This week, Sam Esmail delivered what he called the best episode of Mr. Robot yet, opening with a 17-minute segment inside the beaten mind of Elliot Alderson, which Mr. Robot was protecting with the cocoon of a ’90s sitcom. There was a lot in the episode to try and make sense of, though Esmail at least helpfully explained the bonkers opening sequence.
Aside from a brilliant cameo from Alf, a fantastic caper sequence with Darlene, and a warm, fuzzy ’90s sitcom payoff, the episode as usual had its share of Easter Eggs and callbacks. Here’s what we could unearth from the sixth episode of season two, “m4ster-s1ave-aes.”
Imagine a World Gone Insane
Sam Esmail’s attention to detail on the ’90s sitcom version of Mr. Robot was such that the showrunner even brought in Bennett Salvay and Jesse Frederick — the original composers of the TGIF theme songs (Full House, Family Matters) — to write and record an authentically ’90s sitcom theme for Mr. Robot. It was perfect.
Gimme a Light
The retro Bud Light commercial that aired after the first commercial break was an actual Bud Light commercial from 1990, part of the “Gimme a Light” campaign that helped Bud Light to surpass Miller Light as the leading light beer on the market, according to Ad Age. Likewise, the E-Corp ad was modeled after old AOL commercials.
Those who caught the brief glimpse of a road sign during the sitcom version of the episode will notice that the highway numbers form an ISP address.
Type in the ISP address, and it brings up an old BBS page that looks like this:
Check the Mr. Robot twitter feed right now, and it will bring up the following (it also provides a link to an old-school Mr. Robot screensaver). Never doubt Esmail’s commitment to a gimmick.
Because a URL on Mr. Robot is never just a URL, the one that comes up while Angela is hacking her computer …
… brings up a drink recipe:
The recipe, by the way, is for a Screaming Orgasm.
In that same scene, Angela asks Darlene for the password, and Darlene tells her the password is “Joshua,” which is a reference to the Matthew Broderick film WarGames, where Joshua was the backdoor password to the U.S. Government’s War Operation Plan Response.
Say Cheese, Danish
There’s probably nothing to this, other than learning that Joanne Wellington apparently wanders around in the middle of the night, but I looked up “Say Cheese, Danish,” only to discover that the The New York Times used that caption in a photo of then President-Elect Obama having breakfast with Michael Bloomberg.
For those still holding out hope on the prison theory, here’s where I think Elliot was taken from the prison hospital and thrown into solitary by the prison guards.
What’s Your Damage?
Two weeks ago, Mr. Robot included a reference to an ’80s Christian Slater movie, Pump up the Volume. This week, Darlene references another Christian Slater movie in the sitcom opening when she asked Elliot, “What’s your damage?” That’s a quote from Heathers.