S2 episode 2


Aired on July 13, 2016

Warning: Recap Contains Spoilers

Ray, the guy with the droopy dog who tries to befriend Elliot at the neighborhood basketball court, sums up the second part of the premiere episode of Mr. Robot best: “Maybe truth don’t even exist. Maybe what we think is all we got.” 

Because the “truth” in this part of the episode continues to be an elastic, elusive, upside-down thing for everyone concerned. Including us. Here’s how perception and reality continued to play their very determined game of cat and mouse. 

Bringing the Government to Its Knees

In a meeting with the National Economic Council in DC, Phillip Price tries to secure another bailout. But the Feds have already committed $900 billion, which Evil Corp has somehow managed to burn through in 30 days, and are unwilling to commit more. What they want is his resignation. But Price, in a spectacular display of pomposity, schools the council on how it’s the government’s job to lie to the American people as we later learned that FDR so successfully did during The Great Depression. Price argues that if he resigns, then any scrap of confidence the public is clinging to will be destroyed. “We all know a con doesn’t work without the confidence. If this was the best idea you’ve come up with for a win, then I shouldn’t be the one resigning,” he says as a parting shot. Guess who’s getting his additional bailout? Guess who’s paying the “price”? 

Evil Corp’s Newest Corporate Shark

Angela’s affirmations sure do seem to be working. After only thirty days on the job (with an ECorp exec offing himself on live TV just inches away from her on her first day) she’s killing it, so to speak, in the press department. She doesn’t take any crap from catty co-workers or cranky reporters as she craftily negotiates an exclusive press interview on her very restrictive terms. Bolstered by her coup, she later meets Antara, the public defender on the Washington Township case, for a drink and tells her that she’s not quitting her job even though their plan was for it to be temporary. After wrestling her dropped jaw back into place, Antara says she thinks that ECorp is up to something shady and Angela doesn’t see it. Considering how high her nose is raised in the air, it makes sense that Angela doesn’t see anything other than her own ambition. Before leaving, Antara relays a pointed story about a woman who gets propositioned in a bar for money. And on cue, Angela goes home with the guy who fills Antara’s empty barstool. Instead of smoking a post-coital cigarette, Angela soothes herself with more affirmations. 

And In Another Bar Not Too Far Away…

After yet more questioning by the FBI, Gideon hits a bar for a stiff drink. A guy sits beside him and starts commenting on the news of the recent hacks playing on the TV above the bar. The guy then says he recognizes Gideon from TV, which both unnerves and relaxes Gideon, especially when it seems as if the man is sympathetic to Gideon’s plight…that is, until he cryptically mentions that tomorrow he’s going to be a hero. Just as Gideon did, we wondered what the heck that meant. “This is for our country,” the stranger says as he whips out a gun and shoots Gideon in the neck—putting a tragic end to the ultimate fall guy’s life. RIP Gideon Goddard. 

Not Letting a Missing Husband — Or Recent Birth — Slow Her Down

Joanna certainly hasn’t let the birth of her baby or the disappearance of her husband preclude her from her leather-bound extracurricular activities. But with the swirling speculation around Tyrell’s possible connection to Sharon Knowles’ death all over the news, Joanna must be discreet about her indiscretions. She scratches an itch with a handsome young man in a swanky hotel room but is careful to keep herself under the radar with the help of a bodyguard. When she returns home with baby Noah, she finds a wrapped gift on the doorstep. Inside is a music box with a burner phone taped to the bottom. Just as Murphy’s Law would predict, after hours of waiting, the phone only rings when she leaves it to attend to her crying infant. Care to speculate on who the “Unknown Caller” is? 

And the Unknown Caller is…

Despite staying the course on his carefully calibrated regimen and staying away from the computer in the desperate hope of unplugging Mr. Robot, Elliot realizes that he’s still losing time when his “mask takes over.” So Elliot confronts Mr. Robot, who, no surprise, continues to push back. Instead of crumbling, Elliot begins to laugh, more maniacally than mirthfully. “Tell me what I want to hear. Tell me where Tyrell is. Or shoot me again. Because the only person it’s going to drive mad is you, not me.” Turning the tables on yourself is no easy feat (we didn’t really know that was possible until now), but Elliot manages to do it, and voila, Mr. Robot actually backs down—for now. During church group, Elliot nods off and wakes up at his mother’s house with an old phone to his ear, the line on the other end ringing as if Elliot has initiated the call. The line picks ups. “Is it really you?” the voice asks. Elliot then asks who it is (even though, come on, we’d know that accent anywhere). After a pause the voice says, “Bonsoir, Elliot.” Bingo. Ladies and gentleman, we have an ID on the Unknown Caller: Tyrell Wellick. He’s alive! (Whew! Or oh no!—not sure yet.) But is he the same as Joanna’s Unknown Caller?