Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for USA’s Mr. Robot. Proceed with caution.
Just when we thought things were a little too sane for our liking on Mr. Robot, tonight’s episode threw us for a loop. With Elliot losing it again, Angela all in with fsociety, and the rest of the world (including Dom) dealing with the Beijing terror attack, there’s a ton to discuss. So let’s waste no time and dive right in.
— Mr. Robot (@whoismrrobot) August 11, 2016
Remember when we thought Elliot had it all together last week (or was at least accepting and harnessing his illness)? Yeah, those days are over, which honestly doesn’t come as a surprise because the show is at its best when Elliot’s life is spiraling out of control (sorry, Elliot). Up to this point, we’ve seen Elliot fight his alter ego Mr. Robot in the middle of Times Square, argue with himself in public, and most recently, have cement funnelled into his mouth; it’s truly been an exciting ride. You’d think all of that would be hard to top, right? Well it was—and we’re excited because it resulted in one of the best opening scenes to date.
When the episode kicks off, we see Elliot, Darlene, their mother, and their father (a.k.a. Mr. Robot) all piled into the family car for the annual Alderson family road trip. Everybody is garbed in their 90s best, there’s a laugh track, Alf makes an appearance, and everything is awesome in that 90s family comedy way …that is until Elliot starts to wonder what’s going on, and why there’s a person trapped in the trunk. Spoiler: that person was the missing Tyrell Wellick, and we’re still wondering what it means for the character’s fate. Is he still alive, or did Elliot kill him with the gun that was hidden in the popcorn machine? Unfortunately we still don’t know the answer to that question.
During the lengthy sequence, there were several other things that were touched on. First, Elliot’s family teased him about having feelings for Angela, which was later complicated when they tried to rob the liquor store she’s working at. Despite his attempt to stop his parents, they attacked her and took her out. Also, Gideon made a brief appearance as a police officer, but was then run over by a car. His fate was a bit more clear cut than that of Tyrell. Gideon is definitely dead, and Elliot is definitely upset about it.
As Elliot’s confusion rose, his patience with Mr. Robot dwindled, and resulted in yet another confrontation between the two. But this time the debacle ended in understanding: sometimes lies can protect you, and too much honesty will kill you. The alternate reality is there to help him, and act as a buffer for the blows being dealt in Elliot’s direction. Following his abduction at the end of last week’s episode, Elliot has endured violent abuse at the hands of Ray’s men. When he finally emerged from his dream, he found himself bruised, bleeding, and barely able to breathe.
Despite being scared out of his mind, Elliot has reached a point in his illness where he has finally realized he’s been dissociating as a form of protection. This is something Mr. Robot has been trying to drive home ever since Elliot realized he wasn’t real. After being threatened/dragged to a room, Mr. Robot appears and tells Elliot that he’s just been trying to take the punches for him. The two embrace, which though sweet, probably means Elliot is going to go off the rails next week.
While Elliot was busy dealing with himself, the girls were handling the real world. Unfortunately we didn’t see much of Dom this week, and when we caught up with her, she was in a meeting with her boss who broke the news that she is required to take a month off to deal with the trauma from the terror attack. Considering the attacker’s actions, she is certain the Dark Army was involved, and tells him that they shouldn’t wait to get to the bottom of it. Sadly her attempt was for naught and she was sent on her way.
The terror attack also threw a wrench in fsociety’s plan to hack the FBI. After joining fsociety last week, Angela has been busy learning the basics of hacking to be able to carry out the plan (which involves stopping by a floor crawling with feds at E Corp without getting caught). With Mobley as her mentor, she learns what she needs to know in a day. With the Beijing event all over the news, the FBI is on high alert, and time is running out.
As Darlene pointed out, the hack needs to happen and it needs to happen soon. As expected, Angela hit a few speed bumps while she was doing her part. Her first dilemma came via an FBI agent who is either legitimately thirsty to go on a date with her, or totally on to her. My guess is it’s the latter because while Angela was busy dealing with issue #2 (getting the Wi-Fi back up), Dom showed up at her desk to ask her a question. My gut instinct says the jig is up for Angela.
In the final few moments of the episode, we were treated with a touching scene between young Elliot and his father. While the pair were in the car, Edward confided in his son regarding his illness. He also explained how he was fired from his job for missing days when he went to the doctor. His plan for the days he has left is to open a computer shop, which he is going to let Elliot name. The episode ended before baby Elliot gave his response—which was obviously “Mr. Robot”.
This show seriously keeps getting better. We can’t wait to see what happens next week! Leave your theories in the comments below, join the conversation of Facebook, or reach out to me on Twitter: @Samantha_Sofka!