Mr Robot: 2.07 "eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme", 2.08 "eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12"
Episode seven reveals the season’s biggest twist, everything else pails in comparison. It appears that Elliot has been lying to us all along, or in his words he is 'lying to himself'. A visit with his therapist Dr Krista reveals that in fact Elliot is in prison and has been throughout season two. The daily routine which Elliot had us accustomed to: the watching people play basketball, the daily lunch at the diner with Leon, attending group meetings, washing his mum’s dishes, sessions with the therapist, it all happened in jail. Elliot created a façade for each scene, shielding us from the penitentiary settings that he occupied.
This was a possible mechanism to deal with harsh reality of prison. We are not given insight as to how he got there, but one may guess its from his illegal hacking activity in season one or maybe things aren't as straightforward as that. This does answer questions, that viewers may have had concerning the simplicity and repetitiveness of the sets that Elliot seemed to placed in.
As if that wasn’t enough for the viewer to take in, creator Sam Esmail decides to push the boundaries further, taking things to a really dark place, next level stuff, by messing things up for FSociety, big time. As we know from episode one, FSociety illegally set up camp in ECorp’s Susan Jacobs house and as expected, she returns to the surprise of present FSociety members. The FSociety members present in the scene are: Darleen, Mobley, Trenton and Cisco. We were introduced to Cisco in season one, and unbeknownst to everyone has links to another cyber terror group, called the Dark Army. Susan Jacobs played by Sandrine Holt, who some viewers may be familiar with from House of Cards season one, is a rather captivating character with her beautiful dark looks and icy exterior, perhaps a role that could have been explored further, but sadly it was not to be.
Her presence throws a spanner in the works and the situation calls for desperate measures, forcing these hacker geeks out of their comfort zone. They successfully manage get hold her and tie her up, the three apart from Darleen are all shocked by this action. Darleen, from various subtle hints given, seems to have calculated the possibility of Jacobs arriving at the scene all along. She reveals of a personal vendetta she had against Jacobs for many years; as an ECorp board member Darleen held Jacobs responsible for her father’s death. Knowing of Jacobs heart condition, after a small altercation, Darleen prods with a stunt gun and kills her instantly. Mobley and Trenton, hear of Jacob’s death bail out immediately, leaving Darleen and Cisco to deal with the body which they eventually incinerate. Carly Chaikin’s delivery of Darleen in this episode is absolutely superb, taking her to a new direction, a sort of calculating vulnerable villainess, opening her up to countless possibilities of which she is capable of.
Once they get rid of the body, she hesitantly agrees to spend the night with Cisco and in the morning, while he is in the shower her suspicious nature takes over she looks into his computer and discovers that he plans to hand her over to the Dark Army. This possibly eludes to greater plot to come involving the Dark Army. She trashes his computer and the episode dramatically ends with her hitting him on the head with a bat as he comes out of the shower. It shouldn’t come as a bombshell that Darleen’s character would become this killer machine, as her spiky, cunning and forceful nature mixed in with her emotional and erratic outbursts are possibly the perfect personality traits.
Esmail accomplishes to make each episode better than the next. With one dark twist after the next, he turns up the tension and suspense ten fold, its almost unbearable to watch. Yet I, like many viewers, watch it religiously every week, immediately anticipating the next episode, the moment one ends.