Mr. Robot eps1.4_3xpl0its.wmv

 

Bullshit disguised as insight:

poor bill

“You’re nothing. You’re worthless. Think about it, Bill. Think about what? If you died, would anyone care? Would they really care? Yeah, maybe they’d cry for a day, but let’s be honest. No one would give a shit. They wouldn’t. The few people that would feel obligated to go to your funeral would probably be annoyed and leave as early as possible.”

 

This is what Elliot tells Bill in order to break him down enough so he will call in a supervisor. Mr. Robot encourages Elliot, tells him he knows what it’s like to feel small. The flashback to Elliot’s mother berating him, artfully integrated into Elliot’s current physical space, is just supporting evidence to what is already perceptible throughout the series. Mr. Robot convinces Elliot that this step has to be done in order to complete their mission for the greater good. Still, Elliot’s words are shocking and harmful. Even more painful, this is coming from a place of honesty within Elliot. He’s not holding in his rant and then replying with the socially acceptable small talk. He’s letting loose everything he feels about himself and directing it at poor Bill. Annoyed to go to your funeral? God. When Elliot needs to find the worst words, he delivers.

Poor Bill. At the very least your cat loves you, and that is enough. You are enough.

bill and his cat

The theme of this episode is vulnerabilities, and each person has a fatal flaw key to his or her undoing. Mobley’s a glutton. Romero’s a know-it-all hypochondriac. It’s only necessary to find this weakness, and then that person can be controlled through their base fears or desires.

Elliot judges that Tyrell’s vulnerability is that he’s an “arrogant prick.” Commenting that the waiter’s only purpose is to serve him food? Yeah, that reinforces it. But to me, it interconnects with Tyrell’s unyielding craving for power. That unrelenting drive despite the consequences will be his downfall. He desires a power that comes through respect from others, perhaps from having a top job. It comes from power over others, the fact that he can just beat a guy if he pays enough. It’s the power to watch a woman open herself to him (quite literally), just to see if he can. It’s possible to be an arrogant prick with no real goals, but the combination of all of this makes Tyrell very twisted indeed.

Tyrell and his wife seem like the ultimate evil power couple, manipulating their way to the top worthy of Frank and Claire Underwood of House of Cards. But whereas in some base way, Frank and Claire do actually care for each other (in Season 1 anyway), I’m not getting that vibe from Tyrell and his wife at all. In his diatribe lambasting the waiter, Tyrell scoffs that family is meaningful, even though his wife is pregnant, presumably with his baby. But, his wife is one person he does not have complete power over, as much as he’d like to be. She seems to have a similar interest in a trajectory towards power but without Tyrell’s temper. It will be interesting to learn more about her and see her become a more dimensional character.

In his closing monologue, Elliot tells us, “Every day, we change the world, but to change the world in a way that means anything, that takes more time than most people have.”

However, Elliot, Darlene, Angela, and even Tyrell all are in a position to change the world in a very real way. The last several minutes present crossroads, choices, and possible consequences. Elliot discovers Shayla has been kidnapped, and Fernando is on the other end of the phone in her apartment. Darlene wants to execute their program, even as the Dark Army has backed out of their key role in the plan. She ultimately backs down as Elliot, Elliot , is the one who can get through to her. Angela has several possible avenues in her pursuit Evil Corp and/or her hacker. In her case,the roads literally and symbolically diverge before her eyes. And Tyrell, well, who really knows what his plans are, but there’s already copious evidence what lengths he will go to in his pursuit of power.

crossroads

 

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  • Everybody! Act natural.

shifty cafe

  • This is Darlene, and a funny line. Put it into a larger context, this is exactly what Fernando did, thereby providing the key to his operation’s undoing.

Darlene: I'm not about to goddamn tweet about it.

  • Is the supply closet door in the most secure floor of a building in a company whose motto is “impenetrable” really just open? Really? They’d accidentally leave the supply closet door open at my college, and you know desperate students were siphoning toilet paper.
  • My heart is melting. What a normal, lovely girlfriend boyfriend conversation Elliot and Shayla are having. Except Elliot’s in the back of the van after infiltrating a super-secure data center. Shayla asks to hear all about his day when she gets home, but I had a feeling that wasn’t going to happen. Although I did not call it would be because she’d been “taken.”
  • But back to when Mr. Robot asks about Darlene, “Who can communicate with this woman?” I’m going to go out on a limb and say Elliot is not a natural choice
  • Elliot says Darlene can crash at his place. Let’s just pretend all is right with Shayla. A girl cannot crash at your place if you have a girlfriend without prior approval. It unfortunately becomes a non-issue. Killing Shayla off would be an easy way to get the girlfriend attachment out of the picture, but her character is so likable and interesting. At the same time, it’s very believable that someone would die at these high stakes, and almost unbelievable if no one would.

Just a hint of spoiler: A lot of my doubts and confusions are explained away in episode 9. You’ll know it when you hear it.