Mr. Robot Recap: Season 2 Episode 2
Mr. Robot is back following the brief intermission. We accompany CTO Scott Knowles on his stroll in the park to drop off the cash as ordered by fsociety. The solemn tunes of Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home” play in the background. (BTW, the song is about a guy wanting to leave a mental institution; Esmail is trolling us at this point). After a tense wait, a guy on a bike delivers a backpack containing an fsociety mask with instructions written on the inside. They want him to put on the mask, dump the cash, douse it with gasoline, and then burn it as the crowd watches. Knowles takes off the mask, a mistake that leads to his face being plastered all over the news. Darlene watches on in satisfaction as the flames burn. What’s her endgame here?
Knowles partner-in-crime CEO Phillip Price meets with officials from the Federal Reserve in DC. He needs the government to bail out Evil Corp, but they’re not having it. The officials tell him he has to resign so they can garner some sweet, sweet PR. Baffled, Price rants on about how FDR’s New Deal after the Great Depression was really just an elaborate con to make people think the government had everything under control. Price says the public will lose its confidence in Evil Corp if he resigns. He strong-arms them to keep up the façade by saying, “We all know: a con is nothing without the confidence.”
We finally get our first scene with Tyrell’s wife, Joanna (played the beautiful Stephanie Corneliussen), this season. We are reminded just how much of a coldhearted sadist she is. She’s with a new boy toy who has her limbs bound to the bed. Joanna has the poor kid dip a knife in a bucket of ice and run the sharp edge across her skin. She fidgets on purpose causing him to slice her. Joanna tells him she’s been a bad girl and pleads for punishment. He reluctantly gives her a few vicious smacks until she’s bleeding from the mouth.
Later on, Nancy Grace reminds us that Tyrell Wellick is still missing through a neat, little vignette. Joanna doesn’t seem to care as she takes an extra-long bubble bath. His former bodyguard comes to pick her up and complains that she’s taking too long. “You said two-o-clock, its two thirty.” You have to feel bad for the guy.
After arriving home, Joanna finds a gift with a blood-red bow on her doorstep. She violently tosses the ribbon aside and opens it to reveal a music box with a spinning ballerina. Interestingly, she finds a cellphone taped to the bottom of it. The gift can only be from Tyrell. Yet, she might’ve lost her chance to confirm it when she goes to check on the baby and misses a call from an unknown number.
Part two gives us our first glimpse at the FBI agent investigating Gideon. Dominique Dipierro (played by Grace Gummer, Meryl Streep’s daughter) chats up the Iranian convenience store clerk before heading into the FBI office to have a sit-down with Gideon.
However, it seems her investigation is going to get sidetracked because Gideon is getting John Lennon’d the next time we see him. Some crazy guy wanting to be a hero shoots Gideon in the neck while pretending to flirt with him at a bar. We’ll have to see how this plays out for the FBI.
At last, we get to witness what Angela’s been up to at her new job as PR Manager with E Corp. We find her playing cat and mouse with different news networks trying to get the scoop on the Knowles’ antics down at the park. She does all this while surrounded with little inspiring messages taped up all over her desk.
She then meets up with Antara, the attorney on the wrongful death lawsuit she brought against Evil Corp last season. Looks like she’s dropping the lawsuit. She wants to cancel these recurring meetings with Antara and even goes on to say she loves her new job. Antara basically calls her a cheap hooker and a corporate sellout before angrily storming off. Angela looks distraught as a hunky man hits on her. She takes him home and after he’s asleep she moves to the living room to watch some positive affirmation DVD’s. Self-assurance is a prevailing theme in Angela’s plot this episode, and it’s no wonder why. How can she live with herself, helping the company that killed her mother and Elliot’s father? Her path is leading her head-on in a crash course with Elliot and fsociety. We can’t wait to see how this unfolds.
We’re back at the basketball courts with Elliot and Leon. Offended by how he was spoken to, Leon gets in the face of one of the players. A new character, named Ray, comes in and breaks up the altercation. The man (portrayed by The Office’s Craig Robinson) sits with his dog next to Elliot and makes an attempt at small talk with him. We all know how that goes. He blows him off. However, it seems Ray is aware that Elliot knows a little something about computers. Looks like Ray needs him to do something for him. Elliot rebuffs: “Whatever you think you heard, it’s not true. I don’t do that anymore.”
Unfortunately for Elliot, Mr. Robot just won’t go away. He is sitting behind them. We know he’s pissed because he shakes his head disapprovingly while listening in on the conversation. He asks Elliot, “How long are you gonna keep us in this analogue nightmare?” “As long as it takes,” replies Elliot. Good thing he’s neutered Mr. Robot by staying away from a computer, his weapon of choice.
The following day, Ray tries to chat up Elliot again. Elliot doesn’t want to be an asshole, but he’s “all good.” Ray seems perplexed, “I thought we were on the same page?” He claims that they spoke last night, but Elliot plays the, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” card. Ray thinks Elliot really doesn’t remember.
Elliot’s face distorts in a way that only Rami Malek can pull off. He’s really tripping out now. He runs back to his apartment to check his journal, but there’s a gap in his consciousness that he can’t account for—the time he was supposedly asleep. Of course, Mr. Robot suddenly reappears. After asking why he spoke to Ray, his alter-ego replies with, “I’m gonna make you realize that they see me” when they look at him. Rami’s acting in this upcoming scene is award-winning. Elliot bursts out in maniacal laughter, first from pure elation until gradually turning into agony.
Shaken by this outburst, Mr. Robot points the gun at Elliot. He dares him to do it: “Give me what I want, or keep shooting me. Tell me where Tyrell is, or shoot me again. Cause the only one that’s going to drive mad is you, not me.” Robot puts the gun down before Elliot spits out the line of the episode: “I’m late for my church group. Peace,” and throws up the deuces. Elliot wins this round.
“And He said unto me, ‘It is done! I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give unto him, that is a thirst of the fountain of the water of life, freely. He that overcometh, shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.’”
How appropriate that the church group leader recites this bible verse as we see Elliot fighting to stay awake during the meeting. We now know that Mr. Robot takes over while Elliot is asleep, because we next see Elliot on the phone with somebody. Mr. Robot wins round two.
Back to the phone call. The voice tells him, “It’s really you.” He asks, “Who is this?” and the voice responds with “Bonsoir, Elliot.” Fade to black.
Now we know Tyrell is alive. “Bonsoir, Elliot,” is a brilliant callback to the pilot episode when these two characters were introduced.
All in all, Season 2’s premiere hit it out of the ballpark and throws us back into the fray with this two-part episode. While Rami Malek’s performance certainly carries, almost every other character in the show is compelling. Following the twists and turns of this dark drama is can’t-miss TV. Make sure to stay tuned for more articles throughout the week as we explore all the Easter eggs and dissect different fan theories.