I’ve long since settled into a steady rhythm with Mr. Robot, my wonderfully strange and cerebral show about a world I will never fully understand, computer hacking. I’ve gotten used to the way how scenes played out in a trippy manner and are shot at usual camera angles. I’ve grown accustomed to Elliot’s Alderson’s bug-eyed face of wonderment over pretty much everything (though that’s mostly because Rami Malek is a god damn national treasure.) I’ve come to except information coming to light in a trickle and an unreliable whisper with episodes that have the running time (and language) of a premium cable provider like HBO. So, what is my point?
The bottom line is, I was wholly unprepared for the unqualified ass-whopping that Mr. Robot delivered in the episode titled “wh1ter0se.” Information and reveals didn’t come in that slow and steady trickle that I am used to, but in an absolute flood. Mr. Robot delivered revelation after revelation and its eighth episode completely changed the series forever and gave life-altering context to everything that followed before it.
Angela and Darlene
Mr. Robot begins with a relatively mundane scene, nothing that hasn’t been seen before. Darlene is at some rich hook-up’s apartment, smoking and talking about economical inequality. Once her boy-toy leaves, Darlene snoops around and finds a safe and steals a gun out of it. This is ominous, but not out of the ordinary, but then an absolutely stunning thing happens. Darlene goes to a ballet class! (No wait, that’s not the surprising part.) There, Darlene meets Angela. This isn’t just a casual serendipitous acquaintance either, Angela knows Darlene quite well and knows that Darlene has been talking to Elliot. The two discuss his bad month/life.
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Darlene goes onto the subway and runs into two members of The Dark Army who not-so-subtly “suggest” to her that they are following her. Freaked out, Darlene goes to talk to Elliot at FSociety HQ and gives him the gun. She tells him that his upcoming meeting with The Dark Army, White Rose, might not be as safe as he assumed. When Elliot turns down the gun, Darlene hides this obvious Chekov’s piece in the popcorn machine.
Tyrell’s Unraveling and Allsafe’s Hacking
With every new recap of Mr. Robot, I struggle to find new ways to exactly describe how unsettling Tyrell Wellick is and how he is clearly a gigantic reptile in a human skin-suit. So it’s probably best to assume from this point onward that if Tyrell is mentioned doing something he probably looks creepy. He is at an all time erratic high now though, having just killed Scott’s wife, Sharon. He barges into Evil Corp’s building and yells at anyone who looks or accidentally spills coffee on him.
The only thing that pulls him out of his tailspin is Gideon arriving and telling him that Angela has admitted to breaking the chain of command and that Evil Corp has been hacked. Tyrell asks for Allsafe’s files about the hack and finds mention of FSociety. He rushes out of his office, ignoring requests from the police who have just found Sharon’s body on the roof.
Allsafe itself is in some kind of crisis mode because the hack that Angela started with Cisco’s corrupted CD is in full effect. Elliot goes to work on trying to stop it but he remarks that the hack isn’t actually damaging. It’s just a distraction for something. Ollie comes over to Elliot’s desk and tells Elliot that he needs to take some hard drives to a location. Ollie is set off by Ollie’s odd behavior and logs into the latter’s email. While inside, Elliot discovers that it was Angela was caused the hack.
WHO ARE YOU ANGELA?!
Elliot goes to meet with Angela in the city. She tells him that she hacked Allsafe because she was being blackmailed. They then have the standard angry “You’ve been lying to me,” scene that happens in every TV show with that has hero with a secret life. Angela is upset that Elliot is hiding something, but he won’t come clean because it’s been too long, yadda, yadda, yadda. Or it would be yadda, yadda if we didn’t now know that Angela is about fifty times more deceptive, (not to mention more interesting), than she pretends. (Or is she being genuine? Who knows after this bonkers episode?)
Gideon is Aware of FSociety
From his meeting with Angela, Elliot goes to the place that Ollie told him to take the hard drive to. Elliot realizes that this is his meeting with the Dark Army and White Rose. A strange, cigarette-smoking, transgender woman, who must be White Rose, appears and tells Elliot that he has a little over two days to gain back the Dark Army’s trust. She tells Elliot that Gideon has found the flaw in the Evil Corp hack and it has exposed FSociety. Gideon has set up a trap that will ensare FSociety if they try to hack Evil Corp again. If Elliot can remove the trap called a “honeypot” within the time limit, the Dark Army will renew its alliance with FSociety.
Elliot figures the best way to take care of the problem is to get a hold of Gideon’s phone. He calls Darlene and gets her to broadcast a FSociety propaganda video to Allsafe’s monitors. With everyone distracted Elliot grabs Gideon’s phone. Gideon notices Elliot’s odd behavior and suspects that something is seriously wrong with him. Gideon’s threats are interrupted by a call from Evil Corp. Ultimately though it doesn’t matter because Elliot has already gotten into his phone and destroyed the “honeypot.”
Tyrell’s Wife Has Got Crazy Control Issues
The punches keep on coming though, Tyrell is in a car threatening and demanding answers from someone off-screen. As the camera pulls out it is revealed that he is talking to none other than Mr. Robot. Tyrell wants more information about Mr. Robot’s plans because he promised to keep Tyrell in the loop. Instead Mr. Robot laughs in Tyrell’s face. Mr. Robot is not even phased when Tyrell says he knows his dirty little secret that would cause him to lose all his friends and supporters.
Tyrell comes home to his wife who is eating pickles because she can only have snacks that are phallic-shaped. Evidently Tyrell murdering Sharon was not apart of his wife’s grand master Lady MacBeth plans to make Tyrell Evil Corp’s next CTO. She is shocked when the police arrive at their door wanting to question both of them about Sharon’s death. She thinks quick and goes to the kitchen. She pierces herself with a sharp object to break her water and induce labor. She promises Tyrell that she won’t let anyone take him away from her or their child.
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Darlene Drops The Bomb in 3…. 2… 1…
In an episode that basically could cause a nuclear holocaust with the amount of bombs it is has dropped, there is still more stunners to come. Elliot goes to celebrate his victory with Darlene at the pier. Darlene tells Elliot that he is the best person she knows and that she loves him more than anyone. When Elliot kisses her though, Darlene freaks out and begins to cry. She asks Elliot if he forgot who she is again and pleads with him to tell her who she is to him. Elliot is confused and then it dawns him just before Darlene says it. Darlene is Elliot’s sister.
Elliot runs away understandably distraught that he has just realized he forget his own sister. Their lives comes rushing back to him and he goes to his apartment to hack himself to find more answers. Yet his search comes up dry. He’s a “ghost”. He can’t find any information about Elliot Alderson.
Elliot finds an empty disk in his CD case where he keeps the records of his hacking victims. Thinking this disc contains his own information he pops into the computer but it’s filled with pictures of Mr. Robot. Elliot flicks through the hundreds of photos and begins to see a young boy in them, a young boy that looks suspiciously like Elliot.
That’s right everybody. The beloved father that Elliot has been telling us is dead all this time is none other than Mr. Robot. There is a knock on Elliot’s door and daddy’s home. Mr. Robot tells Elliot they need to talk.
There’s really no absence of questions to ask after this episode of Mr. Robot. Is Elliot a literal ghost? Is his name even Elliot Alderson? Is Angela really clueless at FSociety? Does anything make sense anymore? But there is one question that lingers in my mind most heavily…
Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 10pm on USA
(Image courtesy of USA)