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Mr. Robot

Initializing encryption: 'Mr. Robot' Season 2, Episode 4

Our recap and review

July 29, 2016

By TEKsystems

Bonsoir, TEKsavvy blog readers. Before we start our recap, keep in mind that our Mr. Robot posts will be chock full of spoilers, so don’t read ahead unless you’re all caught up!

fsociety flashback: a recap of Episode 4

It all begins with a Halloween mask. This week’s episode opens with a flashback to when Elliot and Darleen started fsociety. Darleen shows up on Elliot’s doorstep in the now-infamous Mr. Robot mask, and the previously estranged brother-sister duo rekindle their relationship. As they catch up on old times while watching a horror film, Elliot pulls his dad’s Mr. Robot jacket out of a closet. As Elliot tries on the jacket with the mask, he immediately transforms into the Mr. Robot character. Everything from his voice to his body language changes almost instantly.

As we’re brought back to present day, Darleen visits Elliot at his new living arrangement, where he has committed to staying away from fsociety, Mr. Robot and hacking. Meanwhile, the FBI has launched a full-blown investigation at the fsociety headquarters in the Coney Island arcade.

It looks like Ray and Elliot are quickly becoming friends, although Elliot is still closed off to the idea of letting anyone, even his therapist, know more about Mr. Robot. After a game of chess with Ray, Elliot takes the board home to get some much-needed practice. Mr. Robot takes the opportunity to challenge Elliot to the game to end all games. Whoever wins the next round of chess, Elliot or Mr. Robot, will be the personality who gets all the power. Will Elliot accept the challenge? Yes, but after three stalemates he realizes neither personality can win. Elliot must accept that Mr. Robot is here to stay.

Well hello, White Rose. It looks like the Dark Army has found a new friend in Mr. Price. The two powerful forces are working together, possibly at Angela’s expense. It’s now clear to Angela that she is being used as a pawn by Price and even once she figures out how, she’s one step behind him.

We also get an update from our favorite creepy character, Joanna Wellick. It looks like money and patience are wearing thin for the Wellick family and their conspirators. 

The episode comes full circle when Elliot finally gives in to technology and returns to fsociety. Stay tuned for instructions, friends. 

Meeting Mr. Robot

Cam: The origin of the mask seems a little heavy-handed, but the seminal moment is when Elliots put on the mask and Mr. Robot jacket. He transformed into Mr. Robot—his voice and temperament change.

Kelly: I love how his body language changes when he puts on the mask. Boom, it’s over, he is Mr. Robot. But what is interesting is that Mr. Robot is actually created by putting the two of them together. Obviously, Elliott has been losing time (and his mind) before this scene starts, but was it a fully actualized Mr. Robot personality until he and Darlene combined the jacket and the mask? I love how the whole first scene has a dark magic, Grimm’s fairy-tale vibe: two abandoned kids lost in the woods creating a monster.

Katherine: I hate to say it, but Elliot actually has some swagger with the mask and jacket on. He's a completely different person with confidence and conviction—I think it really throws Darlene for a loop.

Regan: When Elliot puts on the mask it mirrors the idea that we all hide behind the internet now. We can say what we want and be who we want. When the mask comes down, Elliot becomes his true self—an egotistical criminal mastermind.

White Rose and Mr. Price

Katherine: This has bad news written all over it but my question is, who has the real power here: Dark Army or E Corp? Also, major props to BD Wong—this character is going to be awesome.

Kelly: I love BD Wong, I'm so excited to see more of him this season. The scene with White Rose is another reminder that identity is always being tailored, that we're eliminating, adding, hiding and masking. They're walking a fine line by possibly overplaying this theme, but I think they do a great job of balancing it and adding something more interesting to the whole idea.

Regan: So we know from last season that Price and White Rose have a history, but Price only knows White Rose as a man. Elliot and White Rose briefly met last season too, but when White Rose was a woman. So that theme of identity creeps in again. White Rose is playing both sides; you don’t really know where his/her loyalty lies. I really want to see what happens with this one.

He’s baaaaack!

Cam: Finally, Elliot is back to hacking ... the FBI! This has my head spinning around with so many questions. Who’s doing what for whom and why?! Chess makes a great metaphor here, not just for imagery for the power struggle within Elliot's own mind, but also for the high-stakes game being played between E Corp, fsociety, White Rose, the FBI, and so on.

Katherine: This episode confirmed for me that I definitely don’t want to learn chess; that game is too much work to be fun. But yes to hacking the FBI! I love that Elliot doesn’t just come back to casually hack a coworker or his therapist, he goes right for the big dog: the FBI.

Regan: I’m waiting for Elliot and Dominique to have a run-in. Now that he’s hacking the FBI, I think Elliot will do the same thing he did to his therapist to Dominique. I’d like to see the plot twist of Dominique being one step ahead of Elliot, but since Elliot’s going to uncover that they’re investigating fsociety, that might not happen.

Follow us next week as the theories continue and Sam Esmail’s complex web of characters confuses us all. Have any theories of your own or want to join us in conversation? Comment below.

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