Mr. Robot: 404 Not Found
October 29, 2019 10:22 AM - Season 4, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Elliot, Mr. robot, and Tyrell go walkin' in a winter wonderland. Darlene meets (a) (bad) Santa. Dom is DTF.
posted by filthy light thief (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Something about this episode just didn't land for me. The three plot lines were overly contrived. It was all a little too pat that they pulled up for gas somewhere with no internet, that Darlene ran into a guy who was heading in the same direction (and was still able to track Elliot's location even though he was off the grid). Dom's dark army date was obviously a dream from the beginning and I couldn't really see what her part of the story was trying to do with the character apart from to bang us over the head that she's lonely, lesbian and terrified of the dark army. All of which I think have been well telegraphed already.

I had such high hopes for this season and it hasn't really lived up to the so far. I still think it could turn around but this episode was weak and unconvincing in a way this show rarely is.
posted by roolya_boolya at 11:30 AM on October 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

I’m starting to think Elliot is the avatar for the creator of this universe and that’s the third persona.
posted by CMcG at 11:51 AM on October 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also I really think that suicide was Chekhov’s gun in the episode & did not think that Dom’s last shot was as fresh-starty as they reviewer thinks.
posted by CMcG at 11:54 AM on October 29, 2019

I had such high hopes for this season and it hasn't really lived up to the so far. I still think it could turn around but this episode was weak and unconvincing in a way this show rarely is.

Yeah, it felt like Elliot, Mr. Robot, and Tyrell were in a different show. Wandering through the snow, hearing some winter wolf calling out their imminent death? And why the heck travel so far from the city? I'd say it was because it was someplace without cell coverage, but they were pretty surprised by the lack of reception, so that's not a thing.

And Tyrell freaking about getting identified? OF COURSE SHE'D KNOW YOU. 5/9 was a big thing, and you're one of E Corp's public faces! Everything runs on Ecoin now!

Betweek Tyrell kicking down Elliot's door and talking loudly about taking down Whiterose, and going out on his evidence destroying roadtrip without changing into casual clothes, he's either so frazzled or mentally taxed that he's making bad decisions, or the writing for this show has plummeted. 9 episodes to go, we'll see.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:48 PM on October 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

This was a real "Waiting for Godot" episode. Three cryptic threads that seem to be going nowhere, until at the end... they're still nowhere.

Elliot and Tyrell (and Mr. Robot) take a drive and end up walking through the woods having feelings. At the end Tyrell gets shot, all because of a situation that shouldn't have happened in the first place. (Dark Army has been tailing Eliot this whole time, probably Tyrell too, why did they confront the guy? Did they think they could just run off with his truck without being tracked?)

Darlene gets worried about Elliot, pinpoints his location, and then spends the entire hour giving Councilman Jamm a ride home. At the end... he's home and she's nowhere.

Dominique has a weird sex fantasy that couldn't possibly be really happening, because nobody in a chat room is ever a beautiful woman pretending to be an asshole guy. At the end... she wakes up.

I'm used to being confused by this show, and I love that (remember the sitcom / ALF episode? Or the half a season Elliot didn't tell us he was in prison?) but this whole episode seemed pointless. All it accomplished was to get Tyrell killed (?) without otherwise moving the plot forward at all.

Yeah, it felt like Elliot, Mr. Robot, and Tyrell were in a different show.

Three different shows. "Waiting for Godot in the Woods," "Parks and Recreation: the Depressing version," and some well-acted but very softcore porn. All interesting in their own ways, but I'm not sure any of them belong here...
posted by mmoncur at 7:13 PM on October 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

Side note: I did like the Virtual Realty Toy Story reference.

Another note: My post seemed harsh but I did actually enjoy watching this episode. I love depressing Christmas episodes. I'm just increasingly worried about the ability of 8-9 more episodes of the show to answer the many, many questions we all have...
posted by mmoncur at 8:08 PM on October 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm willing to chalk up the slow weirdness of this episode up to the writers going a bit overboard with the clever episode-naming game. It did at least manage to capture a good sense of lost dream-state confusion, apropos of the 404 title. But, yeah, it does seem a bit of a waste to have your characters wandering around in the dark when there's so much to wrap up in the remaining episodes.
posted by p3t3 at 10:03 PM on October 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

I thought it was interesting that there was so much between Elliot and Tyrell, when I thought Mr.Robot had more of a relationship with him.

I am enjoying the switching of roles between Elliot and Mr. Robot.
posted by armacy at 6:04 AM on October 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

I did not love this episode, and I got awfully tired of dudes tromping through the snowy woods.

If Tyrell's dead, then why would Deus need to meet? There's no CEO to appoint, now. I suppose Elliot could be CEO, which makes zero sense, but hey. Who else is there?

This show does not often make me laugh, but when it does, it really undoes me, because it's always for a very stupid reason. This time, it was Darlene pulling up to the Santa's house and their dawning realisation that they weren't in his car.
posted by minsies at 11:26 AM on October 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

What a strange tonal shift for the show. Like everyone else here, I did not care for it. I appreciated they were trying to do something different but WTF? A spooky walk in the woods? A hamhanded tearjerking story about cancer ward Santa needing booze to get through the night? Lonely Dom having horrible sex/death dreams?

The only piece of this I connected to was Dom logging in to #sex on Freenode. I can relate to that.. Or rather, 1993 could connect to that. IRC still does exist and I imagine #sex does but, um, really? Bizarre. I guess they felt that was more hacker-cred than having her swiping right on Tinder. Although the odds of finding someone else in your city who is a lady-masquerading-as-a-man on IRC are, um, pretty low these days.
posted by Nelson at 8:20 PM on October 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

Given that this episode seems to be about nothing being what our protagonists think things really are; the trail, Tobias' wife being dead, Dom finally being able to sleep only to have the dream that stresses her more than her sleeplessness, and whatever the black-light at the end Tyrell finds is supposed to be. Judging this episode without more context is pointless. We have just watched some scenes that will (probably/hopefully) make more sense as the season progresses. Mr. Robot is, as it has always been, a long film that happens to be a TV series and the slight-of-mind that it has played since the beginning may only make total sense with the last episode being a keystone that locks it all in place.
posted by Ignorantsavage at 1:53 AM on October 31, 2019 [3 favorites]

Wow, unpopular opinion apparently, but i absolutely loved this episode. I think there was a lot more to the episode than what people are giving credit for. For me, the whole point of the episode was to pull away from the main characters, and show them in a less "chosen one" light. The episode constantly set up these "wow this is so convenient" scenarios, only to pull the rug out from under them. To me, the episode was a self-aware look at the show, letting the audience know that the writers are aware of how things are sometimes too lucky.

Darlene ran into a guy who was heading in the same direction Yes, but as in the rest of the episode, it really wasn't as "pat" as you were first led to believe - the car wasn't santa's, so darlene has committed a felon when she's trying to lay low, and transported this car over a hundred miles for no reason. Santa's wife wasn't dead, Darlene was just projecting.

and was still able to track Elliot's location even though he was off the gridHis location wasn't tracked, there was a phone with a message that has his previous GPS coordinates that she got when she went to his apartment. It shows her repeatedly checking for new messages while he's out of service, but she doesn't get any.

I couldn't really see what her part of the story was trying to do with the character She gave in. the dream tells her that fighting only prolongs the suffering, as it were, and she gives in to the drowning dream. Her waking up determined, to me, means she's fully accepted her fate as a dark army pawn.

The consensus of the comments here seem to outline what i think the show was trying to be - too convenient and pointless. Sometimes everything goes "right" and it still goes wrong. But at the same time the episode wasn't taking itself seriously. There were many laugh-out-loud funny moments. It was beautiful to look at, funny, got across the message without too much ham-fistedness, and some emotional exploration with Darlene that I really enjoyed. Tyrell's death scene was one of my favorite scenes of the entire show. I've really enjoyed this season.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:03 AM on October 31, 2019 [7 favorites]

I totally believed Dom’s dream was real. It was totally believable that the dark army would be in every part of her life, including her chat room sex buddy. It seemed like Darlene’s story didn’t do anything but she learned to not care about her brother so much, which is probably going to come back to bite Elliot at some point.

I felt like the whole episode was Tyrell’s death scene. I really liked his rationality, even if Elliot was right to keep trying. I actually hated his real death scene. It was just too much. Walking off into the fog in the moonlight with dramatic music? Ugh. Very cliche and I wanted to just laugh out loud at how corny it was.

This was essentially a bottle episode, even though the characters travelled across the state and through the woods. The story has barely moved forward but everyone learned a bit about themselves. I really liked it.
posted by LizBoBiz at 12:55 AM on November 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Virtual Realty, a real estate firm drawn from Toy Story, a simulation of reality which is a film and which happens to be CGI.

Dom’s dream.

Wellick’s final moments in the woods, presumably his dying hallucinations, seen from a third-party perspective.

I stand firmly behind my Owl Creek hypothesis. In fact, weren’t they a) looking for a creek b) eventually standing on what appeared to be a bridge over a creek?

I absolutely grant that all of these elements can be read to point at the simulation hypothesis. I don’t necessarily see these interpretations as in conflict.

This is posted after the next episode aired, and without going into detail, the next episode is my favorite of the season, and one of my favorites over the entire series.
posted by mwhybark at 3:04 PM on November 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Got a kind of Upstream Color vibe from the ending.

A #sex channel would be in violation of freenode policies[1], so it's probably the only IRC network ever without that channel.

[1] unless it was a channel for the text editor sex
posted by joeyh at 7:23 PM on November 8, 2019

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