S2 episode 8


Aired on August 24, 2016

Probably the best way to sum up this episode of Mr. Robot: s**t has gotten epically real for the fsociety members. Darlene crosses over to the dark side a little more easily than even she thought she could; everyone now sees that Mobley’s paranoia is absolutely founded; Trenton realizes her noble intentions have come at a grave price; and Cisco’s nasty habit of playing both sides against the middle finally catches up with him. 

“Proceed at Your Own Peril”

fsociety is clearly done with the practical jokes and symbolic spectacles. They finally make the most of their access to the FBI by releasing incriminating portions of an internal conference call about Operation Berenstain in an fsociety video. The public doesn’t seem very psyched that the FBI has been illegally wiretapping 3 million Americans without a warrant since the 5/9 hack as part of the operation. “Tyrannical rape of our data,” the masked Darlene positions it in the video. But fsociety is even less stoked to hear that the FBI had 17-- now 16 -- people around whom they’re building the “code name” case, no matter how strident fsociety’s intention to destroy the FBI and their several corporate accomplices sounded in the video. 

That Means You Guys, Too

So it’s like seriously bad timing when Susan Jacobs shows up at her smart house to find the gang sitting in her kitchen. Major ball dropped on tracking her movements, kids. Their temporary plan of restraining the E Corp exec in the poolroom fails miserably when Trenton cuts the plastic ties around Susan’s wrists to let her go to the bathroom and their scuffle ends up in Susan hitting her head against the brick wall. Head injury or no, they can’t just bring her to a hospital now that she has ID’d them so they get to work hacking her life to find dirt on her. But Darlene, who apparently has had it in for Susan ever since she saw the trial on the news when they cleared E Corp of all the B.S. they put her family through when she was four and Susan laughed at the verdict, doesn’t exactly abide by the generally accepted rules of blackmail. Darlene reveals what they’ve found (that “Suze” got “hot and heavy” with her presiding judges) but instead of negotiating, Darlene uses a stun gun that sends a now unconscious Susan reeling backward into the pool. Sayonara, Suze. 

Maybe a Lead?

Meanwhile, Dom has a pissy Xander Jones, the finance guy whom Darlene stole the popcorn machine gun from after sleeping with him, in for questioning. She tells him that the microstamp from the shell casing from a “critical location” (the arcade) related to the 5/9 hack shows that it is his gun, which he was in possession of illegally. That shuts him and his lawyer right up. Immunity is on the table in exchange for a name. The question is, did he even know Darlene’s name? Or her real one for that matter? The scene ends before we find out. 

Be Careful Who You Dump

Angela is on a date with Andre, her hookup from the bar after she snobbily snubbed Antara. Angela is too busy obsessing over the Mr. Robot video to pay attention to his polite chatter. Annoyed, she gets up to get a drink at the bar and runs into a friend of her dad’s. He says it must be hard for her father to watch his only child bow down to those bastards who killed her mother, among other nasty things. Upset by the exchange, she ups the ante on the semi-flirtatious advances of an older guy who watched her sing karaoke and ditches Andre. We later find out that Andre is a forensics agent working for Dom who pursued Angela at Dom’s behest. But Andre is too wounded by being ditched to continue being Dom’s pawn. 

Um… Now What?

Back upstairs, Darlene tries to pass off the Susan Jacobs-pool incident as an accident, but everyone is freaked out and doesn’t quite believe her. She tells Mobley and Trenton to go while she and Cisco wipe down the house and figure it out. Mobley is of course ready to hightail it out of town ASAP but Trenton is more reluctant to leave her family -- until she sees that the FBI is casing her family’s house and Mobley gets taken in for questioning by Dom. (As shaky as he is, Mobley doesn't take Dom’s bait to aid her investigation and demands a lawyer. Since Dom doesn’t have any hard evidence, Santiago orders her to let him go before the public goes even more apesh*t on the agency.) Trenton agrees to meet Mobley at the same coffee shop where they first met when Darlene and Elliot was recruiting her but Mobley is two hours late… 

Meanwhile, Darlene concludes that there’s only one course of action for her and Cisco to take: full wipe-down mode. Which in this case means incinerating Susan’s body at the animal shelter where they got rid of their hardware after the hack. It’s a gruesome task but afterwards Darlene doesn’t feel nearly as bad as she expected she would. What she does wind up feeling bad about is trusting Cisco. After sleeping off the entire nightmare at his house, she discovers that he’s double-crossing her for the Dark Army and that “stage 2” is about to begin since the femtocell backdoor is now in play. When Cisco gets out of the shower, first he sees that she has destroyed his computer. But what he doesn’t see is the baseball bat she’s about to swing at the back of his head.