front. Walks up to the front counter asking himself, “Is this why the infamous White Rose is such a legend? Because he’s more paranoid than the rest of us?” Elliot introduces himself by his full name and is escorted downstairs where he finds a clean room, designed to prevent any electronic signal from entering. A woman enters the room and asks for the drives. She is very articulate but also very meticulous and is only permitting Elliot three minutes of her time.
The woman eventually takes control of the conversation. This entire time, Elliot was under the impression that the Dark Army simply pulled out at Steel Mountain for some trivial reason. She quickly puts together that they pulled out because Elliot displayed a vulnerability when he went after Terry Colby. A vulnerability to put Gideon Goddard on the trail. And since this latest All Safe hack, they have monitored Gideon’s movements and discovered that Gideon turned Elliot’s infected server (S30) into a honey pot. Whether it was planned all along or Elliot’s demeanor inspired something, she agrees to give them some time to get their house in order. 50 hours and 23 minutes to be exact. If by then everything is the way it should be, they will continue with the hack.
Inner Elliot’s thoughts are racing as the ticking time is the issue. His urgency is calmed when Inner Elliot asks, “I wish I could just observe like you”, then the Elliot we see, downshift his whole world. The frantic expression is gone and there is a calm that washes over him. Elliot needs Gideon’s phone. He places a call soliciting some help, but Inner Elliot is still going and right about the time they both come to the ‘conclusion’, we find Elliot seated at his desk.
Whatever was done has drained Gideon’s phone’s battery. He plugs it in, then Elliot texts someone one word. “Go”. Moments later, a new f_society PSA takes over the All Safe televisions. Everyone files in, including Gideon. This creates just enough of a distraction for Elliot. This message is directed at All Safe and Gideon specifically. Any attempt to shut off the television fails. They’ve hacked All Safe’s smart TV and uploaded the video clip to All Safe’s website and YouTube just to be safe. Elliot slips out just before Gideon notices he’s not in the conference room. He’s got 60 seconds to secure the password from Gideon’s phone before it recycles. He’s not at his desk for 10 seconds before Gideon gets there demanding to know what is going on. His absences and reappearances are becoming conspicuous. Before Elliot is forced to answer, Ollie interjects that Evil Corp is on the phone.
Even though he wasn’t able to secure the password due to Gideon’s interruption, he is able to email IT from Gideon’s phone instructing them to remove the honey pot and restore CS30. Elliot reflects on his hack of Gideon which predates the pilot episode. Gideon is an honest working man, nothing nefarious. Maybe the best thing is for Elliot to leave. He’s not good for Gideon or All Safe.
Speaking of nefarious intentions, Tyrell Wellick sits in the back of an SUV. He suggests to the other person in the vehicle that Wellick knows he’s been busy. They are supposed to be allies. Wellick wants to be in the loop just in case these two are after the same thing. The other person in the vehicle is Mr. Robot! Mr. Robot tries to leave when Tyrell grabs him by the now famous Mr. Robot jacket.
Tyrell: Aren’t you forgetting that I know you’re dirty little secret?
It doesn’t shake Mr. Robot. He centers himself and suggests that if Tyrell looks at everything and really thinks about it, the only thing left to do in regards to Mr. Robot, is nothing.
Wellick returns home. He quickly chugs a decent amount of vodka before addressing his wife. He tells her that they’ve been focusing on the wrong players this entire time. He goes on about a tech he met a few months ago. And how he misinterpreted simple revenge for something much more significant. I think Tyrell is mistaking Elliot’s handy work for something more divine. There is a knock at the door.
Naturally, it’s the police Tyrell blew off earlier. Mrs. Wellick does a good job acting shocked at the news of Sharon Knowles murder. Inside, Mrs. Wellick offers to get the detectives a drink and excuses herself into the kitchen. She lets out a scream and (with I’m sure tap water) insinuates that her water broke. Then just to Tyrell eyeballs a metal tool of some sort that is already bloody. The insinuation being that Tyrell needs to ‘take care’ of the cops.
Elliot sits with Darlene with the Ferris wheel as the backdrop. Darlene has finished a task but is her typically bitter self towards Elliot. Then Elliot suggests they celebrate, considering in 43 hours, the honey pot will be an infected server again and Darlene’s root kit is going to take down Evil Corp. He utters the words, “We did it”. Now not to be an alarmist, but the last time Elliot celebrated a hack, the men in black suits took him to see Tyrell Wellick and a whole new ball of wax starting rolling down the hill. Darlene lets out a very loud scream of excitement.
Right around the instant I became uneasy at the way these two were gazing at each other, Darlene said something I really wish she hadn’t. “Elliot, you are the best person I know, you know that? I love you so much?” Then Elliot went in for the kiss and Darlene immediately pushed back. Not in an angry or repulsed way, but in a ‘we don’t do that kind of way’. Then Darlene starts to get emotional, and asks if Elliot forgot who she was. It doesn’t take much to figure out the next move. Elliot won’t say it. Just repeats, “You’re Darlene” over and over. Then just before she says it, he lets it out.
Elliot: You’re my sister.
Inner Elliot and Elliot trace back. The girl humming on her scooter outside his house, the one that said “we aren’t friends”, childhood memories, her name, the fact that she tried to run away all come crashing back. Then Elliot looks directly into the camera and asks Inner Elliot if he was in on this from the beginning. Elliot believes for the moment that he’s going crazy. He tries to make sense of things but it only exacerbates the issue. Elliot hides from himself. There is an interesting shot with him facing his own bathroom mirror seeing everyone from Darlene to Shayla to Mr. Robot in his reflection. Then he punches the mirror.
It’s time to hack. Elliot needs to hack Elliot. Bloody knuckles and all, he is unable to find himself at all. Not through search engines or social media. Elliot Alderson does not exist. The next step is to find out if he erased himself. In his cd collection the very first one is blank. What he finds when he inserts the disc and decrypts the files, is incredible. It is a series of photographs that validates a theory myself but more directly NJATVS partner Jeff Sack considered as far back as the second episode. Mr. Robot is Elliot’s father. Elliot stands up and retrieves a loose photograph from on top of his bookshelf. It’s a picture of all four of them. Elliot, Elliot’s Dad (Mr. Robot), Darlene and their mother.
(A loud knock at the door. Elliot slowly walks over and opens the door)
Mr. Robot: I think we need to talk.