BY AMY RATCLIFFE
Note: Full spoilers for the episode follow.
The path of Mr. Robot has taken a turn down yet another path. Mr. Robot is Elliot's father. That's actually true. But he's also really dead and now Elliot has become him. Maybe taking on the persona of his father -- even if he didn't realize Mr. Robot was his father -- gave him the confidence and drive he needed to form FSociety. Elliot recognizes his mental issues, and like last week, Darlene's reactions show the snap isn't anything they haven't dealt with before. Angela reacted similarly.
Before we got to the moment where we realized the full extent of Elliot's delusions (again), Rami Malek blew the roof off with his raw, powerful delivery of Elliot's rage. Elliot's usually tempered outwardly and calm. We've seen him grieve, but we haven't seen him so angry. Malek's so present in each of Elliot's scenes and because the character has established a direct connection to the audience, all his experiences are more personal and close. Elliot is different, special, and Malek brings him to life.
For a few moments, his reunion with what Elliot thought was his father was comfortable. It wasn't warm and fuzzy and shouldn't have been, but the context of the endearing flashback added to it. The mutual adoration between father and son was apparent.
The step off the rails has potentially put a hitch in the plan to hack Evil Corp. Elliot may be unbalanced, Evil Corp is still awful and the plan is meaningful. And I'm actually on board with this weird new partnership between Tyrell and Elliot. Tyrell has straightforward motivations: he wants absolute power. His desire for complete control being what powers him forward would be boring except for the way in which he came to discover it or at least the way he communicated it. There was a terrifying poetic edge to the way he described what he did to Sharon. It was easily his best scene of the season. I'm interested to see how Darlene will react to Tyrell being brought into the plan.
Now that we know about Darlene's relation to Elliot, her past actions make more sense. It seemed like she was an oddball who inserted herself into Elliot's life too quickly. The sort of secrets present in Mr. Robot are such that going back for a re-watch would undoubtedly prove educational. There have to be signs we missed the first time around with Darlene, Elliot, Mr. Robot, and even Angela.
Angela was in the loop, too. She was aware of Elliot's family ties, and she goes way back with Darlene. She's not as patient with Elliot as Darlene though, and you could feel her weariness. She's continuing to find her way and is seemingly stand up like herself like never before. The Angela at the beginning of the season probably would have considered a job at Evil Corp just because it would have meant security and stability. She's undergoing a transformation, and I keep thinking it will lead her to FSociety.
Tonight's episode was packed with heavy scenes one right after another, but it took time to pause. Stopping to see Gideon's stress and conversation with his partner will probably pay off later, but regardless, it made the character more interesting. The same applies to Joanna's ultimate to Tyrell.
Quick note for next week's episode, the Season 1 finale: Be sure to watch through the end and see the full credits.
Mr. Robot never shows its full hand and remains wildly unpredictable. It manages to balance the big turns with small human moments that make the ensemble vibe stronger. Elliot's still the focus because much depends on his actions and interpretation of reality, but the supporting cast has rounded out in wonderfully unexpected ways since the beginning of the season.