Mr. Robot Season 2, Episode 6 Recap: Not For Long

Photo: Courtesy of USA.
Hello, friends. This week, we finally know where Tyrell is: in the trunk of the Alderson family car, as the special guest star in a very retro episode of Mr. Robot. When we left Elliott last week he was getting the crap beat out of him by Ray's men. This week, he seems to be in a disassociative state that plays like a bad '90s family sitcom (shout out to Full House's intro graphics), laugh track and all. Other than tipping us off to what happened to Tyrell (magic 8-ball says: outlook not so good), Darlene throws out a telling line from the backseat. When Mr. Robot says, "I'm your father," she quips back, "Not for long." Enough with the showdowns and chess games. It's almost time to conclude the battle.
Creator/director/writer Sam Esmail is taking his homages to the next level with this sitcom homage helping Elliott make sense of his loss of consciousness. That's the thing about his world: it's all a copy of a copy because we've never been there when Mr. Robot was in control, making the decisions that would change the world. Of course everything is an homage to something seen before, and it would be wise to stop crediting those to some limitation of Esmail's aesthetic. If anything, they are a limitation of Elliott's point of view, as the guard watching Alf in the background while Ray leaves his hospital room shows us. Things get complex with Angela, half of the "will they or won't they" couple that no one imagines will anytime soon, and the FBI hack. She realizes that Darlene's boyfriend is the foot soldier who hacked her boyfriend's computer and is the reason she's in the position she's in now – but no one knows he just got owned by the Dark Army and reminded where his loyalties lie. She makes it through the hack, with help from Darlene and Mobley in her ear, and even manages to give the runaround to a mama's boy FBI agent who we'll undoubtedly see again soon. She's almost done with the task when Dom shows up at her desk. This can't be good, especially since Dom's previously told us was exactly why the attack in China was a red herring aimed at stopping the FBI's investigation of the Dark Army. Meanwhile, Evil Corp CEP Phillip Price can't get no satisfaction. Congress won't bail him out. The Chinese won't take his calls. Protesters are so thick outside of the building this his driver can't get in. That ivory tower is looking like a prison. There's no way that rat is going down with the sinking ship. In the end, we find that Elliott is not in a hospital at all. When burly men come for him, violently dragging him from his bed, only to throw him into a dirty, dank room he realizes that Mr. Robot was protecting him by sending him into a world of sitcoms and later a hospital. Elliot's feelings of gratitude trigger a real, traumatic childhood flashback, to when his father told him he had cancer. Love is what ends the battle. Is that love the lie Elliot is telling himself in order to stay alive?

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