Previously on Mr. Robot, “eps3.6_fredrick+tanya.chk”
The act of eliminating a file, text or other object from a computer hard drive or other media. In most operating systems, when files are deleted they are only marked as such, yet still exist until overwritten by other data.
In “dont-delete-me.ko”, viewers are given a breather to take in the events that have occurred in the last two episodes (three weeks in Mr. Robot’s universe), and how the simultaneous attacks on 71 E Corp facilities affected the overall state of being across NYC in particular. The most obvious sign is the curfew enforced by the National Guard and the posting of multiple detention centers throughout the boroughs. That aside, shops continue to close, fewer cars are being driven on the road and garbage continues to spill out from the curbs and alleys. Nevertheless, people do their best to carry on and make their own light within the darkness.
For Elliot it was a lesson well timed; at the brink of despair, it took a little boy and his shared pain to reinvigorate Alderson’s will to live, restoring what he believed was lost within.
It’s apparent the grief Alderson holds inside has become too much to bear, and knowing what we do of Elliot’s state of mind, a myriad of factors have unconsciously motivated his actions and brought forth the dystopia Alderson willed into existence. Mr. Robot was only the edge of the sword; Elliot’s laundry list of traumas provided the fire that forged him into being. Once more, we’re privy to one of these moments in his childhood. Though it wasn’t directly referenced in present day, Elliot’s presumably final encounter with his father inside Cinema 8 of the Washington Township Mall left him a bigger emotional scar than he realized.
Back in 1995, Edward was attempting to make amends with his son after he accidentally shoved him out his bedroom window. Having no clue how to move on from such a harrowing ordeal, Alderson presses on by taking Elliot to the theaters to see “Shallow Graves”, a film that clearly has influenced Esmail’s vision for Mr. Robot – and mayhaps one of the many films that inspired The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie. In any case, Elliot wasn’t in the mood to see a flick nor be in the same room with his father, who he wholly despised by this point for the shove, his passive nature, and ultimately never admitting his terminal condition to others.
It was enough for young Elliot to plainly admit that he’d never forgive him, an act that only exasperated Edward’s coughing fit and drop on the theater floor. Elliot’s hatred for his dad was the straw that broke his back, and it’s clear from Elliot’s indifference to the entire situation that he had a lot of shit to figure out well before Mr. Robot arrived on the scene.
In a way, the opening of the episode was foreshadowing for the current struggle Elliot began to confront this week. Only this time, he inherited the role of his remorseful father, and the callow spiteful boy wearing a sling is Mobley. It’s Trenton. It’s Cisco, and Gideon and Angela and Darlene and yes, even Tyrell. The boy is the world that Elliot accidentally pushed down a hole that may not have a bottom. And only now in his torrent of emotions does Alderson realize his compulsion to destroy E Corp – a wish that has sparked his creative and technological acumen for the last 25 years – was a short sighted and thoroughly injurious endeavor. So many have died by his need for revenge, so many were wrongfully blamed for his slights, there was nothing else he believed could be done but wipe himself from the mainframe.
All was going according to plan: he feigned stability for Darlene, made sure Flipper was taken care of by a neighbor, and paid his respects to Mobley and Trenton’s families. With a baggie full of opioids and Coney Island to his back, Alderson was ready to sign out… until Mohammed disrupted practically everything.
[bctt tweet=”“No matter what happens, we’ll be okay.” #MrRobot” username=”ProjectFandom”]
Trenton’s little brother (Elisha Henig) proved to be exactly what Elliot needed despite his reticence to take care of the wayward child. We already know Alderson is character who lacks in social graces and seldom puts any effort in getting to know, well, anyone. However spending those few hours with Mohammed spurned a contempt within Elliot that’s rarely displayed for those outside of E Corp’s sphere of influence. It wasn’t Mohammed’s barrage of questions, aloof demeanor or stubbornness that rubbed Alderson the wrong way so much as everything he and this 12-year-old boy experienced in this one day brought forth the old dynamic Elliot had with Edward that he once cherished.
More than that, both of them were hurting tremendously. For whatever reason, when we get older we forget how perceptive kids are in reading people. Mohammed may have used Elliot as a reason to escape his isolated life for a while, but he picked up Alderson’s suffering easily. Not the same, but all the signs were present. The loneliness. The anger. The persistent feeling of hopelessness in a world that quickly spiraled out of control. As bad as Elliot has it, Mohammed is in a worse spot because he still has hope for the world. All he wants to do is watch Matt Damon movies, pray at his mosque without fear of persecution and most especially, talk to anyone who’s willing to listen. For Mohammed, Trenton was his world, his best friend and no one has any answers about her death, save for Elliot.
It was a rough outing at the start yet the unlikely pair managed to open about their home lives and dreams. By the time Elliot had walked Mohammed home, it was heartbreaking to watch the boy’s eyes light up with excitement and relief that he will see Alderson again. For who knows how many weeks of solitude, Mohammed has made a new friend long enough to enjoy his last days in New York. For Elliot it was a revelation: his “something important” had changed instantly after seeing the look on Mohammed’s face. He was the reason Alderson desired to change the world. So a kid like him could wish and dream to become President one day and slip his shoes on like a pro after prayer service and not come home to an empty house with boarded windows.
Like the flip of a switch, Elliot booted up once more and checked on his former constant, the once-reliable Angela. Taking a lesson from Mohammed, Elliot stayed the course and talked through Angela’s door about the wishing game they played as kids. While going over the list of things they wished for, the memories of those better days started to clear Moss’ anguish over her own actions that caused the 71 attacks. Regardless of their volatile relationship, Angela and Elliot do need one another. Whiterose had taken everything they held dear and used it against them and now that the dust has settled somewhat, they may finally be the same page and recognize the Dark Army must be stopped from within.
Before episode’s end, the dead man’s switch Trenton created in case something were to happen to her was delivered in Elliot’s Protonmail, reaffirming Alderson that he still has a grand purpose to fulfill. Elliot’s journey has been a costly one: all of fsociety has been neutralized and “framed”, his former boss Gideon was senselessly murdered, and countless others were severely affected by 5/9 and the 71. All in the name of what can only be described as the mother of all hostile takeovers. Yet hope persists in the form of Trenton’s potential reversal:
From: Tr3nton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I may have found a way to undo the hack. I’ve been investigating Romero. He installed hardware keyloggers on all the machines at the arcade some time before five/nine. The NYPD imaged all of his data after he was murdered. I was able to get this chain of custody document from the NYPD when they prepared to transfer the evidence to the FBI. They couldn’t get into the encrypted keylogger containers. If Romero somehow got a hold of the keys, or even the seed data and source code for the encryption tools, the answer might be in those keylogger captures, but the FBI probably has those files now.
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Romero NYPD chain of custody.pdf
Mr. Robot S3E7 Review Score
Mr. Robot – S3E8 – eps3.7_dont-delete-me.ko | Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Martin Wallström, B.D. Wong, Bobby Cannavale | Writer and Director: Sam Esmail