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The Most Important Questions Raised By This Week’s Pill-Fueled ‘Mr. Robot’

The two-part season premiere of Mr. Robot taught us a few things. Elliot is still as troubled as ever, maybe worse, and off trying to figure things out in what may or may not be some sort of mental institution. Darlene is now in charge of fsociety. Craig Robinson has a dog. And so on. But it still left us with a bunch of questions, as episodes of Mr. Robot are prone to do.

This week’s episode answered a few of those questions, kind of, in between and around a week-long Adderall bender that resulted in Elliot finally seeing the important things in life — basketball, Seinfeld — with a new clarity, even if it did turn the rest of his world into a walking nightmare. But the episode did raise a few questions of its own, which we will discuss below.

Elliot, you okay, bud?

Nah.

The repetitive system Elliot put in place to combat his issues started to crack in the season’s first two episodes, but by about the midpoint of this week’s episode he was hammering Adderall like candy and droning on about how, like, religion is a drug, man like a college sophomore on Thanksgiving break. And that’s before we get to the vomit thing. The vomit thing was bad. You don’t really get to make a triumphant declaration like “I will not be owned” if your attempt for control involves picking mind-altering drugs out of a pile of your own puke on the floor. You’ve been owned pretty damn good by that point.

The tricky thing about Elliot and his storyline on the show is that, while we’re in the dark on a lot of stuff at this point (heeeyyy, where you at, Tyrell?), we also kind of know too much. The pileup of reveals and hallucinations over the first season and change means now when we see him, say, get picked up on the street by mysterious government-types and forced to funnel cement, our first thought isn’t so much “Whoa” as it is, “Ah, Elliot’s freaking out again.” One of the best and most exciting parts of the show last season was the way it surprised viewers with hard, unexpected left turns, but now, at least with all the internal Elliot business, it’s almost like we can see them putting the blinker on a few hundred feet from the intersection.

That’s not to say this is a forever problem. It might just be a “let’s get Elliot into some other external business so he has less time to be an angsty atheist teen” problem. And this conveniently brings us to…

Whaaaaat is the deal with Ray?

Ray popped up last week with a dog and some shady project he wanted Elliot to help him with. This week we learned a few more things about Ray:

  • Ray is on dialysis
  • Ray talks to his dead wife at breakfast
  • Ray likes colorful explanations (“Control is about as real as a one-legged unicorn taking a leak at the end of a double rainbow”)

We also learned that this shady project he’s involved in is actually a super shady project that involves bitcoin and beating the hell out of low-level hackers. And that he knows the chaplain at Elliot’s group. And that the chaplain routinely sorts through the trash. Although I guess that thing isn’t really a Ray thing. Still. Weird.

The biggest takeaway is that Ray went to great lengths to show Elliot that he “gets” him, which seemed to be helpful to Elliot but was almost definitely just a ruse to get Elliot’s little hacker-y fingers tappin’ away on that shady project. So again, whaaaat’s up with Ray?

What is Angela going to do with the information Price gave her?

As nice as it was of Price to invite her to dinner, we found out pretty quickly that the whole thing was one big mind game, to see if she’s the type of person who would turn in her corrupt coworkers. I really do not think I would like working at E Corp. One minute you’re enjoying a delicious Italian dinner and the next your boss has his face inches from yours saying cryptic things about a file filled with evidence of criminal activity. And what even is the right answer there? Don’t turn them in and remain loyal to the company, to prove you’re not some snitch that can’t be trusted? Or do turn them in and show that you’re the type of ruthless ladder climber that Price and his cabal of billionaires seem to value?

It’s all almost stressful enough to make you puke up your semifreddo.

robotang

If Darlene wrote a self-help book titled “Stop Spazzing And Be Cool,” would you buy it?

Oh ho ho. Trick question. You wouldn’t buy it because buying it would mean falling into the trap of capitalist society. You would instead rebel against the system and our greedy oppressors by going to a Barnes & Noble and reading the whole thing in a comfy chair while sipping a black coffee that you brought from home in a used Starbucks cup you wrote “PIGS” on in giant red letters. The revolution is real.

(You would buy a brownie, though. You can’t tear down society with low blood sugar.)

And the book could come in handy to her fellow fsociety members, because they are freaking out. With good reason, I guess, given the number of bullet holes that recently ended up in their friends. (R.I.P. Gideon, R.I.P. Romero.) People are threatening to flee to Arizona and everything. Darlene better get to typing.

Fun Society, eh?

The Ballad of Fun Society was my favorite part of the episode, by far, from the history of it as told by Romero (NOTE: I do not want to die by drunkenly falling onto a pool cue) to the FBI agent having a bit of a Usual Suspects moment at the end when she saw the “F– SOCIETY” sign outside the arcade after finding the flier for the party while rolling joints for Romero’s mom. (The agent, played by Grace Gummer, had quite an episode, what with the drugs and cyber sex and questions about the world ending. We like her.)

But all of this does raise one last very important question…

If you’re starting up a super-secret hacker collective with the goal of causing global financial anarchy and ripping the fabric of polite society to pieces, shouldn’t you name yourself something that isn’t just the name of the building you work out of, which is displayed in giant letters in plain view of the Coney Island boardwalk?

I mean, probably.

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