Mr. Robot: Eps3.7dont-delete-me.ko
November 30, 2017 7:11 AM - Season 3, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Elliot tries to get ghosted; it is the day of all days. [Official synopsis]

‘Mr. Robot’ Season 3, Episode 8: We’ll Be O.K. (Jeremy Egner for New York Times)
This week’s exploration of the aftermath, both for Elliot and for Trenton and Mobley’s families, brought the show’s most explicit depiction of the Muslim experience in America. The episode, written by Mr. Esmail, was uncommonly tender and also a little odd (more on that later) as Elliot turned a corner — and perhaps began to synthesize his two halves — with the help of Trenton’s little brother, Mohammed.
Mr. Robot slows down to spend some time with an introspective Elliot…and an annoying interloper (Alec Bojalad for Den of Geek)
“Don’t Delete Me” is the kind of episode Mr. Robot probably needed to have after its three-week long Stage 2 action movie bonanza.

If we’re to buy these characters as human beings, they need to behave like human beings. That is to say, after Elliot’s misguided, youthful revolution indirectly gets thousands of innocent people killed, he’s gonna have to take at least one episode’s worth of introspection and feels.

It’s a tall task for any episode of television. Delving into the complex psyche of an emotionally stunted, heroin-abusing computer hacker isn’t the easiest task in the world. Particularly for a show as dependent on its visual style as Mr. Robot. Still, Sam Esmail and Rami Malek are able to put together a believable, emotionally astute, if overly obligatory episode.

Except for that fucking kid.
Watch this week’s Mr. Robot Digital After Show with composer Mac Quayle
The Mr. Robot Digital After Show is returning after a brief holiday hiatus! Tune in at 11PM ET to watch Nilay Patel, Russell Brandom, and me, Megan Farokhmanesh, talk everything hackers and Rami Malek. Tonight, we’ll have two special guests: composer Mac Quayle and The Verge’s culture editor Laura Hudson.
posted by filthy light thief (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I just have to say, I LOVED THIS EPISODE, particularly because of young Mohammed. Yeah, I'm a dad and I love the blend of seriousness, childishness, and annoyance that comes with precocious kids, and I feel that little Elisha Henig was great in that role. Oh, then Bo, the ice cream man who highlighted the positive ending to War of the Worlds.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:20 AM on November 30, 2017 [5 favorites]

I absolutely loved it too, just what I needed to see.

I longed to see Angela in this episode and worried that we wouldn't hear anything; it paid off expertly and that scene was beautifully lit and composed. The dialogue over the background music was also *really* reminiscent of the 80s pop synth that you'd often get on movie soundtracks where one person is telling a story over the rhythmn of the song. Reminded me of Sunset by The Midnight or similar.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:35 AM on November 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Tunefinders helped and identified the song as In Time, performed by Robbie Robb, from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Vintage 80s, and just like the rest of the reused songs, so very fitting. Also, Mac Quayle's soundtrack was fantastic as usual.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:37 AM on November 30, 2017

Did anyone else feel like Mohammed wasn't actually there, and the whole episode was Elliot talking to himself? I don't recall anyone else interacting with him between Coney Island and the final return home. Ditto for Bo the dog-sitting neighbor who just happens to turn up in his War of the Worlds Ice Cream van just when Elliot needed him.

In both cases, brief interactions with people in the real world who later turned up in Elliot's visual inner monologue.
posted by neilbert at 8:55 AM on November 30, 2017 [4 favorites]

I thought that as well until the guy at the counter in the movie theatre told Elliot he saw Mohammed leave.
posted by fimbulvetr at 9:08 AM on November 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

Good point, fimbulvetr.

FWIW, The Verge emailed Sam Esmail about Mohammed and his response was "what matters is if the experience is real to Elliot," which everyone agreed sounded like Sam's way of saying "no, the kid wasn't there, but Elliot does a lot of coping through imagined experiences and how he reacts and responds is what matters."

In the words of Russell Brandom, he's a literary device. (But that doesn't stop me from loving the dream version of him, or fellow convenient apparition, Bo.)

With that, we're rebooted to Season 1 "hacking can save the world," so it's nice to pair the accidental real-world parallels of Trump retweeting Islamophobic rubbish and this episode and the prior one. Except now Elliot is a hacker army of one, maybe two if he works with Darlene? (Or he'll work with Darlene to get access to what the FBI has? I'm excited and hopeful all over again!)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:11 AM on November 30, 2017

I didn't think the kid was there either, whatever the employee said. The ice cream truck guy is the neighbor? I thought they were two different people.

I really loved the ending of this episode (the rest of it didn't do much for me, but that was fine.)

Also yay Flipper forever! Good boy.
posted by minsies at 6:40 PM on November 30, 2017

I did not love the little kid, nor how he made Elliot's heart grow three sizes larger or whatever; as far as I'm concerned you can keep that TV movie stuff in the sitcom parody alternate universe Elliot goes to when he's being beaten within inches of his life. I also didn't really buy that Elliot really wanted to kill himself - not that I think the character is incapable of that, but I didn't really feel like the show set it up so that I felt it was a real possibility. I did think Rami Malek did an outstanding acting job, as usual.
posted by whir at 8:44 PM on November 30, 2017

not that I think the character is incapable of that, but I didn't really feel like the show set it up so that I felt it was a real possibility

Well, you kill the character, you kill the show, unless you're doing some seriously heavy Psycho-type main character shift at this point. The show is planned for a 5-season run (it looks like it will get it, fingers still crossed), so...

I thought the character earned his deep sorrow and depression and, reluctant to admit, his drug use, and didn't believe his suicide attempt was serious (from a writer's point of view) but felt the character had earned wanting to do that. And when I realized the show was going to be a quiet, personal episode, I relaxed into that and really enjoyed it.

And Malek. OH MY GOD! His performance in this.... And the writing and the direction and the camera work and etc and this show is seriously the best thing I'm watching on TV right now.
posted by hippybear at 9:02 PM on November 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Apologies to anyone for whom I spoiled Psycho.
posted by hippybear at 9:30 PM on November 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

I liked this episode quite a bit. I've been feeling for awhile the show had strayed from Elliot's story. For me the original hook of the show was the emotional connection built with him, thanks mostly to Malek's phenomenal acting. It was nice to have an episode to get back to that. And I normally don't care for child actors but Elisha Henig was great.

It's interesting to me that the show made a point of re-locating the time specifically to 2015. That makes one of the easter eggs a bit more poignant. When Elliot first opens his Protonmail he has a mail from "Hillary RC" titled "Encrypted email solutions?". Lol.

Here's a screengrab of Trenton's beyond-the-grave email which is setting up the next plot arc. Apparently we're going to be hacking the FBI next.
posted by Nelson at 9:08 AM on December 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

I hope this means more Dom, because I'm missing Dom.
posted by antinomia at 12:30 PM on December 1, 2017

For image adverse and to lodge this in MetaFilter to possibly support future searches, here's the text of the message:
I may have found a way to undo the hack. I've been investigating Romero. He installed the hardware keyloggers on all the machines at the arcade some time before five/nine. The NYPD imaged all of his data after he was murdered. I was able to get this chain of custody document from the NYPD when they prepared to transfer the evidence to the FBI. They couldn't get into the encrypted keylogger containers. If Romero somehow got a hold of the keys, or even the seed data and source code for the encryption tools, the answer might be in those keylogger captures, but the FBI probably has those files now.
And some more Eastery-eggs: The Verge's Hack Report identified the CDs Elliot made this episode: Shama / Trenton gets Bruce Springsteen’s Magic, while Sunil / Mobley gets a CD of DJ Mobley himself. They also talk about his "wipedown" procedure, which isn't new.

A final link: The Hollywood Reporter talks with producer, writer and technology expert Kor Adana about this episode, where Kor talks about the development of this episode (they only knew it was going to end with that email from Trenton / Shama), praise for the maturity and skill of Elisha Henig, Sam putting personal experiences as a kid in a mosque into Elisha's character, the meaning of the lollipop, more on what Shama's email meant, how they developed and set up the Back to the Future day alignment, there's a hint about more to be shown or learned regarding the (possibly) apocryphal push out the window, and the simple statement that what comes next is Stage 3 (!!!).

I hope this means more Dom, because I'm missing Dom.

In the Mr. Robot After Show, they said that Grace Gummer (Dom) is the special guest next time, so I'm guessing that's the case, and the sneak peak for the next episode (30 second clip) indicates that, too.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:41 PM on December 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

No way young Elliot was going going to see the very-much R rated Shallow Grave!
posted by armacy at 1:09 PM on December 3, 2017

The ice cream truck guy is the neighbor? I thought they were two different people.

The ice cream man was played by Richard Masur (which was a delightful surprise) while I believe the neighbor was Josh Mostel.
posted by mikepop at 10:37 AM on December 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Phew, I'm glad I wasn't going crazy thinking they were different people.

This was such a fantastic episode. I found Mohammed so annoying, and then that last scene with him kinda broke my heart a bit. And then Eliot and Angela made me wish so hard that my best friend and I could still talk that way.

Wasn't Eliot supposed to meet up with Darlene for movie night? I'm guessing that's what he kept trying to go to, but Mohammed ruined that plan.
posted by numaner at 10:04 PM on June 13, 2018

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