Elliot and Mr. Robot are back and if we thought things were crazypants last season, last night’s premiere put us on notice of the wild ride to come this season. Last summer’s critical darling returned last night with a two-hour premiere titled “Unmask”or rather “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt1.tc” & “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc”
If you’ll recall, the season one finale left us with just as many questions as ever after fsociety’s massive takedown of Evil Corp and the financial system. What happened to Elliot during that missing time? Did he do something heinous to Tyrell Wellick? Would Tyrell’s super, scary and beautiful wifey come after Elliot looking for her wayward hubby? Now that we know who/what Mr. Robot is, does that mean we’ll see less of my childhood honey, Christian Slater (he’s still bae!)? Most important question of them all…whose on the other side of that door? So many questions and I didn’t even mention White Rose and that stinger. We’ll get there. This is your first and only warning of spoilers to come for tonight’s premiere. If you have not seen the episode yet and do not want to be spoiled, please stop reading right now!
Mind Over Matter
Fully aware that Mr. Robot is a figment of his cracked psyche, Elliot spends the majority of the two-hour episode fighting to win back control of his mind and actions. A month after the FIVE/NINE hack, he relies on his new routine and journaling his encounters with Mr. Robot to account for every bit of time in his day. He lives with his mother and spends his days with his new bestie, Leon (Joey Bada$$). He attends pick-up basketball games and group meetings before returning to his mother’s place where he locks himself down. Rinse and repeat. Elliot’s days remain pretty much the same. Clearly, Mr. Robot has plans for world domination, so the fact that Elliot won’t capitulate to his wishes is no bueno.
What’s a splinter of a fractured mind to do, but put a bullet in his host’s brain at that point? Don’t freak out, there are no actual bullets involved. Just one showdown after another between Elliot and Mr. Robot, the latter inflicting mental wounds that only Elliot can see. Mr. Robot keeps at it trying to break the young hacker down.
The breaking point arrives when Elliot loses time and finds out that Mr. Robot spoke with Ray (The Office‘s Craig Robinson), Elliot’s new friend and someone interested in Elliot’s particular set of hacker skills. Mr. Robot’s interest perked up, but Elliot wasn’t interested in ending his sabbatical away from his computer. Elliot is desperate for control, but knows he’s fighting a losing battle. “Control is an illusion” he wrotes over and over again.
Finally, Elliot gives in to the madness. He dares Mr. Robot to either reveal Tyrell Wellick’s fate (because yes he’s still missing for the majority of the premiere) or continue shooting those metaphorical bullets. Elliots laughs like a madman and at that moment, even Mr. Robot looks a little scared.
Best moment of the night? Elliot loses it and tells, Mr. Robot “I’m late for my church group. Peace.” He hasn’t given up completely. The group meetings are Elliot’s attempt to socialize himself and “keep his program running”. Why go if it’s clearly not working? Maybe he just wants to piss Mr. Robot off or because the moment was just cool as hell.
Anyway, Elliot makes it to his group where he promptly falls asleep and I feel as though Mr. Robot is going to pop out “Freddy Krueger” style with a razor glove. Clearly, that wasn’t going to happen. What did happen? Elliot wakes up back at his mother’s (or is he still dreaming???) There’s a ringing phone and holy crap we finally get that familiar voice on the other saying, “Bonsoir, Elliot”. Tyrell! Is he real in this moment or just another figment. I’m voting real.
The Revolution Continues
Darlene is not a happy camper. You’d think that she’d still be riding high on fsociety’s victory against Evil Corp. Not so much. Why because in her own words, nothing has changed. In fact what they did only made things worse. They made the mistake of wounding the monster instead of killing it completely. The next mission? First up, Darlene and her new crew execute one of the coolest hacks in the show so far. The same hack that makes anyone contemplating buying a SmartHouse to reconsider. They become the ghost in the machine and torment new character, Susan Jacobs (Sandrine Holt), until she’s driven from her own home. Why is she so important? Well, she’s Evil Corp’s chief counsel and Darlene’s “in” that allows the group to set loose ransomware into EBank’s computer system. They want a ransom of 5.9 million dollars or the finance giant will lose far more than that. Jacobs advises her bosses to pay the ransom which is a drop in the bucket for them.
At the ransom drop in Battery Park, Darlene’s garbled voice instructs the company’s CTO to don the Mr. Robot mask and set every stack of the 5.9 billion aflame for all to see. Basically, effe their money.
Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid, Jan!
Jan–er Angela has spent the last month undercover at Evil Corp and it turns out that she likes the lifestyle and power. More so than her previous mission to make the company pay for their past misdeeds. She’s doing a pretty good job at fitting in, but at what cost. She ends up picking up nameless strangers in bars and sitting in her living room afterwards repeating positive affirmations. Clearly, she was full of kool-aid earlier when she dismissed attorney she’d been “helping” to bring down the company. She can totally handle herself. She’s not in over her head. Evil Corp isn’t all that evil. They’re just misunderstood…bad guys in suits.
Her old boss Gideon is wrestling with his own demons in this episode. He’s lost his company and husband thanks to the FIVE/NINE hack and he’s being investigated by the FBI task force charged with bringing fsociety down. Gideon knows that Elliot was involved with the hack and he pleds with him to come clean about everything. Elliot has more important things to do and worry about, and Gideon’s presense is messing with his routine. Things get intense when, Gideon threatens to turn him in. This wouldn’t work for Mr. Robot at all and just when it seems that Elliot’s alter-ego is going to murder the older man, Gideon lives another day. That’s literally another day, though, because at a bar not long after Gideon is confronted by someone who blames him for the hack and that person shoots him in the neck “for our country”. Oh noes!!!
Other happenings in the two-hour premiere? Joanna Wellick is back and she’s not so much out for Elliot’s blood. For now at least. She does still clearly miss her hubby, even though she’s got a young stand-in to help get her through the night and to assuage her kinkier desires. She receives a music box and misses a call from an unknown number. We don’t actually see Tyrell again after the night of FIVE/NINE, but we certainly hear his voice with the “Bonsoir, Elliot” and he also says “Is that really you?” when Elliot picks up that red phone.
Yea, we’d like to know the answer to that one as well, as we begin that delicious fall right back down the rabbit hole with Elliot Alderson and company. It promises to be one effed up right and I’m here for it. What about you? What was your favorite moment of the night? Did you find yourself speaking back to the screen when Elliot broke the fourth wall…as he does…and says that he’s still slightly miffed with us for keeping the truth (about Mr. Robot?) away from him? Did you yell…”but baby I didn’t know”? I did. Anyway, this magnificent beast of a show is back and it picked up some much deserved Emmy love today. I’m calling for a clean sweep. They deserve it. Hit the comments and let me know what you thought of the premiere. Until then…damn I can’t say Bonsoir…whatever. Hello, friends.
Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays 10/9c on USA Network. For more Mr. Robot news be sure to check out PureFandom.com.
Photos by: Peter Kramer/USA Network