The most badass achievements of fsociety

During last week’s episode of Mr. Robot (watch 208 now) we witnessed the potential, sort of disbanding of the one and only hacker revolutionary group and social justice warriors enemies of the establishment/status quo/1% fsociety. Since, you know, basically all of its members are no longer available for further hacking adventures. Romero is dead. Mobley and Trenton possibly met at Ron’s Coffee to leave town. Elliot is maybe being released from jail but he hasn’t been yet. Darlene should probably go into hiding for a bit after killing Susan Jacobs and hitting her Dark-Army-affiliated boyfriend in the head with a baseball bat. And as we learned last year Mr. Robot/Christian Slater is simply Elliot’s hallucination of his dead dad/Elliot’s OTHER persona.

But man, while fsociety lasted it was pretty sweet, right? They got a lot of stuff accomplished and truly changed the world. Not sure if it was for the better or for the worse… but they sure did change it! They also took down numerous tyrants and performed some extremely impressive hacking feats and transformed a couple of super rad locations into their headquarters. In honour of fsociety, let’s take a look back at all of their cool, brilliant, impossible, illegal achievements.

They hacked E Corp and infected a server
Remember back in the season one days when Elliot didn’t know that he was Mr. Robot and he thought that wasn’t him messaging himself? Remember when fsociety messed up E Corp’s system with the DDos attack and Elliot had to pretend to save the day when he worked at Allsafe but really he was giving fsociety more access to more servers? Remember when Terry Colby was condescending to Angela and made her leave that meeting? REMEMBER? It was our first interaction with the tech-savvy, coding vigilantes but it definitely wasn’t our last.

They framed Terry Colby for the hack, get him fired and arrested by the FBI
Also, remember when they placed all of the blame for the hack on the very evil Terry Colby by planting his IP address in the .dat file? Then he lost his job at E Corp as Chief Technology Officer (which Tyrell Wellick for sure thought he was a shoe-in for) and was charged with a bunch of crimes he didn’t commit? Remember how warm and fuzzy you felt seeing all that?

They planted the Raspberry Pi in Steel Mountain
I will admit I still do not fully grasp what a Raspberry Pi is (the internet tells me it’s a tiny little powerful computer) but I do grasp how important this mission was and how exquisitely Elliot delivered. He planted that Raspberry Pi in the storage room where Evil Corp was storing their backups in order to mess with with the heating system and destroy their backups. Damn.

They finally followed through with the Five/Nine attack
Then came the moment we had all been waiting for. The legendary, history-changing, 1% vanquishing, E Corp defeating, turns out not so great, Five/Nine Hack. It all went down in on May, 2015 (anniversary of Elliot’s dad’s death) and in collaboration with the Dark Army. They intended for the hack to eliminate financial records and re-distribute wealth in the United States while dismantling the giant conglomerate that is E Corp and they did do some of that. Although, unfortunately E Corp is still up and running. Don’t get me wrong. Fsociety caused a lot of trouble for them but they didn’t put them out of business and they also simultaneously caused trouble for working class and middle-class Americans who now can’t pay their bills or purchase food.

They took over Susan Jacob’s smart apartment
Then, of course, after the Five/Nine hack they had to dispose of all evidence so they threw a giant End of the World party, burned their equipment, and ditched their precious arcade (which was lucky considering that agent Dom discovered its whereabouts soon after). They then set up their headquarters at the malfunctioning abode of Susan “The Executioner” Jacobs, an E Corp lawyer who Darlene later kills with a stun gun to the chest after she unexpectedly returns home. Before all of that happened, their hacking of her tech-heavy apartment was just hilarious.

They forced Scott Knowles to burn 5.9 million dollars
This scheme didn’t do a whole lot beyond costing E Corp way more money and garnering serious negative media attention and make them look like raving lunatics. But, regardless, it was one heck of an image watching a panicked Scott Knowles set fire to that cash with the fsociety mask on. That is a glorious, revolutionary, punk-rock social justice stunt at its finest.

They dropped the balls of the Wall Street bull through the ceiling of Congress
This also didn’t do a whole lot but boy did we all laugh when it happened. What a chuckle I had.

They successfully hacked into the FBI
Then there was this magnificent hack orchestrated by the wide-eyed Angela with Darlene and Mobley in her ear. She learned to code in a day and managed to infiltrate the gridlocked systems of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I mean come ON. Who knew that Elliot’s sweet, blonde childhood friend was capable of pulling off such an epic hack like this? She even got a date out of it along the way and picked up a new skill too. Girls CAN code. Take that, sexism!

They informed the world that the FBI is illegally monitoring 3 million civilians
And then that hack led to them sharing the FBI’s dirty little operation “Berenstain” secret with the entire world of the internet and getting them in deep, deep trouble with their superiors. Another win for fsociety.

Read more about Mr. Robot including what we learned from the ’90s version of Mr. Robot, why Joanna and Tyrell were/are perfect for each other, and our Mr. Robot episode recaps.

Your First Look At Travelers!

A brand new show is coming to Showcase on October 17, and we have your first look! Created by Brad Wright (Stargate franchise), and starring Eric McCormack, Travelers follows the lives of agents from the future, called “travelers,” who come to the 21st century in hopes of saving the world from a terrible fate.

Watch the first trailer for Travelers here!

McCormack plays FBI Special Agent Grant MacLaren, the team’s leader. Also starring: Alberta native Mackenzie Porter (Hell on Wheels) as Marcy, a young, intellectually disabled woman in the care of her social worker, David, played by Edmonton’s Patrick Gilmore (You Me Her); Manitoba-native Jared Paul Abrahamson (Awkward.) as Trevor, a highschool quarterback; Ontario native Nesta Marlee Cooper (Heroes Reborn) as Carly, a single mom in an abusive relationship; and Reilly Dolman (Supernatural) as Philip, a heroin-addicted college student.

Mr. Robot recap episode 8: heartbreak and self-defense

Mr. Robot is back baby and it’s better than ever! By that I mean, in episode eight Sam Esmail returns to the fast-paced, plot-affecting, suspenseful action that made us fall in love with this series in the beginning.

Watch Mr. Robot episode 208 online now.

Season two has been a slow burn to say the least. We’ve mostly been watching Elliot silently and solitarily wrestle with his mind while he masks his prison location as his mother’s house. This location masking was revealed at the end of last week’s episode, which used the majority of its minutes to focus on our leading man. Episode eight on the other hand focuses on Elliot very little, in fact it focuses on him not at all. He is nowhere to be found. Instead the shining stars are Darlene, Angela, Duck Phillips from Mad Men and the bad-ass fsociety crew. Since Elliot’s lying brain has also been the one holding back the story development, with him not making an appearance this week, A LOT of stuff happens. This stuff includes: another fsociety video being released, Susan Jacobs unexpectedly returning home, Angela singing karaoke, Darlene killing Susan Jacobs, Mobley being interrogated by Dom, Darlene burning the body of Susan Jacobs, Mobley and Trenton trying to leave town, and Darlene maybe killing Cisco.

Or at least hitting him in the head with a baseball bat. One of the themes running throughout this episode is definitely self-defense and more specifically violent self-defense, either literally violent or metaphorically violent. Even the FBI is attempting self-defense as they illegally monitor a good portion of the US population 1984-style in hopes of digging up information about the Five/Nine hack, finding the perpetrators behind it and protecting their organization in the process. By doing so, they’re violating the rights and freedoms of 3 million American citizens. This diabolical secret is discovered by fsociety as they listen in on a conference call where important FBI agents discuss operation “Berenstain.” They then proceed to make this diabolical secret front page news by releasing a recording of the call to the internet masses via a new viral video featuring our fave British Guy Fawkes mask. But this time, Elliot isn’t the one wearing the plastic white moustache. Darlene is the main actor in disguise and the head revolutionary warning the public that their privacy has been compromised and they should be pissed.

After the fsociety video instantly goes viral, Mobley starts to worry about his own safety. When he hears the FBI mention that one of the suspects of the hack is already dead, he knows it’s Romero and he knows he could be next. He starts packing up his belongings to take off as Darlene and Cisco aggressively convince him to stay and as Trenton tries to warn them that Susan Jacobs is currently walking through the door of her apartment and catching the most wanted people on the planet mid-video release. Looks like somebody forgot to keep an eye on her GPS. Whoopsie doodle! Well, mistakes happen, right? And it’s totally fixable. All they need to do is tie up the E Corp lawyer and keep her hostage until they figure out something better to do. So, after a solid few seconds of speechless staring between all of them, they do exactly that and then hold a group meeting to brainstorm ideas. Mobley suggests again that everyone flees town and they let Jacobs go. Darlene and Cisco are not in agreement. As the trio continue to argue Trenton is put on yelling-Susan Jacobs duty and instructed to shut her up. Being the excellent lawyer that she is, Jacobs persuades Trenton to untie her so she can use the washroom. This results in Jacobs lunging at Trenton and knocking herself unconscious instead.

The fsociety team examines Jacobs’ bloody head wound which the brick wall graciously bestowed upon her and they brainstorm ideas for how to now deal with this. Trenton wants to get her to a hospital. Cisco wonders if their problem solved itself. Darlene makes the call. They will tie her up (again) and “own her” before she dies from her injury. They hack into her electronic life by scanning through her social media accounts and personal messages and email inboxes. The next few minutes cut between this rapid fire hacking and Angela singing her conflicted feelings as she belts out “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears at a karaoke bar when she’s on a date with that dude she hooked up some episodes back. Angela is a bit of an emotional wreck after she bumps into her father’s friend Steve at the bar who rips into her for working at the corporation that killed her mother and for betraying her father. When Steve asks her who she thinks she is, Angela answers him. She’s a 27-year-old woman with a six-figure salary at the biggest conglomerate in history and he’s a nothing plumber. This is her self-defense and she says it with cruel confidence but there is uncertainty behind her eyes.

That uncertainty is made more obvious when she takes the stage and sings the following collection of lyrics into the microphone: “Welcome to your life/ There’s no turning back/ Even while we sleep/ We will find You acting on your best behaviour/ Turn your back on mother nature/ Everybody wants to rule the world.” She sure did turn her back on her mom and there’s no more turning back now. She finishes her number, goes to order another drink and meets an older gentleman at the bar rail played by Mark Moses who also played the irritating creative director Duck Phillips in Mad Men. They flirt for a minute and she instantly forgets about that other dude she’s on a date with, who is also a guy hired by FBI agent Dom to spy on Angela and get dirt on fsociety or E Corp or the Dark Army. But, unfortunately, as the dude explains to Dom, Angela is stone cold and the only person who opened up was him. She broke his poor little heart.

Speaking of breaking poor little hearts, the fsociety team persists with their investigation into the history of Susan Jacobs and they come up with nothing for a while but after Trenton discovers a post-it note with a Yahoo email address and password, they crack the case. Kind of. They learn that she’s been sleeping with her presiding judges which is a big no-no. Darlene informs her of the damning info they’ve gathered when she pays a visit to the pool that Jacobs is chained up beside. But, the topic of conversation quickly goes from wrongful romance to the death of Darlene’s father. She recalls seeing Jacobs for the first time when she was four years old. She witnessed the heartless lawyer laugh on the news while in the courtroom after E Corp was cleared of consciously poisoning her dad. Darlene has taken down E Corp. She has taken over Jacobs’ home and now she has her. And more importantly the opportunity to take revenge.

Darlene whips out her stun gun and tasers Jacobs directly in her heartless heart, where apparently she has a condition as evidenced by notes Mobley saw from her doctor in her email inbox. When her fellow hackers gasp over Jacobs’ lifeless body floating in the pool, Darlene claims that she had to kill her. That it was self-defense and it was in a sense. If they let Jacobs go, they were all done for. But, technically speaking, the act itself was straight up murder one. Darlene tells Mobley and Trenton to exit the premises and she and Cisco will wipe down the place and dispose of the body. Mobley and Trenton take the subway home together and chat about how colossally stupid what they did was. Mobley suggests once more that Trenton swiftly disappear like he plans to do. But before he can, the FBI comes a-knocking at his front door. Dom wants to ask him a few questions as she usually does. After a 12-hour wait, Dom enters the interrogation chamber sucking on another lollipop. She gives her condolences for Romero’s death and then presents Mobley’s poster for the End of the World Party. She reveals that she knows he’s a “big fan” of obscure DJ Mobley and suspects that he’s a hacker himself. But Dom doesn’t want him. She wants Tyrell Wellick; not his DJ. What does Mobley want? A lawyer.

Dom is then scolded by her superior for holding Mobley for 12 hours with no evidence and potentially causing them more trouble when the entire bureau is under fire for the fsociety video. So, she lets Mobley go. His first act of freedom is texting Trenton and requesting that the two of them disappear together and she meet him at Ron’s Coffee, the coffee shop where they originally met and where we originally met Elliot when he busted the owner for selling child pornography (although it was a different location since Ron’s Coffee was quite a successful franchise!). Trenton waves goodbye to her family by saying she’ll be back “later” and awaits Mobley’s arrival. He’s two hours late and the last we see of her she’s sitting nervously at a table as she turns to look at the off-camera person entering the cafe. Meanwhile, Darlene and Cisco are disposing of the body as promised. They pay a visit to a dog kennel/vet’s office/room with a lot of pups in cages, bribe the owner with Jacobs’ Ecoin, and proceed to cremate her corpse.

Once that’s been taken care of, they head back to Cisco’s place to get some shuteye. In the morning, while Cisco is in the shower, a suspicious Darlene takes a looksie at his computer and immediately unearths a photo of a sleeping her that her loving boyfriend took and sent to the Dark Army along with updates about her whereabouts. He has been spying on Darlene for them just like the FBI has been spying on 3 million US citizens and she is pissed. She smashes up his computer good and awaits his shower to finish. The episode ends with a clean, topless Cisco being hit in the head by a quiet, bat-holding Darlene. I mean, she’s gotta defend herself against the bad people she doesn’t trust, right? The question now is: who DOES Darlene trust?

Probably her bro Elliot, who will hopefully make his triumphant return to the non-prison world next week.

Read more about Mr. Robot including the official Mr. Robot messaging app, if the cast were Shakespeare characters, plus previous Mr. Robot episode recaps.

Why Tyrell and Joanna were/are perfect for each other

In the most recent episode of Mr. Robot Joanna Wellick gave her sweet but dumb normcore boyfriend Derek a divorce summons as a 30th birthday gift, which means that her epic marriage to missing and/or dead Tyrell Wellick could possibly be coming to an end. Tear. But, as any avid viewer of the series knows all too well, we all know nothing. As soon as you’re sure of one plot point the curtains are drawn back and it turns out that Elliot has been in jail the entire time. Although, some of us did suspect that. OR DID WE? Point is, even with this looming divorce, a chipper, smiling Tyrell could easily make a triumphant return next week and get right back to adoring his wife and whipping her as she’s tied to a bed. It would be just like old times, except now they have a baby and they’re broke and Tyrell has a bullet wound and he’s wanted by the FBI.

Regardless of future events, I thought it would be nice to reminisce about their passionate, terrifying, legendary relationship. Never before have two violent evil geniuses been more perfect for each other, except maybe Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, who Tyrell and Joanna are mirror images of. So, what was it that made these insane soulmates such a great match? Well, their shared interests of course! They’re exactly like any other regular couple in love (*sarcasm*). Let’s take a look at their long list of frightening, adorable, eerily similar characteristics, shall we?

They’re both mad hungry for power
Tyrell wanted to be the Chief Technology Officer at E Corp and when he didn’t get his way he straight up killed the wife of the man who did get the position. Then, he joined forces with Elliot otherwise known as E Corp’s enemy to swiftly destroy the corporation. He’s got a dictator-level drive to conquer the world and Joanna is right behind him in that mission or more accurately right in front of him secretly leading the charge. She’ll do anything to gain dominance and that includes stabbing herself with a fork to convince the police that she’s going into labour to hinder Tyrell from being interrogated. Man, don’t you wish you had that kind of motivation at your job?

They’re both soulless psychos
Speaking of fork stabbing and wife murdering, Tyrell and Joanna aren’t all there upstairs. They have a few screws loose, mainly the ones in charge of kindness, empathy, and having a conscience. They’re missing those parts of the human psyche for sure which is why they get along so well. Opposites do attract but more often than not equally nefarious maniacs attract more. If they were married to anyone who wasn’t a soulless psycho that person would have likely had them committed or that person would be dead because they killed them. Either or.

They’re both cool with murdering people
Speaking of killing soul-having non-psychos, Tyrell and Joanna have individually checked that off their bucket list and unlike Macbeth and Lady Macbeth neither of them had blood on their hands. ‘Cause Tyrell choked his victim and Joanna hired a dude to paralyze and shoot hers. Hopefully one day they get to share in the joy of homicide together and make a day trip out of it!

They’re both mega-smart
You have to be intellectually stimulated by your life partner or else what are you two going to talk about? The weather? The dinner you’re eating? Not plotting revenge against your opponents? Boring! Tyrell and Joanna could scheme, cackle and gab in Swedish/Danish for days. They’re both so darn academic and chatty and evil!  Although, in my opinion, Joanna’s exquisite brain is far superior to Tyrell’s reckless noggin. If she had worked at E Corp, she would currently be the Chief Technology Officer and fsociety would have failed and Elliot would actually not be in jail.

They’re both wildly charming
On top of being astute, Tyrell and Joanna are charismatic with a capital punishment. They know how to schmooze. They know how to flirt. They know how to fake laugh. They know how to garner attention. They know how to crack a joke. They know how to gain the trust of people who definitely shouldn’t trust them. They can even appear sweet and gentle and not depraved. They’re superb actors who seduce their way into anyone’s heart before they put a bullet in it.

They’re both into being tortured for fun
And they don’t just like hurting others, they like being hurt too! They know how to give AND take. Joanna prefers physical torture i.e. being choked, whipped, and slapped. While Tyrell prefers emotional torture i.e. being yelled at by Joanna, being called names by Joanna, and being threatened by Joanna. Luckily, they have each other to provide these darling services.

They’re both super-materialistic
When they’re not beating each other up literally and metaphorically, Tyrell and Joanna are hanging out in their million-dollar house or buying diamond earrings or renovating their kitchen or spending way too much on a silver baby rattle or purchasing a totally unnecessary second phone or burning money. Just kidding! That’s Scott Knowles’s thing. But, also, I’m sure that the crazy Wellicks have set fire to hundred dollar bills before, likely to burn down a building.

They’re both extremely well-dressed
Or they’re going shopping! At the very least online shopping ‘cause damn do these two look good. Like, all the time. Even when they’re just chilling at home, eating a snack and smashing dishes. No wonder the tabloids keep reporting on how stylish Joanna is. Her wardrobe is Vogue incarnate. And boy does Tyrell know how to wear a suit, especially a beige one. Few can rock that outfit but he does it well. They should have been fashion designers instead of murderers.

They’re both VERY attractive
But, even if we removed all of their clothes and makeup and hundred dollar bills, we’d still have a couple of naked certified hotties (and certified lunatics). No one can ignore Tyrell and Joanna’s stunning bone structure or their sparkling smiles or their silky hair or their plump lips or smooth skin or gorgeous, eerie, hypnotic eyes that are the windows to their non-souls. They’re beautiful and we all know that beautiful people should marry beautiful people and make more beautiful people. With their radiant genes, that baby is going to be the best-looking serial killer around.

They’re both madly in love
And their biggest shared interest is their interest in each other, although not as much lately or at the end of the last season when Joanna told Tyrell that he’s not a man she wants to be with anymore. Forget all that! Prior to recent divorce summons and normcore boyfriends, Tyrell and Joanna were eternally obsessed with the other and worshipped the ground that their soulless psychotic spouse walked on. I guess doing evil stuff really keeps a marriage alive, huh? Who needs couple’s therapy when you have crime! They were so confident in their marital affections that they encouraged the other to commit adultery to get ahead. Now THAT’S true love.

Read more about Mr. Robot including what we learned from the ’90s version of Mr. Robot, if the cast were Shakespeare characters, and our Mr. Robot episode recaps.

Mr. Robot recap episode 7: handshakes and honesty

“Hello. I see you. I recognize you. I acknowledge your existence. Let’s talk. Get to know who each other really are.” That’s how Elliot Alderson describes a handshake in this week’s Mr. Robot. According to him, this statement is communicated between two people when their palms exchange germs. Their connection relies on that initial touch and naturally grows from there, or at least that’s how relationships typically go down. But, Elliot’s got a wee problem with honesty and trust and not lying all the time. We’ve had trouble getting to know who Elliot really is because we don’t know what’s real and what’s not. We often ask “Who is Elliot? Where is Elliot? When is Elliot?” The where was answered this week in what was meant to be a shocking twist. Elliot’s location is not the home of his mother. It is the home of another violent institution. WHICH ONE?

Watch Mr. Robot episode 207 online now.

If you guessed prison, you are correct! Congrats! You figured out what a lot of other viewers predicted five episodes ago. Mr. Robot is known for its ability to elicit loud gasps but this reveal was more of a quiet nod. The question that wasn’t answered though is the “why.” We know why Elliot lied to us (it was something he needed to do to get better) but we don’t know WHY he was in jail at all. It could have something to do with him shooting Tyrell Wellick, which was an earlier reveal. We learned that factoid when Elliot, still in the warehouse and looking like Frankenstein, grills Mr. Robot/his dead dad about the missing Danish businessman and Mr. Robot finally divulges that he shot Tyrell using the gun Darlene hid in the popcorn machine. Elliot corrects him. “No. I shot him.” You sure did, Elliot! But was it a fatal wound? I predict not. An injured Tyrell is definitely alive somewhere and sending presents to his soon-to-be ex-wife. That’s right. Joanna Wellick gives a divorce summons to her mediocre boyfriend Derek as a birthday gift.

Elliot continues his streak of doing bad stuff in order to survive when he gets Ray’s black market site up and running again. Ray is so thrilled that he puts beating up Elliot aside to play a game of chess with him. During the match, we hear the origin story of Ray’s business. It was his computer-savvy wife that started the site with good intentions. She didn’t want criminals selling weapons/drugs/women on there but she did want to keep raking in that sweet blood money. So, they decided to let the market dictate what was sold and not look. But when Elliot came along Ray had a gander. He gets teary-eyed as he says that he regrets not taking a stand. Well, Elliot takes that stand for him when he makes the site public, tips off the FBI, and gets Ray in trouble.

Two weeks later, Elliot’s face has totally healed, but he’s feeling lost. He pleads with Mr. Robot to help him find his way. He knows that he needs to finish what he started with Evil Corp but he doesn’t know how to do it. Mr. Robot’s advice: become a leader again. My advice: get out of jail. Elliot encounters more obstacles when a second gang of goons show up who don’t like him at all. They were making lots of bitcoin from Ray’s site which no longer exists thanks to our boy and they want Elliot to pay them what they’re owed. When he doesn’t obey, they punch his face a bunch (just when it got better) and begin to unzip their pants with the intent of sexually assaulting him. But before they can, badass Leon appears and massacres them all with a single knife, Quentin Tarantino style. Turns out, Leon is an expert in Seinfeld trivia AND killing people. Before he departs, he informs Elliot that he’ll receive a letter on Tuesday and he should do what it says. He also requests that when Elliot sees Whiterose to say that Leon did him good.

Wait. How does Leon know Whiterose? I’m not sure, but his connection to the Dark Army makes way more sense when we find out that he’s not just a random dude who likes basketball and George Constanza. He is Elliot’s fellow prisoner. Also, that diner is a cafeteria and Elliot’s mom is a guard and his bedroom is a prison cell and that church group is a church group… in a jail. These curveballs are presented in sequence after Elliot has a breakthrough conversation with his therapist. Krista reads the letter that Leon prophesied (must be Tuesday) and thinks it’s good news (that Elliot is being released?). When she inquires about Mr. Robot, Elliot is happy to report that for the first time he and the hallucination of his dead dad trust each other. He was wrong about trying to destroy him after he got to his mom’s house. Krista then takes a long, concerned, plot-changing pause and asks Elliot where he thinks he is right now. Does he know that he hasn’t been staying with his mother? Oh. He knows. Welcome to the club Elliot! We ALL know, but we still wish you hadn’t lied about it. He swears that this is the last time he’ll keep things from us. He’d like it if we could trust each other again and wants to shake on it.

Elliot isn’t the only one who’s been breaking our trust and lying a lot. Angela is keeping secrets too. What is she really up to? That puzzle hasn’t been solved and it was complicated further this week. We pick up with Angela where the last episode left off. FBI agent Dom is standing by her cubicle and rudely interrupting fsociety’s FBI hack. Dom wants to know why Angela was on the restricted 23rd floor where the feds are hanging out and Angela wants to finish coding and get that internet connection restored. She explains that she was making plans with agent Thomas but Dom doesn’t buy it. She knows something is up. She doesn’t trust Angela almost as much as we don’t trust Elliot. Before she departs, she shares this keen observation about Angela: “Whatever this is… it isn’t you.” As per usual, Dom’s not wrong. She wants to know who the real Angela Moss is and so do I. Maybe we should all shake on it. Elliot would probably love that.

When Dom makes her grand exit, Angela returns to coding and successfully completes her mission. Darlene proudly declares “We just owned the FBI.” Fsociety accomplished their goal and now it’s time to have some fun, which they proceed to do by dropping the castrated balls of the Wall Street Bull statue through the roof of the Capitol Building. Fun! As they grin over a prank well pulled, Dom sucks on a lollipop and discovers that the FBI has in fact been owned. She instructs her coworker to sweep the 23rd floor and to check Angela Moss’s computer (Dom’s not wrong). She then clocks out to find a fourth of July barbecue to be miserable at.

Angela decides to be miserable at an electronics store where her father works. She wants him to agree to drop the inspections contingency in the Washington Township lawsuit so that he can get paid. But he refuses, knowing the potential danger, and questions Angela’s motives. He does not trust E Corp and suddenly he doesn’t trust her either. But, apparently, she doesn’t need her dad. She has enough signatures from other folks involved to make that contingency disappear. Phillip Price is impressed by her gusto and she takes advantage of this praise by requesting to be moved to the Risk Management department so she can make change from the inside. Like Angela’s father, Price is confused by her motives but he nonetheless agrees to it. He then announces that it’s his birthday and asks if Angela would like to celebrate with him. The real Phillip Price is one lonely guy. He doesn’t have anyone in his life to even bake him a cake and based on Angela’s firm “no” response she has zero interest in filling that role.

Angela begins her gig as a manager in Risk Management and starts scheming whatever scheme she’s concocting. During a meeting (that’s lacking food and one Susan Jacobs) she interrupts to suggest she review the files and put together a summary of how previous cases have been handled. She thinks it would help! But, like Dom, her new boss doesn’t buy it. After an awkward silence, he adjourns the meeting and shares his own observations of Angela. He knows who she is. He doesn’t care why she’s there. And he only hired her as a favour to Price who said he could deal with her how he wants. He then makes his grand exit just as the shrimp cocktails arrive.

Read more about Mr. Robot including what we learned from the ’90s sitcom version of Mr. Robot, how to get the new Mr. Robot app, plus previous Mr. Robot episode recaps.

There’s a Mr. Robot Mobile Game!

Can’t get enough Mr. Robot? There’s now an official Mr. Robot app: Mr. Robot: 1.51exfiltratiOn is a brand new virtual-reality experience, available for iOS and Android devices. The game was published by Telltale Games, a company who has been behind several very popular indie games, and was produced by Night School Studio. Taking the appearance of an E-Corp messaging app, it allows you to become a member of fsociety and interact with your favourite hackers.

It begins with you finding a cellphone on the ground in Coney Island, and from there, you’re brought to the realization that this phone definitely belongs to Darlene. (Who else texts like 18 times without a response?!) She tells you that you are now at her beck and call, because she needs whatever’s on this phone. The narrative takes place back in Season 1, so there’s no worry of spoilers for the upcoming episodes.

So far, it’s been a really interesting experience. It’s unlike any game I’ve ever played, and it’s an interesting way of incorporating a virtual reality experience within what is essentially a messenger app. If you’re like me, and want to jump right into fsociety, check the game out on the App Store or the Play Store. Now, I’m going to go respond to Darlene…

Don’t forget that there’s a new episode of Mr. Robot on Wednesday at 10PM, and if you need to catch up on what’s happened so far, check out our recaps.

 

What we learned from the ’90s sitcom version of Mr. Robot

What information did we possibly learn from the ’90s sitcom version of Mr. Robot?

Last week’s episode of Mr. Robot took us on a ’90s-themed road trip through sitcom history. The first time twenty minutes featured Elliot, his daddio/Mr. Robot/Christian Slater/his hallucination/Edward Alderson, his unnamed mother, and Darlene in a blue convertible headed to an unknown destination that Mr. Robot claims “makes everything better.” Although this collection of scenes might seem silly on the surface, what with the ridiculous laugh track and the Full House title font and the campy background sets and the terrible dad jokes and the Alf cameo appearances, there may actually be some revealing information sprinkled throughout about Elliot’s family history, his relationship with Mr. Robot and where the F Tyrell Wellick went.

Of course as any loyal fan of Mr. Robot knows, you can’t trust anything you see or hear, especially when it comes to our Elliot. He is one heck of an unreliable narrator. Just for fun, let’s dissect this ’90s sitcom version of Mr. Robot and speculate about the maybe meaning behind it..

Mr. Robot is hiding information from Elliot
As soon as Elliot arrives in the multi-camera world of 4:3 aspect ratios, he demands that his questions be answered, including what is happening, where they’re going and why there is a man locked in the trunk. But his dad pulls a classic Mr. Robot move and refuses to answer. He promises Elliot it’s for his own good. “Sometimes lies can be useful. Sometimes they protect you. When the truth is painful, son and it often is, a lie is the only remedy. Too much truth. Too much honest? That’ll kill ya.” But, also, Mr. Robot could be withholding answers to forward his own evil agenda and take over Elliot’s psyche permanently. Either way, he sure likes lying.

Mr. Robot cares about Elliot more than we thought  
But, AGAIN, it appears that at least in regards to this throwback Word Up Wednesday adventure, he had good intentions. He knew that Elliot couldn’t handle the beating from Ray’s goons and all of the physical and emotional pain that would come with it, so he took his brain back in time instead. He sacrificed himself and took the punches for Elliot. Their relationship is developing into something kind of beautiful. Maybe Mr. Robot loves more than Elliot thinks.

Elliot’s mom was EXTREMELY abusive
And maybe Elliot’s nameless mother was way more violent than we all thought. We saw her hitting Elliot in flashbacks but the level of abuse was not near what we witnessed in that blue convertible. Also, this was the first time that we saw her directing her rage towards Darlene. Perhaps Elliot’s sister got it as bad as him, or possibly even worse. She puts a cigarette out on Darlene’s arm and punches her unconscious (twice) because her Game Boy was too loud. It’s no wonder that both of the Alderson children ended up with severe mental health issues.

Elliot’s parents didn’t have the best relationship
It’s also no wonder that Elliot’s parents potentially didn’t have the most solid marriage, which his dad hints at in the convenience store. After pappa Alderson tells Elliot he can’t worry about Angela anymore because she’s one of them now, he goes onto say that there are other fish in the sea and if Elliot is anything like his dad… then Christian Slater takes a good, hard look at the woman playing his wife and he says “On second thought, don’t be anything like your old man,” implying that him marrying the chain-smoking, abusive Mrs. Alderson was a big mistake.

The Aldersons maybe break some laws to pay the bills
We do know that the family had serious money troubles (partially due to Elliot’s dad being fired for going to the doctor AND partially due to the expensive cancer treatments), so it would make sense if Elliot’s parents resorted to illegal means in order to make rent. Again, there is no concrete evidence of this (although they do rob the sitcom convenience store), but there have been hints and clues throughout the series and knowing the personalities of nameless mom and Edward Alderson, it’s not out of character.

Mr. Robot potentially knows the whereabouts of and/or killed Tyrell Wellick
You know what else isn’t out of character? Mr. Robot refusing to shed any light on what happened on the night of the Five-Nine hack and where Tyrell Wellick may have disappeared to. He clearly has something to share but he chooses not to. Maybe to protect Elliot again? The man in the trunk had a striking resemblance to Tyrell and we know that they were in a car together and that whatever happened in that car was not good. Was Mr. Robot killing the blindfolded businessmen in this episode with a tire iron terrifying fact or hilarious fiction?

Elliot and Angela are not just friends
Mr. Robot changes the subject of the man in the trunk by asking Elliot about what’s going on with that girl, Angela Moss. Elliot is confused and clarifies that they’re just friends. Mr. Robot then goes on to say “You two are just gonna keep stringing us along. Elliot and Angela. A regular will-they, won’t-they couple.” This is one of the only times that anything romantic has even been insinuated about Elliot’s relationship with his childhood friend. Like, it’s OBVIOUS they’re into each other but nothing has been directly stated. And although Mr. Robot was the one who mentioned the attraction, Mr. Robot is also Elliot. Sounds like someone’s got a crush!

According to the theme song, the world has “gone insane”
Okay. So this is less of a revelation than other budding discoveries, but it was a reminder that society is crumbling in the background. We get so wrapped up sometimes in the world of Elliot and Darlene and Angela and Ray’s dog, that we forget the rest of the planet can’t make enough money to eat. The lyrics also made some good points about how again, you can’t trust anyone because no one is as evil or as good as they say they are.  “It used to be you could trust in the story/Vilify the villains and celebrate the heroes/You could believe in the guts and the glory ways/Those were the better days/Where did those times go?”

The foreshadowing/callbacks/subtext of the commercials in between
There was an advertisement for “E Corp.’s Online,” an ancient dial-up service and then later when Angela is doing some hacking on the 23rd floor of the E Corp offices there is an internet connection failure. There was also a Bud Light ad (remember how much Ollie likes Bud Light?), a trailer for the movie The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie which Darlene and Elliot watched together and influenced the creation of fsociety and a modern-day E Corp commercial where they say they’re “Still on your side.” Yeah. More like “Still on the side of CORRUPTION.”

Darlene is Elliot’s connection to reality
Darlene has often been the grounding force in Elliot’s life, which is kind of ridiculous considering how much of a disaster her own existence sometimes is. She has to explain the difference between his hallucinations and reality to her bro and that’s demonstrated by the glimpse into reality via her Game Boy when we see Elliot being pummeled by Ray’s goons on her screen.

Is Elliot’s story going to end like Alf’s did?
This is a real long shot but the final episode of Alf did involve him being taken prisoner by the authorities. It was a real tragic twist to a funny, upbeat, highly bizarre family sitcom. Like Alf, Elliot is kind of an alien in this world and he feels responsible for Gideon’s death which Alf is responsible for in the episode and they both eat cats. KIDDING. Elliot does love dogs though…

Eliot has a major desire to be surrounded by loved ones
The fact that Elliot’s happy place was a classic, upbeat ’90s family sitcom reinforces what he said a couple of episodes ago about how what he really wants is to have dinner at a super-long table with everyone he adores in his life while buildings collapse around them. And that is worth fighting for. He truly is a lonely, emotional soul who needs a hug and a hearty sandwich. Hopefully one day him and Brooklyn-sounding Angela will be more than “will they/won’t they.”

The world is fake, man
Elliot’s right. Everything is fake. Nothing is real. Evil is everywhere. We should all just do some drugs and talk about Seinfeld with Leon over lunch and journal a bit and take a real long nap.

Read more about Mr. Robot including if the cast were Shakespeare characters, and our Mr. Robot episode recaps.

Mr. Robot recap episode 6: the Aldersons and Alf

Watch Episode 206 of Mr. Robot online now.

The sixth episode of the second season of Mr. Robot was unlike any other episode that came before it. The first half was especially interesting. Also, uncharacteristically hilarious and characteristically confusing. The previous episode ended on three cliffhangers. Dom fighting for her life against masked gunmen in China. Angela joining forces with fsociety. And Elliot being beaten to a bloody pulp by Ray’s goons. Fans were waiting in anticipation to find out how each of these situations concluded and if their beloved characters even survived. But, in typical Mr. Robot fashion, that information was not instantly divulged. Instead, creator Sam Esmail took us all back in time with a twenty-minute long send-up of multi-camera sitcoms from the ’90s.

The episode opens with The Alderson family in 4:3 aspect ratio on road trip. Their comical over-acting is accompanied by a roaring laugh track, cheesy one-liners, two-dimensional sets, Full House font, and a cheerful theme song (which sounds less cheerful after you read the lyrics). The four of them even fit the archetypical nuclear family roles. There’s the upbeat, goofy dad. The cool, rebellious daughter. The chain-smoking, violent mom. The bug-eyed, hacker son who has hallucinations about dead relatives. The blindfolded man in the trunk who looks a lot like Tyrell Wellick. The shots are brightly lit and the costumes are colourfully vibrant but, in typical Mr. Robot fashion, the interactions between the characters are dark, scary and highly unsettling. Such interactions include: Elliot’s mom punching Darlene so hard that she knocks her unconscious. Elliot’s dad coughing up blood and joking that his cancer is acting up. Gideon returning as a police officer and being run over by reckless driver Alf (yes, that Alf). And Mr. and Mrs. Alderson robbing an E Corp convenience store where a Brooklyn-sounding Angela works.

It was jarring to see the Mr. Robot characters in a world so different from their own and it was particularly jarring to see a maybe Tyrell Wellick in the trunk of a car with no explanation as to why. Whenever Elliot inquired about the imprisoned corporate executive, his daddio tells him to keep his eyes forward and on the road. He promises Elliot that ignorance is bliss and reality is painful and says that he should enjoy the happy moments while he can. From minute one Elliot is demanding to know what’s up. There are clues within the screen of Darlene’s Game Boy which depicts Elliot being beaten to a bloody pulp, but nothing concrete. He worries that Mr. Robot has finally achieved total domination of his brain and he is trapped in the ’90s forever.

The actual reason though is that Elliot is in a post-beating coma of sorts and Mr. Robot is being a good dead dad by protecting his son from the pain of reality (aka Ray’s goons beating him to a bloody pulp). But even with that answer, viewers are left wondering what the point of this nostalgic departure is. What did it add to the story? Did we learn anything new? Was it foreshadowing future events? Or did Sam Esmail waste everyone’s time with a silly bunch of standard definition nonsense? Nobody knows for sure, just as nobody knows anything for sure about Mr. Robot. But, we can acknowledge that there was some serious development in the relationship between Elliot and Mr. Robot. A few episodes ago, Elliot accepted that Mr. Robot is a part of him and now he’s on his way to accepting that Mr. Robot can and will majorly help him. His number one hallucination isn’t all that bad. He’s sometimes kinda good and even generous? He took dozens of punches to the face for Elliot. He’s gotta like him at least a bit, no?

Or maybe it’s all a part of his diabolical plan to to erase Elliot for good. Once again, nobody knows. But we do know that Ray is all bad and rather smug about his badness too, which he makes clear when Elliot returns to painful reality and wakes-up in a hospital bed injured to the max. As soon as his eyes open, Ray launches into a monologue about how his dog got real sick and needed the assistance of a respirator in order to breathe. It was the first time, Ray says, that she was aware that she had a “master” and required the aid of someone else to continue living. The speech is an obvious and lame metaphor for how Ray is Elliot’s master and he better obey him OR ELSE. Elliot’s got a couple of masters who think they’re in charge, doesn’t he?

Except Ray and Mr. Robot have switched masterly roles of protector and executioner. Christian Slater, the actor, does some additional switching as he expertly transitions from sitcom dad to empathetic hallucination to loving parent. After Elliot is dumped in an abandoned warehouse by the goons, we arrive on a touching flashback. We get more familiar with the real Edward Alderson as he sits behind the wheel once again comforting a sad, bruised young Elliot. This happens to also be the afternoon when Edward informs Elliot he is sick, got fired for missing work to receive treatment, and bought a computer store that Elliot can name. It’s quite a day and demonstrates why Elliot loved his father so deeply that he keeps him around even after death.

But enough about Elliot, am I right? Let’s get to the rest of the characters! What else happened in episode six? Um, only the most thrilling, suspenseful, exquisitely executed heist ever. I’m talking about Angela hacking her way into the FBI system in hopes of erasing any evidence the feds have on her and Elliot and consequently fsociety. Angela increases her computer skills when she takes a one-day intensive course in hacking taught by a frustrated Mobley who insists that no one can learn to code in a day, despite what Darlene keeps telling him and how many positive affirmations Angela tells herself. The risky yet brilliant plan that Darlene concocts involves Angela heading up to the 23rd floor of the E Corp offices where the FBI are camped out. She will bring with her a router which she must connect to their network. She’s also gotta code a tad in the bathroom. Angela encounters a couple of problems along the way, including a horny FBI agent who calls his mom too much and is intent on asking her out and a random toilet user. But, she impressively bypasses both and successfully completes all of the above.

And we, the audience, get to follow every second of it via an epic tracking shot. However, in typical Mr. Robot fashion, those aren’t the only problems she encounters or the biggest ones. When the wifi goes down, Darlene and Mobley, who have been instructing Angela through an earpiece the entire time, inform her that she has to return to her cubicle and boot it back up or else nothing can be done. When she arrives at her desk, she nervously begins typing the words and numbers that Darlene is rapidly feeding into her ear. But, before she can finish she is interrupted by none other than FBI agent Dom, who did survive the shootout with the masked gunmen, and has a few questions for Ms. Angela Moss. We don’t get to hear what those questions are though, ‘cause the scene concludes on another cliffhanger, with Angela mid-hack and Dom pre-interrogation. Dom is more intent than ever on finding the culprits behind the Five-Nine hack and taking down the Dark Army. She suspects that they were behind the attack in China. They wanted to retire the FBI investigation and they achieved in doing exactly that.

As per usual, Dom is not wrong. The Dark Army is behind a lot of stuff, including the router that Cisco provides fsociety with, after the Dark Army provides him with an injection (a chip?) to keep an eye on him. Seems like Elliot isn’t the only one trying to escape his master’s control.

Read more about Mr. Robot including if the cast were Shakespeare characters, the best Elliot-Darlene brother-sister moments, plus previous Mr. Robot episode recaps.

If the Mr. Robot cast were Shakespeare characters

As numerous fans have noticed there are endless similarities between the dramatic narrative of Mr. Robot and the complex structure of a Shakespearean tragedy. There are constant twists and turns and revelations. There are flawed heroes. There are corrupt rulers. There are star-crossed lovers. There are helpful hallucinations. There are complicated family relationships and mental health struggles and rambling soliloquies. There is breaking of the fourth wall and mistaking of identities and wearing of masks. And of course there is a lot of death. People die left, right, and in the centre of the head. You can guarantee that one major character will get majorly murdered every episode/act.

So, if the ensemble cast of characters from our favourite TV series were featured in one of the Bard’s masterpieces, which masterpiece would it be and what role would they play? Well, here are a few possibilities!

ElliotShake

Elliot is Hamlet from “Hamlet”
Our leading man is a textbook Prince of Denmark. He’s super brilliant and very unstable. He has a problem taking action, as evidenced by his lack of doing anything for much of season two. He’s loyal and ethical and so damn emotional. He has a great sense of justice and really wants to take down the bad guys, even if it drives him into insanity. He’s constantly questioning his thoughts and actions and the purpose of life. He doesn’t like his mom and he sees the ghost of his dead dad who provides him with important information and encourages him to get violent. He has long chats with the audience. He loved a woman who died and whom he regularly treated poorly. He feels pressure from others to fulfil his destiny. He is vulnerable to manipulation. Geez. Just switch out a keyboard for a big sword and we got ourselves a Hamlet.

Joanna

Tyrell Wellick is Macbeth and Joanna Wellick is Lady Macbeth from “Macbeth”
Just as Macbeth and his Lady were a perfectly wicked match, the Wellicks are kindred villains too. They are on a similar path of murder and revenge and bathing in the blood of their enemies. Like Macbeth, Tyrell was passed over for promotion and it made him real mad. He’s got lots of ambition and a seriously inflated ego. His desire to be the best results in him doing real mean stuff, like strangling the wife of Scott Knowles. He gets progressively more violent and even surprises his wife with how far he takes his wrongdoing. But, Joanna is no saint herself. Like Lady Macbeth she is equally as malicious as her husband (actually more so) but she expresses her cruelty in a different way. She is the smart, rational puppeteer who advises, instructs, and consoles her reckless husband. She isn’t afraid to mock him in order to get results.

Darlenee

Darlene is King Henry V from like so many plays
Yes. Darlene is a woman and King Henry V is a dude but the gender of the characters is irrelevant! It’s who they are on the inside that counts and on the inside they got a lot in common. Darlene has had some major character development in Mr. Robot, just like King Henry. In the Henry IV plays he was a rebellious Prince who shirked responsibility to get intoxicated with his pals. He didn’t have any interest in being heir to the throne. But in Henry V he transformed into an intelligent, ambitious, charismatic, fearless leader, similar to Darlene. And like Darlene, King Henry V inspired his followers with brilliantly crafted speeches. He was also persistent and did not give up on any goal that he set. Also, his tactics were sometimes questionable and he didn’t necessarily go about accomplishing his goals in the nicest manner (Hello Darlene!). Read why we love Darlene as the leader of fsociety.

Angela

Angela is a mix of every King Lear daughter
So, Angela has gone on quite a journey. She was kindhearted, generous, honest, and ethical in the first season (like Lear’s daughter Cordelia) but then she started conspiring with the enemy in the second season and got cold, greedy, vindictive and ruthless (like Lear’s other two daughters Goneril and Regan). Now the real question is: WHICH LEAR DAUGHTER IS ANGELA REALLY? Will she remain loyal to her loved ones even if that means sacrificing herself (Cordelia) or will she betray them to gain power and fortune (Goneril and Regan)? Lately she’s been working with the good guys again but how long will that last? Will she continue working for E Corp and seducing treacherous men? Read more about Angela’s Season 2 transformation.

Bossmean

Phillip Price is Richard III
Speaking of treacherous men, allow me to present two of them to you: E Corp CEO Philip Price and Machiavellian King of England Richard III. What’s interesting about both of these characters is that your simultaneously disgusted and fascinated by them. Neither of them SEEMS 100% evil. There are even moments when they’re a bit charming, but that doesn’t erase the hundreds of other moments where they’re callous, destructive and tyrannical. They are definitely up to no good but they are so skilled at the art of manipulation that they are able to gain the trust of smart characters (Angela/Lady Anne) who previously thought they were monsters. Those are the villains to be truly afraid of.

Dome

Agent Dom is Rosalind from “As You Like It”
Dom and Rosalind have pretty parallel personalities but their missions in life are contrasting. Rosalind is intent on winning Orlando’s heart and Dom is intent on arresting the members of fsociety. Shakespeare was writing his female characters differently back then. But, hey, even without a full-time job Rosalind was still smart, witty, and strong willed just like FBI agent Dom. They both have unwavering integrity and commendable patience. Like Rosalind, Dom is resourceful, kind and a great conversationalist. She remains calm in stressful situations. Both of them wear disguises too. Rosalind dressed as a man to protect herself and Dom puts on a uniform and a badge to protect herself.

Honourable mentions

Ray is Iago from “Othello”
Everyone thought of Elliot’s new friend Ray as honest and kind and friendly and then bam! Turns out he’s deceitful, scary, heartless, vicious and likes ordering his big goons to beat people up. Oh, Ray.

White Rose is The Queen in “Cymbeline”
The Queen seemed trustworthy. Like she was on the side of good, until everyone discovered that she was actually their enemy. Remember when White Rose was on Elliot’s side?

Gideon was King Lear
Elliot’s former boss was betrayed by so many people, including those he loved most… his Allsafe employees. And then he died. How tragic.

Leon is the Fool in really any Shakespeare play
The Fool is often there to provide comic relief, which Elliot’s basketball partner Leon always does with his endless Seinfeld references. But in typical Fool fashion, he’s also surprisingly wise and philosophical at times and gives Elliot some solid advice when he’s in a crisis. Leon and Fools have layers.

Krista is the Nurse or the Friar in “Romeo and Juliet”
Elliot’s therapist is the confidante and advisor to the hero and exists to provide guidance and solutions for their personal dilemmas. Like Friar Laurence, she gets more involved than she planned to.

Scott Knowles is Banquo in “Macbeth”
Tyrell Wellick and acting CTO Knowles were briefly friends, before they realized they were competitors vying for the same spot. Instead of murdering Banquo like Macbeth did, Tyrell killed Scott’s wife instead.

Mobley is Falstaff in “Merry Wives of Windsor”
This fsociety member is definitely more reliable than Falstaff and way less crude and lecherous, but he’s got the fun-loving, super laid-back, living on stolen money, cowardly attitude down for sure.

Romero is Caliban in “The Tempest”
He doesn’t like working for the magical man in charge (Prospero/Elliot) and rebels against his commands. He will not bow down to this new hacker/wizard when he’s been around longer.

Shayla was Desdemona in “Othello”
She had so much love to give and was head over heels for her soulmate Othello (Elliot) but unfortunately the rivalry between two jealous men resulted in her being tragically killed.

Ollie is Malvolio in “Twelfth Night”
Angela’s ex is a classic Malvolio. He fails at getting the girl, he is an easy target for trickery and scheming, and and his constant stupidity is the punchline of so many excellent jokes.

Fernando Vera is Aaron the Moor in “Titus Andronicus”
‘Cause like Aaron the Moor, this ruthless drug dealer lacks any ounce of humanity and just wants to see people suffer.

Watch the latest episodes of Mr. Robot online now.