Mr. Robot – Survival Instinct

The FBI field trip to China does not go as planned, Angela looks to cover her tracks with the help of Elliot and Darlene, and Elliot dives into Ray’s web issues much to Mr. Robot’s protests.

Spoilers for “eps2.3_logic_b0mb.hc”

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Elliot is back where we love him, at a computer coding his way out of (or possibly into) trouble. He creates the program needed to give fsociety access to the FBI phones, but he and Darlene need to get the software onto the E Corp floor where the FBI is based. Darlene wants to go to Angela. She works at E Corp and they have something over her to get her to cooperate. Elliot says no, but Darlene is going to do what she wants to do.

Image Courtesy of USA Network

Image Courtesy of USA Network

Breaking into Angela’s house Darlene tells her former friend and neighbor to “suppress that instinct [that is telling her no] and remind yourself that this is simple.” All Angela needs to do is drop the software off on the 25th floor and walk away. Angela says no at first, but Darlene reminds her Elliot covered Angela’s tracks when she uploaded the disk in the Allsafe computers. “You better hope no one else knows about the CD,” Darlene threatens.

But there is one person that does know. Ollie, the sad, ex-boyfriend whose computer Angela used to upload the program. She meets Ollie at their old spot to catch up. At first Ollie confesses he is still in love with his former girlfriend, then gives her a resume to pass on to her superiors at E Corp. As the talk turns to Gideon and Allsafe, it becomes obvious Ollie is attempting to record Angela confessing to loading the software. He promises he isn’t working with the FBI and hasn’t ratted her out (yet), but the feds are cornering him and his lawyer Uncle advised him to record all conversations. After a visit to Elliot where she offers to be a friend for him, Angela agrees to help fsociety disrupt the FBI’s investigation.

Joanna is doing some covering for Elliot of her own. The car park attendant, Kareem, who has been taking money to lie to the FBI about what he saw the night of the Five/Nine Hack is getting paranoid. He tells Joanna the feds are following him, his phone is tapped, and he can’t lie for her any more. “Who are we protecting? Some scrawny kid in a hoodie?” he asks. Joanna thanks him for bringing her his concerns and promises to take care of it. And she does in the most cold and efficient manner. Her henchman paralyzes Kareem in his home and ransacks the place to make it look like a burglary gone wrong. Then he kills the attendant and stages the body to match the scene. “Why drug him?” He wonders. “Killing a man instantly robs him of explanation… We let him die with answers,” Mrs. Wellick replies.

Image Courtesy of USA Network

Image Courtesy of USA Network

After putting her daughter to bed, Joanna gets a phone call on the burner phone. No one speaks on the other line, just heavy breathing. She asks the caller to identify himself, begs her husband to say something to her. As sirens pass her house on the street, she can hear them over the phone. The caller is nearby. She runs out of her house, but whoever called hangs up and disappears before she can see him.

Dom and several other FBI agents head to China to work with the Chinese government on their side of the Five/Nine Hack as well as investigate the Dark Army’s possible role. At the reception for the American’s in the home of the Minister of State Security (who is also Whiterose!), Dom gets to know the Minister a little better. While looking for the bathroom, she stumbles onto his room of time. Clocks of every kind from common digital, to one of a kind (or at least that was what the seller told him) handmade cook coo clocks. The Minister waxes poetic about his love of time and the need to “keep moving” in order to not waste any of it. In turn she tells him her story of ditching her boyfriend when he proposed and found herself working for the FBI.

Image Courtesy of USA Network

Image Courtesy of USA Network

Feeling a real connection with her, the Minister shows Dom Whiterose’s his sister’s collection of handmade, priceless dresses. He wonders out loud to her the possibilities of their lives if the Five/Nine Hack had never happened. As the clocks strike midnight, he realizes he has given away too much to this curiously observant agent and quickly leaves her to the party. The next morning as the FBI is getting ready to tour one of the facilities that was hacked, Dom tells one of her fellow agents about her strange night and the Minister’s strange collection that belongs to his nonexistent sister. Before she has a chance to contemplate it all for too long, two men in masks burst into the hotel and start shooting. All of the agents except for Dom are killed. She wounds one of the shooters and he kills himself to keep from being taken alive. As the episode closes, the remaining shooter is bearing down on Dom.

Elliot dives into Ray’s site issues, but quickly realizes he needs certain information from the previous technician. “I wouldn’t ask if there were another way,” Elliot tells Ray when he hedges. He and RT are not on “the best of terms” Ray puts it subtly. Working with RT, Elliot realizes he could have easily done the transfer himself. Why is this tech not wanting to be involved? Why does he look scared and beaten to hell? The RT relents and puts his login (Dread_Pirate_Roberts, he must be a Princess Bride fan) and his password, but stops short of fully logging in. He leaves claiming the job is done, but warns Elliot that once he looks, there is no going back.

Elliot logs in and finds the site is used for human trafficking, drug running, weapons sales, and hitman advertisers. He wonders if Ray knows the truth of the site, or if this man who seems so kind is really a criminal mastermind. Mr. Robot begs Elliot to stop, to just ignore it “because that’s what we do.” “It’s not what I do,” Elliot says. “If he’s guilty, I could destroy him in under two minutes at a terminal.” “Ray is not some coffee shop owner,” Mr. Robot argues, “forget what you saw and move on.” But Elliot can’t let it go, he can only see those helpless people in the photos. He needs to save them. “We have other battles to fight,” the imaginary father pleas one last time. “What else is new?” Elliot counters.

Image Courtesy of USA Network

Image Courtesy of USA Network

Later that evening, Ray’s men come to Elliot’s room as he is sleeping. The drag him outside as Ray drives up, “never trust a tech with a rat-tail,” Lonestar scoffs as he throws the scalped hair at Elliot’s feet. Ray’s men proceed to beat on Elliot as Ray chides him, “I told you not to look.”


What do you think the car attendant saw the night of Tyrell’s disappearance? Why is Joanna covering for Elliot?

Did anyone else’s heart break when Elliot told Angela his dead father was still around and he didn’t want to go back to her until he was gone?

Image Courtesy of USA Network

Image Courtesy of USA Network

Of course there are Five/Nine truthers, but this time there is a possibility their rhetoric it was all an inside job may not be off.

In the previous episode, Whiterose and Phillip were discussing implementing a new currency in light of the attack. Did Phillip along with the Chinese Minister to allow the hack to happen to usher in bitcoins as the new currency? It would make sense, bitcoins are unregulated and the value is set by the users. This could keep government out of the banking industry giving the banks more power. At least that is my understanding of bitcoins. How they work is a bit too complex for me to fully understand.

When Darlene goes to visit Elliot, she asks “where is the she-devil?” We assume she is talking about their mother and this is the first time we see Darlene recognize her after ignoring her presence in the last episode. Does this mean our theories of prison or institutionalization are proven wrong, or was Darlene not referring to their mother, just the regular guard over Elliot?

Image Courtesy of USA Network

Image Courtesy of USA Network

When Whiterose is talking about alternate realties with Dom, is Sam Esmail trolling us, or do we have a new theory on our hands?

I do wonder if the FBI was gun down to keep them from looking too close in the Dark Army, or because Whiterose let too much slip to Dom?

What did you think of this week’s Mr. Robot? How intense was the shooting at the hotel? Do you think Tyrell is alive and in New York? He must be if he is sending gifts to his daughter, right? How do you think Elliot is going to get out of his situation with Ray? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

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About Nerdling

The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale on Facebook @NerdlingTales or Instagram @nerdling_tales

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