Let’s get this out of the way straight off the top. If you have not seen the most recent episode of Mr. Robot titled,“eps2.4_m4ster‐s1ave.aes”, why the heck not and why are you reading this when you could be watching that crazy, insane hour of amazingness that was totally a thing last night. The long and short…there will be spoilers and this is your warning. Now the rest of you, read on and reminisce with me. The laugh tracks. The blood. Us laughing at the most inappropriate moment. *insert heavy sigh*. Wonderful, wasn’t it?
So if you’re like me, you felt the same moment of panic that I did when I switched over from the Olympics to watch Elliot and co’s latest exploits. Last we saw, Elliot was getting some major hurt from Ray’s goons. You switch over and the screen somehow looks nothing like it should. Did you switch to the wrong channel? No, you double checked even in your haste because you didn’t want to miss a second. You didn’t switch to the wrong channel. The channel somehow landed in the wrong decade and so commences almost 20 minutes of the best thing you’ve seen all year.
Yup, that was pretty much my expression throughout. Well, when I wasn’t laughing hysterically at things that should not be funny. Wait, did Elliot’s mother just put out a cigarette on Darlene’s arm? Why am I laughing? It can’t be the laugh tracks. Yes, there were laugh tracks and so many wonderful callbacks to 80s/90s sitcoms. Think TGIF, but with the darkest humor possible. Sam Esmail delivers yet again on keeping this amazing show different from anything you’ve ever seen. Honestly, I’d watch this sitcom. It’s like Married with Children consumed Full House and vomited out ALF, but made you laugh the whole way through. I’d watch that show forever. Ok, let me shake off my nostalgia for a second and get to all those great moments from last night’s episode that made it an instant classic for me.
1. Elliot creates another lie to protect himself
Last week, we ended with Elliot finding out more than he ever needed to know about Ray’s business, and he is brutally beaten over that fact. We don’t pick up there this week. No, Elliot’s mind protect’s him from that horror and pain by immersing him in the weirdness of his family, the Aldersons, but with a sitcom feel to the whole thing. The family is on a road trip. Destination? Only Mr. Alderson/Mr. Robot knows. Mom is being catty and joking about Dad’s cancer. She’s punching Darlene in the face when the “teen” gets snarky with her. It shouldn’t be funny. It’s not funny, but the delivery and all the callbacks do the trick. The family gets pulled over by a cop and wait look at that…it’s Gideon. Only makes sense that he dies a gruesome death seconds later. Elliot is as disturbed and confused by it all as the audience.
He knows this “reality” is a lie, but Mr. Robot tells Elliot to let it protect him a little longer. Elliot glimpses his own beating a few times when he glances at the screen of Darlene’s Gameboy. We see another familiar face when Mr. Robot pops the truck. Tyrell Wellick is there bound and gagged. What in the world does it mean for Wellick’s true fate? We still don’t know. Angela pops up, smacking gum and working in a convenience store. Elliot’s mother doesn’t like her at all. She ends up macing the younger woman. Mrs. Alderson has some serious problems, even in Elliot’s head. Mr. Robot and Elliot do share a moment at one point. How do I know it was supposed to be a touching father-son heart-to-heart? Well, they had the Full House “Tanner” family moment music going. Or something like it. Did I melt? You know it.
Elliot wakes up from his fevered dream, not in a hospital where he’s being treated, but still with Ray and his guys. Oh, no.
2. Angela turns out to be a badass after all
You never quite know what you’re getting out of Angela from episode to episode, but she was certainly the MVP outside of Elliot’s fantasy world. She helps Darlene with the plan to wipe the FBI’s harddrive. It clearly doesn’t go off without a hitch. She gets caught trespassing by one of the agents. When she turns down his offer for drinks, he demands to know what she’s doing there. Darlene and her crew engage in some social engineering trying to figure out a way to get to the agent. A weak spot. Angela just flips it back to his earlier attempts at flirting with her. She tells him that he gave up too easily. Elsewhere in the episode, the blonde clearly recognized the hacker from last season who hacked her computer and saw her naked. She doesn’t say anything, though. I thought she’d call him out and decide not to help. She’s likely holding on to that card for another time. Yep, Angela was the baddest of the bunch this week and she’ll keep that honor as long as she does not fold under Dom’s scrutiny.
3. Darlene being amazing as always
Like Elliot, Darlene is clearly in her element when she’s prepping for a job or in the midst of an amazing hack. Then, of course, there were the bits from Elliot’s crazy dream. Sure that was all Elliot, but still the moments with Darlene being her snarky-self were pretty dead on.
4. The commercials, people! The commercials!
The show went the extra mile with this episode. It wasn’t just the first 20 minutes that had that throwback feel to it. The commercials were grainy, standard definition, and had the cheesiest music. Again, I melt with the billion feels of nostalgia that hit all at once. They even had a promo for USA’s Suits sporting the same 90s vibe and attention to detail.
5. Elliot decides to let the right one in
That moment when Elliot and Mr. Robot hug it out is EVERYTHING. A destructive figment of his imagination or not, Elliot needs Mr. Robot. He thanks Mr. Robot for being there for him. All the feels in this moment and when we see young Elliot with his actual father in a flashback. Young Elliot sports a black eye after getting into a fight at school. We see the moment when Mr. Alderson confides in his young son the fact that he’s been fired from his job and that he has cancer, but don’t tell your mother. Not, cool. He tells Elliot that he’s invested in something else for them and their future. A new business and he insists that his son have the honor of naming it. He tells Elliot to just say the first thing that comes to mind as soon as he sees the place. And so Elliot creates Mr. Robot…again. Esmail cuts to credits before young Elliot can utter the words, which is likely more effective than us hearing them. We don’t need to.
So what did you think of this week’s episode? What was your favorite moment? Did you love the opening or nah? Hit the comments and let me know.
Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA
Photo by: Michael Parmelee/USA Network