I began last week’s theory recap by stating “Wow, just wow. Mr Robot is back with a bang.” but after seeing S02E03, please allow me to officially redact that statement.
I’m gonna have to downgrade last week’s two-parter from a 10/10 to to 5/10…
I know that’s awfully unfair, but even though S02E03 was twice as good as the season premiere, it’s impossible to give it 20/10 because, as any self-respecting hacker knows, you guys won’t share and tweet the shit out of this article if it includes top-heavy fractions.
Where to begin? Well, this being my fifth day without sleep and this episode having filled nine pages of my childish notepad (there’s those numbers again, 5/9!) with the same frantically scribbled, paranoid notes that Elliot makes, I’m not sure how much sense I’m gonna make… so apologies if there’s more questions than answers this week, yeah?
Romero and Mobley’s opening flashback served as much more than exposition. First, it gave actor Ron Cephas Jones a nice, slightly Tarantino-esque send-off speech and second, those brief, flippant mentions of the Fun Society Arcade being cursed and/or haunted very subtly and adroitly introduced a more supernatural theme.
To paraphrase Hamlet “there are more things in heaven and earth Mr Robot, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
After the flashback and Dusty Springfield’s ethereal vocals over aerial shots of Coney Island and NYC, the episode got underway as expected – a continuation of Elliot’s phone call with “The most wanted man on the planet” Tyrell Wellick.
And just as we feel like we’re really getting to know Romero, this goes and happens…
Being found dead is a far less pivotal and emotive screen death than Gideon’s last week, but as they say in NYC, “whacked means whacked” and thanks to Romero’s mother’s convenient TV cataracts (and a haze of Philly Blunt smoke!) the perpetrator remains anonymous. No, not Anonymous the hacktivists, the perpetrator remains… unknown.
Could Mr Robot have had both Gideon and Romero killed? This is fast becoming a show of epic proportions! Anyone in Mr Robot’s way, anyone who knows too much is liable to end up with a hole in the muthafuckin’ head!
After enigmatic Ray speaks to his dead wife, Elliot tries, with the aid of a dozen of Leon’s Adderall tablets, to lay another ghost to rest once and for all; his nemesis, Mr Robot.
As Mobley tells Darlene about Romero’s’ death Elliot’s pills kick in and lead to an underground car park kidnapping hallucination in which he is force-fed wet concrete. This, I’m sure represents many hackers most primal fear – being silenced.
The concrete being mixed in a Red Wheelbarrow demonstrates that Elliot tortures himself with William Carlos Williams’ sixteen-word poem. Personally, I believe it contains a cryptic clue to Elliot’s involvement in his father’s death.
Then comes the first of three delicious scenes in S02E03, I use the word delicious tentatively as we got to see the most gratuitous vomiting scene since Team America! When it’s revealed to be a vomit ridden fantasy, Elliot sifts through his own biscuits and gravy to re-swallow the pills. Yum!
Meanwhile, back on the ranch, Angela receives a history lesson on Archduke Franz Ferdinand being assassination (the shot that causing World War One) from Evil Corp CEO Phillip Price. Mobley is getting paranoid thinking Elliot may have killed Romero. FBI Agent Dominique DiPierro is facing existential angst in her apartment and we’re finding out that Ray isn’t as innocent as his sunshine-sounding name suggests.
And that’s when I.T. happens. To find out what, click here.