S2 episode 3
Warning: Recap Contains Spoilers
Post 5/9, the stakes keep rising. Gideon has just been killed and now in this episode, an fsociety member also finds himself on the losing side of a gun. Meanwhile, the dude that Elliot would really like to get rid of remains impervious to every method of deletion.
In this extended episode, we start at the arcade and end at the arcade. Here’s what happened at the beginning, the end and in between.
“That’s a story for another time”
It’s only fitting that Mobley, who originally recruited Romero into fsociety – while striking a deal for the potentially cursed Coney Island arcade -- is the one to find Romero lying in a pool of his own blood amidst his pot plants. Not only does his murder spook Mobley and Trenton (though Darlene not so much), but it also gets on the radar of the authorities, including Dominique “Dom” DiPierro, the FBI agent from the Cyber National Security Division who was questioning Gideon in the last episode. Her name appears on the few printed pages of a famously hacked FBI roster Romero had in his mother’s house. And Dom, who happens to be a bit of a socially phobic insomniac herself (sounds kinda like the profile of many hackers…hmmm), wants to know why. Her extracurricular sleuthing at Mrs. Romero’s house pays off when she unearths a flyer for the End of the World party, emblazoned with DJ Mobley’s name…which eventually leads her to the arcade. Think we’re about to find out why the “U” and the “N” are missing from “FUN” on the original arcade sign.
He’s Alive But Where Is He?
While on the phone with Tyrell, Elliot demands to know what’s going on and what happened that night, but Tyrell says it’s not safe to talk about that. Mr. Robot appears out of nowhere (he’s so good at that) and slams down the phone. The call, it turns out, was Mr. Robot’s bargaining chip: he let Elliot talk to the most wanted man on the planet, just like he wanted. What Elliot really wants, however, is for the panic to finally stop. But once he hears on the news that Gideon was shot dead in a bar, Elliot realizes the chances of that are nil.
Remove Emotion From the Equation
Phillip Price calls Angela into his office and relays a litany of changes he wants made to the interview she fought so hard to set up. Fighting her Old Angela urges to swallow her opinion and walk away, the New Angela boldly tells him she thinks that what he’s asking is a mistake. Phillip rewards her ballsiness by both backing down and inviting her to dinner. She’s speechless but there’s a satisfied glimmer in her eye. Her confidence balloon deflates somewhat, however, when she saunters into the restaurant a few nights later and finds two E Corp execs seated at Phillip’s table. It isn’t until the plates are cleared and Phillip dismisses the two men that Angela learns what the last couple of hours have been all about. Despite the charity work these two dedicated family men have done for the company over many years, they were both in the room with Colby when he was covering up the leak in her hometown. More recently, they’ve been involved in some serious insider trading. Slick as oil, he slides a CD across the table to her. There’s enough evidence in there to put them away for years, he says. When he starts to leave, New Angela speaks up once again. “Whatever you’re doing, I don't trust it.” Phillip leans in awfully close. He understands her panic, he coos into her ear, because she’ll be ruining their lives. But the minute she removes emotion from it, she’ll do just fine. And with that, the self-proclaimed “Master of the Universe” strides out.
“Right now, we’re the tracks.”
Darlene and Mobley have convened at Trenton’s house. Mobley and Trenton are convinced the Dark Army is behind Romero’s death and possibly Gideon’s too. Even though Darlene has been the main contact with the Dark Army and she has never mentioned the names of her fsociety colleagues, Mobley worries that in Elliot’s messed up state, he may be saying things he shouldn’t. Darlene grudgingly agrees to speak to Elliot to calm them the eff down. After she leaves, Mobley says to Trenton that he thinks Darlene and Elliot are trying to cover their tracks, and that they’re the tracks.
Ray’s Real Deal
Is Ray an odd duck, too? After seeing him eating breakfast while hooked up to a dialysis machine and having a casual conversation…with an empty chair…it seems possible. Later, he sits across the table from a real guy with a real messed up face. While the beating wasn’t courtesy of Ray directly, it is part of his negotiating tactic to get this frightened IT guy to get “the site” back up. But the poor schlub doesn’t know how to do what needs to be done. Ray decides that beating the crap out of him further isn’t going to make him know what he doesn’t. He and his dodgy associate need to find someone who knows how to do this network migration thing. Hmm…who might know who to do that?
The Men in Black Are Back
Elliot scores some Adderall off of Leon in the hopes of deleting Mr. Robot. As soon as he leaves the playground and gobbles down a handful of pills, an SUV screams up beside him and guys (you know, in black) get out, throw a hood over Elliot’s head, and shove him in the back seat. They bring Elliot to an empty warehouse and begin force-feeding him cement. Nightmare. Like, literally. Or figuratively. It’s hard to tell if this is really happening or if it’s the handiwork of Mr. Robot. Because then suddenly Elliot’s on the floor of his bedroom, his fingers down his throat, vomiting up all the pills while Mr. Robot watches. Mr. Robot says he owns Elliot… but not so fast. Elliot rummages through his vomit for the pills and swallows them down again. “I will not be owned.” Fast-forward to three days later and Elliot hasn’t gotten a wink of sleep but hey! Mr. Robot’s gone! Elliot’s elated. He’s more focused now. He’s able to talk to people. Leon’s inane Seinfeld conversations are now fascinating. Pick-up basketball games are great! So is church group and God!
But, you’re not buying any of this, friend, are you?
The fun only lasts for so long until Elliot realizes he can’t recover from his internal fatal error. He runs out of pills and crashes hard. He can’t avoid the guilt over Gideon’s death…or Mr. Robot.
But Then There’s Ray
Ray comes into the diner with Elliot’s journal that Elliot dumped after his crazed episode at the church group. Ray confesses that he talks to his wife who died suddenly five years ago over breakfast every day (ah! got it), so they’re more alike than Elliot thinks. Elliot resists Ray’s outreach at first but soon finds himself at Ray’s house asking for advice. Ray’s philosophy is that “control is about as a real as a unicorn taking a leak at the end of a double rainbow.” Ray knows from Elliot’s journal that Elliot sees someone who has taken over his memories. Sensing that Elliot is about to bolt, Ray goes to get the chess board, revealing Mr. Robot behind him. Elliot sits back down. He wonders if maybe Ray is right. “Maybe we’re all just stumbling from the right questions to the wrong answers. Or from the right answers to the wrong questions.” Whichever way it works, as long as Elliot keeps stumbling forward, we’re going to stumble right along with him.