LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Mr. Robot’ Throws All Decorum Out The Window
We start right before last week’s episode ended, with Joanna Wellick waiting to confront Elliot. To him, everything about Joanna is off. He thinks she can hear his conversations with us, and Mr. Robot feels like she can see him. This week poured fuel on a smoldering fan theory that Tyrell is yet another one of Elliot’s personas — Joanna continues to address Elliot as “Ollie,” using the wrong name but with an air that she’s in on the joke. Does that mean she’s also playing along with Tyrell-as-Elliot, too? Even the name of this episode, “Hidden Process,” points towards the idea of another persona hiding in Elliot’s head. This show has made some outlandish plot turns work in that past, but this one strains credulity. If they really are going this route, it may cause more trouble than it’s worth, and invite the audience to question the reality of every person, place or thing in the show.
When Elliot finally uncovers the location of Tyrell’s phone at a home on the Upper East Side, Sutherland recognizes it immediately. The obvious inference is that it’s Wellick’s own address, but Sutherland’s reactions — photographing the map, the line “trust me, he wouldn’t be calling from that house” — seem to indicate another explanation, one the show chooses to withhold for now.
Mr. Robot wants nothing to do with the hunt for Tyrell. And when Elliot gets a call on Joana’s phone from what seems to be Tyrell, it prompts Mr. Robot to vanish. Is this another hint that maybe they have a deeper connection, or that only one of them can be present at any given time?
Before disappearing, Mr. Robot urges Elliot to go home. But why? Elliot even wants our help, asking if we can see anything that Mr. Robot might secretly want. (You can’t, at least not on this screener. If you’re watching on a big tv, do you notice anything?)
For a moment the show lets us think that, in the wake of killing Susan Jacobs, Darlene is cold enough to let one of her own people from the D.C. “teabaggers” diem rather than put herself at risk of getting caught. But she discovers that it’s a line she’s not willing to cross.
Darlene reveals even more layers to her damaged childhood, with her own story about getting abducted from a family trip to Coney Island — especially the idea that even at age five, she wished she could stay with her kidnapper rather than go home. We’ve already seen that Edward Alderson wasn’t a great father, but how terrible must that home have been to create two people like Darlene and Elliot? It also highlights the moment a few weeks ago, when Darlene made a joke about this not being the “Stranger Danger episode.”
READ MORE: ‘Mr. Robot’ Launches Text-Based Hacking Game to Accompany Season 1
Angela is ready to turn herself in to the authorities and confess to placing the femtocell in the FBI offices. Like Darlene, she seems to have reached a point past which she can no longer pretend to be heartless. Her time undercover at E-Corp has taken a heavy toll, especially in the wake of her failed attempt at whistleblowing. She pleads with Elliot to realize that he can’t accept help from Mr. Robot; sorry, Angela, much of this season has already been spent getting Elliot to work with him, so we’re not about to abandon that so quickly. On the bright side, a mutual breakdown in the midst of a world-shaking financial collapse becomes a great time for them to finally share a kiss. But after Elliot leaves, who are the two people who confront Angela? FBI? NRC? At least they didn’t knock on the door of the subway car.
Phillip Price may not have the tics and alternate personas that Elliot does, but that doesn’t make him any less insane. Price makes his megalomania seem matter-of-fact. As he calmly asks Colby to assist in letting China annex the Congo, he sounds bored, almost reasonable — making him a perfect illustration of the William Gibson quote that “the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.”
Dom continues to play John McClane, as the only investigator who can ignore the extraneous and the political to get the job done in the face of the FBI’s “new direction.” He persistence allows her to track Darlene and Cisco…just in time to repel a hit team from the Dark Army. The show probably won’t let Darlene be killed off, but Cisco has no such plot armor.
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