Don't Worry, Be Happy, "401 Unauthorized" Who Is Mr. Robot's Landlord?
Who Is Mr. Robot’s Landlord? Recap of Season Four “401 Unauthorized”
I have been writing about Mr. Robot for a very long time. You can read all my earlier writing about the show using this guide.
We have finally come down to this one final season, hopefully, we will get answers to many pressing questions (I put together this list of questions in advance of the final season)
You can also follow me on Reddit (I am ypsifactj48, I usually hang around r/Mr.Robot and the Black Mirror and Orange Is the New Black rooms.
I will use better pictures once USA Network puts the episode pictures up on the site.
If you have not watched every episode of Mr. Robot or read Red Wheelbarrow this could contain spoilers *Spoiler Alert*
“You’ve Been Conned”
Lots of crazy to get to here, but let’s take a second to mention to special appearances. Emmy Rossum shows up as a caroler while Mr. Robot is talking to us, Elliot’s friends and Sam Esmail shows up to shoot Elliot up with a near-fatal dose of heroin at the end.
Okay, RIP Angela Moss.
Although it is also possible that Angela is not dead (notice nobody could find the body and we did not see the entirety of her being shot on screen). There were two references later in the show on this issue, so they have built some scaffolding to suggest that Angela, a true ‘whiterose’ believer, might still be around.
Anyway, this happened once before, I do not think anyone assumed Joanna was going to die when she did. I think if we have learned anything it is that Sam Esmail is no more precious about his major characters than George R.R. Martin is about his.
Okay, as near as I can put things together, the Lolita references were to Angela being seduced by ‘whiterose’ and there was also an element of Alice and Wonderland present in her descent into madness. In a sense, if you are really willing to go ‘through the looking glass,’ in a sense, ‘whiterose’ sent Angela to meet her mother as promised (if you believe in meeting people after death, and yes, I suspect ‘whiterose’ would look at it like this...and might even see such an ending as less petty than romantic).
I am still not entirely convinced Price wasn’t planning to fight back against ‘whiterose’ and the Dark Army (I think that is part of why Wellick is back at Ecorp as the figurehead CTO)...but, if he wasn’t planning for a long-term coup before, he certainly will be now. Price is a terrible person, but he has sacrificed for Angela before.
He did not have a play now, so he just had to take it, but I am pretty sure he will attempt retribution (she spoke it into existence before she was shot).
The craziest thing is that even at the end, Angela still had faith in ‘whiterose’s’ plan. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe the Dar Army plot is likely similar to the plot of Die Hard in that it is really about a heist (although in this case either a heist for power or destructive power). All of that said, Angela really, even in her last moments, still believes ‘whiterose’ is opening a door to parallel universes or time travel and maybe he is.
Let us not forget, Mr. Robot and Elliot are in 2015 and talking directly to us in 2019. Somehow, our timeline and their timeline are connected but not the same.
“I Hope You Enjoy Your Last Christmas My Dear Elliot”
One theme of this episode is how far ahead of the game ‘whiterose’ has become, with one brutal move, she took everyone off of their game.
Darlene has become a full-on druggie, doing enough coke (and other random drugs) to have her hallucinating sightings of Angela while also literally hosting wild parties in Angela's apartment.
Elliot has become so lost in his grief that all he can do is fall into the traps ‘whiterose’ had set for him. Just think of the juxtaposition of the first scene of season one with the third scene of season four. In both scenes he has set a trap for someone using information about them digitally doing something wildly inappropriate with kids but in this version, he loses his quarry (who shoots himself once realizing Elliot can’t protect him from the Dark Army) and ultimately the entire chain of events was really him being socially engineered by the Dark Army.
Elliot has turned to darkness (he doesn’t care anymore that non-central people got killed, going so far as to claim it was deserved)), he has gotten sloppy (so sloppy that the Dark Army is socially engineering him), and he has become so obsessed he can’t even see what is happening right in front of him (the old Elliot would never have fallen for an open door or the doorman who sent him right up).
Right now, ‘whiterose’ is winning, and winning by a large margin.
There was a nice bit at the end where Elliot’s mom tells Mr. Robot that he was supposed to protect them all and that she didn’t see it ending like this.
Luckily Phillip Price walks in at the last minute (after Sam Esmail shoots Elliot up with an overdose batch of heroin) and Sam gives Elliot Narcan.
Also, nice guest appearance by Jake Busey. I also thought it was a nice twist to have Mr. Robot appear as the visual manifestation of Elliot’s surveillance through the cameras at Grand Central Station. Not exactly an homage to the Grand Central Station dancing scene in Fisher King, but well-choreographed nonetheless.
“Sometimes the Good Guys Really Do Come Out On Top”
Wellick is getting all of the credit for turning Ecorp around but, as we know, he is really just a miserable puppet of the Dark Army. A different character would just go through the motions and then enjoy the trappings of the job whenever he got an opportunity...But for Wellick, this situation is a lot like Vic Mackey being assigned to desk duty for the rest of his career as a cop in the last episode of “The Shield.”
The economy is growing, E-Coin is thriving, no more troops on the streets and Christmas decorations are everywhere.
Don is hiding out in her Mom’s house (for what reason it is hard to fathom). My best guess is she, like everyone else on the show, is trapped in trauma. While we have not seen Irving during this episode, we do see an interesting and terrifying Dark Army lackey named Janice.
Janice showed up for dinner at Dom’s mom’s house and right before she leaves, Janice tells Dom that if she doesn’t go back to work and clean up the Santiago affair she will have to slit Dom’s mom from, “neck to cunt.”
When Dom tells threatens her, Janice mentions that no matter what Dom does to her, she won’t be able to stop the other Dark Army trolls who will take over when she dies.
Dom is going to have to snap out of this and get to work.
I am starting to see a scenario where Darkene, Dom, Tyrell, Elliot, and Phillip Price come together to take out ‘whiterose.”
I am not sure they will all be singing kumbaya, but that is how the board is set up.
In an odd way, Phillip Price, in this scenario, is playing the role of Vader (only Luke appears to have died).
While everything is spinning out of control, and all of our heroes are losing, one thing did happen that gives me a small bit of hope...when Elliot mentioned Cypress Bank, the main heavy looked up...in order to get Elliot to the honey pot, it is possible they set the trap using real and live bait.
It may not be much, but it is something, it is a start.
Don’t worry, be happy.
Welcome back, Mr. Alderson.
Every week, I will write another recap until we finish this journey together.
If you have any interest in criminal justice reform I am also the host of the Decarceration Nation Podcast
If you like Orange Is the New Black, you can read my recaps of that series using this guide.
If you like Black Mirror, you can read my recaps of that series using this guide.