Mr. Robot: eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes
August 10, 2016 11:14 PM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Mr. Robot tries to show Elliot that he can be useful. Darlene and Angela's plan doesn't go as expected.
posted by Pendragon (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I thought this was an excellent episode.

I got a bit worried when the fake 90's sitcom went on a bit too long, I was concerned that might be the whole episode with Eliot waking up at the very end, but they cut it off in time. That was a pretty great approach, and really Mr. Robot is the last place I'd expect to see an Alf cameo.

I have Tivo, so I almost missed the various commercial tie-ins. Progressive Insurance, Suits, and a couple of others were done in low-def 90s style.

Really most of the episode was about Angela being a badass. The scene where the douchy FBI guy asked her out for a drink was nice and tense, with the hackers on the other end looking him up and exploiting him. I would have enjoyed more of that.

It's getting more and more obvious, to me anyway, that Eliot's reality this season is very different from what is actually happening. We're due for another reveal similar to last season when he admitted Mr. Robot wasn't actually real.

All in all, a solid, exciting episode.
posted by bondcliff at 7:19 AM on August 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Wow, things are really happening now. I expected the sitcom thing to be a before-the-credits thing, but it kept going and going and I loved it.

I think (sitcom aside) that Elliot's reality is exactly what is really happening, but I'd love to be proven wrong because things aren't going great.


Best laugh I've had in a long time.
posted by mmoncur at 7:59 AM on August 11, 2016

I think each new episode of this show is it's best.

I was a little worried that the low ratings would doom it, but seeing those old USA promos left me certain we'll get the third season.
posted by Catblack at 8:21 AM on August 11, 2016

Wow, that was delightfully bonkers! And references to everything from the Simpsons to Heathers and what wall was Tyrell breaking exactly? The negative 4th?! And then, his family — that was the most gaslighty gaslighting that ever gaslighted.

What was the deal with the late 80s 5.0 mustang? There were times when the blue/gray door didn't line up with the back half and made me think the whole thing was a prototype. Which is probably the idea perhaps, that it's all a façade?
posted by iamkimiam at 3:13 PM on August 11, 2016

Holy Shit. This show. You guys?!?!

posted by Fizz at 4:03 PM on August 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Shit. Maxine.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:36 PM on August 11, 2016

I'm going to need to re-watch that before I can really process what they were saying. love all the layers i this show
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:03 PM on August 11, 2016

Finally got to this last night. The sitcom to show Elliot's headspace while he was having the crap kicked out of him did go on a bit long, but I laughed quite a bit. If nothing else, the repeated excellent use of Rami's WTF face was pretty good. But, yeah, the real star of this one was Angela. That kind of heist movie plotting and execution is something this show really excels at and is a thing it felt like a lot of people were missing this season up to this point.

I briefly thought about whether the sitcom bits would've been better interwoven with Angela's stuff, but after more consideration, I think the tonal whiplash might've been a bit too much if they had.

Sepinwalls' review and the AV Club's.

As cliche as the scene was, I'm glad Dom isn't going to be sidelined for long after what happened last week. But mostly I wonder what is going to come of Angela discovering Darlene (and by extension Elliot) are connected to the dude who gave her ex the CD that's caused so much upheaval. That was a really interesting moment.
posted by sparkletone at 7:48 AM on August 12, 2016

After some doubts I'm fully on board with the season. Loved this episode, even the very long sitcom flashback. Because it was so well done and recalled Too Many Cooks. But mostly for the sense of alienation, which to me is the central thing that makes Mr. Robot such a special show. The central premise of the show is making us feel sympathetic with Elliot even though he's kind of crazy, he's alienated and alienating, and his POV often makes no literal sense. Showing him trapped in an insane sit-com increases our sympathy with him.

The Angela scenes are nice counterpoint because they gave us straightforward plot to enjoy. The Angela & f-society vs. Evil Corp story could be any TV show really, no sympathizing with a weirdo required. I also liked the music and pacing of the scenes of Angela in the office, it recalled Foxy Brown for me.

I sure hope they come clean about what is happening to Elliot in reality. Because the story with Ray makes no damn sense at all. We're supposed to believe Elliot went to Ray because he needed access to a terminal? In the real world you have 100s of ways to get a terminal. And the way Ray finds Elliot at the basketball court, and the way he knows Elliot's pastor / counselor, etc. Something makes no sense.

I liked that Christian Slater finally got to show a sympathetic side to being Elliot's dad. The flashback about naming the store was really sweet. I mean he's still a bad father in the important ways. But Mr. Robot's line about "I was trying to take those blows for you" was genuinely sweet and suggests Elliot may be on his way to integrating the two personalities.
posted by Nelson at 9:44 AM on August 12, 2016 [5 favorites]

I sure hope they come clean about what is happening to Elliot in reality.

It was mentioned before that Sam Esmail isn't going to toy with what's real, beyond Mr. Robot.
Do it again — and on this scale — and you risk turning the entire show into a parlor game, where viewers are never paying attention to what's happening between the characters because they're constantly looking for clues as to what's real and what isn't.
So Mr. Robot is imaginary, and in this episode he wraps Eliot in a safe space to allow him to mentally survive the beatings. But it also opens up questions:
  • Has the Mr. Robot persona really kidnapped Tyrell? He mentions his Ferragamo, which are a real Italian luxury brand, but the shoes look like the least expensive items they make. Still, is that a name Eliot would already know?
  • Ray knew about Elliot somehow, which surprised Elliot back at the basketball game. And then he started to work for Ray, but without doing his usual deep dive, because he was offline, to reduce Mr. Robot's control? As the tagline for this season goes, control is an illusion.
  • So, Mr. Robot is pushing Elliot to Ray, possibly knowing that Ray has a dark and tough side. If Mr. Robot knew that, he could also have planned on Elliot digging deeper, which would put Elliot in a position to actually want Mr. Robot to take control.
Which brings us to where we are, with Elliot in a basement, with a water heater for a roommate, where he realized that he continues to breathe because someone else allowed it, that he had a master. So having Mr. Robot take over isn't much different than his current situation, except Mr. Robot takes the punches instead of delivering them.

(And if Mr. Robot has really kidnapped Tyrell, then he's stuck somewhere until Elliot/Mr. Robot gets free. Unless Ray is also involved with that, but I don't think so.)
posted by filthy light thief at 1:27 PM on August 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Regarding Angela: she owned those scenes, and was proof that her ability to think on her feet and live in the moment is stronger than the technical skills of Darlene, Trenton and Mobley to get passed actual people.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:37 PM on August 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

And now I'm lost on /r/MrRobot, finding silly and interesting insights.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:10 PM on August 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

The whole sitcom parody was wonderful, but Angela's failed attempts to stop weeping during the credits was my favorite scene, in a "holy shit, this show is dark" sort of way.

I don't remember having much of an opinion about her during the first season, but she's quickly becoming the most intriguing character for me.

I'd like to see the show explore the ramifications of season one's hack some more. Maybe it's because we're spending so much time in Eliot's secluded perspective We've seen the protests and a few situations, like the bodega, where society is starting to fray, but I would have imagined that erasing all debt records would result in a lot more chaos.
posted by bibliowench at 2:18 PM on August 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

... suggests Elliot may be on his way to integrating the two personalities.

But then what happens to Leon? If he's another alter, he seems harmless enough.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:17 PM on August 13, 2016

For your viewing (dis)pleasure: Careful.Massacre.of.the.Bourgeoisie.1984-VHSrip.mp4 (official video from, who reminds you [in the source code] you are not alone). It's 8:35 long, and I'm not sure what, if anything, it adds to the show. We'll see.

NOTE: NSFW. There's some low-cost 1980s film-style gore, and a scene with a topless young lady at the very end.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:22 PM on August 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'd like to point out, on this rewatch, as a sort of tonal-spoilery but not spoliery-thing, that in the last episode Elliot closed his eyes and had a grand dream of living a life where he felt connected with those in his life and he could sit down at a grand table for a comfortable meal with all of them in congenial conviviality.

The alienation in this episode is a deliberate negative mirror of that. Elliot doesn't live that. But he does dream of it.
posted by hippybear at 11:29 PM on July 2, 2020

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