Mr. Robot/USA/Episode 6
YOOOOOOOO! How many times is Mr. Robot going to give us a reason to crown Sam Esmail the new king of cable and Rami Malek an Emmy Dark Horse? How many times is Mr. Robot going to flip the television filmmaking game on its head and make that shit do a breakdancing 720 McTwist? How many times are we going to see something so new, jaw dropping and absolutely astonishing before this show receives the attention and recognition it deserves? I don’t think anyone has the answers to these questions, but every week that people keep sleeping on this show is another week of missed greatness.
Like deciding to go to bed at 9 instead of watching LeBron put on one of the greatest close out Finals games in NBA history. Like deciding to work that extra shift instead of coming home and witnessing your child take their first steps. Like being too busy to watch The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones then sullenly watching them break awards season records and being too bitter to admit you were wrong and should’ve hopped on the gravy train.
Shielded in the Sitcom Era
Sam Esmail completely obliterated the opening sequence of Master Slave. He hybrid Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Jack the Ripper, Son of Sam eviscerated this 1990’s sitcom approach to coping. Coping with that grade A Super Saiyan Bruce Leroy glow ass whoopin’ Elliot da Snoop GAWD just received at the hands of Craig Robinson’s surprisingly imposing Black Market kingpin, Ray. Mr. Robot has done some fucked up shit to steer Elliot to this point but this decision right here? That was all Elliot and his unbridled thirst for hacking, all him. But my oh my did they help Elliot cope in the most nostalgic, cookie cutter way possible.
There were so many shades of TGIF going on in the opening, especially with Esmail going so far as to hire Bennett Salvay and Jesse Frederick, the writers and performers on the OG sitcom theme songs (Full House, Family Matters, Step by Step) to create that undoubted nuclear family introduction feel. I don’t want to give away any more of this decades ago happy place goodness for those that haven’t seen it and just realized how badly they just fucked up. Oh, and make sure to be on the lookout for that larger than life 80’s/90’s character to really throw you through a flashback loop.
The Mad Real World
So we get our first non-shielded look at our broken battered and beaten homeboy, Elliot who is reminiscent of badly bandaged Grey Worm after he and Ser Barriston battled the Sons of the Harpy in that alleyway booby trap. He’s laid up
in the hospital on a hospital bed in a dungeon of sorts with Ray breathing heavily over him like Baby D from Friday After Next. Ray drops one of those creepy ass villainous monologues about control and we get the full picture of exactly why this episode is called Master Slave. When someone other than yourself controls your ability to breathe and subsequently live, you have become their slave and them your master. Powerful scene.
Angela and Darlene decide to flesh out the “simple” plan of hacking the biggest corporation in the world for the second time. Last time was too easy though. Who’s tryna take down a Weedle with a Dragonite? That shit ain’t fun fam, so how bout we step it up to Nikola Tesla levels of insane genius. Darlene hurls the simple aspect of this plan out the window like a 100 mph fastball from Randy Johnson as it’s decided to teach Angela how to hack in a day, without any former training, much to Mobley’s chagrin and dismay.
“Owning the Feds was never going to be easy.”
Darlene really is the Queen of getting mofos to do the most absurd life endangering shit. A girl knows how to manipulate a sucker something severe. The only thing more rewarding than seeing Darlene convince someone of some crazy shit was watching Angela’s eyes meet Cisco’s as she was leaving the new hacking headquarters with that look of confusion. That look of malevolent suspicion. That look fiery malice and realization. Once again Angela’s character remains the most chock full of surprises. She has finally put all the pieces together. She knows Cisco was the one who sold that CD to her pond scum ex-bf Ollie and set this entire series of life altering moments into motion for her. THAT LEER OF DEATH had me gripped.
Agent DiPierro has received mixed reviews from what I’ve read online. Some people believe she is literally the best aspect of this second season. On the other hand, some think she’s a cliche version of the tough, sexually frustrated, and not-very-social take on a lesbian FBI agent, some people view her as a mysterious character that is far more intelligent than most viewers will give her credit for and others are holding out until the end of the show to break down the new opposing lady of the hacker realm. One thing that Agent D Nice most certainly is, is a look into the world of a government official who seems a pretty normal (while still being intriguing) person outside of her increasingly important position. We get the best example of this when she visits her favorite hero making bodega and finds out the owner can’t afford the rent anymore and is closing down the deli. Like any normal person would, she sends her buddy off in the most perfect way.. by ordering the meal that she has always loved from this place, a turkey sandwich!
The next time we see Dom, she’s in a meeting with the other (conveniently) surviving FBI agent, Mr. Santiago. Agent Romeo Santos is insisting that she take the highly recommended 2 week break from work to help her deal with the trauma of witnessing your friends and coworkers have their faces blown off with assault rifles and nearly murdered herself. But we all knew what the result of that conversation was going to be. “Those assassins were sent in to kill and leave no traces of who was behind it, so excuse my French, but umm Mr. Santiago, you can go fuck yourself.” She knows that the Dark Army was behind this massacre while Mr. Santiago and the news are all chalking it up to a terrorist attack, so she’ll be going nowhere to take it easy and I’m now officially hyped for how deep Agent D Nice will dig into this network of dark deeds, dark lies and Dark Army.
WiFi Connections and Corrections
Darlene is pulling off her best Kill Bill Bride impersonation as she sneaks into a hotel room and sets up a tube that allows her to communicate without a cell phone, thus leaving no paper or electronic trail. Angela is in the building preparing to execute the FBI and E Corp building hack using the femtocell. She’s posted up in the bathroom on the restricted access 23rd floor listening to Darlene putting in that coding work. She finishes up and exits the bano only to be intercepted by Fuck Boy #2 (#1 is Ollie) who had his sights set on blonde barbie since they passed each other in the hall 10 mins ago. He just creepily runs up on her the second she steps out of the bathroom and tries to lay some mack game down on her.
When she doesn’t reciprocate the flirting he turns into a true fuck boi and starts to talk about how she isn’t supposed to be on this floor. She’s pinned with her back against the
ropes bathroom door and the only way out is to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days this situation and make dude believe she was just playing hard to get the entire time. She veers him off the path and tells him to meet her downstairs in 30 for lunch. Like a typical idiot of a man, he doesn’t realize he’s being deceived and gets dooped as she makes her way off the floor. That is, until Darlene realizes she lost WiFi connection… LOST FUCKIN WIFI!! Crazy how such simple things can prevent the largest events in the world from happening in our technology riddled society. Darlene once again enamors Angela and turns her ass around to physically plant some device into an ethernet jack then heads down to her cubicle to complete the hack. Darlene walks her through the process of coding the new script and is 98% complete when Angela is interrupted by a visit from a familiar voice. FBI agent Dominique DiPierro.
Late Episode Shockers
The episode ends with a flashback to the good ol’ days. The days where Game Boy was the leading mobile gaming hand helds. The days where starting up your computer meant a 20-45 min wait while listening to perplexing alien music. The days where a car ride with your parent meant something. On this day, young Elliot learns that his father was let go because of too many doctors appointments. Dr. appointments that he’s been going to because he’s become sick, a secret that has to stay between father and son. Although that is terrible news, dad balances that out by bringing little Elliot to his new computer storefront. He tells his son that he gets to name the store and we all know how much of an influence that store name becomes.
Mr. Robot Reboot
New Tech Term Alert: A Cantenna – an old-school trick for extending the range of Wi-Fi networks. A Cantenna is easily obtained or made, considering it is literally just a can — in a worst case scenario you could even use a Pringles tube. The lining blocks out extraneous signals from the side, so the only thing the internal sensor picks up on is signals in the tube’s line of sight. If it happens to be pointed at a Wi-Fi router, that focus lets you pick up on faint signals that would otherwise be drowned out. This show man..
2nd New Tech Term Alert: A Magspoof – You know that card reader/stealer that Darlene used to get into the hotel room? Yea, that was a magspoof, which is a credit card spoofing device designed by Samy Kamkar. It uses an electromagnet to recreate the same pattern that a swiping card would have. P.S. if you ever wondered how credit card fraud is done, this is the most common form. It’s not very hard to obtain, which once again blows my mind how easily our world could be upturned if the wrong group of people decided to cause some social upheaval. Wait…
E Corp CEO, Philip ‘Gargamel’ Price popped up for a brief moment this episode and said some things that didn’t register because I’m still so hung up on the 90s boxy 4:3 aspect ratio, standard definition, laugh track infused, 3 camera sitcom format. But I did catch that he’s still trying to get the bailout to happen. Money money money.
#OllieIsTheWorstWatch: No appearances from the head Fuck Boy but that look that Darlene and Cisco exchanged was allll about Ollie and how he got GOT.
So, I’m thinking about that opening sequence. I can’t quite figure out why Darlene kept catching the
Knockout Kings Fight Night 2000 right hook fade from mom in the backseat of the car. Have we even seen the mother yet? What I’m getting at is, does anyone else think there’s a chance that Darlene has been suffering from the same schizophrenic affliction as Elliot this entire time? Elliot briefly mentioned her having panic attacks in that flashback when Darlene had him put on the Mr. Robot outfit. Maybe I’m rambling and Esmail is trying to show us just how messed up this family is..maybe I’m on to something. Food for thought.
Cisco got that ass manhandled for trying to hold his homies down.
Sam Esmail tweeted to fans that we should “watch tonight’s episode live with the commercials. Trust me on this.” MY GOD this man is the most trustworthy executive producer on the planet. Keep giving us a heads up on the realness, Mr. Esmail. Oh and keep shoving hour+ long episodes down our throats. We can’t get enough.
RAMI FUCKIN MALEK PEOPLE!! This man needs all the Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, Grammys ANDALLLLLDAT!!!
Outstanding episode. I’m immediately putting it in the top 3 and when it’s all said and done, it may go down as the best one yet.