BY DEANNA CHAPMAN
Mr. Robot returns with an Elliot-centric episode and an unlikely friend for him.
Mr. Robot starts with a flashback to “movie night” with Elliot and his dad. They’re there to see Shallow Grave but after his dad passes out, Elliot goes into a showing on his own. It’s a clever way to have the title card come into play this episode, especially as Elliot took his dad’s Mr. Robot jacket off of him.
Cutting back to the present, Elliot is back in his apartment, deleting files that no longer hold value. However, he’s writing the files to a disc and we see his collection of music, so to speak. It is good to know that he is in fact thinking of Trenton and Mobley and what exactly they died for.
Darlene wants Elliot to talk to Angela, who is still having her breakdown. Elliot himself is a little off the rails, as well, because Mr. Robot won’t leave. In this moment, it’s easy to see how this split personality really affects Elliot. He scares Darlene what seems to be constantly these days and it increases the tension in their relationship even more.
When Elliot leaves to try to rid himself of Mr. Robot, he stops by Bo’s apartment to have him dog-sit, which apparently he’s done before. It’s a minor moment, but it’s nice to know that despite all of the chaos, Elliot never forgets about the dog. His way of getting rid of Mr. Robot isn’t the healthiest, though, because he goes straight to a dealer to buy some morphine.
Elliot visits Mobley and Trenton’s families. For Mobley, that means his brother who apparently doesn’t like him. In a nod to today’s “fake news” claims, his brother asks if the news is just making things up now. He also visits Trenton’s parents to tell them that she was a good person. It’s always been hard for Elliot to express his feelings, so seeing him trying to do the right thing is great.
Mohammed tracks Elliot down at the beach and gives him a hard time before asking about his sister. He totally has the annoying little brother role down and you can see it starting to frustrate Elliot a bit. When they head back, Mohammed’s parents aren’t there so they just sit on the steps. Mohammed convinces Elliot to take him to the movies, where Back to the Future is playing because it’s the day Marty travels into the future.
Elliot’s strong opinions on movies add a little depth to his character and it ties in the flashback that started the episode. He even had Mohammed shake up the popcorn with M&M’s in it. However, during the movie, he ditches Elliot, who then finds him at the mosque. When Mohammed tells him, “I wish you were dead,” Elliot responds with a resounding, “So do I.” Elliot even takes the blame for Trenton’s death. You can really see that Elliot is trying to make sure he’s not left alone, even if it’s not what he wants to do. This is also where we find out that Mohammed was born in Trenton, which is clearly where the code name came from.
Even though Elliot didn’t hold The Martian is high esteem, he offers to take Mohammed to see it before his family moves. He starts crying as Mohammed runs to get him a lollipop since he said he was sick earlier. It’s pretty fascinating to see how Elliot interacts with Mohammed considering he has so little experience with kids as far as we know.
In the final minutes of the episode, Elliot goes back to Mobley’s brother and gives him the bag of morphine so he can pay for a funeral. It turns out Hard Andy is one of his clients and that’s why Elliot went to him in the first place. Then, he decides to make an effort to see Angela. She doesn’t let him in and how bad her paranoia is ends up being quite apparent just by the number of locks on her door. Elliot just sits down and talks to her through the door, rehashing some old memories.
It feels like Elliot has a good amount of personal development this episode. Before, it would have felt so out of place to see him taking care of a kid, even if only for a few hours. To start the episode, he didn’t want anything to do with Angela, but by the end, he knows he should be there for her like she’s been for him before.
The final scene shows the Mr. Robot jacket being dumped back in front of Elliot’s doorstep and him building a computer to check his email. He has one from Trenton saying she may know how to undo the hack. This whole episode was a great nod to her (and Mobley, even if it was less so for him). It may have slowed things down in the way of knowing where the FBI is and how the plan is proceeding, but this felt like a necessary Elliot-focused episode.
Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA.