As we travel further and further down the rabbit hole that is USA’s Mr. Robot, the line between what’s real and what isn’t has become increasingly blurry, which isn’t altogether a bad thing. We knew Elliot’s decision to out Shayla’s supplier Fernando Vera to the police was going to become a problem for the struggling addict, but the fallout from that decision hit the troubled hacker like a ton of confusing bricks during this week’s episode titled “da3m0ns”. While simultaneously dealing with severe withdrawals and implementing his master plan, Elliot navigates the hallucination-filled episode with determination, and amidst the chaos, reaches more clarity than we’ve seen thus far.
After the revelation last week that Evil Corp’s CTO Colby knew he was exposing employees (including Elliot’s father) to the toxic waste that eventually killed them, Elliot — who’s been teetering back and forth between whether or not he’s all-in with FSociety — headed straight to the underground group of hackers with a sweet plan to take down the corporation. His plan is to install a rasberry pi, which they explain is a single-board computer, and not a tasty dessert, behind Steel Mountain’s thermostat so the group is able to hack into the climate control system and render files unreadable. After laying down his plan to a room of confused hackers, Elliot rushes out and heads home to feed his habit.
With several lines of narcotics in front of him, Elliot reflects, “I know I broke my own rule.”
“It needs me just as much as I need it. The moment was destined, every choice bringing me closer to this one line, this last line. I promise.”
With that he drops the drug and his paranoia (courtesy of the withdrawal) kicks into high gear. He’s seeing more black-suited men out in public and is afraid to answer the door after somebody starts pounding on it. Thankfully, that somebody is just Darlene who tells him he needs to talk to come with her because there is an issue with the plan.
The thing of it is, Romero reveals to Elliot that E. Corp has plans to back up its Steel Mountain files in five other cities, all within the next few days. Because he has inside information from Tyrell Wellick — who’s mysteriously (for the most part) absent from the episode — he informs the crew that they still have a few days to accomplish what they need to get done. Because of the urgency of the situation, Elliot, Mr. Robot, Romero and Mobley head to New York’s Adirondacks where Steel Mountain is located via a stolen minivan while Darlene stays behind with Trenton. Though Romero is uneasy about trusting Elliot, Mobley shrugs and reminds him that he’s gotten them this far.
While the group is en route, Elliot is in the midst of withdrawal symptoms and rambling internally about the episode’s theme: “daemons”. In short, daemons are programs that run in the background and are “always there”, and “always active” while we’re “busy doing other shit.”
“They perform action without user interaction, monitoring logging notifications, primal urges, repressed memories, unconscious habits.”
During the monologue, the camera pans to Mr. Robot sitting in the background, clearly suggesting that Slater’s character serves as Elliot’s daemon. Psychologically distraught for so long, I’m guessing Elliot dissociates as Mr. Robot to deal with his anxiety, repressed memories, and the issues that have been plaguing him all these years. In fact, during last week’s episode, we found his “bug,” which was described as what drives and motivates him to basically do what he does. His reason for either agreeing to join Mr. Robot and his group or making up the whole situation in his head centers on his deep seated hatred for E. Corp. He’s also struggling with addiction, and spiraling out of control.
After vomiting all over the car, the group checks into a motel and Elliot thrashes back and forth in bed as he tries to sweat the drugs out of his system. The majority of the rest of the episode is spent in Elliot’s twisted mind where he’s escorted to a drug den by Mr. Robot, injects himself with heroin, is shot, finds a key in his “Pop’s favorite raspberry pie” and uses it to propose to Angela after she starts eating his “only friend.” It’s an interesting trip I attributed to his foray into heroin use, that is until he woke up in the hotel room and was thinking to himself, “Maybe this was all intentional. My subconscious running in the background, making me doubt what I got everyone else to believe.”
At this point, all signs point to Mr. Robot being a figment of Elliot’s imagination. But, I’m hoping against all hope that there’s a twist later on in which it’s revealed that he’s real. I’m guessing he isn’t, but I suppose we’ll just have to wait to hear more on that front. There are also theories that the exact opposite is true: Elliot is a figment of Mr. Robot’s imagination. I’m not sure how that’s been figured, but it would make for an interesting plot twist.
As for Angela, we learned more about her, and I can’t help but wonder whether she has a darker hand in what’s going on, considering the fact that she too lost a parent at the hands of the mega corporation. When you think back to last episode when she made it clear she was willing to go to any lengths to get her personal information back from the hacker, (even if it means infecting Allsafe’s network) it raised a red flag for me that suggests she might have more to hide than she lets on. This, in conjunction with her sneaky trip to Allsafe during this week’s episode to insert the CD and launch an attack on the company’s network, is carving Angela out to be an interesting character.
What did you think in this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below.