Mr. Robot recap episode 4: partnerships, new and old

Watch Mr. Robot episode 204 “Init_1.Asec” online now.

The fourth episode of the second season of Mr. Robot begins as the first three episodes did, with a, wait for it… Elliot Alderson style pause… and… FLASHBACK! One that provided some incredibly important info like the origin story of fsociety and Elliot’s plans to annihilate (a word he is a fan of) E Corp. We see Darlene arriving at Elliot’s apartment back in the day with a mask in hand (it’s Halloween after all which they were supposedly super into as kids). She is returning after apparently taking off for a long chunk of time. She “needs to hang out with someone” and her brother, who is never out, is of course available to provide that social interaction service.

They get high and watch a poorly made horror film which Darlene adores because it reveals the truth about how we don’t live in a classless society, despite what some say. This scene may appear light and charming at first, but the darkness soon arrives. Elliot asks if she’s still having “them” aka “panic attacks.” She shrugs it off saying that anyone who doesn’t in this day and age is “sickening.” She’s got a point, but also doesn’t have a point at all. He hints at this own mental health issues when he talks of being fired for falling asleep at work and smashing a bunch of servers while unconscious. Typical Elliot. Boy, does he like his pauses and his blackouts. Then comes the highlight of the scene, when Darlene mentions their parents and in particular their dad whom she wishes she knew more about. Elliot takes her to the closet of mystery in his boudoir and pulls out his dad dead’s cool jacket. Darlene goes batshit happy over it and insists that her bro try it on for size. Of course, it fits like a glove. He adds to his costume, which will soon become his fractured persona, by placing the fsociety mask on his cute, chiseled face, also ‘cause his sister insists. This is when Elliot transforms into the one, the only, MR. ROBOT.

This is also when the theme of the episode is revealed: partnerships. Elliot goes off for several minutes about his newly concocted plan to maybe accept the job at Allsafe that Angela is trying to get him and Trojan Horse his way into taking down the most Evil with a capital E corporation in existence. Darlene giggles in response, not sure if he’s being serious or not. Oh, he’s being serious, or at least Mr. Robot is being serious. Mr. Robot does not mess around. He means business which Darlene soon discovers, when she at some point agrees to be the VP to his anti-capitalist president and takes control of the reigns when he disappears into simple regularity. They’ve been partnered up as siblings their entire lives and now a new type of partnership has formed. One that will alter the world forever and get both of them into a whole wack of trouble with E Corp, the FBI, The Dark Army, and Elliot’s hallucination of his dead dad.

When we arrive in present day, this bro-sis partnership is on the rocks, mostly due to Elliot deserting the cause in order to delete said dead dad from his noggin. Darlene is on her way to meet him at his boring abode and beg for his assistance. She is worried and tired and as we hear later in her weeping phone voice, scared. She wants him to join her once again in the fight against The Establishment and he does not like this idea. She reminds him of that conversation they had in his apartment on Halloween those many moons ago, when he passionately declared war against E Corp. That wasn’t him, he explains. It was… “him.” Darlene instantly knows who this “him” is and she is not opposed to “him” lending a hand because the man sitting in front of her “isn’t helping.” But Elliot wants Darlene to stop, drop, and roll the hell out of fsociety. He thinks it’s too dangerous and he is concerned that she will end up like old Gideon.

Darlene departs and finds a helping hand instead in her ex-boyfriend Cisco, who she runs into, or more accurately, who runs into her, on a dark, loud street, as she is being possibly followed by a man in a suit. Cisco requests that she meet him in a bar nearby. She follows his instructions and learns through the bar chat that she should be even more worried/tired/scared than she is because the FBI is onto her (they found the arcade, among other bits of info, and agent Dominique is continuing to dig deep for all of the facts). The Dark Army will kill her if she tries to leave town because it makes her look hella guilty. AND her fellow hackers (Romeo) are dying, or potentially being annihilated (there’s Elliot’s fave word again) by an unknown source. Also, before Romero’s demise, he was up to some scheming of his own and doing a bit of research about the FBI’s “Operation Berenstein” which no one knows much about, as Cisco unveils to a shocked Darlene. Cisco offers to help her (after banging her in the bar bathroom) and demands that she stop being a tough guy and accept his help. Another new partnership has formed. Their romance has transformed into a solid allyship.

A surprising partnership we discover is that of White Rose from The Dark Army and Phillip Price from E Corp. They are working together in a capacity that we also don’t know much about, but we are definitely sure that they are in cahoots and that Phillip Price is possibly using Angela to benefit him/them. The game he is playing with Angela though is a long one and White Rose is not known to be very patient, as demonstrated by the beeping from the watch beside her indicating that conversation time is up. She finds Price to be a “fussy cat” and does not enjoy his “Ecoin strategy” as she tells her lover, who she gently kisses after he chooses which earring she should wear upon her request. She thinks they need to look into stage two of the schedule. White Rose is skeptical about why Price is putting all of his faith in “her” aka Angela. Price explains that he needs her because “closing the plant is not an option.”

The plant he speaks of is the Washington Township chemical plant, otherwise known as the place that killed Angela’s mom. This brings us to the fourth partnership in the episode, which is a rekindled one. Angela meets with Antara Nayar, the ethical lawyer who was defending the victims of the Washington Township Scandal against E Corp. Angela had ditched the possibility of taking E Corp to trial again early on in season two, but here she is meeting with Antara once more. This time though it’s because she suspects that Phillip Price needs something from her, based on how generous he has been towards her. He gave her the info to get two men that contributed to her mother’s death arrested. He hired her at E Corp. He is taking her to fancy dinners. Why? She doesn’t know but she wants to find out, with the help of Antara, and she does find out, she thinks. Her theory: Price wants to remove a third-party-inspection contingency which E Corp doesn’t like. But when she offers to do such a thing in exchange for an office on the 20th floor and Melissa’s job, he declines her offer but is impressed with her nonetheless. This exchange leaves Angela confused ‘cause she is confident that she’s not wrong. But as all loyal viewers know, it’s never as clean-cut as this is right and this is wrong in the world of Mr. Robot.

The lack of clean-cut rights and wrongs is most evident in our last two partnerships of the episode. The partnerships of Elliot and Mr. Robot/his hallucination of his dead dad/a part of himself and Elliot and Ray, his wise, therapeutic friend who has a seriously ulterior motive for their friendship. Elliot has spent all of his energy thus far in the season attempting various methods of “annihilating” Christian Slater from the series. He thinks it’s the correct route, although his therapist Krista disagrees. She believes annihilation is not the answer. That Mr. Robot is Elliot and Elliot is Mr. Robot and both exist for a reason. Elliot could not dissent more in his opinion. He is sure of one thing: that Mr. Robot has got to go, so when his dead dad proposes an annihilation deal, Elliot listens. The deal is that whoever wins a game of chess gets to dominate the vessel that is Elliot Alderson. They 100% take over. If Elliot wins Mr. Robot will say tata, but if Mr. Robot wins Elliot will forever live in blackouts. After much ruminating, and an enlightening convo with Leon, who proves to know much more than Seinfeld trivia, Elliot agrees to the conditions of the deal and they meet in a park to play this game of very high stakes.

But, the playing is halted three times in a row as the two of them happen upon a trio of stalemates. What are the odds of that happening? Low. The odds are low. As Elliot says, it’s impossible. Maybe Krista wasn’t so clear cut wrong after all. Maybe there IS a reason that Mr. Robot is still around and maybe Elliot needs to focus his energy less on getting Christian Slater fired and more on helping the ones he loves aka Darlene. As Leon advises, you gotta figure out the future you’re fighting for. You need to dream, or you might as well “fade the fuck out right now.” Elliot takes some me time and really thinks on what he wants to fight for. What his dream is. Turns out, it’s a super sweet dinner party with everyone he loves (and that includes US!). He wants to annihilate his loneliness by surrounding himself with friends and family and the way to achieve that might not be via Mr. Robot saying tata. It might be by hacking the FBI, which is something he casually begins to do while Mr. Robot faithfully looks over his shoulder.

Elliot agrees to partner up with Ray and lend him a helping hand with his project, which gives him access to the internet once again and reignites his lifelong partnership with hacking.

Read more of our Mr. Robot articles including why we love Darlene as the leader of fsociety and all about Angela’s remarkable transformation this season.

First look at Tyler Hoechlin as Superman!

Supergirl fans, we finally have a photo of Tyler Hoechlin as Superman! Hoechlin will be first appearing as Clark Kent in the Season 2 premiere of Supergirl. Wearing this version of the superhero’s costume, designed by Kiersten Ronnig, we think he really looks the part. It’s a much more modern design than the ones seen in older comics and movies, and we think it fits in well next to Melissa’s Supergirl costume.

Superman02

With this and the news that Lynda Carter is joining the cast, we can’t wait for Supergirl this fall on Showcase!

Angela’s remarkable transformation in Mr. Robot

Elliot’s childhood bestie Angela has sure done a 180 in the second season of our beloved TV series Mr. Robot. She’s almost unrecognizable in every sense of the word. Clearly working at E Corp has drastically changed her/her hair. She proves that you truly are what you do, especially if what you do is slog away at the most evil corporation on the planet. If that’s the case, a bit of that evil is probably gonna rub off on ya. You’ll be more expressionless, more reticent and more full of eerie positive affirmations than you were before. Or, who knows, maybe this is all just a giant facade! A ruse! A gambit! She could be wearing a disguise in order to infiltrate the system. She’s trying to manipulate the bad guys and she is succeeding. Or… maybe she’s just evil.

Either way, it’s one hell of a metamorphosis. Let’s take a good, hard, suspicious look at what exactly has been reprogrammed, internally and externally, in the character of Angela Moss.

 

Her appearance

The Angela in Season 1 still wore professional outfits and applied nice makeup and did her hair every day but it was in a softer, sweeter, more classy girl-next-door kinda way. Not in a slicker, harsher, more cutthroat femme fatale kinda way, which is the vibe she’s been giving off lately. Nowadays, she wears her hair pulled back in a tight ponytail or 100% dead straight or in highly hairsprayed curls with a side part. Her eyeliner is blacker, her lashes are longer, and her suits are so tailored that she could run for President tomorrow. She is definitely dressed to impress (assholes). Her icy, polished, stern outside is reflecting her all-of-those-same-things inside.

 

Her attitude

When Terry Colby corrected Angela about the difference between PM and AM time in that board meeting at Allsafe, she tried to remain calm but there was panic all up in her face. E Corp Angela does not believe in panic. She doesn’t even know the definition of the word! She also doesn’t know the definitions of the words kind, polite, conscience, respect, laughter, love, listening, or not telling your coworkers to fuck off. When someone upsets Season 2 Angela, she immediately explains to them why she is right in the most monotone voice imaginable or she escorts them out of her cubicle and off a metaphorical ledge. She has gone from understanding and empathetic to scary and scarier. You do not want to mess with current Angela’s dead-inside, dagger eyes. She will not accommodate your little needs (and neither will her ponytails).

 

Her career

As we all know, Angela’s got a sick new PR gig over at the hellmouth (E Corp) and she is enjoying the heck out of it. She is the first to exclaim how much she likes her job and how good she is at nabbing interviews with Bloomberg for her corporate-demon-bosses. Dorothy is not in Kansas (Allsafe) anymore. She has officially turned to the dark side. What started off as a strategy to take the bad guy down from the inside, has turned into any other 9-to-5 job, except in this job she’s negotiating interview questions that don’t include “Why did Scott Knowles burn that 5.9 million dollars?” She doesn’t care about her mom’s death anymore. No. She’s too busy having dinner conversation with E Corp CEO Phillip Price about… her mom’s death. She’s on a new path and to finish that path she has to fake corruption until she makes corruption.

 

Her love life

In Season 1, Angela was in a long-term, committed relationship with idiot boy Ollie. Now, Ollie wasn’t perfect (he cheated on her, lied to her a whole lot and almost ruined her life), so naturally Angela dumped his mediocre ass. She was satisfied being alone for a bit, since she was more focused on plotting revenge against E Corp, to find true love (or open her eyes and see Elliot for the beautiful, brilliant, insane hunk that he is). She is still presently single, but she’s also having some *wink wink* fun. She is engaging in hot, casual intercourse and taking charge of her sexuality. The coitus does seem relatively empty and unrewarding, but who cares! Sometimes empty and unrewarding can feel real good. She works hard so she gets to play hard.

 

Her friendships

Or should we say, lackthereof? Yeah, we’re not really sure who Angela’s friends are these days. It appears that she doesn’t have any. Like, any. Not a single one. Elliot was her BFF in season one, and she was also friendly with Darlene in that ballet class that one time. So, the Aldersons were her main social network. Also, before Shayla died, they partied until dawn and did drugs and made out (as friends do). She had a solid relationship with her drowning-in-debt Dad as well. But, with Elliot hiding in regular-ville, Darlene leading the charge at fsociety, Shayla getting dead, and her dad not appearing yet, these days Angela’s only acquaintance is the voice of that lady who says those positive affirmations. Those two seem to talk every morning! Angela loves that girl so much that she even repeats what she says verbatim. Now, THAT’S sisterhood.

 

Her ethics

In Season 1, Angela had a lot of plans to change the world with her old hero-hacker-buddy Elliot Alderson. She wanted to burn down E Corp for killing her mother and Elliot’s father. She wanted Ollie to pack his bag and hit the road. She wanted to save lives and free the innocent and destroy the wicked. So, she’s clearly taken a bit of a detour in that plan. She’s swapped out saving lives for earning a steady paycheck. She’s not really freeing the innocent. She’s more helping the guilty. And she’s definitely not destroying the wicked as much as she’s drinking wine beside them. She’s lost a bit (all) of her integrity. Her good heart is nowhere to be found. Her moral code is as scrambled as Elliot’s journal. OR is this all a giant facade? A ruse! A gambit! She could be wearing a disguise in order to infiltrate the system. She’s trying to manipulate the bad guys and she is succeeding. Or… maybe she’s just evil. Finger’s crossed it’s the former!

Watch full episodes of Mr. Robot online, or read all our Mr. Robot news and recaps.

Why You Should Be Watching Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot is early into its second season here on Showcase, and the psychological thriller has no shortage of plot twists and surprises. The hacking-driven show’s first season is presently nominated for not one, not two, but SIX Emmys. If that’s not reason enough why you should be tuning in on Wednesdays at 10PM on Showcase, let’s look at a few more. No Spoilers!

 

The Writing

The main character, Elliot Alderson, is written in such a way that he’s believable even in his absurdity. He’s relatable even though he’s different from any character I’ve ever seen. A highly intelligent, flawed character who prefers isolation to the company of those he considers friends, Elliot is absolutely captivating to watch.

The writers take into consideration minute details that wouldn’t be recognized by a casual observer. This show has a lot of hidden treats and Easter eggs up its sleeve.

The entire show is a commentary on the current state of society as well as the future of it. With writing this intricate, you’d better be paying attention, or you’ll miss something amazing.

 

It’s Accurate

Unlike many technology-driven dramas of the past, the way computers are used in Mr. Robot is the way they’d be used in real life. There’s no “television magic” working behind the scenes to make the facts bend for the sake of the plot.

The show’s dedication to detail even warranted a member of Anonymous to comment, saying, “‘Mr. Robot’ is the most accurate portrayal of security and hacking culture ever to grace the screen.”

Before the second season aired, an entire special titled “Mr. Robot: Decoded” was released, featuring industry professionals, various tech geniuses, as well as Mr. Robot’s cast and crew. It’s definitely worth a watch.

 

The Performances

Do you like good acting? Of course you do! Mr. Robot has a lot of talented faces, from Rami Malek’s portrayal of our favourite brooding, hoodie-wearing hacker, to Christian Slater’s role as the passionate and yet suspicious Mr. Robot.

The cast is great at creating tension in the right moments, and I still marvel at how great Rami Malek is at making me feel second-hand embarrassment at Elliot’s awkwardness around people. That’s true talent.

 

Cinematography + Editing

A show that’s strong with its visual style is a show that is hitting all the markers. The crew of Mr. Robot knows exactly how to make you feel like you’re exactly where they want you to be. With jump-cuts, beautiful framing, and unique angles, Mr. Robot conveys its mood through every cinematic device possible.

It’s amazing that a show with such an amazing story and cast is also able to be appreciated for how visually stunning it is.

 

It’s Current

Mr. Robot isn’t a dystopian fantasy far into the future, it’s set in a world very similar to our own. In this world, E Corp, a massive super corporation with no thought for anything but their bottom line, is King, and Elliot is there to fight the monarchy.

It’s especially interesting to see current events being addressed almost in real time. Several plot points either directly mirror past events or have even been known to precede events that happen later in our world. That’s how tapped into the world’s psyche Sam Esmail (the creator of this amazing show) is, he knows the world so well he can almost predict what’s coming next.

 

There’s Nothing Else Like It

It’s been said over and over, but there really isn’t a show out there right now or that has aired in the past that is anything close to what Mr. Robot is. It’s all the things I’ve mentioned and more. If you’re looking for something thrilling and provocative to watch, I’d say that this is more than worth your while, and you can bet that it’s only going to get better from here.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve convinced you by now, so to catch up on Season 1, Shomi is where to go to watch the excitement unfold. If you’re interested in watching the three episodes of Season 2 that have aired so far, you can watch those on our Videos page, starting with 2×01 right here.Make sure you check the website in the days following the new episodes, because we post recaps and all news relating to Mr. Robot!

Mr. Robot “eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd” Recap

The third episode of season 2 of Mr. Robot opens with ANOTHER flashback. This time, we see Romero and Mobley in Coney Island heading towards the formally titled “Fun Society” arcade which will soon become the original headquarters of hacker group/anti-capitalist activists/anarchist heroes fsociety. As the two gentleman stroll, Romero provides Mobley with some dark background history of the location, and when I say dark, I mean dark with a capital DEATH. He explains how every previous owner of this arcade  either killed their family, died tragically themselves, or both. Romero’s old cellmate was wrongly convicted of two of these murders, when his twin brother killed his father with the cellmate’s gun and then fell out of a window.

The only story we don’t hear about is how the Fun Society sign lost the U and the N (as inquired by Mobley) thus organically transforming it into the epithet of our beloved F Society. That story is, as said by Romero, “…for another time”. As in the premiere, this flashback and convo and promenade may seem irrelevant, but in typical Mr. Robot style it sets up the theme for the rest of the episode: fear. Romero says that his cellmate friend considers the arcade to be cursed and haunted and the nexus of all evil in the universe. That dude sounds like he’s full of fear and he’s no different from any other character in Mr. Robot. Right off the bat, Romero is fearful of working with Mobley and fsociety since he’s fresh out of jail. He refuses until we assume he accepts.

We then cut to the look of fear on our leading man’s face as Elliot stands with the red phone in hand listening to the eerily eloquent voice of Tyrell Wellick. Before we see Elliot we hear him in voiceover on top of sweeping aerial shots of the city. He is talking about the “overwhelming fear” that is “making itself at home” and “screaming” in his mind. Elliot is attempting to lead a deliberately mundane life in order to avoid all of his overwhelming fears. His fear of Tyrell. His fear of men in suits. His fear of E Corp. His fear of his loved ones being hurt. But most importantly, his fear of Mr. Robot/his dead dad/his mind hallucinating/Christian Slater. We learn later that Elliot has taken to swallowing large amounts of adderall, which his new Seinfeld-obsessed buddy Leon provides him with, in order to remove Mr. Robot from his cranium forever and it works, for while. There’s a hilarious montage of Elliot experiencing frantic, bizarre, adderall-filled joy as he encounters regular situations that totally fascinate him. Like when he’s watching a basketball game and exclaims “The ball goes into the hoop! Of course!”

But, the side effect of the adderall is that he can’t sleep, which he can tolerate for the first couple of days but when day six arrives his system begins to crash and non-dead-dad hallucinations return. So, in order to restore order, he goes off the adderall and sadly awaits the return of Mr. Robot. As his body withdrawals from the drugs, he attends a church group and rants for several minutes straight about the problems of organized religion and god and how both result in a “racist, sexist, phobia-soup” that we are all drowning in. He also has an emotional, almost revolutionary chat with Ray, the dog owner from the premiere who wanted to befriend a reluctant Elliot. Ray is maybe the first person to break through Elliot’s thick human shell (bless his therapist Krista for trying) by relating to him on a level that makes Elliot feel safe and vulnerable.
Ray understands what Elliot is going through because he himself talks to someone who isn’t there – his wife, who died long ago and also meant a lot to him. How did Ray discover these details about Elliot’s psychosis? He read Elliot’s journal, which he tossed into the garbage on his way out of the church group. Ray’s apparently got a religious hook up. Ray also provides Elliot with words of wisdom about control and how it’s impossible to achieve. He doesn’t like advice that you should get up when you fall, because you’re never not falling. Life is one big fall. It’s a constant stumble and you just gotta stumble in the right direction.

But, even though Ray seems kinda like the greatest guy on earth and Elliot’s only real ally, his motives are not entirely up to snuff. As we learn in an earlier scene, Ray is coordinating some Bitcoin-related hacking of his own. But his hacker-for-hire isn’t as brilliant as Elliot and he is repeatedly failing him. Although Ray attempts to motivate the heck out of this downtrodden, beaten up dude, the guy admits that he just doesn’t know how to do what Ray needs him to do. Ray gives up hope on his employee, realizing that no amount of inspirational speeches or punches to the face (which he also orchestrated via a goon-colleague) will make this man capable of something he’s incapable of. Ray fears that his scheme is going to fail due to lack of technological talents and capability. But you know who is always super capable? Ding, ding, ding. Adderall boy! Mr. Robot! ELLIOT! So, Ray begins his professional and platonic seduction of the main character and immediately gets access, at least on the platonic side of things. Elliot agrees to speak to Ray about his sorrow, just as his dead dad makes a cross-armed appearance.

Meanwhile, Mobley begins to seriously fear for his life when he discovers the dead body of Romero at Romero’s mother’s house. This is potentially the second most shocking moment of the episode and the second most graphic (the first being Elliot re-swallowing pills he’s already thrown up). After Mobley observes his good friend’s bloody, decaying body lying face down on the ground he naturally goes into an extreme state of panic and paranoia and worry that whoever did this to Romero is coming for him next. And who does he think did it? The Dark Army… or Darlene… or Darlene AND Elliot. In a meeting with the new leader of fsociety, he shares his concerns with Darlene, who brushes it off. She’s not worried because if The Dark Army wanted to kill them, they would have already done it. Mobley disagrees and plans to take a one way trip out of town to protect himself. He whispers his conspiracy theory to fellow scared hacker Trenton after Darlene leaves and declares that he does not trust Darlene or Elliot. I mean, what sane person would? Elliot doesn’t even trust himself for goodness sake.

Angela feels some fear as well, which is different from the cold, distant, expressionless version of herself she has morphed into in the second season. Near the end of the episode, she goes out to dinner with E Corp CEO Phillip Price thinking that it’s a date (but it’s actually a business meeting AND a date AND a scheme). Price unexpectedly gives her evidence to expose the men who contributed to the covering up of the leak in her hometown. These men in question were also dining with her and Price moments before he hands her the envelope. They’re “ordinary men” Price explains, “capable of extraordinary things”. Angela, completely taken off guard by Price encouraging her or at least giving her the option to have these “thieves” put in jail, says that she doesn’t trust whatever he’s doing. He explains to her that he can sense her current panic and he understands it’s a big decision, but if she removes emotion, she’ll be just fine. Angela is quite good at removing emotion, but in this heated scene, her face says otherwise.

Lastly, the FBI agent, Dominique “Dom” DiPerro is fearing the end of the world, which is so all-consuming that it’s preventing her from pleasuring herself sexually or enjoying reality TV or sleeping, similar to Elliot. She’s staying up until 4 am reading horrific news stories, like the murder of Gideon. She encounters another story when she is assigned to investigate the death of Romero, which leads to the number one most shocking moment of the episode: her discovery of the original fsociety headquarters. How did she make this discovery? When she’s rolling a joint for Romero’s mother of course! Dom offers her services knowing that Romero’s mother has arthritis so it was likely Romero who handled her drug prep. This gets Dom inside the house and able to ask some questions. While doing so, Romero’s mom requests a glass of water, and since she’s moving and all of her dishes are in boxes, Dom has to unwrap a glass in order to fill it. And what is that glass wrapped in? Blank paper, printouts of code, and a poster for Darlene’s “End of the World” party, which includes the exact address of, you got it, that damn arcade.

The episode ends on Dom seeing the fsociety sign (Fun Society missing the U and the N), shaking her head icredulously, and saying “You gotta be fucking kidding me”. She can’t believe that a glass of water led to this. As Ray would say, it’s almost as if she “stumbled” right into it.

Why Darlene Will Be a Great Leader of fsociety

Season 2 of Mr. Robot premiered last week and with it came many changes, several discoveries, and non-stop revelations. One of the biggest transformations that went down was Darlene taking over as the official leader of fsociety. Although, nothing ever seems that official about the anti-capitalist collective. Since Elliot disappeared into the black hole of “a regular, routine, analog life to sustain his programming” somebody had to run the operation and his sister (who he always forgets is his sister) stepped up and proclaimed herself the de facto hacker in charge. And thus far, she is doing one hell of a job. I personally have total faith in Darlene being the head anarchist because she’s a natural born leader, for the reasons below.

She never gives up on the “down with the status quo” cause

Even when Elliot was wavering on remaining a member of fsociety (before he realized he and his hallucination of his dad were Mr. Robot) and then permanently left, Darlene remained faithful to the team and to vanquishing E Corp forever. She still puts her blood, sweat and tears into eliminating the 1% and that is what a good commander-in-chief does. They have to commit everything they have to their work. They don’t believe in quitting so their followers don’t either.

She is a beyond brilliant beautiful hacker

Darlene may not be at Elliot level genius (only Stephen Hawking really compares) but she comes close. As the season premiere proved, she definitely knows her way around a keyboard and she is confident in her skills. Soldiers won’t respect a sergeant who isn’t as tough as they are, and she’s got the goods. That’s for sure and no one seems to ever question her abilities.

She knows how to keep her reckless army in line

She isn’t afraid to tell people off. To yell. To scream. To break into apartments. To negotiate deals. To confront her enemies. To smash phones. To put on lipstick dramatically while staring into a mirror. She is willing and ready to be the bad guy and that is the attitude of a captain. There will come a time when everyone hates you and you gotta be cool with those scowls.

She has enough charisma to charm any pair of pants

But, not only is she loud, strong, smart, ambitious, and organized, she’s also rather charismatic. She’s got a killer smile and an awesome style and she can talk anyone out of or into whatever crazy scheme she cooks up. She uses her looks to her advantage a lot and why wouldn’t she? There is a good reason that James Bond is always super hot (so he can seduce the authorities).

She works hard and long and fast

This woman seems to be able to stay awake until the end of time. She doesn’t get tired or dejected or slow. Ever. She’s always moving and fighting and trying to think up more solutions for the class struggles of the world. She doesn’t need sleep when she has the movement behind her. She also doesn’t seem to need breaks or friends or breathing or food (minus fro-yo obvi).

She is incredibly ambitious

She wants to see the rich assholes of society crumble and she will do anything in her power to make that happen. She doesn’t think small. She thinks massive and only massive. When her fellow hackers were trying to celebrate their recent victory she was all “WE’RE NOT DONE”. She knows the war is never truly won until currency no longer exists and we’re all farmers.

She inspires her team to do more

Even though she yells a ton, that isn’t the only emotion she expresses. She’s also a caring individual and shows a lot of gratitude for good work being worked. She’s got a way with words too and knows how to light a fire underneath scared/lazy/hopeless hackers (including herself).

She doesn’t do it for the financial gain

If the scene in the premiere where Scott Knowles burned that 5.9 million dollars in public taught us anything, it’s that Darlene doesn’t give an f-society about dollar bills. She could have easily pocketed that dough and taken a trip to the Bahamas. I mean, she could have really bought her own island. But that’s the opposite of what she wants. It’s not about the money. It never was.

She’s just so damn cool

Who doesn’t want to be BFFs with Darlene? I wish she was my roomie to be honest. She’s intelligent, hilarious, cries as much as I do, enjoys cold treats, knows how to fix computers, and is a total smokin’ babe. She would be so fun at parties and dance nights and political rallies. Also, I am obsessed with how she dresses and just with her in general. Isn’t everyone though?

The Best Moments of the Mr. Robot Premiere

WARNING: SPOILERS. KEEP READING ONLY IF YOU HAVE WATCHED THE PREMIERE OF MR. ROBOT SEASON 2!

Watch the Mr. Robot season premiere episode online here.

We watched the Season 2 premiere of Mr. Robot on the edge of our seats. The entire 2 hour special event was filled with surprises and shocking revelations. Take a look at some of the best moments from the episode below.

 

Elliot Reaching for the Gun

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As the episode opens, we’re greeted with Tyrell and Elliot in the fsociety headquarters. As Tyrell observes code on the computer, Elliot reaches into the popcorn machine where we know a gun is hidden. What happened next? We don’t get to know just yet.
Elliot Falls

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We get to see a flashback, to when Elliot was pushed out of the window by his father. He suffers head trauma, and his parents panic. Was this the beginning of something more? It’s interesting to look at where Elliot came from, what happened in his past that may affect his present as well as his future.
Obama’s “Cameo”

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Spliced and edited from footage of interviews about the Sony hacks of 2014, Obama appears to be directly addressing the fsociety hack and Tyrell’s involvement. It really gave the show a feeling of reality and of being in our world.
House Malfunctioning

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It was almost scary to see how Darlene controlled the house of this E Corp executive. Clearly everything in the house was connected, and easily manipulated. It was almost as if the technology became “possessed”, and had a mind of its own. Is this where our world is headed? Although not mainstream, this technology clearly exists already.
Mr. Robot Knows About Us

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As Elliot addresses us, his “friend” for the first time during the episode, Mr. Robot cuts him off. He knows about Elliot’s inner conversations with the audience, and clearly does not approve.
“We are in a war, and we are on the losing side of it.”

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Darlene delivers a powerful speech, one of being on the losing side of an ongoing war against E Corp. She seems desperate, frustrated, and determined all at once. Her words inspire the crowd to action, as she actively tries to rile them up.
Mr. Robot Shoots Elliot

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Mr. Robot is becoming more of a hostile presence in Elliot’s brain. Elliot explains in a monologue that he follows a strict routine, and never strays, in an attempt to get rid of Mr. Robot. It’s clearly not working, and it’s causing Mr. Robot to become angry. We see a delusion in which Mr. Robot abruptly shoots Elliot, which apparently is a regular occurrence.
Gideon’s Death

There had been whispers before the premiere, of a primary character death during the first episode. We were shocked in this scene to discover that those whispers were true, and that Gideon was that character. As many things in Mr. Robot, it happens abruptly, and without warning. Gideon has clearly been the center of allegations of involvement in the hack, though he had nothing to do with it. It seems as though he has had to bear the burden of public blame, and this is the climax.
Money Burning

It seems as though fsociety seeks to make a dramatic statement to E Corp, and to the world. After the request of 5.9 million dollars through the use of ransomware, we see that the money itself is not to be put to any use by the hacking group, but rather the opportunity used to make a public statement. The E Corp CTO is made to put on the mask associated with fsociety, and promptly burn the money the company had been ransomed for. It makes for a dramatic scene.
Angela Being Confident

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Now this is something that we sorely needed. Since last season, Angela has clearly taken control of her life and become the master of it in at least one way. We see that her coworkers dislike her, but that doesn’t seem to phase her at all. She loves her job, and she does it well. We really loved seeing Angela get the interview demands agreed to, and then walk past the gossiping coworker as she looked on in shock. Take that!
“Bonsoir, Elliot”

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The episode ends with a familiar line from a familiar voice. Listening intently on the phone, Elliot asks “Who is this?” and is greeted only by who we can assume is Tyrell, saying, “Bonsoir, Elliot”. It was enough to send chills down our spine. Where is he? What is he up to? I guess we’ll have to keep watching to find out.

 

 

If you want a full and detailed recap of the premiere, we have you covered. There’s also lots of recent Mr. Robot news to catch up on!

Make sure you don’t miss the next installment of Mr. Robot! Wednesday, July 20, at 10pm.

 

Mr. Robot season 2 premiere recap: explanations, but also new questions and doubts

Watch the Mr. Robot season premiere episode online here.

The second season of the acclaimed series Mr. Robot kicked off on Wednesday night and as per usual the episode left the audience going “WHAAAAAAAA?” We were hoping that our many questions from season one would have been answered, but that’s simply not how Mr. Robot rolls and we, their loyal fans, should probably know better. We received partial explanations, developed more questions and began to doubt the information that we were previously sure of.

The premiere begins with a flashback to the exquisitely dressed, painfully egotistical and barbarically demented Tyrell standing tall in the fsociety arcade, trying on the smiling, white moustached mask that the lead hacker (presumably Elliot) wears in every video released to the public. Tyrell casually asks Elliot why this particular mask was chosen to represent the organization since it’s a “bit silly”, but Elliot is of course too busy sitting at his computer writing code, ending capitalism and saving the world to respond to such a ridiculous, pointless query. Although at first this opening image might seem incredibly insignificant, the symbolism behind it is quite relevant to what transpires over the next two hours. Tyrell’s presumably silly moment illustrates the new role that he plays (he went from E Corp minion to apparent social justice warrior?) and establishes the themes explored in the episode: shifting positions, advantageous disguises, transforming identities, and one’s fluctuating contributions to society or lackthereof.

Allow me to elaborate. After Elliot hits the enter button on his keyboard in hopes of eliminating the financial struggles of the lower class, he reaches into the popcorn machine where Darlene has hidden a gun but we never see what he pulls out or what he proceeds to do with it. Maybe the dude was just hungry and wanted a wee snack? Doubtful. Highly doubtful. So, already, positions are shifting. Elliot was sort of working “with” Tyrell but then potentially grabbed a weapon to defend himself against his so-called ally or straight up kill him. Are they pals or are they enemies? Are anyone pals or are they all enemies? More questions unanswered. Before Elliot’s arm is retrieved from the kernels we cut to another flashback but this one travels way FARTHER back in time to his childhood and the fateful day that his daddio pushed him out of a window for betraying his trust, resulting in a bandaged head injury (not the first one he’ll have).

We catch up with our leading man in present day, living a very different life. The post-E Corp takedown world is in disarray. President Obama is on television proclaiming that the economy is at risk. Consumerism is at an all-time low. Meanwhile, Elliot is no longer hacking into mainframes or a member of fsociety. He’s wearing the disguise of a regular dude doing regular stuff on a regular basis. He eats every meal with his recently acquired Seinfeld-obsessed bud Leon (Joey Bada$$), silently watches basketball games next to a brilliant dog owner named Ray (Craig Robinson), attends a church group,and has swapped writing code for writing in a journal. The reason for his massive switch in personality, purpose, and priorities? He needs to follow a routine, or stick to a “looped” analog schedule in order to escape the violent influences of Mr. Robot. His other half is still hanging around and getting more angry as Elliot continues to ignore his agitated ranting. He gets so mad that he resorts to shooting Elliot in the head (second head injury) thinking that a threat may inspire the former hacker to hack again. It does not.

Elliot is attempting to steer clear of any drama and exist in the most boring state imaginable. He even refuses to chat with Ray, the above mentioned brilliant dog owner, or play with Ray’s dog who has taken a liking to Elliot, because the fewer interactions he has the better. His contributions to society have gone from hero to zero. The maybe craziest part is that he is living with his mother. Yeah, the same woman who tortured him for years. Or at least this is what he tells his therapist Krista. So, that could be another hallucination or just a motherly label that he’s given to a female complete stranger. Elliot’s surprisingly difficult plan is working to an extent, until his worries about Mr. Robot begin to resurface when Ray mentions that they had a conversation which Elliot has no recollection of. Uh oh. His program isn’t running as planned.

Elliot has not only left his previous self behind, he’s also ditched his loyalties to his fellow hackers, his platonic (or maybe romantic) love for Angela, his relative concern for Gideon’s well-being (which is proven to have disappeared when Gideon asks him for help and he refuses) and his relationship with Darlene, the sister he keeps forgetting, who has taken on a new role herself as the leader of fsociety. Darlene may suffer in silence, which only we are witness to, but she puts on a tough front. She takes charge, smashes phones, and screams like a true amazon. She has established headquarters at the “malfunctioning” smart apartment of Susan Jacobs, a lawyer who works at E Corp and has garnered the reputation of “Madame Executioner” for several colourful reasons. After Darlene causes Jacobs’ abode to go haywire, forcing her to move into her OTHER apartment, Darlene and crew break in. Some fsociety folk are intent on partying all night to celebrate their successes, but Darlene knows the war is far from over. She launches another attack on E Corp, takes over the bank’s systems and demands 5.9 million dollars in exchange for not shutting everything down and making shit way worse.

Mr-Robot-201-recap-Blog-Post2

They meet her demands, even the one that insists the money be handed over by an Evil Corp “chief.”  Scott Knowles, the interim CTO, volunteers and as he arrives downtown with two bags full of hundred-dollar bills, Phil Collins’s “Take Me Home” grows in volume in the background. But instead of Darlene accepting the money, a courier delivers a backpack to Scott, containing the same fsociety mask that Tyrell donned, some gas and instructions to wear the mask and burn the money. A large crowd surrounds the flaming pile of cash as Darlene watches on with a satisfied, yet empty expression on her face. This isn’t the first payment that E Corp will give to fsociety. Billions of dollars later, they’re still asking for more and even the government won’t help Phillip Price, the CEO of E Corp, with a bailout of any kind. Although, in a hilarious scene where he repeatedly tells Jack Lew that he has something on his face, he also says that in order to maintain, well, order, they must pretend that everything’s under control. They have to “con” the average citizen and although the state wants him to resign, that would result in a loss of confidence in the government and you can’t have a “con” without “confidence.”

The greatest transformation is possibly that of Angela, whose contributions went from generally positive to aggressively evil, or Evil Corp to be more precise. Angela, who was previously an innocent bystander of Elliot’s plotting and a warm, generous, empathetic individual, is now plotting her own high-profile schemes as a press executive at the corporation that killed her mother. She originally wanted to cause damage from the inside, but unfortunately she has fallen victim to the temptations of power. She is good at her job, almost too good, which is evident in how she ruthlessly negotiates interviews with the media and rejects their requests to ask questions about the burning of the money incident. Angel’s appearance has even shifted enormously. She now wears her hair in a slick ponytail, and her makeup is darker than it used to be, and she grins far less than before. This is the disguise she wears, although it seems to have become a permanent fixture as opposed to a removable mask. We discover how permanent it has become and what “kind of woman” she is, when she drops the lawsuit against Evil Corp. She no longer believes in good conquering all. She works for the bad guy, and motivates herself to do so by listening to creepy positive affirmations which guaranteed sent a chill down viewer’s backs. What will Elliot think when he sees the position she has consciously shifted into?

The most advantageous disguise of them all is the one used by Tyrell, who has transformed into the invisible man. No one has any idea where he is, what happened to him, or how he escaped. Not even Elliot has a clue about where he is or if he’s even still alive and Mr. Robot, who potentially has an answer to that question, declines to provide any clarity. Tyrell Wellick’s wife, Joanne, is left to raise their baby on her own and she has replaced him with another sexual partner for her S&M needs. Her public persona of fashionable wife and mother is quite different from her private persona, which is rather similar to that of Tyrell’s barbarically demented behaviour. Her largest influence on the plot comes when she receives a mysterious package (presumably from Tyrell) wrapped in a beautiful red bow. It contains a musical jewellery box and a phone, which only rings when she is away, taking care of her infant. The episode ends with Elliot receiving a call of his own, on the also red phone of the boring house he lives in. His quiet “Hello?” is answered with a tender “It’s really you.” When he digs for more information, and asks “Who is this?”, Tyrell’s scary, sophisticated voice replies “Bonsoir Elliot.”

Although this moment is a shock in itself, the shock that made us gasp and scream and gasp again, was when Gideon, whose Allsafe-connected identity has been completely erased, was shot point blank by a total stranger in a bar who at first appeared to be hitting on him. The stranger, a charismatic man who had a few conspiracy theories and could instantly tell that Gideon was divorced, knows far more about Allsafe, E Corp, and fsociety than the average “coned” citizen. He accuses Gideo of being a “patsy” but an influential “patsy” at that and looks forward to his forthcoming “hero” status.  Looks like Gideon could have really used Elliot’s help after all.

The entire episode sent chills down the backs of everyone watching and there are only more chills to come.

Read more Mr. Robot articles now.

The facts we THINK we have learned about Elliot Alderson’s life thus far

Warning: there are many spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen season 1 of Mr. Robot, TURN BACK NOW READER AND SAVE YOURSELF. But, seriously, don’t read this.

As I’m sure you’ve gathered from watching the first season of Mr. Robot, our main boy Elliot ain’t the most reliable character in town. His brain is malfunctioning and with the slew of mental health struggles he has to deal with we don’t know when to trust him, when to question him, or when to scream at his face until our television screen smashes into a thousand pieces. He has tricked us once, and shame on him. He has tricked us twice, and shame on us. He has tricked us a THIRD time, and shame on… Sam Esmail. Really, shame on him for all of the tricks. He is the creator after all. This is his “don’t believe anything Elliot says or does or thinks or sees or eats or drinks” world. Yeah, that energy drink Elliot bought in that episode? NEWSFLASH: IT WASN’T REAL (that may or may definitely not be true). Now, who’s Elliot-ing who?

But we have gathered some potentially legit information about this elusive unreliable narrator’s existence, or, as the title states, at least we THINK we have. As I’m sure you’ve also gathered, even when you’re confident that you know something, you might not know anything. Fingers crossed these are correct facts taken from the life of Elliot “are they facts though?” Alderson.

Mr. Robot - Season 1

He works at Allsafe Cybersecurity for money and also at fsociety on a volunteer basis

Elliot’s childhood buddy, Angela, hooked him up with a sweet day job that he despises, which I totally get. He is a corporate drone after all, when he’s slogging away as an engineer at the joint that protects the most E-vil Corp biz in the universe. But, he’s also a vigilante hacker in the evenings, which he does purely for the joy of watching assholes burn. It’s kinda murky who runs fsociety. He’s likely the one in charge, but again, IS HE THOUGH? Maybe he’s less in charge and more the lone member of the organization? And everyone else who hangs out in that very creepy arcade are… GHOSTS? Only season 2 will tell.

 

Mr. Robot - Season 1

His mom was mean, his sister is Darlene, his dad is Mr. Robot, and he is his dad

Elliot’s ancestry is complicated to the say the least. We see in numerous flashbacks that his relationship with his mother was sadly an abusive one and scarred him into adulthood. He doesn’t have a solid understanding of the concept of “family” as a result, which possibly explains why he keeps forgetting that his fellow fsociety hacker, Darlene, is his sister. He forgets so deeply that he even attempts to smooch his sibling. YIKES! Elliot. Dude. Get your act together. Incest is not a good look. Also, one of the biggest reveals to date was the discovery that Mr. Robot (aka Christian Slater) is actually Elliot’s dead dad. No, he’s not a zombie. He’s a hallucination, kind of. More accurately, he’s Elliot, or another version of him that he separates from himself. It’s a confusing idea to wrap your head around, but it’s demonstrated quite well when he throws his own body up against a wall and he chokes himself. YIKES again.

 

Mr. Robot - Season 1

He’s got a dog AND a fish AND a radiator

This guy can do it all. He can take down the most corrupt institution in town, alter the status quo, end capitalism, eliminate class struggle AND look after TWO PETS and a CRAPPY HEATING DEVICE? My god. How does he find the time? I can barely water my deceased plants.

 

Mr. Robot - Season 1

He is very good at the hacking stuff which he learned from his daddio

Everyone at E Corp and Allsafe are always sucking Elliot’s D ‘cause he’s a certified genius. His dad owned a repair shop back in the day called Mr. Robot (we all catching up?) so it’s presumed that he passed down the programmer genes to his offspring. I don’t understand a single computer term used and I have no clue how to read code and I couldn’t tell you how to send an email (LOLOLOLOL) but Elliot seems to know what is UP on all of those fronts, especially the email one. He can even stalk you on Facebook to protect you. How sweet!

 

Mr. Robot - Season 1

He does NOT have social media but he DOES have morphine

Who needs Facebook when you can snort a line, am I right? It’s sort of a similar high. Your brain is receiving those metaphorical “likes” one way or another. Elliot definitely has a debilitating drug problem. If him constantly sucking back chemicals on screen isn’t enough, I think the episode where he goes through withdrawal proves that his addiction is a serious one. Unfortunately, he does all of the drugs to cope with his mental health issues.

 

Mr. Robot- Season 1

Shayla WAS his girlfriend, Krista WAS his therapist, and Angela WAS his bestie

As mentioned above, Angela, was Elliot’s BFF for many years. They bonded over their parents both passing away because of a toxic leak caused by and hidden by E Corp. Speaking of E Corp, Elliot’s friendship with Angela is kinda on the rocks once she starts working there. Full-time. As an employee. She did it in hopes of causing trouble from the inside, but being on the inside changes you… YOU’VE CHANGED ANGELA. Also, is Krista still Elliot’s therapist? I hope so, ‘cause damn I like her. Finally, he has a stable mother figure in his life. Too bad his beau Shayla was killed by that “what’s the origin of your name?” drug dealer. Just when they were getting really cute and she was calling him from work. Ah. My heart is breaking all over again.

 

Mr. Robot - Season 1

He hacked into E Corp’s system with that sleazy blonde Tyrell and it… worked?

After everything that happened with The Dark Army and the kerfuffle at Steel Mountain and Elliot having a breakdown, you’d think this whole “let’s vanquish the 1%” plan wouldn’t pan out, but then, hey! Never say never! Sometimes you can blackout and wake up in a sleazy blonde man’s car (who has disappeared) with your tasks complete and the whole world in disarray.

 

Mr. Robot - Season 1

He has social anxiety, depression, and possibly (100%) other undiagnosed disorders

Elliot states right off the bat to us (his imaginary friend) that he’s got poor social skills, as in extreme anxiety around making conversation, going to parties, dating, emoting, making eye contact, being touched, being smiled at, or being breathed on. Whenever anyone reaches out to shake his hand he’s all like “back the F-society OFF” but he says it with his eyes, since he doesn’t like making conversation. Also, he cries a lot, like a lot a lot (once more, I TOTALLY get it). He suffers from depression and his loneliness is sometimes too hard to bear (hence the morphine). The moments of him sobbing uncontrollably in his apartment are tragic to watch. I just want to reach in and hug him, but then I’d be worried about contributing to his delusional state, which is the greatest problem of all. He doesn’t see the world as it is, his memory is beyond screwed, and he’s friendly with persons who aren’t there (aka his dad aka HIM). So yeah, I feel for the guy, but at the same time, I can’t help being like, DON’T LIE TO ME, BRO. He’s a complicated man and Mr. Robot is a complicated show, which is why we love it so much.

Watch the two-minute Mr. Robot Season 1 recap now, or review the rest of the characters of Mr. Robot.

Mr. Robot Contest

You could win one of 20 Mr. Robot prize packs, each valued at $50 CDN! Tune in tonight for the special two-hour season premiere of Mr. Robot at 10e/p on Showcase and watch for the Giveaway Password!

Once you see it, go to facebook/showcasedotca and input the Password.

Three randomly selected winners to correctly provide the Password will be eligible to win.

Must be a resident of Canada (excluding Quebec) and age of majority or older at time of entry.

Good luck, and enjoy the revolution.