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MR. ROBOT Recap: Init1

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for USA’s Mr. Robot. Proceed with caution. 

Similar to last week’s episode (which kicked off with the FSociety arcade hideout’s backstory), “init1.asec” answered several questions we forgot we wanted to know, including: how Darlene came back into Elliot’s life, why he was seeing a therapist, and how he got a job at Allsafe in the first place. With everything that’s been going on, it’s easy to understand why those inquiries got swept under the rug. But they were given their time in the spotlight tonight, as the protagonist and the audience received more insight into how everything started, what Elliot wants out of life, and how he’ll be able to achieve it.

Mr. Robot - Season 2

Much to our surprise, the episode started with a knock at Elliot’s apartment door—but not the one you think. Despite being at his desk doing what he was doing in the final few moments of last season (will we ever find out who was knocking?!), the moment takes place before the hack ever happened. In fact, it was before we were even introduced to Elliot in season one. If you couldn’t tell by the image above, the knocker was Darlene.

Seeing as Halloween used to be their thing, she came over to cheer him up with one of their favorite films (which features the mask). During her visit, Darlene asked Elliot about his job. Apparently he worked for “Wall Street psychos” who fired him and sent him to a shrink. Their reason? After locking him in the server room to work, he fell asleep. When he woke up, all of the servers were destroyed, and he had no memory of what happened. The standout moment, however was when Elliot brought out their dad’s old jacket, put it on (along with the mask Darlene was wearing) and hatched the plan to bring down down Evil Corp.

Catching up with the siblings in their more current state, Darlene has made a trip to see Elliot to ask for his help with their current situation. Of course, her question was met with a hesitant Elliot, who’s still battling with his inner demon. He wants nothing to do with the hack, and told her she needed to stop. When she reminded him that he knew what they were getting into when he planned the hack, his internal monologue criticized her for for not being completely honest and upfront with him.

Mr. Robot - Season 2

Of course, we know that what she was holding back: the news that Romero was killed and the FBI is on to them. Because she doesn’t want to freak him out in his clearly fragile state, Darlene decided to keep the information close to the chest until later on (which we’ll get to in a minute). The problem at hand now is that the newest character, an FBI agent named Dom, located the group’s arcade hangout. Despite Darlene’s affirmation that the group didn’t leave any prints behind, Dom and her team found a single bullet behind one of the machines.

Aside from his wife Joanna’s belief that he’s still alive, Tyrell is still missing, which doesn’t bode well for the character, especially with the bullet found by the feds.  If he does come back, however, ECorp’s CTO Scott is determined to nail him for the murder of his wife. Needing money, Joanna told Scott she would testify against Tyrell as long as she’s given his severance pay. Speaking of Mrs. Wellick, we’re still not sure how to feel about her, or how genuine her act is. She seemed desperate for money to care for her child, but didn’t hesitate to tell her lover she was with him because he didn’t have much money.

Motivations that were revealed, though? Elliot’s for getting back into the thick of things. In short, he wants a life where his family and friends find happiness. And we got a montage of these desires set appropriately to an instrumental version of Green Day’s “Basket Case”—if there’s anybody’s mind that’s playing tricks on them, it’s Elliot’s. The music seriously gets better with each episode.

MR. ROBOT -- "eps2.2_init_1.asec" Episode 204 -- Pictured: (l-r) Christian Slater as Mr. Robot, Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/USA Network)

The important thing was that Elliot realized (via a creative chess dilemma) he wasn’t going to be able to push the Mr. Robot side of him out of his life because it’s there for a reason. During a therapy session, Krista planted the seed that destroying Elliot’s alter ego may be dangerous. Even Leon weighed in on the situation (though we’re not quite sure what he was saying), and giving a spiel about self-improvement. After making a deal with Mr. Robot that whomever won a game of chess would get to take over, Elliot came to the realization that fighting was a waste of time, because he’s in control of everything his alter does.

While all of that was going on, Angela was dealing with Price’s mind games. The two men she ate dinner with (and was given evidence about) last week ended up arrested, which was both good and bad for her. On one hand, two people who did some shady things regarding her father’s death were sent to prison. But on the other, Angela isn’t buying it (or the fancy apartment and perks she’s been given). She’s suspicious of Price’s motives, and worried she missed something in the settlement drafts. When she brought the possibility of him using leverage up to Price, and offered her cooperation in exchange for her boss’ job, he sloughed it off and told her it was all in her head.

Angela wasn’t the only one penciled in for a meeting with Price: He also had a phone conversation with none other than White Rose (B.D. Wong), who is impatiently waiting for a plan. She has an issue with Price’s rash decision to use the “e-coin strategy” and demands more information on the FBI’s investigation into the arcade. White Rose is getting nervous, which isn’t good for FSociety because she is the head of the Dark Army.

MR. ROBOT -- "eps2.2_init_1.asec" Episode 204 -- Pictured: Christian Slater as Mr. Robot -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/USA Network)

At the end of the episode, Elliot decided to contact his sister about the trouble they’re in using Ray’s computer. After finding out about Romero’s death—and the fact that he was looking into the FBI’s top-secret “Berenstain” surveillance mission—Elliot came up with a brand new plan: He’s going to hack the FBI and fight for his future. Hacker Elliot is back and we’re excited to see what’s  in store when the show returns next week (hopefully with Tyrell in tow).

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below, join the conversation on Facebook, or reach out to me on Twitter: @Samantha_Sofka.

Image Credit: USA

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