Carla's Gift: Tales From A Red Wheelbarrow Part 1 (eps1.91_redwheelbarr0w.txt)


So, what is eps1.91_redwheelbarr0w.txt? The Story of Elliot's Notebook


If you are not familiar with my writing on Mr. Robot, check out The complete #OPS Guide to Season 2 of #MrRobot

Red Wheelbarrow is first and foremost the notebook Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) kept in Jail during the time that passed between the infamous "knock on the door" at the end of Season 1 and when "Hot Carla" (Eve Lindley) supposedly burned it up in a literal Red Wheelbarrow in the exercise yard at the jail.

It is also a book written by showrunner Sam Esmail (writer, director, etc.) and writer Courtney Looney. 

It was released today and I was literally the first person in the store to get it this morning.

A few important establishing conceits:

*  Elliot was cut off from us, his friend because the magic that connected us (USA Network) chose for Season 1 to come to an end. As crazy as this may sound, it is the actual explanation for why Elliot started writing what he would have shared with us in his notebook.

* Carla did not actually "fully" burn the notebook (despite the appearance that she did). As she puts it in the intro to the book:

"I feel this journal has a greater life to be had. It was hard for me not to burn it, like he wanted. When we were doing just that, burning this journal in the yard, I told Elliot why I burn books after reading them: Nothing stays the same, so I don't want to be the one changing it."

Anyway, that is what brings us here. The notebook covers the period when Elliot was mad at us for disappearing after the knock on the door until just before the jail reveal. I do not know how quickly or slowly I will be going through it yet (have to read it first and I will be digging in tonight).

I am going to use the rest of this post to provide some "Red Wheelbarrow" basics from the show to get everyone on the same page before I start exploring what I find in the book.

Why Red Wheelbarrow?


Red Wheelbarrow refers to a poem called "The Red Wheelbarrow" written by William Carlos Williams:

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

Probably the most important reference to the poem happened in the very last episode of Season 2 when Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallstrom) says:

"Help me understand. 'So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside the white chickens." 

My father used to say that to me all the time as a child. It was the only English he knew. Some silly poem. It meant very much to him. I use it as a reminder... a reminder of him and a reminder of what I never wanted to become."

I just did a text search and, as far as I know, the only other references to Red Wheelbarrow are visual. In particular:

* The notebook itself where Elliot wrote "Red Wheelbarrow" where his name should go

* The actual Red Wheelbarrow in the exercise yard at the correctional facility.

* The menu for Red Wheelbarrow BBQ (that led to the meeting between Elliot and Tyrell at the end of Season 2 (eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z)

So, my operating assumption is that both Elliot and Tyrell's Father's recited the poem Red Wheelbarrow to them as children. I come to this conclusion because Tyrell talks about the discussions that they had between meeting each other and the infamous night of 5/9 and about all of the similarities they had (including abusive parents). 

Most of Elliot's psychological problems have a relationship to his Father Edward. His conflicted relationship with Edward is why his "Alter" Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) has Edward's face and it is most likely why his "friend" is named for a poem related to his childhood.

I certainly could find out that I am wrong later.

One Other Feature Of Red Wheelbarrow


One of the first easter eggs of the season came from the Red Wheelbarrow notebook. Elliot drew a QR code in the book that, if you scanned it, led to a 90's style web page for Confictura Industries

The maker of the notebook called "Red Wheelbarrow" is Confictura Industries.

Okay, that is a good starting point, I will get cracking on reading the Red Wheelbarrow notebook. 

Other Big News from Who's Mr. Robot's Landlord

Obviously, the big news right now is that I am doing this "Carla's Gift" series on Red Wheelbarrow.


* I am putting out an eBook of answers to as many Season 2 questions as I have found answers to. It should be out in the next month for sure.

* Also, if you missed it, I put out two 80's Dance Club themed playlists that went crazy over the weekend (over 100 upvotes which is a ton for a r/spotify post ime). You can hear them by clicking Part One or Part Two.

* I am doing a few Teespring campaigns for some Mr. Robot and "Who Is Mr. Robot's Landlord?" themed T-Shirts. If you are into all the little details of the show, you will like the shirts. More information on that very soon.

I use for my transcripts.

Thanks, as always, for reading! Much more coming very soon!

What Red Wheelbarrow references did I miss?

Do You Have a Red Wheelbarrow theory that you would like to share?

Let me know what you are thinking, leave a comment!