Mr Robot: 2.05 eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme, 2.06 eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12
The fifth episode finds Elliot, surprisingly the first time in season two, in-front of a computer scene, carrying out some illegal IT procedure for new found friend Ray, despite Mr Robot’s objection not to get involved with him. Ray warns Elliot not to look elsewhere online apart from task at hand, but Elliot unable to control himself does. He discovers Ray’s illegal operation: a gumtree/ craigslist type exclusive website to cater for all sorts of illegal activity involving: buying prescription drugs, paedophilia, hitman ads, extreme sexual preferences, the list of human deviances listed endless. Elliot, shocked by what he sees, realizes he is possibly in over his head and of course before by the end of the episode, his discrepancy causes him to get brutally beaten up. It is interesting to see how Elliot for such an introvert manages to continuously get caught up in these compromising situations. Certain questions are raised with the settings for each scene Elliot is in; they are these dark empty rooms, with minimal furniture with a sort of sense of dream like quality to them.
Darleen approaches Angela, by breaking into her flat and in a bid to ask her to help them hack the FBI. The FBI have quarantined floors on ECorp building and it would be a matter of Angela dropping and plugging in a device, allowing them to hack the FBI. Darleen pulls at her heartstrings, reminding her of when Elliot saved her from a jail sentence, by covering her tracks when she inserted the CD at Allsafe which triggered the ECorp hack in season one. Angela at first refuses but then an encounter with her cheating ex-boyfriend who under false pretences requests to see her and when they meet she secretly records their conversation. Realizing something’s up, Angela pressures him to reveal that he has been put up to it by the FBI. Since the FBI are already on her tail, she decides to help Darleen.
Angela continues to perplex us, its almost like the role is two characters. We mostly see her as this elusive, distant and unemotional existence but in episode five we see a different, softer side to her. She visits Elliot and wants to rekindle her friendship with Elliot they have had since childhood, she has been reaching out to him to visit him, but he had been declining to. This possibly reveals Angela’s craving for some light heartedness, some innocence, to be with people she trusts and feels familiarity with amongst all the harshness that consumes her life.
The storyline with Tyrell Wellick’s wife Joana is perhaps the weakest link of season two, which is a shame as their odd relationship in season one appeared promising. There seems to be these continuous happenings with her: whether its her S&M relationship with a barman, her financial troubles, the absence of Tyrell, murdering people or doting over her new born; the storyline seems all over the place and we are unsure if Stephanie Cornelius can carry the role off. This though may have to do more with the script than with Cornelius; her icy, unemotional, vacant beauty make her the perfect villainess, however as she is juggling all these sub-plots given to her, it all gets muddled up. Too many pieces of the puzzle are missing, maybe due to Tyrell’s absence, making the plot appear a bit too light and superficial, leaving viewers un-invested in what happens to Joanna.
The beginning of episode six, starts in a dream sequence. The dream setting is an early 90s comedy show reminiscing of shows such as Full House or Family Matters, complete with a laugh track. Elliot, bewildered by how he finds himself in this surreal setting, is plonked at the back seat of car on a family road trip with Mr Robot, Darleen and his mum. Travelling to an unknown destination, they stop along the way at a gas station, where various other characters of the show make humorous appearances, randomly including that of alien muppet Alf, from the eponymous 80s TV show. Elliot wakes up to the harsh reality of a hospital bed, all bruised up, to see Ray and his sidekick, sitting by the side of the bed.
His beating suggests that it's for Elliot to keep his mouth shut, but to also continue working for him. Elliot bruised and shaken by his attack, realizes that he should have listened to Mr Robot all along. A rare moment ensues; feeling helpless, scared and vulnerable Elliot seeks for intimate embrace. The moment possibly signals the beginning of acceptance of Mr Robot by Elliot and the development of a more peaceful co-existence.
The rest of episode six is a frantic and suspenseful twenty minutes of Angela, under the guidance of Darleen and Mobley through an earpiece, instructing to plant a device into the FBI quarantined floor of ECorp. Of course director Esmail turns up the tension, as the operation has as series of nerve wracking stop/starts. The device is now successfully planted into the FBI and now Darleen is able to delete the video footage incriminating Angela. FSociety are now on course with their plans. DiPierro is immediately hot on the heels on Angela, but by the time she gets to her all the footage evidence is erased. This ends a brilliant suspenseful episode which got off to a wacky start, leaving us eagerly waiting for more revelations in the episodes to come.