Mr Robot 4

What future does Elliot dream about?

We did get hints of this last season, but here it’s more fleshed out. Leon, having now watched all of Seinfeld and accrued its incredible wisdom, challenges Elliot to envision the future he wants, to dream about the future he’s fighting for. Elliot has that dream, set to a beautiful, lilting, instrumental rendition of Green Day’s “Basket Case.” He sees himself on a date with Angela. He sees himself at a barbecue with friends from work. He sees himself there for Darlene’s engagement. He even sees himself apologizing to the worker from the server backup site who he tore to shreds. And he sees himself spending time with the Wellick family. He sees all this, and he sees them all together, dining beautifully in the middle of a New York street, watching the E Corp tower collapse in front of them. This is the future he wants, and the future he wants to fight for. It’s almost too perfect. Unachievable. Especially when it includes destroying E Corp. It’s hard to see how he can do that and get away with being happy, but he’s apparently going to try anyway.

Mr Robot Phillip Price

Does Phillip Price have the upper hand?

Or is it all a confidence game? Angela confronts Price in the E Corp parking lot. She’s discovered the connection between all the agreements, the one thing E Corp has consistently been unwilling to give up. They want a third party to be in charge of inspections at the Washington Township plant. Why? Who knows. I suppose we’ll find out. But either way, Angela thinks she’s found the key to everything, and she plays her hand. Only she may be playing it too early, because Price brushes her off. He doesn’t actually seem threatened, but that may be for show. It’s reasonable to think Angela is on the verge of something. Even if Price still has control over her, how long can he keep that going? Angela is proving incredibly tenacious. She’s going to take this as far as she can go. Imagine what happens if she somehow teams up with Elliot. They could be unstoppable.

Mr Robot 6

Is it all a chess match?

Ray tells Elliot he needs to play “himself” at chess. It’s a great way toward self-improvement, Leon says later. And so, in a battle to rid himself of Mr. Robot for good, Elliot plays him at chess. Three stalemates later, Elliot realizes it may be impossible. How can he defeat himself when he knows all his own moves? Full control will have to wait. Darlene calls and needs him to get to a secure online channel. Elliot, in order to do this, agrees to do work for Ray. Migrating a server is a simple task, but Ray is up to something more. He’s also quite menacing. But Elliot jumps in nonetheless, even against Mr. Robot’s protests. He opens the channel and sees Darlene’s messages. The FBI is onto them. They have an illegal surveillance program called Operation Berenstain. Elliot finally sees some clarity. The way forward. What is he doing, Mr. Robot asks. “I’m hacking the FBI.”

Mr Robot 1

Stray Thoughts

  • The score in this show continues to impress, as does the music selection. A Chromatics cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” is a particularly impressive selection.
  • Elliot’s dream of the future was very cool, but also surprisingly emotional. It’s no secret that what he’s wanted all along is an escape from loneliness. Seeing what that might look like is even more touching than expected.
  • This episode needed more Grace Gummer. The show needs more Grace Gummer. Let’s hope she becomes an even more major character as the season progresses.

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