‘Mr. Robot’ Season 4, Episode 2 Recap: Deus Ex Machina

‘Mr. Robot’ Season 4, Episode 2 Recap: Deus Ex Machina

By contrast, Elliot has two thin strands of hope to cling to. First, he needs Whiterose to convene a meeting of the Deus Group; Price forces her hand by announcing his plans to resign as E Corp’s chief executive, which necessitates an in-person gathering to choose his successor. Second, he needs to hack Price’s go-between with the group, the E Corp attorney Susan Jacobs; unfortunately, his sister, Darlene, killed her for her role in the Jefferson Township chemical leak that killed her and Elliot’s father.

Darlene reveals that dark secret after she and Elliot get together following the sudden death of their abusive mother. This, too, is a striking contrast: To see our daring hacker heroes attend to painfully ordinary business like arranging a cremation, grieving in a chapel, and going through their mother’s personal effects is to see a whole new side of them both. Neither Elliot nor Darlene really care about the death of their mom, but her passing enables them to process their grief over the murder of their childhood friend Angela, which they had never been properly able to do until now.

It’s then that another group of shadowy figures emerges from hiding, at least to us in the audience. In passing, Darlene mentions the return of Vera, the drug dealer who murdered Elliot’s girlfriend Shayla back in Season 1. Furious, Elliot demands to know why Darlene never told him; she insists that she did. But even Elliot’s Mr. Robot persona denies having been told.

Then the show cuts to the high-rise boardroom where Elliot had his first encounter with E Corp’s inner circle in the pilot — “the guys no one knows about,” as he called them at the time. In this interior limbo lurk Elliot’s mother and his child self, two other alternate personalities. They’re waiting for someone, his mother says. Not for Elliot, not even for Mr. Robot: “For the other one.”

So there’s another personality buried in Elliot somewhere — an echo of the Deus Group, a true power behind it all. Adding additional layers to an already complicated plot is tricky business, of course. But the mysteries are so intriguing, and Esmail’s command of his craft so sure, that the investment seems sound as a pound.

Random Data:

  • As he did in the season premiere, Mr. Robot narrates the episode rather than Elliot. It’s a sign of how single-minded Elliot has become in his pursuit of vengeance that he no longer has the time or the inclination to talk to his “friend” in the audience.

  • Bets on Elliot’s secret persona? My best guess is the horror-film slasher who first wore the money-man mask that Elliot’s collective fsociety adopted as a symbol, but I’m perfectly happy to have no real idea until the show reveals it.

  • As an inveterate adolescent Walkman user, I found its use as an ersatz Proustian madeleine for Elliot’s, Darlene’s and Angela’s childhoods to be astutely observed.

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