S2 episode 5
Warning: Recap Contains Spoilers
Look or don’t look. That’s the dilemma in this week’s episode of Mr. Robot. In Angela’s case, she didn’t want to look at her vulnerability, but there it was in the form of her ex, Ollie. For Elliot, it was looking at what Ray (and frankly, Mr. Robot) told him not to look at that got him into major trouble. So let’s take a look at everything that happened -- hopefully, without any major repercussions for satisfying our own curiosities.
With the menacing Lone Star hovering close by, Elliot begins to script out his attack of every Android phone in the FBI building and Evil Corp’s network applications. When Lone Star gets antsy about Elliot’s progress on Ray’s site, Elliot tells him he needs to talk to Ray’s former tech guy RT. Soon a still-bruised RT sits twitching beside Elliot. Elliot can tell RT knows his shit, so why didn’t he do the site migration himself? To find out, Elliot surreptitiously opens up a Notepad window and starts typing questions to RT, who tries to shut him down. Finally RT logs into Ray’s invite-only, hidden site, Midland City, a Craigslist-type black market for every evil on earth, from drugs and weapons to abducted underage girls and hit men. Elliot wasn’t supposed to look and now he can’t un-see it. Does Ray know about all this? Should Elliot hack the site? Alert the authorities? You can guess Mr. Robot’s answers: none of our business, no and no. They have other battles to fight but Elliot can’t let this scourge continue to exist.
While the FBI’s forensic investigators crawl all over Steel Mountain trying to find some usable evidence, Dom, Chloe, Santiago, and Vincent head to China to tour their hacked backup sites and meet with the Ministry of State Security, who turns out to be -- wait for it -- Whiterose, dressed as a consummate high-ranking male official named Zhi Zhang. During their meeting, the Deputy Minister of Operations tells the FBI agents that, as they’ll see in their escorted tour of Beijing’s backup facility, their climate control wasn’t attacked like the U.S.’s raspberry pi. Instead, their backup tapes were degaussed (which, by the way, necessitates a giant, heavy, magnet, making that explanation pretty improbable, gauging from Dom’s frown). Here’s where the look/don’t look part comes in for Dom and team: Santiago asks to tour all four backup sites and Dom adds that they’d also like to review all intelligence they have on the Dark Army. Whiterose agrees to both in her signature tight-lipped way, masking her annoyance only slightly.
Later at a reception at Whiterose/Zhi’s home to celebrate their “collaborative effort,” Dom and Whiterose wind up (pun intended) sharing a private moment in a room filled with every kind of clock imaginable. She probes Dom about why she became an FBI agent and then she shows her her prized collection of traditional Chinese dresses, claiming they belong to her sister. (Dom later tells Chloe that Zhi doesn’t have a sister.) Whiterose then muses about what life would be like if the Five/Nine hack didn’t happen -- until all the clocks go off at the exact same time and she whisks Dom out of the room.
The “looking” in this case doesn’t seem so bad until the next morning, when two masked gunmen storm the hotel lobby where Dom and the agents are staying, spraying bullets everywhere. Everyone but Dom is hit. She grabs a gun from a fallen agent and strikes down one of the attackers, who finishes off the job with his gun to his own head. But there’s still a gunman on the loose…
Shake, Rattle and Rolled
Joanna receives a silver baby rattle in an unmarked envelope through the mail, but Sutherland doesn’t have much luck tracking the sender. Meanwhile, Kareem is still freaking out because he knows for sure he’s being followed. She tries to convince him that he doesn't need to go to the Feds. But then he breaks their “don’t ask, don’t tell” agreement and asks her why they’re bothering to protect “some kid in a hoodie.” Bad move, Kareem. You’ve just made yourself too much of a liability. So Joanna has Sutherland take out Kareem in what she rationalizes is a humane way: letting him process that he’s about to die and to understand why before taking his life. Yeah, paralyzing the guy then shooting him point blank totally doesn’t make you a ruthless murderer, Joanna.
Ollie’s Spinelessness Lives On
Despite Elliot’s firm position against doing so, Darlene tries to enlist Angela to help with the FBI hack since physical security has become a fortress with the FBI on-site at Evil Corp. All Angela has to do is place a device on the FBI floor of Evil Corp in order to help infiltrate their system. Darlene uses the fact that she knows that Angela is the one who put the CD in the drive at Allsafe as leverage and that if she helps, Darlene and Elliot can erase any evidence the FBI has against Angela and Elliot. But Angela still refuses… until Darlene drops the Ollie bomb. He’s still Angela’s vulnerability. Her paranoia piqued, Angela asks Ollie to meet her for a drink. It doesn’t take Angela long to figure out that Ollie is recording their conversation… for the FBI. That’s pretty much all the motivation Angela needs to agree to Darlene’s mission of mercy. Except first she needs one more thing: for Elliot to explain why he dropped out of her life. He tells her he wanted to be “okay” before he saw her again but he sees his dead father standing behind her right now. Despite his lack of personal progress, he seems to be willing to accept her offer of friendship.
“Told You Not to Look…”
Elliot can’t help but say something to Ray about the evil e-commerce on his site. Ray acts like he didn’t fully know what was going on and that he turned a blind eye just enough to be able to live with the morality line he knew he was crossing to make a living. Maybe Elliot was right to tell him instead of hacking his site! Maybe Mr. Robot was wrong! But, um, no. That night, two goons come into Elliot’s bedroom and forcibly drag him out of the house. Lone Star comes up to him and drops RT’s rattail on the ground, with skin from his skull still attached. Ray gets out of the car and says, “I told you not to look.” With that, the goons drag him off camera and proceed to beat the crap out of Elliot as the camera zooms in on RT’s bloody rattail.