Warning: Hello, friend. You probably know why you're here, but if you don't, then let me remind you that this article contains major spoilers from Season 2, Episode 3 of Mr. Robot. If you haven't caught up then I'd advise you return to the previous page. I trust you.
The third episode of Mr. Robot Season 2 cleared up a lot of what we saw in last week's two-part season premiere, taking us deeper into Elliot's psyche and his daily struggles. However, with so much happening on the surface, let's take a look at what's happening on a deeper level with some plot elements you might have missed from Season 2, Episode 3.
1. The Importance of Control and Religion
It's interesting to note the number of Mr. Robot characters that either rely on a higher power or are being controlled by a higher power. The latest episode saw Elliot launch a verbal attack on God during his Bible group, making a point about how people often invest a lot of time believing in a higher power, while that belief often results in conflict or bloodshed.
While this can be interpreted as talking about God himself, fans may have noted the similarities between this situation and what Elliot is experiencing with Mr. Robot. Before Elliot discovered that Mr. Robot existed only in his mind, he relied heavily on his message — the word that Mr. Robot was spreading. And all the members of fsociety, including Elliot, faithfully listened and acted on his behalf. Elliot wasn't merely denouncing God in this powerful scene, he was denouncing Mr. Robot despite the fact that he knows that, no matter what, he will end up back under Robot's control. It's just like how followers of God return to Him, even after all the death and destruction.
Similarly, Angela, who was arguably the purest character in the show during the first season, has been corrupted by Phillip Price, who is asking her to remove her emotions and make tough decisions that could ruin lives. In this instance, Price could also be seen as a false God. Meanwhile, FBI agent Dominique DiPierro consults Alexa — her Siri-esque smarthouse voice — for all her queries, including the biblical question "when is the end of the world?" All of these characters are victims of a higher power, whether by choice or circumstance, and it's effecting their perceptions of the world.
2. Social Anxiety
You may or may not have noticed the emphasis on social anxiety in the latest episode. Despite such a high reliance on technology, Mr. Robot doesn't shy away from highlighting the dangers in overusing social media and modern tech. The series questions if we rely too much on technology and social media. Is Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail trying to make us aware of the fact that relying too much on gadgets and gizmos makes us forget our basic social skills?
Elliot has been socially awkward from day one — so socially awkward that he constructed an imaginary friend that he talks to in his head (that's us by the way — the viewer) as well as Mr. Robot. The only people he really communicated with were Angela, Shayla and Gideon. But Gideon and Shayla are now dead, while his relationship with Angela is strained. Moreover, Elliot can do all his hacking from his own apartment, meaning that he never has to speak to anyone.
The theme of social anxiety was even more prominent in the latest episode, seen through Dominique DiPierro. After brief appearances in two episodes, it's becoming obvious that Dominique has her own issues. Did you notice that she received a pop-up on her cell phone about overcoming social awkwardness? The irony here is that modern technology makes the current generation socially awkward, so it's rather poetic that she attempts to overcome her awkwardness through an item that has perhaps put her in this position in the first place.
Moreover, Dominique appears to be conducting a cybersex relationship, although she was unable to fulfill her desires through this method. She also relies heavily on Alexa — her smart home. Dominique may have just cracked the case of the century now that she's discovered the whereabouts of fsociety's base of operations, but will she able to carry out an investigation if she suffers from such a lack of social skills?
3. Mr. Robot Using Ray To Get To Elliot
Something really bugged me about the latest episode — why did Elliot brush over the fact that Ray had his diary? There is definitely something going on here — what's Ray's game? Moreover, Ray, who just happens to speak to somebody in his head like Elliot, has almost become Elliot's new psychiatrist. There's clearly more going on here than meets the eye. The fact that Ray also seems to be conducting some of sort of project that requires a gifted hacker only proves this.
If you remember back to the premiere episode, Ray insinuated that he and Elliot have spoken before, but Elliot has no memory of their encounter. This leads me to believe that Mr. Robot took over Elliot's consciousness and met with Ray, which would explain why Elliot can't remember the meeting. Mr. Robot and Ray could even be in cahoots with each other. Ray requires a top range hacker, and lets face it, nobody is more equipped for that job than Elliot. Meanwhile, Mr Robot wants Elliot to let him back in. It's entirely possible that Mr. Robot has agreed to get Elliot to help Ray with his problem if Ray can convince Elliot to let Mr. Robot back in.
4. We Were Put Inside Elliot's Mind
As Elliot's imaginary friend and confidante, we have witnessed what he goes through internally on a daily basis. And in the latest episode, Esmail actually put us inside Elliot's mind, allowing viewers to experience firsthand what it's like to be Elliot. The scene that saw Elliot abducted and chained to a chair before wet cement was poured down his throat left us in horror — we were watching Elliot's demise.
However, we quickly realized that this was taking place inside Elliot's mind and we were transported back to reality as Elliot vomited up the drugs that he'd previously swallowed. Mr. Robot contrived this vision to make Elliot think he was puking up the imaginary cement, but in reality he was puking up the narcotics that he'd swallowed earlier. Determined not to let Mr. Robot win, Elliot picked out the tablets from his own vomit and re-swallowed them. It was as disgusting as it sounds — the whole scene was incredibly uncomfortable to watch and even a little stomach-churning, but it was a smart tactic from Esmail as we, the viewers and Elliot's friend, got a peek inside his mind. Trust me, it's not a place that you ever want to visit again.
5. Are Tyrell Wellick and Mr.Robot Working Together?
The ominous phone call that ended last week's episode opened this one, as we see a shocked and dazed Elliot (remember, he blacked out and has no memory of how he got there) contemplating that he's actually hearing Tyrell Wellick's voice. Wellick didn't divulge his location because he was afraid that someone could be listening, but he was full of praise for Elliot and the night that they changed the world together. Elliot wanted Wellick to tell him what happened that night, but Mr. Robot intercepted the call before Wellick could answer.
It's more than likely that Elliot was under Mr. Robot's control on that important night, and now Elliot needs to know the details but Mr. Robot refuses to tell him anything. The fact that Wellick is so infatuated with Elliot alludes to the fact that they've been communicating, so perhaps Mr. Robot (as Elliot) has been working with Wellick all along. Remember, last season we saw Wellick actually meet with Mr. Robot, but now that we know that Elliot and Mr. Robot are the same person, it's entirely possible that there is more to this threesome than meets the eye.
I hope I've been able to shed some light on the events and themes of Mr. Robot's latest episode. The plot continues to thicken and Elliot continues to lose control, but how much will Mr. Robot take from Elliot before there is no going back? Looks like we'll just have to wait for the next episode.
What did you notice during the latest episode of Mr. Robot, friend? Tell me in the comments section below.