I think she can see us. Also, I’ve forgotten to give you guys advanced warning: spoilers ahead.
Mr. Robot continues to reach levels of epic-ness. There’s no throwaway episodes. There’s no filler. We’re being taken somewhere and we have no clue where, but it’s being exciting every step of the way. This time, we get the much anticipated second confrontation of Elliot with Joanna Wellick. Joanna has long stepped out of her husband’s shadow, and this week she proved she’s the most dangerous threat to Elliot AND Mr. Robot. Elliot fears she can hear his inner monologue, while Mr. Robot fears she can see him. And for a moment there, she seems to almost do that. Almost. She wants Elliot to find Tyrell. As Elliot wonders what Joanna might do if she learns Tyrell might be dead, Mr. Robot warns him they might survive that reveal… and Joanna counters why she’s positive that he’s alive in precise timing. As I’ve said before, Joanna is as much of a sociopath as Tyrell is/was but she’s more dangerous because she’s the more functional one.
Of course, Elliot ends up having to comply. Having no hardware of his own, he has to direct Mr. Sutherland (yes, the Wellick’s bodyguard has a name, go figure) to the nearest tech emporium. Here’s a clue though, when a call does come through the cellphone presumably sent by Tyrell, Mr. Robot is nowhere in sight. There’s obviously something about Tyrell, dead or alive, that has not being revealed. However, if Elliot wants to hack this overnight he’s lacking the fabulous internets. Enter the improvised “cantenna” made out of a Pringles’ tube. A nice little nod to improvisational hacking. To top it off, Elliot ends up impersonating a police officer to get the cellphone tracked using a fake suicide threat report.
While they wait, Sutherland opens up about his life and the people he’s worked for before the Wellicks, for apparently no reason. I guess he’s figured Elliot and himself are now part of the help in the Wellick’s household or something. Also, Elliot asks us – yeah us, the audience to help him out. He believes Mr. Robot wanted Elliot to come home because there’s something in Elliot’s apartment he wants. So at Elliot’s request, the camera pans out to the rest of the apartment.
Meanwhile, Cisco has made it back with… Well, nobody we know. He’s an fsociety recruit named Vincent. We should care about him as a human being but let’s face it, we don’t. Mobley and Trenton are still in the wind. But our victim is hurt and Cisco believes the spots on his gut are evidence of internal bleeding. The proper thing would’ve been to drop Vincent at the ER and speed away, but Darlene has decided she wants to do the right thing. Cisco has been riding her about her pretence of control, so Darlene picks up this moment to fess up. She’s lost control of the whole thing. Sigh. The next time let’s leave the heart-to-heart chat when we’re safe and sound in a beach somewhere tropical.
Agent Dom hasn’t been idle. Madame Executioner’s house has been found and it’s crawling with FBI agents. To make matters worse, someone saw Cisco leave with the wounded fsociety recruit. Did the Dark Army leave it there knowing that Cisco would drag it back to Darlene and they both would have a crisis of faith? It’s the only thing that makes sense on why was that guy left there in critical condition. Dom wants to follow the lead, but her FBI superiors have other ideas – they want to plaster Cisco’s head all over the news. Is Dominique DiPierro the only FBI Agent with a brain in the whole organization?
As Darlene and Cisco drop off Vincent at the ER, the FBI has already found Cisco’s place. Darlene and Cisco leave the ER to get something to eat while the news key in the hospital personnel about Cisco’s description. The FBI is there in a flash, but as quick as that they’re ready to leave. Only Dom sticks around to figure out that they couldn’t have gone far.
Elliot ends up finding the exact coordinates from where the calls are being made. That’s when Sutherland lets him know that Tyrell can’t possibly be calling from that house. We don’t get to know anything else. Elliot doesn’t recognize the coordinates, but then again that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been there before. At least he’s finally off the hook and able to answer Angela’s texts. She wants to meet at the subway, where she questions him about fsociety. Angela is on her way to meet her lawyer. She wants to confess. “But sooner or later, Elliot, this will all catch up to you,” she tells him. It’s also not a coincidence that Angela asks him about an incident at the Queen’s museum where Elliot was screaming at the staff about not seeing someone that he could see. Elliot does not remember the incident. Is this a clue? Is there anything that is not a clue?
And so we get to the scene at Lupe’s. This is a thing of beauty. A still shot from the other side of the street conveys all the action. I can’t really do it justice in describing it. Director Sam Esmail can literally take this whole scene and use it as his presentation card whenever he wants to direct a movie. The shot gives us Darlene and Cisco in the distance, seated at the front window. Dom coming in, explaining herself in a rush. The motorcycle driver, no doubt from the Dark Army, dropping off the shooter. The shooter, blasting through the window. We can see Dom ducking out of harm’s way, but Darlene and/or Cisco might be hit. Dom returns fire, hitting the shooter. The patrol cars speeding in. The motorcycle speeding away. The shooter, finishing himself off and erasing his history to prevent being tracked. Dom running out, identifying herself as FBI, covered in someone else’s blood. Fuuuck.
- Yes, I left out the conversation between Terry Colby and Phillip Price. A lot of god overtones, which was well done although we’ve already set up Phillip as an egomaniac. A bit excessive perhaps? Or should be interested in China trying to take control of the Congo? Is Phillip Price the most powerful person in the room?
- I do know who the most dangerous person is. Joanna Wellick gets to know where the calls are coming from but is that the same thing as finding Tyrell? Was it ever? And what’s the deal with not telling us the significance of the location? Here’s a possibility. When finding the coordinates on the map, there’s no reaction from Elliot. We’re led then to believe that location has no significance. However, later on the subway, Angela mentions an incident in which Elliot made a fuss about the staff at the museum in Queens not seeing who he was seeing. Elliot has no memory of it. So, Mr. Robot can censor Elliot’s history.
- “Trust me,” says Sutherland. “He wouldn’t be calling from that house.” We then establish that Sutherland is not coy about sharing stuff from his past employers, so this is a secret he knows from Tyrell and not a ruse. I’m not going back through season’s one’s episodes but… Could it be the Knowles’ house? After all that’s where Tyrell killed Sharon Knowles. Is it possible the calls and the gifts have been made by Scott Knowles? Is Tyrell a prisoner there? Did Mr. Robot deliver Tyrell to Scott Knowles figuring that he would kill him?
- Who is Angela approached by in the Subway? It can’t be Dom or the FBI. The Dark Army is the most obvious party, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it’s people from E Corp. Anyway, I don’t think she’s in mortal danger. Legal trouble is pretty much a given. Perhaps she’ll turn double agent.
- The kiss was a goodbye kiss and nothing more.
- Who got shot and who survived at Lupe’s? It’s anybody’s call – or blood, but chances are they were both hit. One of them will be in critical condition. I don’t want it to be Darlene, but if it’s her we care a lot more. If it’s Cisco, Darlene will have a crisis of conscience. There’s a lot of ways this could play out, I just hope we don’t lose Darlene as a character.
- Did anybody notice the walk signal on the scene at Lupe’s? It starts counting down from 18 seconds when Dom confronts Darlene and Cisco and then merrily counts down as the biker drops the shooter. The shooter walks over to the front window and doesn’t start shooting until the walk signal ends at zero. Great scene!
That will do for now.