Mr Robot S02E11 pyth0n-pt1.p7z REVIEW
(We’re not really sure what star rating to give this one, but definitely near the top end)
Airing in the UK on Amazon Prime Video, new episode every Thursday
Writer: Sam Esmail
Director: Sam Esmail
Essential Plot Points:
- Elliot is at home. He wants to switch roles with Mr Robot, become the silent observer. He has a mantra to use to try and induce lucid dreams.
- Mind awake, body asleep. Mind awake, body asleep. Mind awake, body asleep…
- Joanna Wellick is at home with Mr Sutherland. He shows her the location Elliot tracked Tyrell’s phone to. She tells him that this is the greatest of all Tyrell’s gifts.
- Angela is locked in the back of a truck. There is jazz music playing on the radio. There are two people sitting up front, but we can’t see them and they aren’t speaking.
- Agent Dominique DiPierro is in the hospital after the shooting at the diner. She isn’t injured but may be in shock. She wants to go back to the crime scene but nobody will let her.
- Agent Santiago tells Agent DiPierro that China has just given E Corp a two trillion dollar zero-interest loan, and that nobody will mess with relations with China now. He tells her to leave it be, and go home and get some rest. She asks Santiago to promise to let her do the interview (with whom we do not know).
- Angela is still in the back of the van. It pulls up at a house and enters a garage. The two people still don’t speak, but let her out of the van and lead her through the house. There are photographs of people on the walls; they all have their faces covered with tape. It’s a nice modern, clean, normal-looking house. They open the door to a room, and indicate she should enter.
- The room has black walls, a fish tank and a desk with two chairs. Angela sits at the desk and is left alone and locked in.
- Inside the fish tank is a single big fish. On the desk are a monitor, a Commodore 64 computer, a floppy disk drive, a floppy disk, a red bakelite telephone and a copy of the book Lolita. On one wall is a poster of a kitten hanging from a branch, with the slogan “HANG IN THERE”.
- A small girl enters the room. She tells Angela they don’t have much time; there’s water coming out of the fish tank so they need to get started.
- The little girl switches on the computer and monitor and boots up a program: Land Of Ecodelia. Questions appear on the monitor which she asks Angela. The first question is, “Have you ever cried during sex?”
- Angela won’t answer the question. The little girl says that she will be punished if Angela doesn’t answer her questions, and shows Angela scars on her back. The telephone rings, the little girl answers it and says, “Yes,” a few times before hanging up.
- The little girl asks Angela the question again: “Have you ever cried during sex?” “No,” answers Angela. “Have you ever fantasised about murdering your father?” “No.”
- Phillip Price is meeting with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. He’s asking for approval to roll out E Coin loans. Mr Lew isn’t happy about Mr Price creating his own currency, but Price tells him it’s a better alternative than BitCoin, and can be regulated and monitored by America. He wants to use the two trillion dollars from the Chinese government against them, to undermine Bitcoin.
- Back in the room, the little girl is still questioning Angela. The water in the fish tank is about half way down. “Are you red or purple?” “Purple.” “Is the key in the room?” Angela doesn’t understand this question. The phone rings, the little girl passes it to Angela. She listens and hears a computerised voice: it sounds like it is reading prompts from a text adventure game. After progressing slightly, Angela reaches a locked door. “How do you open it?” asks the robotic voice on the other end of the phone. Eventually Angela answers, “With a key.”
- The little girl asks again, “Is the key in the room?” “Yes. The key was in my fist; my fist was in my pocket,” answers Angela. The little girl finishes the computer program and turns everything off. She tells Angela she’ll be back with her results and leaves the room.
- Dom is at home. She cleans up and goes to bed but it’s the middle of the day and she can’t sleep. She chats with Alexa (her Amazon Echo virtual assistant) as if she was a normal person. “Alexa do you love me?” she asks. “That’s not the kind of thing I’m capable of,” is Alexa’s robotic reply.
- In the black room, the fish is dead; all the water has run out of the tank. The door opens and Whiterose enters, sits and lights a cigarette. They talk.
- Whiterose doesn’t want Angela to release the information she’s dug up on the Washington township plant leak. She’s going to make Angela believe in the project, to get her to drop her mission.
- We fade back to Elliot in his apartment, still repeating his mantra. He awakes to see Mr Robot looking for, and then finding something, in the mail. It’s a takeaway menu for Red Wheelbarrow BBQ.
- Mr Robot can’t see or hear Elliot; Elliot has become the silent observer, much like us.
- The takeaway menu contains a cipher, and a series of numbers. Mr Robot deciphers the clues to reveal a telephone number, which he calls. A voice tells him a cab will be waiting at 25th and 8th.
- Mr Robot leaves the apartment, Elliot follows him, almost losing sight of him as he passes through a market.
- Angela has gone to see her lawyer at home; she tells her that she no longer wishes to pursue the case. They hug, and Angela tells her not to call her anymore.
- We/Elliot are still following Mr Robot, but we’ve lost sight of him. Elliot remembers that he isn’t following Mr Robot, he is Mr Robot. He finds the cab and gets in. The driver asks for an address which Elliot doesn’t know.
- Somebody else gets into the cab, and asks to go to Chambers and Church. It’s Tyrell Wellick.
- Elliot doesn’t believe that it’s actually Tyrell in the cab, and starts freaking out, asking and then shouting at the driver whether he can see Tyrell as well. Tyrell tells the cab driver to pull over and they both get out.
- Tyrell tells Elliot that they’re close, he’s been told stage two is ready, and that Elliot will be pleased when they see it.
- They walk off up the street together.
You come to a fork in the road, which direction do you take?
Much like the text adventures of old which feature heavily in this episode, Mr Robot feels like it is at an intersection. Part two of this two-part episode could take either path, and we have a feeling that one of them might be dramatically different to the other. There are hints here that Angela, and presumably Elliot as well, have something to do with “the next level of humanity”; all part of Whiterose’s secretive ongoing project. Of course, we might be reading too much into what little Whiterose reveals about the project; at one point even she admits that she, “hasn’t been able to fully comprehend the meaning behind it,” and we know how she feels! This episode does nothing to answer any of our questions. In fact, it doesn’t so much create new questions, as just make us question everything.
While the series may have shown its David Lynch influences before, this episode is going full-on into Twin Peaks territory. Angela’s interview with Whiterose in the black
lodge room feels like one of Lynch’s dark and twisted dream sequences. In fact we wouldn’t have been that surprised if everyone had started talking backwards (actually we think that the fish was speaking backwards!).
And while the scenes are fascinating to watch, their place in the show as a whole is very hard to determine.
Whiterose talks about taking humanity to the next level, that Elliot and Angela are who they are today because of her project. Certainly Angela’s place in reality has been in question for a while, and perhaps – like Elliot – she has a dual side that she isn’t quite aware of. Could it be that Dolores Haze, the hacker who often appears in chat rooms talking to Elliot, and who we’d assumed was Darlene, is actually Angela? Nabokov’s book Lolita appears again in this episode; Dolores Haze is, of course, the real name of the titular temptress. The last question the little girl asks of Angela is, “Is the key in the room?” which could just be referring to the book, which is visible on the desk (and the answer Angela gives is a line from the book). However it’s about this point that Mr Robot finds what he was looking for in Elliot’s room – a key (of a different sort) – and is able to make contact with Tyrell again. Are the two connected?
Whatever the reasoning, Elliot and Angela are inextricably linked, but at this point they feel a little like pawns in Whiterose and Phillip Price’s ongoing games. Angela seems key to this game, as Whiterose tells her that it’s because of her Price is going against their deal. We’re still confused as to why Whiterose and Price constantly tell each other how Angela has exceeded expectations (at least we presume it’s Angela), but Whiterose still wants her to stop investigating the Washington township plant leak. Whiterose asks Angela whether she ever imagined that if she believed in something, she could make it so, simply by will, for us the possibility that she’s actually some kind of experimental android/AI is becoming ever more plausible.
Our old friend Tyrell finally makes an appearance, but of course we can’t be sure whether it’s actually him or not. Nothing being quite what it seems.
DiPierro also makes a brief appearance, home alone with Alexa again. The good agent has been somewhat underused this series, never really becoming fully engaged. Her friendship with Alexa is either a clever vision of her desperately lonely life, or a clever piece of product placement. She gives us the only hint as to what may have happened in the diner shooting, when she asks Santiago to let her do the interview. Hopefully this means that at least someone made it out alive.
This episode centres on a key: perhaps next episode we’ll get to the door, and unlock the secrets contained therein. Or perhaps we’ll just be eaten by a grue.
- The black room scenes are absolutely mesmerising.
- A Commodore 64!
- Tyrell Wellick is back!
- We don’t know what happened after the shooting in the last episode.
- There’s a lot going on here, but most of it doesn’t actually make much sense.
And The Random:
- Is Elliot’s lucid dream one of Angela, and perhaps Joanna? Or is it only of him and Mr Robot, and then of Tyrell? Elliot’s mantra can be heard in Elliot’’ apartment when Mr Robot is at the computer, but not when Angela is in the black room.
- If you go to https://www.whoismrrobot.com/c64e/, you can run the same program that the little girl runs. To get it to start type: load”$”,8′, ‘list’, ‘load”land of ecodelia”,8,1.
- Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita features heavily again in this episode.
- Angela has been wearing the same clothes for a while now, just like Mr Robot…
- The inconspicuous man and woman who take Angela in the van have been mentioned in the credits for some time now.
- The episode coincides with the UK launch of Amazon Echo – you too can have your own Alexa.
- Tyrell’s last line – “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” – is from the end of the film Casablanca.
Review by Arthur Scott