Mr. Robot Season 2, Episode 5 Recap: I Could Be A Friend

Photo: Courtesy of USA.
Hello, friends.

We're circling an inevitable showdown, or showing up, between the FBI and fsociety. Or the Dark Army. Or Whiterose. When the explosion finally goes off, it is still unclear how far it will reach. What we know is that Elliott has written a piece of malware that will wipe clean whatever information the FBI has on the Evil Corp hack. The trick is activating it.

Between here and there, however, is Ray. The person everyone is underestimating.

But back to the problem at hand.

Darlene breaks into Angela’s apartment to convince her to help hack the FBI, who are now embedded on the 23rd floor of Evil Corp. Angela says she’d rather take her chances and when this is reported to Elliott, he agrees she should stay out of it. That seems like a good idea until Angela she meets up with her ex-boyfriend for a drink and sees clearly what a douchebag he always way. He talked to the FBI and told them about the hack, but “I swear I never said your name.” His lack of believability is enough to drive Angela to visit Elliott and volunteer to get involved, but not for altruistic reasons. She's back into a corner by her own involvement in starting the 5/9 hack.

Dominique and her FBI squad take a trip to China to gather evidence. She's greeted at the airport by men in demon masks, which is exactly the foreshadowing you think it is of what's to come. She proves herself to be less than a diplomat in their meeting withPrime Minister of State Security, Whiterose. She also puts everyone's life in danger by tipping her hand and letting him know they suspect the Dark Army have their fingers in the 5/9 hack. But these mistakes are not like the meticulous, unemotional Dom we've seen so far. When she wonders into his room of clocks and reveals the very personal reason she's in the FBI (note that she played the pronoun game with her partner while divulging her story), her crassness seems to charm him. He takes her to his personal quarters, showing her his collection of dresses which he tells her belong to his sister. When she recounts it this next morning to a coworker, she reveals that she knows he doesn't have a sister. When an assassin attacks and takes out the whole FBI contingent, it can't be a coincidence that everyone except Dom is killed. In this high-stakes chess game, who is playing whom? They are both wearing elegant masks.

Is there anyone who didn't know that Joanna was going to kill that parking lot attendant? His cold feet, about Elliott specifically, are interesting. What happened the day of the hack, when he was asleep? Was it not a battle for control by Mr. Robot after all? Joanna gets another little gift from Tyrell, a silver rattle for their baby that is surely more than a rattle. After she has the attendant killed, by her security team, she asks to be told about his death. Apparently, it was her idea to drug him, rather than kill him instantly. She explains that this way he understands and now they’re not all ruthless murderers. Then she returns to singing a lullaby to her baby because her moral compass does not face true north.

It becomes clear that Mr. Robot was not underestimating Ray. He knew what Ray was about and was trying to push Elliott away from his black market operation of sex trafficking, drugs, and illegal weapons. Elliott can't unlearn what he knows. The only question is how badly he'll be hurt if he tries to help them – or just for getting involved. How do you fight a war on all fronts? Go nuclear.
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