The sixth episode of season two of the USA Network series Mr. Robot begins like a bizarre sitcom with yellow replacing the red lettering of the title card. An adult Elliot (Rami Malek), dressed like a child in a striped t-shirt, is on a road trip with his family. The color palette is bright and artificial, and the laugh track could not be more out of sync with the violence depicted. While absurd, some parts of this segment have elements of truth from Elliot’s perspective. When they stop at an E Corp convenience store and find Angela (Portia Doubleday) behind the counter, she tells Elliot that she started as a part-time associate and is now on pace to become a full manager and that “almost makes up for them killing my mom.” Elliot has been troubled by the thought that Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) killed Tyrell (Martin Wallstrom) and in this daydream, Mr. Robot does kill Tyrell with a lug wrench.
Characteristic of a sitcom, there is a heartfelt moment between father and son. Mr. Robot tells Elliot that “truth is painful” and that a “lie is the only remedy. Too much truth will kill you.” He also says that “everything you see is here for you. You should try to go along with it.” Mr. Robot’s words are consistent with the message that he has been giving Elliot: don’t do anything about the nefarious website run by Ray (Craig Robinson).
When Elliot awakens in a hospital bed, Ray is looming over him with the thug Lone Star (Michael Maize) nearby. Ray makes it clear that he expects Elliot to do exactly as he says by way of a story about his dog, Maxine, having a master. Subsequently, Elliot is taken from the bed to a basement. Mr. Robot appears and tells him that he had tried to take the beating for Elliot. Elliot says thank you and they hug.
In another daydream the child Elliot is in a car with his dad after suffering a beating at school. Elliot learns that his father is dying but that he will always be with Elliot. His father takes him to a building that will house their new business, a computer store. It is Elliot who comes up with the name for the business: “Mr. Robot.”
It is now two days after the Beijing attack and Darlene (Carly Chaikin) and Mobley (Azhar Khan) are giving Angela a crash course in hacking. Their plan is to hack FBI phones in order to gain access to their emails, text messages, and documents. They need Angela to get inside the E Corp offices to install hardware and put script on the network computers. There is a lot of suspense as Angela runs into problems. She comes out of the restroom where she has been working only to be met by an FBI agent. When he asks her out, she brushes him off. Quickly his demeanor changes and he questions why she is on this floor that is supposed to be off limits to E Corp employees. She softens and takes him up on his request to meet for lunch. This crisis avoided, she finds a cubicle and starts inputting the computer program Darlene gives her over the phone. While she is working, FBI agent Dominique DiPierro (Grace Gummer) startles her when she comes up from behind.
Dominique’s boss wanted her to take a month’s psych leave after the Beijing shoot out she was involved in. Dom responded that if the investigation is disrupted, the Dark Army wins. The Chinese suggested that Uighur separatists were behind the attack on FBI agents, but Dom doesn’t believe that because of their behavior (i.e., shooting themselves).
In a beautiful scene with a mirrored desk in the foreground causing a reflection of the top half of screen onto the bottom, E Corp CEO Philip Price (Michael Cristofer), learns that congress is unlikely to pass legislation providing a bailout of E Corp. Such a bailout would involve borrowing from the Chinese and given the incident in Beijing that is unlikely to happen. He gets more bad news when his assistant tells him that Minister Zhang’s office is unreachable.
It was a fast-paced episode with much happening for all the characters. The dream sequence was novel and beautifully executed, as was the scene in Philip Price’s office.