Ben Rappaport

All posts tagged Ben Rappaport

Courtesy of USA Network

Courtesy of USA Network


The last time we spoke, Elliot uttered a phrase that is extremely risky for any hacker of any skill level, “I’m hacking the FBI”. To see Elliot in his element is no different from anyone else in their element. The subtle nuance of him enjoying the process. What he’s doing I am not smart enough to describe. What I can gather is that it involves creating something that he’s planting in the kernel. As we learning in Ep 3, corrupting the kernel is a virtual death to the computer in question. If that isn’t enough, he now has control of every FBI Android phone within range of that building. Notice, they didn’t say all ‘smartphones’, wink wink.

Angela comes home to find Darlene and is not pleased with her intrusion at all. Darlene goes a sits right next to Angela, invading personal space next to. Darlene lays it all out. The FBI knows something and it all could come back to Elliot and Angela. Darlene needs Angela to sneak a device into work, thus asking Angela to darn near hack the FBI herself with this action.

Mrs. Wellick meets with her parking lot attendant. I’d say he’s gone around the bend if this was almost any other show. He thinks he’s being watched. He carries on about the feeling he has. Head pointed down, Mrs. Wellick’s eyes jet upward (yeah, that’s not scary at all), gently holds the man’s hand and says, “I promise, everything will be alright”. Famous last words. Also, if you haven’t picked up on it yet, there is a massive connection to this parking lot attendant, Mrs. Wellick, Tyrell Wellick, and Elliot. He was the attendant when Elliot woke up in Wellick’s truck three days after the hack. She is protecting, hiding or prepping something that’s for sure.

Darlene meets Elliot at their mother’s home asking about Mom’s whereabouts with, “So, where’s the shedevil?” Elliot can sense something’s wrong. Darlene starts to explain about Angela and Elliot isn’t having it. He wants Angela to have literally zero involvement. Even with Dad clamoring from the dark corner, Angela is a non-starter.

Dom and her assistant arrive in China. Dom stands with others as a group make their way down a stairwell. The last to be revealed is White Rose out of drag. This group, Dom included are there to check the Evil Corp’s backup servers. So for the moment we can surmise that not only is White Rose in cahoots with Phillip Price, but moreover somehow connected to Evil Corp directly. One of the agents attempts to tread lightly about the Dark Army. Dom has no interest in treading lightly and comes right out with it. White Rose, turns slowly like the exorcist and Dom’s confidence quickly vacates.

Mrs. Wellick discovers another cryptic piece of mail. This time no music box. This is a pewter baby rattle. Mrs. Wellick sings softly to her baby when a hand turns on something we’ll just call a noise maker. The man is her driver/bodyguard. He’s been trying to trace the packages but no luck. As predicted the parking lot attendant did not survive to see the second half of this episode. Mrs. Wellick wants details, because she scary and somewhat deranged.  The drivers complies. First he injected the man with a paralytic.  Proceeded to trash the apartment while the mark is still alive. Then looks him in the eyes and puts a few rounds in the man’s chest.  Mrs. Wellick enjoyed that story.

Elliot meets with Ray in the park. Ever since Elliot agreed to help, Ray has had a completely different demeanor. He never really looks up at Elliot, but he will make a meeting between Elliot and RT happen.

Angela arrives at a bar looking for someone. She’s there to meet with Ollie, believe it or not. Ollie uses this opportunity to slide in his resume considering Angela’s new employer. Ollie is being Ollie and Angela seems remarkably uninterested. Then he asks about the cd. With one subtle ‘tell’ Ollie tips Angela off to the primary objective. Ollie looked down at his phone which was face down. Angela snatches it to discover he’s been recording their conversation. The ‘cd’ question was also a dead giveaway that something was off. Ollie busted, reveals that he has spoken to the FBI but never mentioned Angela.

Dom begins to snoop around what we must assume is a property belonging to White Rose.  She stumbles into a clock room. About the size of a respectable walk-in closet, full of clocks. Naturally, the first person to discover her is White Rose. White Rose and Dom share a conversation about the deeper meaning of the clocks and her motivation for joining the Bureau. White Rose plays the part well. And either Dom is playing it well too, or she’s actually getting lured in by White Rose’s charm.

Angela shows up at Elliot’s current. She’s there to look him in the eyes than to agree to help. Angela wants to know why he’s been ducking her. Elliot actually gives an open, honest answer. He wanted to stop seeing his dead father before he saw Angela again, who is consequently standing behind her presently. It’s actually a nice moment between two friends. Before the scene ends, Elliot smiles and asks about Querty. Angela thinks he’s getting too fat.

Elliot gets his meeting with RT. Elliot finds a way to communicate to RT without tipping off Ray’s goon. At first RT is trying not to cooperate on that level then asks in text form, “do you really not know what happens on this site?” Eventually, RT starts to pull up the site when Elliot asks how bad is it? Side Note. Love that the username is “The Dread Pirate Roberts”. RT leaving the admin credentials open for Elliot to look into if he so chooses.

Inner Elliot: Everyone has their own If/Then conditional programming. A situation where IF certain conditions are met, THEN a logic bomb detonates. Everything blows up in your face. Is this Ray’s condition? Or my own?

Elliot hits the enter key and a realization of some sort washes over him. A freeze frame reveals a series of links on the left margin starting with drugs, then books, then apparel. The site is called Midland City Marketplace. The drugs were not enough to illicit Elliot’s reaction. However the images of young women bound at the wrists and ankles as well as blindfolded, were enough. Drugs, weapons, sex trafficking, hitman for hire. Imagine all the bad of Craig’s List on steroids where they only sell evil.

Elliot speaks to himself, to work out the details in his head. But there’s one problem. In his head is where Dad lives. Dad tries to refocus Elliot. Ignore it and move on. Dad is thinking about ‘us’ (those working the hack) while Elliot is thinking about those harmed by the website. Elliot will do something about this, to what extent is the question.

Mrs. Wellick enjoys a glass of wine staring at the music box when the burner phone rings. There is no voice on the line. There are sounds though. Mrs. Wellick pleads for Tyrell to say something. Instead all she can hear are sirens. Then without disconnecting the call, she runs outside to see the same sirens turning left at the light. Tyrell is in the city.

Angela takes a series of short taxi and train rides until she finds herself at Darlene’s base of operations. Apparently, the route was provided by Darlene. Inside is FSociety (minus Elliot and Dad).  Setting up a significant story line perhaps as early as next week,

Dom and her assistant meet other feds in an atrium of sorts. All seems very matter of fact until Dom reaches for a piece of fruit on a snack table. Rapid shots rings out. In an instant you see more than half of the agents get hit. Dom is not one of them.  She ducks behind the snack table. Sher removes a gun from one of the dead.  She gets a shot off, a lower leg shot. That shooter’s reaction is to shoot himself in the head.

Elliot stirs in his sleep waking just enough to discover two large men standing over him. Elliot is removed from his bed. You don’t actually see it as the camera zooms in slowly to the floor, but Elliot is struggling desperately the entire time. Held upright, it appears Ray and his boys are aware of Elliot’s intrusion. Ray exits the nearby car.


Elliot: Ray, what are you doing?

Ray:  I told you not to look.

Courtesy of USA Network

Courtesy of USA Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

There is a loud pounding at the door as Elliot labels another “hack disk”. The knock becomes varied in pattern and volume. Its Darlene wearing a FSociety mask, “Trick or treat?” Apparently Halloween is a thing with these two. Or at least it used to be. Elliot offers his couch if she needs somewhere to crash. She cuts him off to say something that I cannot make out. Sounds like “in it one”. Not ashamed to say, I have no idea what she just said. This is clearly something that means something between them. A phrase of significance, likely a coding term of some sort. A phrase that clearly articulates to the other that things just got real.

Darlene successfully convinces Elliot to hang out. They begin watching a movie labeled “The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie” from 1984. Despite the age of the movie and the mere fact that I would have no interest in it, one of the characters is wearing a FSociety mask. Darlene rambles on about food, boyfriend’s cell carrier and posting to Instagram. None of which Elliot seems to care about. Darlene asks what his deal is (essentially) and he replies with “I got fired”. Elliot’s rambling has me almost concerned that I somehow missed an episode (which we all know that is not the case). Like that feeling that you studied for the wrong test.

Elliot re-lives Memorial Day. He was to make sure that the servers were hacker proof. Then as he tells the story, he pivots on a dime. “All the servers were destroyed. I don’t even remember doing it”. His matter of fact story continues as he mentions the therapist he was forced to see as part of an anger management program. Then he slowly looks over to Darlene and says exactly what we expected him to say at this point.

Elliot: I guess its official. I’m crazy.

Darlene’s reaction is fittingly matter of fact. Turning it back towards the “Wall Street Psychos”. By the way, I just got it. Part of these recaps is for you to hopefully see or experience these shows from perhaps, a different perspective. It took me most of the scene, but I’ve got it now. This is all one flashback. The mask was bought as a goof long before the FSociety thing ever happened. Elliot lost his job, that is true but it also predates the hack and All Safe for that matter. Getting back on track, Elliot mentions how his friend Angela, may be able to get him in at All Safe.

The conversation switches over to their mother. A person they both don’t see very often. Memories of Dad, or lack thereof. Darlene eludes to the idea that she doesn’t remember him well and that is concerning. Elliot gets up and walks to the closet where he pulls out the Mr. Robot jacket that their Dad used to wear. She wants him to put it on. Then she asks him to don the Careful Massacre mask. Without removing the mask, Elliot mentions that maybe he should take the All Safe job. He could be their Trojan Horse.

Elliot: I could take them down from the inside.
Darlene: Who?
Elliot: Evil Corp.
Darlene: Okay…can’t tell if you’re joking behind that mask.

While Darlene is in moderate disbelief, Elliot-still wearing the mask, begins to work out the details in his mind. Elliot gets to why we’re here. It’s the follow through. Removing the public trust after the hack. With phrases like, “that’s the only way it would work” Darlene begins to look increasingly concerned for what she’s hearing.

Darlene boards a train while Elliot goes through a morning routine. Darlene arrives at their mother’s home so its safe to assume we are back in present time. Despite the living arrangement Elliot has secured, she is compelled to tell him something. He interrupts her to break in the notion that he knows what she’s doing. Elliot wants her to stop, Darlene still has her eyes on the bigger prize. Elliot is stern, he wants her to stop. He believes they are on the other side of something bad. Darlene reminds him that this scenario is exactly what he predicted. Elliot tries to shrug it off by saying he doesn’t “need him”, to which Darlene retorts, “maybe I do”. Inner Elliot chimes in that she’s hiding something.

Meanwhile, Dominique is on scene at the FSociety headquarters with a team of feds. She’s already picked up on the stolen electricity. Still working on their internet connection. One of the feds questions this place as a legitimate base of operations. Dom reminds him that FSociety are hackers. They do what they do because they believe in it. They like to hide in plain sight. Another agent adds that the whole End of the World party was on social media. The only hard evidence they have is what looks like a bullet casing.

Mrs. Wellick has a strange conversation with the parking attendant who works the lot that Elliot woke up in at the end of last season. He’s being paid hush money to continue telling the story Mrs. Wellick is paying him to say. He’s uneasy and regrets ever agreeing to it. Wellick’s driver hands him an envelope of cash. When the attendant departs her car, the driver explains that they are running out of money. Then she ends the conversation.

Elliot and Ray play chess. Ray puts his knight in a position of check for Elliot and mentions that Elliot could use some practice. Elliot quickly rearranges the pieces back to the starting point. “Your move”, as if he’s suggesting they continue practicing. Elliot pushes back as if Ray could teach him anything. Ray leans back, and suggests that Elliot play himself. Practice. When Elliot asks what good would that do, Ray points out that something is on Elliot’s mind. It’s been there since the day they met. Inner Elliot responds to Ray’s comments while Actual Elliot does not. Perhaps that something on his mind is that he perpetrated the greatest hack in human history and someone he knew died because of it.

Ray changes direction by explaining how confessing could help Elliot deal with what weighs on him. Inner Elliot is considering it. Elliot is generally guarded. The fact that he’s even considering letting an outsider in on the details, is a step. A step towards sanity or a step towards his undoing. As he begins to debate in his head how helpful it would be to have someone to confide in, Dad shows up.

Mr. Alderson: You tell him anything and I will find the tallest building and swan dive off of it.

His very presence pushes Elliot in one direction. The direction Dad does not want him to go. With Ray in front of him, Elliot makes a slow transition from talking to Ray and hearing Dad to looking at Ray but talking to Dad, without letting Ray know what’s happening. Instead of reacting, Ray simply looks at Elliot and tells him that he needs this game more than he thought.

Dad proposes a winner take all game. Stakes of the game go like this. If Elliot wins, Dad goes away. For good. And Elliot will be free to confess whatever he likes. If Dad wins, Dad is in charge once and for all. And Elliot will be sent into a state that would parallel what happened the night of the hack. Elliot would lose all sense of time and memory. He would become nothingness.

Elliot snaps out of the image of a chess board to find himself in Krista’s office. It doesn’t take long for her to suggest that speaking to Mr. Alderson might be helpful. That would legitimize Dad’s existence and give him too much power. She continues to push and Elliot let’s out some infrequent truth. He wants to know what Krista wants from him regarding this issue. For him to admit he sees his dead father? That he speaks to him? That there are periods of time missing from his recollection? That he’s losing his mind? That he didn’t recognize his own sister? That he lacks the control to stop it? While his outbursts got louder and more indignant, Krista is not concerned. This may be the biggest breakthrough they’ve had.

Krista explains that while the existence of Mr. Alderson is cumbersome and annoying to the point Elliot is willing to risk it all, it’s not that simple. Elliot wants to eradicate his father from his consciousness, but Krista explains that like it or not, Mr. Alderson is a part of what makes Elliot, Elliot. She finishes by saying annihilation is not the answer. Elliot disagrees. Then goes into an introspective analogy that all we do is annihilate the things we think other people don’t like about us. This transitions into the images of White Rose putting on makeup and dropping a bombshell that should not surprise to us at this point. White Rose is talking to Phillip Price. I feel the need to drop a “cahoots” here.

Price and White Rose are absolutely in on this somehow, but to what end is the question. White Rose is concerned with the time of the issue. Surprise, surprise. Price comes back with the “Rome burned in a day but wasn’t built in a day” reference. The idea of building whatever this is and it taking time does not please White Rose. Speaking to her assistant she references a second plan, which will also take time. He presents her with a tablet that has a FBI classified document of Dom’s progress and investigation into the FSociety headquarters.

Mrs. Wellick stands in Mr. Knowles house. He finds her, clearly he’s a little drunk. She’s there to inquire as to the delay in her husband’s severance package. He doesn’t seem to care as his issue is finding the person who killed his wife. She actually rolls over on Tyrell right then and there. She will testify against her husband if Knowles will release the severance package. She has a baby after all. Knowles stands firm. Mere inches from her face he says, “Tyrell Wellick’s baby gets exactly what it deserves…nothing”.

Darlene returns to what looks like Coney Island and it is less quiet than you’d think. One of many in FSociety masks bumps into Darlene and demands to have her phone. Its Cisco. He gives her directions and walks away. Cisco meets up with her two blocks later to inform her the feds have raided their hangout. He claims to feel confident that what’s going on has nothing to do with the Dark Army as there is nothing in it for them. Cisco wants to make sure Darlene is OK. She is anything but OK. He tries to fix it, she pushes back. Suggesting that somehow letting a woman stay upset is what a man would do. Then there is a scene involving Cisco, Darlene and a public bathroom that I will not provide any details on. This is a family friendly website even if the show I’m covering is not. Suffice it to say, Darlene is scared that the feds are onto them specifically.

Elliot stares blankly at a folded up chess board while Leon rambles at their lunch spot. Leon abandons whatever unimportant story he’s telling to focus on Elliot’s attention to the chess board. Elliot shakes off Leon’s interest or at least he thinks he does. Leon persists. He even sounds somewhat informed on this subject and asks Elliot what he’s waiting for. If the game isn’t intended for Leon, its intended for someone. Even with the stakes where they are-existence, Leon is intrigued. Feeling profound, Leon asks if Elliot wants to be here, in the cosmic sense. Then very clearly explains that existence can be good or bad, but the result is up to the individual. He suggests that Elliot try dreaming. If the dreams are good, then its good. If they aren’t, then maybe it is time to check out.

I will leave some to the imagination on Elliot’s dream sequence. The part where he closes his eyes and dreams of what life would be like if he truly connected with those he cares about. Reunite with long gone friends. See his sister find true happiness. Amends for those he’s wronged. A future that’s not so lonely. A future filled with friends and family. Should be noted, Tyrell Wellick shaking Ray’s hand and Darlene sitting happily across from Angela is particularly creepy right now. And just about the time you feel comfortable with this scenario in Elliot’s head he says, “and you’ll be there”, camera pulls into an empty chair as the lone skyscraper in the backdrop falls to the ground. This is the world he’s always wanted. And Elliot now knows, he would very much like to fight for it.

Let the game begin. Elliot monologues about the nature of chess and the beauty of it as he and Dad engage in a speed chess like game. Only problem is this is not one vs another. This is one vs himself. Even with existence itself as the prize, they reach a stalemate. Elliot resets as there has to be a winner one way or another. Right when Elliot clearly states to Dad that he is aware that Dad isn’t even here, acknowledging his mental ‘issue’, they reach another stalemate. And this will continue as long as the subconscious of one is dictating the moves of another.

This chess match was supposed to be the episode’s big payoff. The thing that changes the direction of story lines (perhaps) going forward. But just as Elliot discovers playing the game, we should have known that was a futile hope from the beginning. Elliot is not going to be able beat himself. Or as Dad puts it, its pointless for them to fight each other. They will remain in a perpetual state of impasse.

Angela barks demands at Price from the shadows as he exits the building. He doesn’t laugh or stop her. He encourages her to continue. Angela noticed a pattern in all of the settlements filed in the case from her home town. Price was trying to position Angela to convince those plaintiffs to drop the third provision, outside inspections. Which Angela is willing to do, for the right price. Phillip is still impressed with her, but this he claims, is all in her head.

Darlene calls Elliot at their mother’s home all but begging him to get on a terminal so she can share with him what she knows now. Before he will even consider getting on a terminal, Elliot needs to know if she meant what she said when she suggested she needs Mr. Robot not Elliot right now. She turns it around and claims she wants him. He says, “You know what to do”.

Dad is verbally annoyed as to why he and Elliot are back at Ray’s house. Ray enters and is not surprised to discover that no one actually won when he played himself. Before Elliot can set up the confession we are all expecting here, he pivots and tells Ray he’s there to fix that pesky computer problem Ray’s been having. Ray calls someone to enter the room, but before they do, he goes on a tangent. Suggesting that many prophets, Jesus and Moses among them, also heard voices. Perhaps, Elliot’s dealing with his own divinity.

To this point, Ray has been the same. Even when dealing with the previous IT guy, always the same. In this moment when Ray’s “associate” enters the room, it’s a little different. He asks Elliot to respect his task and consider how important his online business is. And to please fix the task, but try not to look where you don’t have to.

Inner Elliot: I know. I know. This is really scratching that part of my brain again. But that’s the part of my brain I need to start ignoring.

Elliot uses Ray’s computer to communicate with Darlene. She spills everything. Elliot’s face gradually turns to panic. He must know everything they know. This is the way he will fight for his dream. His ‘fighting’ is to hack the FBI.

Photo Courtesy of USA Networks

Photo Courtesy of USA Networks

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We begin tonight with a flashback sequence. Romero walks down the Coney Island pier trying to explain to Mobley why he’s there. Divided by a generation, Romero takes it to its simplest terms. A story from 1925 about how one couple found success running a ‘freak show’ in the very property they are about to visit. The story doesn’t end well as the crazed husband/father kills everyone, but you get the point. Romero is setting the stage and context for what will become FSociety’s Headquarters. FSociety (or at least its location) has a history of death in a weird grotesque fashion.

The last person to own this building and subsequent business was Romero’s cell mate previous to this point in the timeline. That cellmate gave Romero the keys and made him promise to burn it down. That man believed this building to be cursed. This quickly becomes a pitch. Romero is fresh out of the clink. This building while it may be cursed, is still a sweet, low-key set up. Records are in limbo and Romero is siphoning the electricity. A sweet setup for someone looking to get some work done while not being noticed doing it. Even references to Mobley “his guy”. Then Mobley flips the direction of the conversation.

Mobley: I’m not here to rent from you, I want you to work with us.
Romero: I just got out, I ain’t trying to go back no time soon.
Mobley: Just meet with my guy, we need a freaker and I know you’re the best in the game.

Back in the present there is a slow visual build to Elliot standing in the hallway in complete disbelief after hearing that familiar greeting, “Bon Swah”. Fear washing over him. Confusion in his eyes. But also, a noticeable lack of the wheels in his head turning. Elliot focuses on the immediate question and not the larger ones he should be focused on. He just wants to know where Tyrell is. Wellick is cryptic in his answers revealing no actual location. Then Wellick suggests that Elliot knowing his whereabouts might not be the best idea. Wellick even questions if Elliot is having cold feet. Cold feet about something we the viewers are still in the dark on.

Before the conversation can go too far in any direction Mr. Alderson’s hand drops down to disconnect the call. Alderson conveys that he and Elliot had a deal regarding Wellick and speaking to him. This was Alderson’s way of keeping his end of the deal. However, unhelpful as it was.

In another flashback (this might be a thing tonight), Mobley makes his way to Romero’s mother’s place. She directs him downstairs, its clear at this point in the timeline, Mobley has achieved ‘friend of the family’ status. Good thing too, because Mobley just walked out back to discover what looks like a dead Romero. Cell phone busted and a pool of blood under his head.

We find Ray having breakfast with someone, it resembles in home hospice care. Large medical devices (dialysis perhaps) creating the soundtrack to Ray’s commentary. Even as the camera pulls back we don’t see who he’s talking to. Whoever it is, lacks the ability or desire to respond. I’m not planting any flags with this but, I wouldn’t be surprised if A) that’s Ray’s wife and B) this has something to do with the meeting Elliot was unaware he was a part of. Or Mr. Alderson, depending on how you’re seeing it at this point.

At the afternoon game, part of Elliot’s rigorous adherence to routine as an effort to get rid of Dad, Elliot is back on the pills. Elliot stands toe to toe with Dad. It’s not morphine, it’s a new attempt to get rid of the problem. Then Elliot begins popping one Aderall after the other. One after the other. After he gets about eight pills in, without breaking that piercing Rami Malek stare, Elliot walks away.

This is where Elliot refers to the episode title without doing so. Kernel attack. Only so much can be done following an “Internal Fatal Error”. Right about the time Elliot begins to feel a sense of calm about what he’s just done, a strange man asks for some time…and using Elliot’s last name. Elliot attempts to run but once again the men in the black suits grab him. Generally speaking, I don’t think the feds put the black hood over their suspects.

Mobley sits in a subway car, nervous as a group of cops size him up before departing the train. After they depart, Darlene inconspicuously sits down next to Mobley. Without reverence for the moment, Darlene reiterates how they all knew Romero selling drug was a risk.

The mysterious black Suburban delivers Elliot to some sort of dark garage or parking structure. The men in suits zip-tie Elliot to the only chair in sight. Two of the men start mixing concrete before Elliot then pour it down a funnel and into his mouth. The strange man asking for Elliot’s time was just a projection perpetrated by Dad. All in an effort to get Elliot to throw up the Aderall. Dad charges into how he’s burrowed under Elliot’s brain and Elliot will cooperate because Dad owns him. Just that thought, just the notion is enough to get Elliot to dive back into his own vomit to get the Aderall back in his system. Actually a moderately gross scene. Dad watches in disbelief.

Elliot: I will not be owned.

Angela waits patiently in a strange room while Mr. Price furiously signs papers without so much as looking up at her. Offers his condolences for the untimely death of Gideon then tells her the incredible interview parameters she negotiated are all wrong. She takes ownership of the new task but then questions it. This prompts Price to direct her to sit down. He eventually sits down beside her. Talks her down the path of an old dive bar that became one of the nicest restaurants in New York City. Its awkward but she plays along. Price will make reservations and arrange a car for her. He gets up to go back to his desk, before he’s seated he retracts his previous order to run with Fox over Bloomberg as well as undoing all the other details of her deal. Just like that he backs off completely.

Dominique DiPierro lies in bed running through her news feed on her phone. Ironically, she asks Alexa (a voice activated interactive device for the home) for the time. It’s ironic because there is a clock millimeters from the news stories she was reading on her phone. Then a montage of Dominique getting ready in the morning. A futile effort it seems.

Dominique is the first on the scene to investigate Romero’s death. One of the feds found three sheets of Feds and their identities. Dominique DiPierro’s name is among them. She tries to brush it off like its nothing. Then she directs her attention to the forensics agent who is recklessly connecting a device to a desktop that was out in the open. Dominique asks a very important question too late. “Did you check to see if they were modified ports?” No sooner than did she say that, the CPU caught on fire.

Darlene and Mobley stand in Trenton’s parent’s home. Eventually Trenton’s mother gives them a moment. There is one mention-able theory on their minds. Is the Dark Army offing people connected to the hack? Darlene rejects the idea immediately. Darlene is the sole Dark Army contact. Well her and Elliot. Darlene doesn’t even want to consider what Mobley is thinking. Darlene will reach out to Elliot, in the meantime, she think’s everyone should just ‘chill’.

Mobley (to Trenton minus Darlene): I don’t trust her. Or her crazy ass brother.

We get some more light shed on what exactly Ray does for a living. There is a very slow camera pivot that reveals while Ray is speaking with someone who does not respond, we find a nice home and a mother clutching her son. Ray speaks about wealth without health. It seems like Ray is an enforcer. Rocky Balboa in the beginning of Rocky I, just more articulate and polite. The person he’s speaking to had the left side of his face almost kicked in from the look of it. Bottom line, ‘the site’ has been down too long. If this man fixes it, he will get his wealth and in time, hopefully, his health.

There is a legitimate issue. Whatever it is this man is supposed to be able to do, he does not know how to do. He pleads with Ray and even explains what it is he does not know how to do. If you’re foreshadowing sense is tingly, it should be. This at least fills in a potential gap between Ray, Elliot, and the meeting Elliot does not remember

Ray’s Driver: I could try to convince him again…
Ray: Just because you beat a man’s face to a pulp don’t mean he’s gonna know what he don’t know.

Elliot has not slept for three days. It’s not what you think. He is just so absolutely thrilled with the world now that Mr. Alderson is no longer in it. Elliot is experiencing complete bliss, like we’ve never seen Elliot display before. Not even the “I did it” scene in time square early in season one. This sequence is a little creepy…in a good way. The excess of Aderall is effectively removing Mr. Alderson from Elliot’s consciousness. It also seems to be sharpening his senses. Things seem clearer. Almost in a “Limitless TV series” sort of way. Elliot is downright jovial.

This is a different Elliot. But here’s the rub, it’s a high Elliot. He’s becoming more focused? Leon’s Seinfeld theories all of a sudden seem interesting? Ending with the admission that Elliot may have even found God. Not criticizing it, just suggesting that’s about the most un-Elliot thing this character could’ve done. Catching the holy ghost was particularly un-Elliot like.

As Elliot’s unapologetic exuberance for his new life minus Dad, it all snaps back into focus. Real Elliot and Inner Elliot aren’t on the same page. Inner Elliot knows this is a rouse. The false reality slowly dissipates. Elliot looks down at the Aderall in his hand and his hand and arm begin to pixelate. The audio is jumbly. Then he pops the pill. We then find Elliot across from Leon except this time Leon is speaking backwards and Elliot seem completely uninterested.

Elliot returns home to find the two children from the Shining have grown up to become three creepy kids and they are all wearing the now famous FSociety mask. Yes, Elliot can at least identify it’s weirdness. Side note, along with the jumbly audio there are flashes of what look like lines of computer code almost as if it’s trying to break through and that is what’s causing the inconsistent audio.

Elliot watches the laundry tumble in the dryer. “That’s my internal fatal error”. Kernel Panic. Day number six without sleep. He’s crashing. The panic isn’t settling in anymore, it’s just lingering. As if it’s waiting for something.

Angela arrives at her Dive Bar turned Exquisite Dining experience dinner date. Her “Dinner date” is with Price and two other important and not age appropriate men. And Price even reintroduced himself. “Phillip Price, Master of the Universe”.

Elliot is coming down but still very much high on the Aderall. At his bi-weekly church group an adult bully tells his story of his violent act on an innocent Indian store owner. Elliot slowly turns his head from his half asleep posture and develops a sinister corner smile. The leader of this church group gently invites Elliot to share.

Inner Elliot: Naw…my system’s hung.

Real Elliot chimes in. She mentioned that God can help. Insert the non believer’s backlash. Why didn’t God help when my friend died for no reason? What’s about to happen is not much more than the theological interpretation of his first speech about how he hates society. He jumps around but keeps to his point. Countless wars in his name. Racist, sexist soup we’ve been drowning in. Exclusive groups in all religions. The analogy that religious leaders are nothing more than drug dealers of hope and the believers are the addicts. Referring to the collective ‘us’ as nothing more than fanboys falling over for the latest sci-fi franchise.

Elliot: If I’m not going to listen to my imaginary friend, why would I listen to yours? Worshiping his key to happiness. That’s just how he owns you. I’m not crazy enough to believe that. A distortion of reality. So, _____ God. He’s not a good enough scapegoat for me.

Time has passed and Price’s ‘friends’ are politely asked to give Price and Angela the room. It doesn’t take a genius to see Price had some ulterior motive. Both men that left were good upstanding company men, but they were also present during the deal to cover up the issues in Angela’s home town. The temperament of both Angela and Price go south. Price extends a disc with enough evidence to put both men away for a long time. Price gets up to leave when Angela suggests she doesn’t trust whatever Price is trying to do. Price advises her to remove the emotion and make the decision to take these men down easy. It feels like Price is grooming her.

Elliot sits at Leon’s diner, but with no Leon. Ray enters and sits in Leon’s seat that Leon is not occupying. Ray returned Elliot’s journal that Elliot discarded. In part because high Elliot put in a great deal coded chicken scratch. Then Ray levels with Elliot. Including the part where he lost his wife over 5 years ago. He goes on to explain that after his frozen in grief period, he began talking to her loudly while he ate his breakfast. Then he realized who he was talking to. He mentions this to attempt to relate to Elliot.

Dominique shows up at Romero’s mother’s place. Gains entry by offering to roll her joints that her cataracts won’t permit her to roll herself. Dominique is digging and Granny almost gave up Mobley. Grabbing a glass for Grammy (that are already packed for her move out of that home) Dominique discovers the dishware is wrapped in evidence. Including the flyer for the end of the world party.

Elliot is actually opening up to Ray. Ray tells the story about his wife’s strictness to following the rules and creating control. Then one day, none of it matters. Ray believes there is no getting up after you fall because life is just a series of perpetual falling. Ray pegs that the subject of the journal has meaning. Elliot tries to leave, but Ray talks him back in by suggesting that Elliot does want to talk about it. Dad returns but does so quietly. Inner Elliot monologues about the continuation of perpetual falling as we see Dominique make the trip to Coney Island. She stops and stares up at the front of the FSociety Headquarters. At the right angle with letters missing from the marquee, it literally reads F. . . . Society.

Dominique: You’ve got be ______ kidding me…

Photo Courtesy of USA Network

Photo Courtesy of USA Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

It has felt like quite a long time since you and I spent time with Elliot, The Aldersons, FSociety and Evil Corp. Let ‘water cooler’ mode recommence. Part One begins right now.

The opening scene in tonight’s season 2 premiere begins with a familiar face, the public face (or mask) of FSociety. The unfamiliar part is the identity of the person wearing said mask. Tyrell Wellick. Wellick questions the nature of the mask and why it was chosen. Elliot is in code mode so he probably didn’t even hear the question. The camera moves slowly around Elliot to reveal his command prompt. A number of lines of code revealing commands that include “fuxsocy” and a number of encryption lines. Wellick asks “what it is”? Elliot responds with the ever ominous, “It’s happening…” Wellick sits down at Elliot’s computer as Elliot moves away as if he expects to see or hear something in reaction to what is ‘happening’. Instead he reaches into the popcorn maker digging into the popcorn to grab something.

Wellick: It’s almost as if something’s come alive.

The next scene is a flashback to the scene relived in season one a few times. The story told of young Elliot fearing for his father’s life, he betrays his father’s trust and tells his mother of his father’s fate. His father returns the favor by shoving young Elliot out of the window. The next scene involves his parents’ reaction to what Elliot must have been unconscious for. Fast forward to the hospital following the fall. Elliot will be fine, but as protocol goes, the doctor must speak to Elliot alone. To gauge any abuse the may have precipitated this ‘accident’. Elliot drifts off staring at his brain x-rays.

Elliot wakes from this relative day-dream as present day Elliot. Pleased to wake in his own perfect loop. Starting the day as he has started every day for the last month. He stops short as he walks past a tv airing President Obama’s reaction to the attacks perpetrated by FSociety and Tyrell Wellick.
Following breakfast (with Leon, a kid who spends way too much time talking about Seinfeld-something he’s just recently discovered), he comes home, usually around 10am. When he ‘helps out around the house’. More of President Obama speaking on the FSociety attacks. At noon, its time for lunch with Leon. And yes, Leon is still talking about Seinfeld. After lunch, Elliot and Leon catch a basketball game. No, not at the Garden or even Barclay’s as that wouldn’t logically fit. . A random pickup basketball game in the park. The local pyro is there (usually) and her routine-ness seems to be a source of calming familiarity for Elliot who is otherwise out of his element. Social gatherings, TV discussions, and sports. Then you guessed it…dinner with Leon.

Two days a week Elliot meets with a church group. This may be the most peculiar, not for any real underlying reason. Just that Elliot is attending for the routine of it. Like watching basketball for the organized chaos that the rules create. For Elliot, routine and repetition is the allure of all of this. Even mentions that his mother doesn’t have internet access to distract him. Is he really living with his mother? The absolute last place I would have guessed. He does this, keeps to his routine, because that’s what he believes normal people do. Keep life on ‘repeat’.

This play-by-play of Elliot’s new routine brings us back to Krista’s office. She seems to be lost in her own thoughts. Then she asks the question we’re all asking ourselves. Why his mother’s house? His mother is the source of a large portion of his childhood trauma. Yet, while Elliot’s answer is one we’ve heard before, it makes a lot of sense here. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.

For the first time since his admission that he hacked Krista, Elliot opens up a little. Why not go back to his old life. Answer? Because he can’t trust himself back there. Krista gets a little indignant when he hesitates to answer the question of why.

Elliot: It’s not that I don’t trust myself. It’s that I don’t trust him.

Inner Elliot speaking to the ‘him’ referenced earlier. An identity that I am completely willing to admit is anyone. The natural conclusion is that Elliot suffers from split personality disorder. Maybe ‘he’ is one personality in Elliot’s head that confirms dissociative identity disorder. Clearly whatever the practical application is, Elliot doesn’t trust the other voice in his head. He refers to him as his ‘friend’ and at this point in the relationship, actual Elliot feels betrayed.

When Elliot arrives home, we find another of what must be a mental disorder on some level. Elliot’s father lying on the bed reading Penthouse (for the articles I’m sure) and flat-out asking about ‘Elliot’s friend’. Elliot seems to be giving Mr. Alderson the silent treatment as he adds to his journal, including the phrase, “He’s here”. Push comes to shove quite literally as Dad shoves Elliot to the bed with a handgun pointed at his face as Dad tries to squash the notion that Elliot is in control. Elliot speaks up and asks him where is Tyrell Wellick? When Dad refuses, Elliot begins to tell his father a more colorful way of ‘getting bent’. Then Mr. Alderson shoots Elliot in the head splattering blood and brain matter all over the wall. Remember, in modern television, no one is ever really dead. Elliot slowly sits up, looks his father in the eyes and asks, “are you done?” Then he moves back to his journal like nothing happened. Still sporting the bullet hole to the forehead he writes, “he shot me in the head again”.

Someone who resembles Darlene in an FSociety mask and a couple masked associates arrive to castrate the Wall Street Bull. Side note. Why are so many shows and movies hell-bent on damaging the Wall Street Bull? The next day a new character, a middle-aged woman whose identity is still in question arrives home after a run. Once home, she has a hard time keeping her very integrated home from malfunctioning. Alarm goes haywire. The news (some sort of news) comes on and won’t turn off until the segment is finished. And even while she attempts to swim, the pool stereo won’t quit and the lights turn out. In the shower, the water keeps getting hotter while the temperature in the house keeps getting colder. If you’re thinking Ghost in the Machine, it might be a little too soon for that.

A strange hand that belongs to a body with a prosthetic leg simply walks in to the aforementioned integrated home and instantly all of the audible chaos stops at once. The one-legged figure is not alone. Her entrance into the residence is familiar. Shades of Jason Lee in Dogma, setting up a base of operations.

In an unexpected stroke, Gideon waits patiently in Elliot’s mother’s dining room. Despite Dad’s presence in the corner, Elliot is darn near social. Gideon is the subject of the FBI’s attention. He’s been cooperative but for some reason they keep coming at him. Gideon also believes he’s being continually hacked. There is essentially a three-way conversation. Gideon -> Elliot, Dad -> Elliot, Elliot -> no one. Right as Dad suggests the emotional weight of framing Gideon, Elliot begins to bleed again from his previously imagined gunshot wound.

Dad keeps rambling. Driving the proverbial knife deeper and deeper. Going so far as to suggest that eventually his bullet will penetrate Elliot’s thick skull. Suggesting that Elliot is on a downward spiral to madness. Gideon is there humbly to ask for assistance. Elliot hangs his head a mutters that he can’t help. Dad suggests that it takes a specifically troubled person to sit there and let a man like Gideon take the fall. Gideon has no earthly idea the evils Elliot is fighting and because of that detail he, as Dad puts it acting like a small animal, does what all small animals do when they are threatened. Try to act like bigger animals. Gideon threatens to turn over what he thinks he knows about Elliot to the feds.

Mr. Alderson: He has a point. He does know a lot. Maybe too much.
(Alderson slowly walks behind Gideon)
Mr. Alderson: I wonder…If I sliced his throat right here, would it be me doing it? Or you doing it?
Gideon (voice growing more clear): I will go to them. And tell them everything.
Mr. Alderson: Truth is it doesn’t really matter with the choices you’ve made lately. It all adds up to one thing. You add up to one thing. Me. (Elliot watches as Dad slices Gideon ear to ear-but not really as it didn’t actually happen)

Elliot says nothing but heads upstairs where he writes in his journal. I am control. I am control repeatedly. And follows it up with “Control is an Illusion”. The thing Dad said just before shooting him in the head. Elliot’s plan is to stay as regimented as possible to maintain his sanity until Dad goes away, allowing Elliot to return to his natural self. As if Mr. Alderson will just disappear out of frame like the photo from Back to the Future.

Even Elliot’s meals with Leon are not free from Father interruptions. Elliot remains steadfast in the adherence of his plan. Then Dad explains that he may just go from annoyed to hurt and hurting his feelings would be unwise. Elliot collects himself and begins to ask about the mask.

Elliot: How do you take off the mask when its stops being a mask? It’s as much a part of me as I am. Like the world we unmask. We will find our true selves again.

The camera moves from Elliot to a party showing FSociety supporters celebrating with the Bull of Wall Street’s removed bits to Darlene seated on the floor looking emotional. Darlene puts herself together and from the second floor can be seen by the rowdy group taking selfies with the Bull’s unmentionables. Darla does not appreciate the selfies based on the mere risk of making those pics public. She demands to have the phone then proceeds to smash it.

Darlene refocuses their attention. Reiterating that they are in a war. A war they are losing. They are in the home of the unidentified character from 20 minutes ago. She is now identified by her name from inside Evil Corp. Madam Executioner. Shortly thereafter, Darlene gives instructions on how to move outside of this location as to not burn this location. No one takes the same route twice to or from their new safe house.

At an Evil Corp bank, or Evil Bank we’ll call it, a woman in offended at the predicament that Evil Bank is putting her in. Their inability to verify payments has this customer in a state of limbo. Even cancelling her acct is no easy task. As the camera pulls back you can make out what looks like a countdown clock and court jester image. It reads, “Your files are encrypted. To get the key to decrypt the files, you have to pay 5.9 million USD. If payment is not made by tomorrow night, we’ll brick your entire system. More instructions forthcoming. -fsociety. Time Left: 23h 59m 12s.” And naturally, the Evil Bank IT guy is the Horatio Sands looking gentlemen from Mr. Robot’s original team.

Phillip Price, Scott Knowles and Madam Executioner sit in a meeting about the clock. Pay the ransom, don’t pay the ransom. Then Price notices a secondary request. One of Evil Corp’s Chief Officers will need to make the drop. Seems like a non-starter until Scott Knowles offers to do it. This concludes Part One of tonight’s double episode season 2 premiere.

Knowles shows up at the specified location with two large duffel bags. It’s very un-ransom drop like. The area is flooded with people. He stands there cautiously sizing up everyone who walks by. Including a very creepy guy walking his dog. The beautiful irony is the faint sound of Phil Collins singing “Take Me Home” subtly in the background. A bike messenger makes a b-line for Knowles. He is not the contact. He is just a bike messenger making a delivery to a man standing in the middle of a walkway who answers to being called ‘someone from E Corp’.

The delivery was for nondescript backpack. Despite being warned not to look in the bag by the voice in Knowles’ ear, he does so anyway. There is a note in the bag. Knowles’ phone rings. It’s a disguised voice that demands he do what the note says within 10 seconds or else. Also in the bag is an FSociety mask. Knowles puts it on and proceeds to open the bags. Ignoring the voice in his ear, Knowles unloads the bags onto the walkway and proceeds to burn the 5.9 million in front of a viewing crowd. Think Ledger’s Joker burning half of the Mob’s money but visually much smaller. Darlene being one of the onlookers.

Price meets with some White House officials in Washington DC. He apparently was under the impression this would be a meeting of good news. They will not contribute anymore funds beyond the 900 million they’ve already given to help Evil Corp. The only way to keep moving is for Price to resign. The President can’t ask Congress for a bailout. Instead of agreeing, he fires into a speech about FDR and the Great Depression. That comes together to create the theme that the country made it out of the Great Depression because the people were sold an illusion. Price resigning would destroy that illusion and any chance they have to save this thing. “A Con cannot succeed without the CONfidence”.

Side note. Wellick’s wife still scares me. Tied to all four posts and wearing about 3 square inches of material, someone who isn’t Tyrell moves a large kitchen knife across her flesh eventually breaking the skin. He then proceeds to do as he is ordered and slaps her really hard.

At a local corner store we are finally introduced to Dominique DiPierro played by Grace Gummer. That name might not be familiar to you but the face should be. Gummer played Hallie Shea in seasons 2 and 3 of the incredible HBO Series and latest television product of Aaron Sorkin, The Newsroom. If that’s not enough, Grace Gummer is the daughter of Don Gummer and the highly decorated Meryl Streep. Let that fester, because if this is news to you, you won’t be able to un-see Meryl is Grace’s face. It’s actually quite uncanny.

Now that we’ve had our Wikipedia moment, who is Dominique? First layer is that she’s a Fed. The Fed that Gideon apparently plans to spill Elliot to. Meanwhile, Elliot sees patterns in his daily pickup game watching. Trying to marry the chaos of a game with rules to the effort of wearing the mask. Do these men mask who they are? Or do they become who they are when they put on the mask? Then the ball falls out-of-bounds and lands near Elliot. Not familiar with the etiquette of a neighborhood basketball court he does nothing to return the ball to the combatants. When one of the player’s voice reaches a hostile level Leon jumps in. Leon tosses the ball and begins to square off with the player giving Elliot grief. The ball is returned by a third person off camera, but it looked like Leon was fully prepared to stand up for Elliot. Which may not be a big deal, but if you haven’t seen this episode yet, imagine Lil Wayne mixed with O Dog from Menace II Society, if that reference is not lost on you.

Then the third-party is revealed. Its Craig Robinson. Seriously, that’s not a typo. Craig Robinson of such productions like The Office, Hot Tub Time Machine, Knocked Up, The host of Last Comic Standing, and even the short-lived self titled “Mr. Robinson” show. Not criticizing, just pointing out that Craig Robinson doesn’t feel like a fit. But then again, I said that about Patton Oswalt as Constable Bob on Justified…and he was great.

Ray begins to make conversation with Elliot. Which actually works for a while. Ray speaks almost monologuing about the greater meaning of what they see. A bunch of people playing a weak version of a popular game. Which parallels nicely into what Elliot sees. His words may speak to Elliot on some level, which is why Elliot is compelled to leave the situation. Before he can, Ray identifies that Elliot is not much of a talker and makes it clear that he is alright with that. Elliot stops short. Ray mentions that talking is good in his line of work. Then when he refers to Elliot and computers, Elliot’s wall goes up again.

Elliot abruptly squashes any notion of him and computers going forward. That’s when Mr. Alderson shows up again egging Elliot on to help Ray with whatever it is. Just to get that feeling back. Ray backs off with a light-hearted reference to his wife, then asks if it’s alright if they continue talking. To be honest I thought that gesture would’ve spoken to Elliot, but he replied with a simple, “no thanks”.

Ray: Damn man. That’s some cold brutal _____ right there. I’m gonna have to go listen to some Adele on repeat when I get back home. Okay. I can take a hint.

Elliot still believes that by severing himself from computers, getting off the grid so to speak will remove his ‘weapon of choice’ from Mr. Robot. Hoping that eventually Mr. Robot will die. And we have a Nancy Grace sighting. That’s not a political comment, that’s a “she annoys me as a broadcaster” comment. Nancy Grace is Nancy Gracing the issue of the missing culprit, Tyrell Wellick.

Mrs. Wellick returns home to find a neatly wrapped gift. A jewelry box. Inside the jewelry box is a smaller also wrapped box. The smaller box is fixed to the jewelry box. Under the jewelry box is a Nexus phone taped to it.

We get our first glimpse of Angela in season 2 working her Evil Corp job as a PR Manager. She’s hardened and cold. However, she gets the desired result. This prompts her to bring an end to her and Nayar’s (the lawyer working her mother’s case against Evil Corp) meetings. Something Nayar does not take well. Nayar is still under the impression that this job of Angela’s is a temp job used to compile any intel on Evil Corp for their lawsuit against them. This effectively ends their relationship.

Another day, another pickup game. Ray begins to break the ice this time by claiming that Maxine, Ray’s aging basset hound, likes Elliot more than Ray. Elliot tries to ignore Ray and stands fast on his stance of not talking or befriending Ray. Ray is trying to be social this time because apparently, Ray and Elliot met last night and clearly spoke about something of consequence. A concept that Elliot is completely unaware of. Elliot says nothing. Looks up then books it, full sprint to get back to his journal.

The regiment, the perfect loop was designed and executed to avoid this very slip up. The journal shows nothing. 10:34 pm to sleep, awake at 6:33 am. He can’t account for it. Then Dad appears to turn the tables on what Elliot thinks he knows.

Mr. Alderson: What do they see when they see you coming?
Inner Elliot: And this is why I’m different, sometimes my mask takes over.
Actual Elliot: Why did you talk to him?
Mr. Alderson: Because…I’m going to make you realize…
Actual Elliot: What…? What will you make me realize.
(Alderson steps forward)
Mr. Alderson: That they see…me.

Elliot walks away back turned and stands silent for a minute. He turns around and I’m not ashamed to say, he does something both new and alarming at the same time. He smiles and laughs almost uncontrollably. Almost like one might imagine the Joker laughed the first time his mind broke. The laughing even confuses Dad. Alderson resorts to the gun to the head bit again. Elliot is not caving on that anymore. He demands, “Tell me where Tyrell Wellick is or shoot me again”. Both personalities square off but neither man gives any ground. That is until Elliot leaves for his church group.

Gideon tries to enjoy a drink at a bar alone, but no such luck. The stranger talks about the attacks, the leaks, the government cover up,etc when Gideon tries to defuse the situation but this stranger is not easily shaken. The man reveals that he knows he’s talking to Gideon Goddard. He also reveals that he can see why Gideon makes the perfect patsy. He just needed Gideon to believe it too on some level. This man acknowledges that he will be a hero by tomorrow. Then with no notice he pulls out a gun and shoots Gideon in the jugular.

Back at the Wellick’s home Mrs. Wellick plays the jewelry box/music box while waiting for that cell phone to ring. She gets up to check on the crying baby. While she’s gone the phone rings. Missed call from ‘unknown’.

Elliot sits staring blankly during his church group. He seems mildly engaged as he listens to a woman read from the book of Revelations. “I am the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end.” Elliot becomes increasingly calm. He dozes off then wakes up with a payphone receiver in his hand. The line is not dead but no one is speaking. Elliot speaks first. There is a pause, then a familiar voice and familiar greeting.

“Bon Swah Elliot”

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network


We’ve all got people in our lives that takes great pride and pleasure in informing the rest of us that they don’t watch television. For those of you who keep the set off, please allow me to inform you that you’re doing yourself a great disservice. We’re living in a Platinum-Age of the medium with series emanating from a variety of sources, that’s helping to redefine television. One of those series at the top of the freshman class was the USA Network Original Drama “Mr. Robot,” that concluded its first season on Wednesday night, leaving viewers chomping at the bit for the show to return next summer.

Series Creator and Show-Runner Sam Esmail created a universe eerily like our own, complete with a stock-market reeling from vast fluctuations and the Ashley Madison scandal. (When the site that existed only to aid people in committing adultery got mentioned, I wondered if the scene between Gloria Reuben and Armand Shultz had recently been re-shot.) We left Esmail’s universe in complete chaos, mainly due to the efforts of a brilliant but deeply damaged computer programmer named Elliot Alderson. Elliot and his rag-tag band of fellow hackers, along with the assistance of a Chinese group known as the Dark Army, destroyed the global-economic-system. The moves of “f_society,” erased all debt and grounded commerce to a halt. The world became a cash-only system, as credit-cards were rendered useless.

That’s the big-picture view, but this is a story that examined the seemingly innocuous, unimportant, people that sent the planet on a downward spiral. Although Elliot Alderson’s our central character and anti-hero, he was just one of the incredible characters we met along this journey. We met lots of bad folks over the course of ten-weeks, some who hailed from the streets to those at the top of the economic and power structures of our world. However, we never met one person that could qualify as being truly good, even with the most sympathetic characters, we saw the darkness inside them and the demons they battle daily.

We’ve got to remember that we’ve viewed this universe mainly through the eyes of Elliot, so any conclusions we come to at the end of season one, could be refuted early next season. Even with that being stated, I think we can safely assume that the scenes revolving around Angela, the Wellicks and E-Corp were indeed real, including that mind-blowing segment after the credits rolled in the season finale. That reveal’s pretty mind-blowing, as we watch White Rose dressed in male-attire talking with E-Corp Chairman Phillip Price, we realize that everything’s indeed connected. That the person who pats you on the back with one hand, could easily be sticking a shiv into your belly with the other seconds later.

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

BD Wong the actor that portrayed the transgender character White Rose, only appeared on the screen for a precious few minutes during the ten episode run, but perhaps no other character in the series could make our collective draws drop during that conversation with Price in the final scene of the season. White Rose talks of Nero playing a lyre while Rome burned, then compares that anecdote to the harpist playing “Nearer My God To Thee,” for the One Percent in the room they’re in, the same song that played as the Titanic went down. We saw White Rose speaking for the Dark Army for three-minutes in episode seven wearing women’s clothes as she spoke with Elliot about his planned hack of E-Corp’s servers, telling Alderson that while he hacked people, White Rose hacks time. The connection became complete, when White Rose’s watch alarm sounded in the middle of her conversation with Price, letting us know that White Rose works both sides of the street in her business dealings.

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

Many of us figured out early on that Mr. Robot was actually an extension of Elliot, personified in the form of his late father Edward who died in 1995. He took on the role that Elliot couldn’t handle, being the Alpha-Male Leader and devising a plan to destroy the company that killed his father, while saving the world. What we didn’t realize until the series progressed, was just how mentally unbalance Elliot actually is, forgetting that Darlene’s his sister and realizing he’s blacked out the memories of the previous three days in the season finale. He’s got no memory of putting the hack into motion and perhaps more unnervingly, he’s clueless about the whereabouts and welfare of Tyrell Wellick. The former E-Corp executive paid Alderson a surprise visit and forced him to reveal his plans in the previous episode. Did Elliot shoot Wellick with the pistol stored in the popcorn machine?

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

Alderson did speak with Wellick’s wife Joanna about Tyrell and she said she hadn’t seen him in the last three days. She asked Elliot his identity and relationship with her husband. He responded that he worked with her husband as a consultant and told her his name’s Ollie, stealing the moniker of his friend Angela’s former boyfriend. During their conversation she suddenly spoke in what sounded like her native Dutch, but neither we or Elliot understood what she was saying. Does she secretly hope that Tyrell’s dead as he’s unable to fix the mistakes he made?

Elliot decides that the only way he can fill in the gaps in his memory, is to summon back Mr. Robot. After screaming for him to appear, Elliot forces the issue by dialing 911 and saying he wanted to make a confession. Suddenly we see Mr. Robot hanging up the land line, although he fails to offer any answers to his son. We finally get to view what it looks like to an outsider watching Elliot interacting with Mr. Robot. Although I imagined the scenario many times in my head over the past ten weeks, it looked even more chilling on the screen.

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

The one character that seemed to stick to her principles in order to gain justice Angela Moss, finally succumbed to the dark side in the season finale. Angela sacrificed her reputation and career in the tech industry to make a deal with Terry Colby so that he’d testify that E-Corp held responsibility for her mother and Elliot’s father’s death among others. However Colby convinced her to take a job in the public relations department of E-Corp, leading her to being present at a horrific event as E-Corp executive James Plouffe took a pistol from his suitcase and shot himself in the mouth during a nationally televised interview. Most times in those situations, we’ll see the character put a pistol in their mouth and the camera pans to a wall, that wasn’t the case with Plouffe as we saw the results of his actions.

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

A while later, we see Angela approached by Phillip Price who tells her she can feel free to go home after witnessing Plouffe’s suicide, but then he realizes who she is. She says they’re holding a press conference later that day and suggests she attend. Flustered by his seemingly callous suggestion, she says she thinks not, he proceeds to pull a bankroll out of his pocket and slams some bills down on the table in front of them. He says that she needs new shoes, as the ones she’s wearing are stained by Plouffe’s blood.

Courtesy Of USA Network

Courtesy Of USA Network

Instead of heading home Angela heads to a shoe store, where the shoe salesman figures out she just came from the room Plouffe shot himself in and asks her what she’s doing there and then asks how can she work for E-Corp. She starts to explain herself, but stops and then tells the salesman she’ll try on the Prada’s next. She’s become Terry Colby, getting drunk and eating shrimp-cocktail, while talking about sentencing Angela’s mother and others to death.

She returns to E-Corp for the press conference and Price’s glad to see her and lets her see the man behind the curtain. She tells Moss that in reality, he’s glad Plouffe killed himself and he thinks the world’s a better place now that he’s left it. He then excuses himself to take the podium and asks those in attendance to bow their heads in a moment of silence for their lost friend and colleague.

While the rest of  “f_society,” hosts a party in their headquarters so they can obscure their fingerprints in an investigation, Elliot heads down to Times Square and witnesses a sea of humanity standing together all wearing Mr. Robot masks. He suddenly realizes he’s got some uninvited company as well, not only his father but his mother and the eight-year-old version of his self. Little Elliot tells his adult counterpart that the three of them will stay with Elliot from here on out.

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

Elliot tries to block out all the sights and sounds so he can think, he holds his hands to his ears and suddenly he’s the only person in Times Square and it’s totally silent. That’s until he sees his family up on the Jumbotron that dominates Times Square. His father tells him to get on the subway, go home and sit behind his laptops and revel in the chaos he caused. Which he does until a knock at the door interrupts him, we’ll find out next summer whose knocking.

Courtesy of USA Network

Courtesy of USA Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

“Michael Hanson” arranges for a meeting with Krista at a place they used to frequent under romantic assumptions. Krista has her guard up, ready to defend against Michael’s charms. She is here because she believes he is dying. Michael puts that notion to bed almost immediately. He used a lie to get her there. Michael wants her help in bringing down Elliot Alderson. Michael feels violated. As if 1) His feeble life is worth more than everyone else’s and 2) As if this was the worst thing to happen at the hands of Elliot Alderson. Krista, with some resistance, endures this meeting for as long as she can. She too has been violated by Elliot’s hacks. However, she cannot see clear to aid Michael in his pursuits to take down Elliot. Michael returns home. He turns on his television just in time to witness the unraveling of the world. His marriage, girlfriends, and dog probably don’t seem so important now.

Elliot wakes up in Tyrell’s suv. With the world falling apart, there is no use of credit cards or electronic finances. So the lot attendant informs Elliot that they will need to proceed with this arrangement with cash. All the while, Elliot is completely disoriented. He has no idea where he is or how he got there.

Angela, dressed for work, nervously rides the subway to her new job at Evil Corp. Meanwhile on the other side of town, Elliot arrives at f_society. The team has been wiping drives and covering their tracks. Elliot still does not know what has happened. Elliot has been gone for three days. Darlene tells him that the last ‘execute’ went off without a hitch. News and the hacker community are a buzz over what this might mean. Darlene asks if he’s still seeing ‘him’. On the outside he says no, but on the inside he says he needs to. Elliot tries to leave when Darlene says they need his help with the cleanup. Elliot shows the first signs of remorse. “I told you, we shouldn’t have done this.”

Elliot makes his way back to the city to find Tyrell Wellick. There is a controlled sense of panic everywhere, specifically in the Evil Corp building. Elliot swims his way through the people to find Wellick’s former assistant. Shortly after learning that Tyrell doesn’t work there anymore, all attention turns to the monitors. Another f_society PSA. The man in the mask on tv makes the announcement that all of Evil Corp’s financial data has been effectively destroyed.

Man In The Mask: Remember to repeat these words. We are f_society. We are finally free. We are finally awake.

The VP of Technology at Evil Corp, James Plouffe, prepares to do a television interview and he is clearly on edge. Angela attempted to organize his talking points on index cards, but that doesn’t stop him from snapping at her expense. He does apologize for his behavior.

f_society minus Elliot show up and what looks like a dog kennel with all of their digital evidence. CPU’s, disk drives, etc. They do not approve of this man’s job, putting down dogs, but the evidence must be removed from the equation. The employee unlocks a back door that leads to the incinerator where the deceased dogs are cremated. The team burn the computer equipment, and before they leave, they release all of the dogs. A rebellion inside a larger rebellion.

Elliot knocks on Tyrell Wellick’s front door rather hard when Mrs. Wellick arrives. She is polite and cryptic. A combination that keeps Elliot’s mind moving. It doesn’t take long before he gets the sense that she’s hiding something or knows something. He gives her the name Ollie as his own before finding any opportunity to remove himself from this interaction.

On camera, James Plouffe tows the company line. They are working on the technical aspect of the problem. The people have nothing to worry about. Then the interviewer presses on. She will not let him skate by this like it were nothing of consequence. Then like a light switch, he smoothly changes his tone. While he explains how his life is now effectively over, he pulls out his bag. The same bag he ripped into Angela for moving. As he explains the demise of this life he built, he pulls a handgun from inside the bag, looks off camera and tells everyone to calm down just before he puts the barrel in his mouth and pulls the trigger.

For anyone who might be wondering, this has to be the scene that prompted the USA Network promptly and respectfully decided to postpone this finale in the wake of the Virginia shooting last week. While the subject of the graphic images from this finale did not necessarily mimic the events in Virginia, the graphic nature not completely dissimilar. That said, USA Network made the right decision to postpone.

Angela sits not quite catatonic in a lobby when Phillip Price (Evil Corp head honcho) walks into the room. He is mildly disarming. He goes out of his way to convey to Angela that it’s perfectly fine if she needs to go home after what happened. That sense turns slightly when he suggests she be at the press conference later where she may learn some valuable things by watching. She matter of factly says no. His tone dips a little bit more than he puts some cash on the table in front of.

Phillip Price: You’ll need new shoes. Those won’t do anymore. (because they’re covered in blood)

Elliot returns to Wellick’s suv. He rummaged through it looking for any clues that could shed some light on what happened. He pulls back on the sunroof shade and a pair of sunglasses fall to the passenger seat. At first a disappointing clue. Then Elliot pulls off one of the sunglasses arms, revealing a very clever place to his a USB flash drive.

Darlene returns to f_society with the final piece of the cleanup puzzle. They will be hosting an end of the world party on the premises. This way, even if anyone one pegs them as responsible, there are no drives, no computers and an insane amount of fingerprints everywhere.

Elliot takes this ‘flash drive’ to a cyber cafe. He is quickly able to hack the password on the drive. It’s a video of Elliot sitting on the railing at the Coney Island park where Mr. Robot shoved him off of said railing. Only problem is, there is no Mr. Robot. Elliot’s sits, presumably talking to himself, then just like that, flings himself off of the railing. Neither Wellick nor Mr. Robot will show themselves so Elliot decides to draw one of them out. He attempts to turn himself in by confessing to 911. Before he can get the sentence out, Mr. Robot appears.

Their interaction is not friendly. During which, we get to see how the rest of the rest of the world must see Elliot when he ‘sees things’. We the viewers see him strangling Mr. Robot. The random strangers see Elliot strangling himself. (TYLER DURDEN THEORY INTACT!) Call it self-preservation or the delusion taking control, but Mr. Robot (or Elliot, I’m beginning to lose track at this point) makes a comment to a large stranger about coitus with the stranger’s mother. The stranger slugs him in the eye. Then we see Mr. Robot standing over Elliot and eventually helping him up.

Mr. Robot: You’re losing it kiddo. I’m only supposed to be your prophet. You’re supposed to be my God.

Angela did reconsider Price’s offer for the press conference. He notices her and her look of curiosity. He indulges her questions. He is confident that they will survive this momentary period of chaos because whatever this is, was perpetrated by people. No monsters, no aliens, people. She also can’t believe they are permitting her, knowing who she is, access into their world. Price was impressed by her determination and fight. Something they’ll need going forward. Then Price reveals something more telling. While he is generally a disarming man, he was all but pleased to see James take his own life. He was weak and Price hates that about people.

Mr. Robot helps Elliot limp through the city until they find themselves in what looks like Times Square amidst an f_society rally. Mr. Robot throws him against a wall when he’s finally had enough of Elliot’s whining. Elliot begins to converse with Inner Elliot. Mid thought, Mr. Robot interrupts and demands Elliot “stop talking to them”. Mr. Robot can hear Elliot’s thoughts. For a very specific reason. Then the dialogue shifts slightly. This is the first time we’ve heard or seen any concept towards the idea that Elliot, Inner Elliot and Mr. Robot aren’t necessarily all on the same team. This could be nothing or it could reveal a larger series arch. Inner Elliot and Mr. Robot are opposing perspectives.

If that wasn’t enough for you to pick up your brain off the floor, Elliot’s mother confirms this notion. Now Elliot is staring at Dad, Mom, and his younger self all telling him he is hurting the whole family. Elliot begins to think to Inner Elliot that these people aren’t real. Mr. Robot interjects again, “Neither is whoever you’re talking to”. This sends Mr. Robot into an almost hippie-esque rant about how nothing is real. Elliot wants to be alone, despite earlier episodes that would suggest he hated being alone. Eventually he yells it out hard enough that when he opens his eyes, he is alone, or so he thinks. He walks around until he turns upon a large jumbo-tron.

Mom, Dad, and young Elliot stand together on a sandy beach, looking more like the loving family one hopes for and less like the nightmare he remembered in previous episodes. Mr. Robot claims they came because Elliot asked them to. Young Elliot tells actual Elliot that they can’t leave. They are inside of him and he is inside of them. Elliot begins to break down, “I don’t know what to do”. Mr. Robot leans in close to the figurative camera.

Mr. Robot: I’ll tell you exactly what you’re going to do. You’re going to start listening to us. The world is a better place because of what we did, Elliot. You’re going to realize that one way or another. Here’s what I need you to do now.

Elliot, shaken and confused gets on the subway. He gets off on his stop. Makes his way to his apartment. Sits in front of his dual monitor display and revel in the chaos he has created. This is followed by a video montage of what this carnage is doing to world governments, not limited to the United States. Then there is a loud knock on his door. Elliot turns slowly looking over his shoulder and directly into the viewers eyes with a curious grin. He walks towards his door. Before he can open the door…fade to black. Credits.

If it ended there I would be content, even satisfied with this entire first season. Including the finale we graciously waited two weeks for. There is another scene. This one is cryptic so I won’t try to simulate the delivery. The thing to take away is that we were left with enough of a cliff hanger to be satisfied when Elliot approached his apartment door. This next scene opens up even more doors. Introducing questions we did not even know were part of the story even 30 seconds earlier. One thing is for sure, if you were hoping for closure, I’ve got bad news for you. I personally see it as good news. This show was never going to give closure by the end of season 1. This is a much larger story that hopefully will take three or four seasons to tell.

Let’s approach this like a Marvel Studios post credit scene. A new Asian man (new to this show, but he is familiar on some level so I expect him to be a major player in season 2). The man sits down in a nice chair, in front of a fire-place just adjacent to Phillip Price. There is a real familiarity. These are not acquaintances, they are business partners of some sort. The Asian man wants to discuss a business deal that could not be further from Mr. Price’s priorities. Mr. Price wants to listen to the music. A young woman is playing a harp not that far in front of the two men. Whatever this ‘deal’ is, revolves around the Congo. The Asian man then asserts that ‘they’ (Price included) know the identity of the person responsible for this new chaos. And they will deal with him in the typical way. The Asian man tells a quick anecdote about how Emperor Nero played a similar instrument…(the man’s watch alarms, he tends to it, then continues)…a similar instrument as he watched the Roman Empire burn.


“Mr. Robot returns with an all new season next year”. USA Network has made every episode of Mr. Robot season one available on-line or on-demand. This is exactly the kind of show that merits re-watching it. I recommend binging it, but either way, we will be here for season two, recapping, and yelling at our televisions right along with you.


Photo Courtesy Of USA

Photo Courtesy Of USA

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We begin with a flashback to 1994. Elliot’s Dad is working in a small store front repairing computers and selling hardware. A customer comes in to accuse young Elliot (who is not present) of stealing money from him. The customer is insulting to put it bluntly. When he demands to get his money back, Mr. Robot declines. The customer has some ugly things to say but eventually leaves with nothing. Dad calls young Elliot out from the back. After a quick denial, Elliot produces the missing $20 bill. Instead of punishing him, Dad offers to use the money to take him to see either Time Cop or Stargate in the theater. The bad deed in Dad’s mind was outweighed by bad nature of the customer.

Back in present day, Father and Son attempt to have a conversation about what is happening and what happened 20 years ago. Dad’s concerned. Once Darlene’s name’s brought up Elliot snaps, tossing the table and then his father against the wall. Elliot is irate, but Dad tries to calm him. It doesn’t work. Too much bad has happened in the last 20 years to just brush this off. The truth that Dad is clinging to is that there are people who don’t want him alive, if they even knew he was alive.

Dad: Come on…
Elliot: Where?
Dad: If you want answers, you’ve got to stop asking questions and follow me.

At Angela’s lawyer’s office, there is a bit of commotion. After the news of the confession, the office is a buzz trying to get everything ready for the next step. All is not peachy though, it seems Angela thought she could just leave All Safe and jump right in to help out with the Washington Township case part 2. Her lawyer doesn’t see it that way.

Darlene reaches out to Angela hoping to find Elliot. Angela in her current state of stress is not completely inclined to help. Clearly, there is more familiarity between Angela and Darlene as there is between Elliot and Darlene. Angela knows there is something going on. She knows Elliot has not been honest. She’s also getting the impression that whatever Elliot is hiding, Darlene is in on it.

Father and son reflect on a small piece of nostalgia. Elliot used to play a game with himself when they’d wait for the train to come. He’d calculate which car had the best probability of safety and take that one into the city. Then on the way back, choose the most dangerous. Because he hated going home. Elliot is beginning to remember more and more as time passes.

Mrs. Wellick reflects on the birth of their son by telling Tyrell she had a little girl when she was fifteen, but she gave it up for adoption to a couple. Despite her cold demeanor, this may be that singular moment that haunts her and motivates her. She opens up just enough to Tyrell, just to shut him out again. She tells him that he is no longer the man she wishes to be married to. This comes back around to whatever their agenda is. If he wants to be around, he needs to fix whatever ‘this’ is.

Gideon stops by the computer supply store where Elliot met with White Rose. The store got blown up or burned down. Either way everything is gone or damaged. The more interesting question is why would Gideon go there to pick up drives, when he could have sent anyone?

One of the high-ranking board members of Evil Corp is waiting in Wellick’s office when he walks in. Initially to congratulate Tyrell on his new baby. The conversation take a turn for the worse when this superior of Wellick’s informs him that the police consider him a person of interest in the death of Sharon Knowles. Then the walls come crashing down. Scott Knowles will remain while Tyrell Wellick will not. This incites a loud outburst. Phillip’s (the board member), disappointed by this reaction. Wellick eventually even begs to keep his job, but Phillip just walks out.

Father and son take a walk through their old house, a place of bad memories for Elliot. He stares out of the famous window. Dad tries to convince him they should leave. Elliot then grabs him and almost throws him out of the window. Mr. Robot tries to convey that what happened was a reflection of Elliot’s own guilt. He says that Elliot needs to let go of the guilt. Elliot’s eyes gloss over and admits that he was angry at himself and that he was ready to let go. Then he literally let’s go. Letting his father fall from a second story window.

While Gideon tries to undo Elliot’s reversal of the ‘honey pot’, Angela hears from her father that he saw Darlene recently. Angela finds Darlene in the Alderson’s old house. They escape the eye of the new homeowner, then Darlene admits she should be more transparent with Angela as they are in some manner of speaking, family. That’s when they notice they are walking over broken glass.

Elliot helps his Dad limp across a large cemetery. You can hear Darlene and Angela in the distance. Darlene and Angela somehow provide a threat to whatever this is. Dad tells Elliot that ‘they’ are going to try to separate them again. He needs Elliot to not let that happen. Then he repeats, “I will never leave you alone again”. Mr. Robot sits down on the grass, his back supported by a tombstone. As the girls approach, he quietly says he wants to know. He wants to know about whatever this is. Eventually, he yells it out.

Elliot: I WANNA KNOW!!!
Darlene: Elliot? Who are you talking to?
(Edward Alderson isn’t there)

Elliot is in full breakdown mode. He creates space between himself and the girls. They notice that he’s bleeding. He begins to notice that he’s experiencing what looks like bone or joint pain. The kind of pain associated with a fall. Then Elliot and Inner Elliot start to spin the ‘we’re crazy’ thing again. Inner Elliot suspecting that Elliot knew all along. Then Angela asks who Elliot thought he was talking to.

Inner Elliot: You’re gonna make me say it aren’t you? I am Mr. Robot.

Angela tries to reassure Elliot that he’ll be alright. He doubts her claim. She explains that she’s slightly jealous, even if his Dad wasn’t really there. They share an embrace and Angela is off. On the train, Darlene asks if Elliot remembers any of it. Referencing the beginning of f_society. Elliot plays dumb even though the damaged wheels in his brain are spinning.

Gideon drops in to Wellick’s office presumably to get the honey pot back in place, only to discover that Wellick has been let go. This makes Gideon almost frantic. He asks Wellick’s former assistant if she can get him a meeting with Knowles. Apparently, Gideon was out of the loop on the whole Sharon Knowles news.

Angela returns to her father’s home to find Terry Colby and associates in his dining room. Her father looks up at her and with a disapproving look leaves the room to let them talk. Colby has done some digging after being impressed with their last encounter. Colby has something he thinks Angela might want. A lucrative position in Evil Corp. The very company she is currently suing. Angela is resentful towards this offer, but Colby persists, suggesting that there are no grudges in business.

In Elliot’s apartment, Darlene tries to get him thinking straight while all he can do is question what is real and what is not. Furthermore, operating under the assumption that Mr. Robot never was really there, Darlene confirms that all of this f_society stuff was Elliot’s idea.

At the peak of this quandary between what’s real and what’s not, Elliot’s front door begins to slowly open. Elliot almost jumps out of his skin when he discovers the person at the door is none other than Tyrell Wellick. He very calmly tells Elliot that he knows he’s behind everything. The one constant in a sea of variables. Wellick doesn’t have all the answers but wants Elliot to give them to him. Wellick even walks him through the first person experience of what it’s like to strangle a woman to death.

Then, maybe the second most surprising part of this episode, Elliot takes Wellick to the f_society HQ. Elliot proceeds to tell Wellick as much as he ‘knows’. The details do nothing but increase Wellick’s desire to be involved. Elliot takes all of the credit and blame. Wellick says that now there are two. With no job at Evil Corp, it’s not that crazy to think Wellick would want to help.

Wellick: I have to ask, what were you hoping to accomplish with all of this?
Elliot: I don’t know…I wanted to save the world.