Welcome pop-pickers to Elliot’s Greatest Hits.
The net is tightening. The FBI Cyber Crimes Division are closing in on F_Society and The Dark Army are… doing whatever the hell it is they do. My question is…
Where are Elliot’s CD’s? And… when the Feds find them, will Agent Dominique DiPierro just use them to listen to Green Day and Blur or will she unearth incriminating evidence on them linking Elliot to the 5/9 hack?
For simple storytelling reasons, the CD’s are unlikely to be found in Elliot’s possession, meaning Dominique will have to connect the dots from missing, micro-chipped dogs to prison breaks, dead waitresses and our favourite psychologist Krista Gordon.
Showrunner Sam Esmail loves droppin’ hidden clues and references in and these are certainly a Greatest Hits of albums he loves and grew up with… so let’s take a look at how Sonic Youth’s “Daydream Nation” and The Cure’s “Disintegration” connect with Elliot’s tale…
Sonic Youth “Daydream Nation” 1988
The Daydream Nation album may have been included because Elliot and F_Society’s motives seem to stem from the fact that the whole nation is living in a daydream that it needs to wake up from. Indeed, Darlene often cites that the E Corp hack “woke them up”.
New York’s finest indie atonal doodlers Sonic Youth – Kim Gordon (another K. Gordon – inspiration for Krista?) and Thurston Moore et al were huge fans of William Gibson and the album’s third track “The Sprawl” is a massive nod to a Meagcity that stretched from Boston to Atlanta in his first novel, The Neuromancer.
The Neuromancer was the first in Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy and the novel that invented cyberpunk (with a little help from Blade Runner and Tron!) Everything you know about cyberpunk, from jacking into The Matrix to lonely hacker’s dark lairs comes from this novel because William Gibson wrote the book on cyberpunk… literally.
What’s The Neuromancer about, well… it tells the tale of a computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to pull off the ultimate hack. Sound familiar?
Tick that off as a definite inspiration for our showrunner. Next!
The Cure “Disintegration” 1989
The latter song tugged our heartstrings in S01E07’s opening flashback on the stoop and the lyrics fit perfectly with what Elliot must have feeling as he reduced Shayla to zeroes and ones, wrote the name one of his fave albums on the CD and wiped his discs again.
The harrowing lyrics include:
“I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of you,
That I almost believe that they’re real”
Like everything in this show – was Shayla even real?
“Remembering you falling into my arms,
Crying for the death of your heart,
You were stone white,
Lost in the cold.”
“If only I thought of the right words,
I could have held on to your heart.”
Of course, after losing his soulmate, all Elliot wants to do is disintegrate.
Some lovely Mr Robot fan has cut together a haunting montage of Elliot and Shayla’s brief moments together accompanied by Pictures of You, which you can watch here.
Join us next week for Greatest Hits 2 where we’ll be looking into Pink Floyd, Soundgarden and Brooklyn’s own Beastie Boys. Peace.