Previously on Mr. Robot, “eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess”
Mr. Robot – S2E11 – pyth0n_pt1.p7z | Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Michael Cristofer, Stephanie Corneliussen, Martin Wallström, Grace Gummer | Writer and Director: Sam Esmail
Python n. COMPUTING: A widely used high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. Python has been used in social news networking sites, the information security industry, and artificial intelligence tasks.
“Mind awake, body asleep”
Remember the good old days when we couldn’t trust perhaps a few people at best? When revolutionaries had integrity and opportunistic Eurotrash were exactly as we presumed? You can pine for them as long as you want because those times are never coming back, my friend. The world has changed, that’s for certain. And we still aren’t certain whether what we’re seeing is reality. In any case, each lead is enduring a crucible that will leave them forever changed. The advent of a new era in human history is upon them.
Like most of the second season, Elliot was barely a factor in “pyth0n_pt1” as he was too concerned about Mr. Robot’s janky behavior, deliberately willing himself into a lucid dream state to shadow his alter ego’s elicit activities. What’s strange, in spite of the effort involved to make Alderson like his friends the viewers at home, Elliot’s meditative state was all too brief. Once Mr. Robot decrypted the message relayed to him on the restaurant menu, Alderson resumes control rather seamlessly after losing track of Mr. Robot at a 5/9 swap meet.
It’s a small gripe in a relatively prolific episode that finally featured the return of our estranged Tyrell Wellick. Well, it depends on what your definition of “return” is. Instinctively, Elliot freaked out from the sight of Wellick and never could get a response from his cab driver in English whether his finely tailored fugitive pal was in fact sitting next to him. If Tyrell’s presence wasn’t jarring enough, there’s his conversation with Elliot about “the others” being impressed with Stage 2. While the first part of the season finale concluded with Alderson and Wellick walking toward the rising sun, this scene which would typically be a chilling moment in Mr. Robot’s history is nothing compared to the dramatic transformation that could occur if specific characters are true to their word.
“We can’t let them get away with this…”
Agent Dominique DiPierro has always been a polarizing character from the moment she first sauntered on screen. Her terseness has been as intense as her steely gaze but as we all now know, Dom’s gruff persona is but a front for a woman who’s far more vulnerable than she cares to admit.
In the midst of Dom’s midnight run through city blocks in search of Cisco, Phillip Price secured E Corp’s bailout from China. The world as we knew it before 5/9 is saved, and all it took was two trillion dollars, the annexing of an African nation, two (or three) dead hackers, four dead FBI agents, the compromise of civil liberties, a ruined politician, and a newly corrupted presidential administration. Still, it isn’t enough for Price: at his insistence, he bends the Secretary of Commerce’s ear to the concept of E-Coin becoming a legitimate currency. Yes, Price claims that if E-Coin has equal value to the US Dollar, he’ll use his means to disrupt China’s influence. Whether his claim is a sham or his true intent is unknown. In whatever way, it’s assured Price will achieve his status of absolute power.
As for our stalwart agent, we’re witnessing Dom at her lowest, now impotent in her quest to arrest those responsible for this vast conspiracy. Time and again, DiPierro has tested her limits – and the FBI’s purview – with disastrous results. She wasn’t directly responsible for the Dark Army’s brutal attacks on her teammates, persons of interests, and any bystander that got in the way. However, Dominique never appeared to think of the consequences until DA’s latest blitz. With Cisco and whoever else’s blood smeared across her face, Dom finally came up for air and realize how much she missed in her dogged search for fsociety and their associates. After her depressing conversation with Alexa, here’s hoping DiPierro can right her path or create an entirely new one, like her former suspect Angela Moss.
“What the fuck is going on?”
Wouldn’t we all like to know. After the first series of twists and turns viewers have experienced with Mr. Robot, we’ve come to expect the unexpected and not trust everything we perceive, especially if it’s directly associated with Elliot. The prison reveal now feels like a distant memory of little consequence now thanks to Whiterose, who potential revealed that perhaps reality itself is an easily mutable concept.
Everything that occurred during Angela’s abduction and possible indoctrination into the Dark Army has shifted the direction and paradigm of the show entirely. Sam Esmail loves to toy with his dedicated fan base but his directorial effort this go-around was a pridefully meticulous and a surrealistic exercise of Lynchian effort. Before we get to the overwhelming wtf-ness that was The Room, let’s not dismiss the telling clues exposed before Moss’ interaction with Whiterose. One of the first things viewers recognized at the beginning of “pyth0n” was the choice of music: “Night Train” blared during Angela’s sojourn into obscurity, followed by the Ballad of Davy Crockett and lastly, “Earth Angel” during Tyrell and Elliot’s reunion. Alderson and Moss may not have a chance to watch Back to the Future II together now, but could Mac Quale’s choice of music be a harbinger of Elliot’s influence in practically everything?
Eventually Angela is received in a modest home that’s painfully orderly and adorned in postmodern wares. Most notably, the faces within the family portraits along the hallway are obscured with tape. If one includes the materials inside the room where Angela is detained, it’s highly plausible the residence was the childhood home of Whiterose.
In a scene that could have been in any episode of Twin Peaks or LOST, Angela experienced the worst job interview of her life, complete with a battery of nonsensical and borderline cringe-worthy inquiries. These questions were provided by a fictional game titled “Land of Ecodelia”. Naturally, anything that’s given more than two seconds of screen-time – especially in such critical scenes – is instantly dissected and analyzed by Mr. Robot‘s most fervent fans. The game itself may not exist but the term “ecodelic” was created by Dr. Richard M. Boyle, a professor of multiple disciplines and proponent of experimental drug use. As a self-appointed psychonaut, Boyle believes a person can achieve an “ecosystemic interdependence with all things” and awaken areas within their consciousness that would remain closed if not for psychedelics.
Hold that shit in for one second.
This reference would give veiled merit to Elliot’s regular drug use from last season, granted it was of the opioid variety. The drugs aren’t “necessary or sufficient” as Boyle states, yet they provide an avenue of awakening few people are willing to comprehend. Concurrently, the importance of doors in the episode makes more sense; Whiterose deftly shifts Angela’s perception to see them as opportunities for advancement and discovery rather than a barrier or hindrance to her growth.
In case you didn’t catch a long glimpse of what was displayed on the Commodore 64, this is what is stored on the floppy disc Lil’ Angie ran:
Why you gotta show us all these damn goodies with 45 minutes left in the season? Based on the contents of the disc, Whiterose kept tabs on Moss before the 5/9 attack – and likely did the same for all of Elliot’s associates. However, there’s something to Angela that compelled Rose to keep her under the Dark Army’s protection. It’s apparent she wants to make Moss feel at ease from the use of a motivational poster and employing a girl who is practically miniature version of her. Perhaps Moss passed the test, perhaps not. Either way, Whiterose wanted to compel Angela to think beyond herself, beyond Washington Township, beyond her family and possibly Elliot too. Although we’re to presume Whiterose revealed her plans for the future of humanity to Angela, there’s also the possibility Moss still knows nothing. Ultimately, our tightly wound blonde gave Whiterose the one thing she cherishes more than time: the power of belief.
After 21 episodes of a dynamic, bleak, deeply grounded techno-thriller staged in a familiar albeit alternate version of our world, Mr. Robot has thrown us for a loop once more by incorporating another loftier, metaphysical dimension to the narrative. It’s a true risk to add a fantastical element to an extraordinary yet relatively conventional setting. Nevertheless, this world we’ve grown accustomed to watching all summer long will come to a close. Where else could Mr. Robot go but beyond?
So tell us, friend… are you a giraffe or a seagull?
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