S2 episode 7

eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme

Aired on August 17, 2016

Warning: Recap Contains Spoilers 

In this pivotal episode of Mr. Robot we begin to see a new Elliot emerging: a stronger Elliot who has made peace with his master/himself. He now seems capable of doing something he never considered -- being a leader -- and then… that surprise turn of an ending bathed in a sea of orange (jumpsuits). Did you see that coming, friend? 

Popcorn

That’s the last thing Elliot remembers from 5/9. After Elliot begins to revive in Ray’s basement, Mr. Robot finally tells Elliot what happened to Tyrell. Tyrell was ranting about what he did to Scott Knowles’ wife and about them being gods, which made Mr. Robot think it was either Wellick or them. So he went for the gun hidden in the popcorn machine… and shot him. But Elliot knows exactly what Mr. Robot’s confession means: if Mr. Robot shot Wellick then Elliot did. 

A Better Move

Having this new knowledge seems to give Elliot the confidence to do what needs to be done with Ray and his evil-for-sale site. When Lone Star dumps him back in front of the computer, Elliot finishes the migration and gets the site back up -- but also makes the site public and registers it with search engines. After an anonymous tip to the FBI, it isn’t long before the agency has surrounded Ray’s house. But not before Elliot and Ray get to play one last chess game. Ray makes his own confession about how the site was his wife’s brainchild and how he now sees the light about letting it get out of hand thanks to Elliot -- which is the opposite of how he thought it was going to go down when he first met the hooded one. A criminal with a conscience until the end! It now seems as if this is Elliot and Mr. Robot’s chance to start again. Elliot has made peace with his shadow companion and, while he doesn’t want to be the leader that Mr. Robot says Elliot naturally is, Elliot realizes that maybe it’s time to own that mantle and move forward. 

Speaking of Making Moves…

Angela makes a couple of good ones of her own… and since it’s Affirmation Angela, maybe one big bad one. Good moves: deflecting Dom’s suspicions after Dom spots her on the FBI floor and keeping her hands clean in her part of the FBI hack so Dom can’t pin the responsibility on her (yet? To be determined.). Also: Putting it all together after seeing Cisco at the Smart House and finally getting to tell Darlene that she isn’t as stupid as she and Elliot always clearly thought. 

In the wait-and-see category: Angela steamrolling a majority of the class to drop the contingency of independent inspections in the Washington Township case so she can use that sway as a bargaining chip with Phillip Price. (We already know her father didn’t consider it a good move for her, him, or the families involved.) What might tip this one toward a not-so-good move is that according to Phillip, Angela has squandered her newfound capital on asking for a lateral move to the Risk Management department where her new boss is hell-bent on keeping her down. Giving her access to the Washington Township case file? Fat chance. But we’re not ready to write off this move -- or her -- just yet. 

Back at fsociety’s Swank HQ…

It’s unclear what the group is planning to do with their new power over the FBI beyond wiping Angela from the Evil Corp security footage and executing another Wall Street Bull-related prank. But it’s probably going to be something real good. 

Who Does Her Heart Really Belong To?

While Joanna admits that she can’t be the girlfriend that Derek wants (i.e. the kind that has kinky sex with him and then attends his 30th birthday party and meets all his cater-waiter friends), she claims to love him and want the same things as he does. As proof, she produces her divorce summons as a birthday present. All this after a sentimental flashback to when Tyrell was just starting his ascent at Evil Corp and presented her with very expensive earrings… so who knows? 

The Buzzer and the Big Reveal

OK, so, wow. It turns out that Elliot’s carefully constructed world is a total and complete figment of his imagination, an elaborate fantasy to shield himself from the fact that he’s been in prison this whole time. He hasn’t been living at his mother’s house; he’s been in a jail cell. His sessions with Krista? Real but taking place at the prison, not in her office. Church group? At prison with his fellow inmates. The Seinfeld-obsessed Leon? His prison bestie. The playground and the basketball court? All in the prison yard. “Fantasy is sometimes an easy way to give meaning to the world.” Or to keep us on our toes! 

Now that Elliot is about to be released, anything’s possible. After all, it’s the journey, not the destination. And what a journey it’s been so far.