Mr Robot S02E05 “Logic_b0mb.hc” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points
- Elliot is in his element back in front of a computer, preparing to hack the FBI’s phones. He’s using Ray’s computer though, with Lone Star looking over his shoulder.
- Darlene goes to visit Angela; actually she breaks in and clones her computer’s drive. Darlene wants Angela to help with the FBI hack, by dropping off a device in the FBI office at E Corp headquarters.
- Joanna reassures Kareem (the car park attendant) that everything will be okay; he’s getting jumpy – is it Elliot he’s protecting?
- DiPierro and the FBI are going to visit China to continue investing the hack, they want to follow up on the mass corruption of E Corp’s back-up data.
- Darlene visits Elliot at home; he doesn’t want to involve Angela in the FBI hack.
- The FBI are in Beijing; they meet with the Minister of State Security, Minister Jung, who happens to be Whiterose. They want access to information on the E Corp backups, and the Dark Army.
- Joanna receives another mystery package in the post: a silver duck rattle.
- Elliot is getting on with Ray’s site migration, but he needs a password from the previous IT guy: RT.
- Mr Sutherland has been trying to track Joanna’s mystery packages and phone calls, to no avail. He has sorted out the Kareem problem though, by killing him.
- Angela meets with Olly (her ex) at a bar. He tries to record their conversation on the advice of his lawyer. The FBI have interviewed him several times; he’s told them everything he knows.
- In China, DiPierro is at a party thrown by Minister Jung/Whiterose. She gets lost looking for the bathroom and finds a room full of clocks.
- DiPierro ends up telling Whiterose how she came to work for the FBI; in turn he shows her his “sisters’” dresses.
- Angela visits Elliot. She wants to help with the FBI hack now that she’s worried she might be implicated as well due to Olly and the Cisco CD.
- Darlene and the new fsociety are still based in Jacobs’ hacked house. They’re prepping for something big in Washington, but Darlene can’t go.
- Elliot and RT are working together on the site migration. Lone Star is still overseeing, so they converse using Notepad. Elliot wants to know what the site is; RT leaves him with a login.
- Ray’s website is called Midland City; it’s an anonymous marketplace for girls, guns, drugs, hitmen and pretty much anything else you could think of. Elliot and Mr Robot discuss the morals of working on such a decidedly dodgy website.
- At home with the creepy music box, Joanna’s mystery phone rings. There’s nobody on the other end, but she can hear sirens on the phone, and outside. She goes outside to look, but there’s nobody there.
- Angela take a circuitous route to meet Darlene at the hack house. The remaining members of the original fsociety are there – is Angela to be the newest member of fsociety?
- Back in Beijing, as Dipierro is getting breakfast with her FBI colleagues, masked men storm in and start gunning people down indiscriminately. She manages to avoid the hail of bullets. She injures one of the gunmen, but he shoots himself in the head.
- Elliot is at home in bed. Two men appear and manhandle him outside where Lone Star and Ray are waiting. Lone Star throws a bloody scalp to the ground (RT’s rats tail hair). Ray tells Elliot he told him not to look. The two goons proceed to beat up Elliot.
Sam Esmail has said that this second season of Mr Robot would keep us guessing, and boy was he right: guessing we are. This episode teases us with yet more clues as to what’s really going on, but leaves us with more questions than answers; and, incidentally, it probably blows our theory about Tyrell from last episodes review out of the water!
The opening scenes of Elliot back in his element, preparing for the FBI hack, hark back to season one at its peak. It’s just Elliot and the computer; he’s telling us about his first taste of hacking, the power it gave him. Then the lights go up and we see Lone Star looming over his shoulder. It’s a nice touch, as Elliot goes in and out of “the zone”, the lights change accordingly.
Biggest surprise this episode is that Whiterose is China’s Minister of State Security. This gives credence to the theory that China has a state-sanctioned hacker collective. The scenes between Whiterose and DiPierro framed by the opulence of Whiterose’s rooms and clocks are both intriguing and somewhat contradictory. Whiterose has, up to now, been the most controlled of characters, idiosyncratic about time, and unconcerned with trivialities. However he seems to ramble on with DiPierro, questioning her about the seemingly banal details of how she came to join the FBI. Mind you, DiPierro does have a kind of unsettling charm, but maybe there’s something more to this connection? Indeed, maybe there’s more to DiPierro’s seemingly random involvement in the case than meets the eye…? Whiterose also goes so far as to show DiPierro his dresses, claiming they belong to his sister. “That’s sorta weird,” says DiPierro’s colleague later. “The more so when you consider Minister Jung doesn’t have a sister,” replies DiPierro.
Overall the episode does feel a little random, Ray’s black market website seeming like a distraction from the main event. The final scenes of Elliot being dragged out of bed and into the street before getting beaten up are well handled but no less shocking because of it; especially as the camera slowly zooms in on the bloody scalp of the previous IT guy to the sounds of Elliot’s beating. We’ve come to see Elliot as near invincible, managing to hack or talk his way out of most dangerous situations. Ray seems far colder and more unpredictable than anyone Elliot has tangled with before, and is all the more dangerous for it.
But even when Mr Robot is a bit random, it’s so thoughtfully put together, wonderful to look at it and so full of little touches (apparently DiPierro doesn’t dream) that it doesn’t matter. More thought must go into each shot than most series ever spend on an entire episode. And, to be fair, each episode isn’t really meant to stand on its own, rather to be viewed as part of the whole.
- Lots more clues… but to what?
- Some proper hacking.
- DiPierro and Whiterose’s scenes are exquisite.
- Elliot has started to acknowledge Mr Robot for what he is: “My dead father is standing behind you,” he tells Angela.
- The episode as a whole seems a bit random, but then that’s probably only if it’s taken out of context of the whole series.
- We still don’t know who was at the door at the end of season one!
- Still no Tyrell…
And The Random:
- Elliot is chatting to D0loresH4ze in th3g3nt3man chat room – is this Darlene? Dolores Haze is the real name of Lolita in Nabokov’s famous novel of the same name.
- RT uses the username Dread Pirate Roberts to log in to the Midland City site. Dread Pirate Roberts is, of course, a character from The Princess Bride, but it’s a special character in that anyone can be Dread Pirate Roberts – it’s just a title.
- Ray’s site Midland City is very much like the real-world (now defunct) black market site Silk Road, which was operated by someone with the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts. The original Silk Road was shut down in 2013 by the FBI.
- Mr Robot must get bored of wearing the same clothes all the time – perhaps if he finds another dead person he can steal their clothes?
- Steel mountain has changed it’s name to Steel Valley to try and regain some credibility after the hack.
- Whiterose’s answer to DiPierro about the clocks – “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage” – is a quotation from MacBeth.