The third episode, which is really the second as the season opener was a double shot of Mr Robot, starts with a flashback. Romero (Ron Cephas Jones) is showing the arcade to Mobley (Azhar Khan) as the two stroll down the Coney Island boardwalk, Romero tells Mobley about the bloody history of the place. It is, claims Romero, cursed and has caused more than a few deaths. At the end of the scene, set against the iconic Dusty Springfield tune “You don’t Have To Say You Love Me,” the camera shows how the hacker organization got their name – “FSociety.”
Mobley asks, “What happened to the U and the N?” “Oh that,” replies Romero. “That is a story for another time.”
The opening serves as a protracted explanation about how FSociety came to be so named and it shows the dark history behind the arcade where the group worked in the first season. Romero’s tale also serves as a portent of bad things to come, a foreboding sense of danger for the group.
Springfield’s love ballad, used to transition the scene from the arcade to Elliot, also seems to drop a hint about Alderson. The lyric “You don’t have to say you love me, just be close to hand,” could be referring to Mr. Robot or it could be a reference to Wellick.
More on that later.
This season, so far, has been full of death and references to it. Romero being found shot dead at his mother’s house is the start. Ray (Craig Robinson) speaking about his dead wife, and to her, and Gideon’s murder last week are all included in this episode.
(Incidentally, it has not been mentioned but Ray clearly knows Darlene. In the season two opener, when she takes over the automated house that Fsociety hacked, a one legged man is seen walking up the stairs. The man is wearing shorts and all that can be seen is that prosthetic leg. In this episode, where Ray talks about speaking to his dead wife, he mentions having one leg. Ergo that has to be him going up the stairs. It also explains how he knows who Elliot is in the season two premiere.)
This episode also reveals that Ray is not a well man. Aside from having one leg, the man requires dialysis every morning. He is also having site problems with someone stealing his bitcoin and shutting his site down. It also pretty clear that he is not a “straight and narrow” sort of businessman.
Leon is not only real but he is Elliot’s drug dealer and the man really is fascinated by Seinfeld.
Elliot takes an overdose of Adderall and this starts another of those patented “weird” segments of the show. Alderson is kidnapped and force-fed cement until he vomits. It turns out that he is making himself sick in his room. Mr. Robot watches and tells Elliot he cannot get rid of him.
In a stomach churning move, Elliot begins picking tablets out of the vomit and shoving them back into his mouth. This is the beginning of six days with no sleep and by the end Alderson is in free fall. He has managed to exorcise Mr. Robot during that time but he is clearly one step from being mad full stop.
Later he and Ray hook up and Mr. Robot turns up again.
More light is cast on Agent DiPerro. She lives alone, cannot sleep and is too driven to live “normally.” She even has trouble focussing while masturbating. This lack of focus does not apply to her professional life. It is her attention to detail that enables her to find the FSociety headquarters later in the episode.
(The bit where DiPerro rolls blunts for Romero’s mum is brilliantly ironic.)
Angela is slowly getting used to working for Mr. Price and E Corp. She still recites her success mantra when needed but she is learning what the job is all about. Angela is still naive to an extent, not realizing that Price is constantly testing her.
Her final test comes at the fancy meal set up by Price. He gives her evidence that will destroy the two men who dined with Angela and Richard. Both are long time employees and the test is for Angela to eradicate them both. Price tells her to leave out the emotion and it will go easier for her.
This episode seems to indicate, once again, that Wellick is not real or is a part of Elliot. The clues are there: The static during the phone call, Tyrell’s spacey replies and, of course, the big one, Mr. Robot facilitates the call. The latter clue is the most meaningful. Robot is Elliot and vice versa.
Sam Esmail has always held on to his “Fight Club” theme; where , in Elliot’s world, nothing is really what it seems. Add to this formula Elliot’s constant self mediating and his schizophrenia it certainly seems to indicate that Wellick is not a separate entity.
Season Two has killed off Gideon (Michel Gill) and Romero. It appears that Ray, not the Dark Army, may have murdered Romero, possibly, on Darlene’s orders. If that is the case, Mobley and Trenton (Sunita Mani) may be next.
If Darlene is responsible, does this mean she has had her own fatal error?
Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays on USA. Tune into this addictive and fascinating show and fall in love with television again.