Tales From A Red Wheelbarrow (eps1.91_redwheelbarr0w.txt) Part 18: DEVOtion


Tales From a Red Wheelbarrow


I have been doing a very deep dive into the book Red Wheelbarrow by Sam Esmail and Courtney Looney, which was released right after the end of Season 2.

Today I am covering the entries for June 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th. The name of the books is a reference to the William Carlos Williams poem "The Red Wheelbarrow," and I suspect the book is an attempt to hack tv through literature.

If you have not seen Seasons 1 and 2 of Mr. Robot, and are not reading Red Wheelbarrow, it is possible that there will be spoilers * Spoiler Alert *

Elliot's Adderall Party


For the last two weeks, I have been talking about my theory that Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) might actually represent the Alter instead of the dominant personality within E-Prime.

I still am not entirely sure that I am right about this theory but it would answer this one important question:

Why is Elliot so obsessed with getting rid of Mr. Robot (Christian Slater)? 

Dominant personalities are dominant precisely because their talents are called for more often than the talents of other fractured parts of the "personality world" that the person with Dissociative Identity Disorder inhabits.

Regardless of who ultimately controls E-Prime's body, both Elliot and Mr. Robot serve distinctly different purposes in the larger E-ecosystem.

Mr. Robot handles anything that requires emotional detachment (like taking beatings, committing violence, or putting potentially damaging plans into play while Elliot is in charge when Elliot Prime is dealing with sadness, empathy, friendship, or loneliness.

Mr. Robot is from Mars and Elliot is from Venus?

But it makes me wonder.

We know that Elliot views E-Prime's dissociations as if Mr. Robot is trying to "take-over." But we also know that dissociation is (really) a self-protective reaction (when E-Prime can't face whatever is happening to him he dissociates control to the parts of his personality that are best suited to handle those events). 

From what I have read, Alters may keep secrets from each other (again for protective reasons) and while they can, at times, have an antagonistic relationship. 

Elliot and Mr. Robot, however, often seem to be in a civil war each fully utilizing the most likely tools available to their personality fragments (Elliot tries to freeze Mr. Robot out by maintaining control while Mr. Robot tries to violently wake Elliot up to the realities that he sees but that Elliot denies).

I am either going to look like a genius or like a very prolific idiot during Season 3 (most probably I will look like an idiot).

Anyway, Elliot's newest scheme, as you might recall from Season 2 (the book has caught up to the show), is to maintain control of E-Prime is to take so much Adderall that he never sleeps  

Ultimately, Elliot takes so much Adderall that he overdoses (an event that was depicted in S2 as Elliot being captured by "Men in Black").

The book adds some context here, Elliot shares that he perceived the abduction by the"Men in Black" as Mr. Robot fooling him into thinking that Tyrell was sending HIS men after him.

This is probably tied to Elliot's feelings of guilt (at this point, he still believes that he shot Tyrell) but it also demonstrates that Elliot has "too much paranoias" (that he relates to his fears through catastrophic paranoias).

I should mention that this is in line with Elliot talking about liking the bible (for a "sci-fi book") a few paragraphs before this (he goes to bible group as you probably remember). But, he isn't seeing the redemption message of the New Testament (the Good News) as much as he is embracing the "eye for an eye" moments of the Old Testament:

"There's some mad vengeance God takes out on people."

"Dude Doesn't like to be betrayed and I'm down with that"

Every once in a while, you can see Elliot's true motivations sneaking through and the unified whole Elliot Prime represented through his personality fragments. You can also see the "harder" Elliot at times when Mr. Robot is not present (go watch the Halloween scene with Elliot and Darlene (Carly Chaikin) again, for instance).

Elliot might truly desire to have more genuine connections with others, but a part of all of E-Primes personalities are all filled with a boiling anger barely covered up by the pain and vulnerability. 

I still believe that Elliot is E-Prime's best hope at becoming a "healthy" and socially-adjusted human being but he is still full of the anger that fills the whole E package to the breaking point.

I have stated throughout that Five/Nine was much more about "mad vengeance" then it was about "saving the world." Looking at Five/Nine as salvation is the story someone tells themselves to feel better about what they did not what someone who is fully coming to grips with the incredible narcissism they used to make hard economic decisions for everyone in the entire world.

Did I Mention Paranoia?


You may remember that Elliot was the reason Carla's pet rat Reynaldo got killed (he "ratted" Reynaldo out to Santos).

Since then, Carla (Eve Lindley) has not been talking to Elliot (either out of anger or sadness) but she has made a new friend and Elliot is not taking it well ("Who does he think he is just flat-out talking to her like that").  So, Elliot (still jumped up on Adderall) follows Carla and her new friend to the library (stalking?) and spends his time staring at them while reading books on "the Cosmos."


Oh, and before anyone gets mad about me referring to Elliot as a stalker, the only difference between the stalking he did online (doing deep online dives into the personal lives of every person he encountered) and what he was doing here is that now he is stalking someone in real time. 

Believe it or not, I love Elliot's character, but he is what he is. 

Anyway, there are more hints about who is driving E-Prime too, right before he starts following Carla he mentions that Mr. Robot "can't stop me. He's just a bunch of smoke and mirrors without me."

Except that we know that Mr. Robot is engaged in coded communication with Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallstrom) throughout the time Elliot is in jail and that Stage 2 is well underway despite Elliot's best efforts when Elliot is released (virtually all of the puzzles in the book, when cracked, point to the communications b/w Tyrell and Mr. Robot while Elliot is in jail).

Elliot, sometimes I think you protest too much.

My one remaining reason for confusion and the reason that I am not 100% sure about this theory is that Mr. Robot is forever asking Elliot to "get them out of here." I am kind of confused how Mr. Robot can manage to engage in complicated communications with multiple people outside of jail and constantly change facts for Elliot on the inside but still need Elliot to "get out?

We know that Mr. Robot is constantly changing facts on the ground for Elliot when he is in jail. Mr. Robot is the one who volunteers their help to Warden Ray (Craig Robinson) and the one who rats out Carla's rat.

For someone who is "just a bunch of smoke and mirrors," he seems to get a bunch of stuff done and many complicated codes and schemes launched - so, why does he need Elliot to get them out of the jail predicament?

Of course, how E-Prime is ultimately released probably had as much to do with Tyrell and Whiterose as anything, which means it probably was ultimately more about Mr. Robot's efforts than Elliot's, but I won't lie I am still sometimes confused by the relationship between the fragmented parts.

I do still believe that the Master-Slave ("Word Up Wednesday") and Handshake episodes were the beginnings of the reintegration of Elliot's personality parts (which is why there were "fuzzy" moments between them during Season 2 - Elliot was starting to see what Mr. Robot was doing at times when he used to be incapable of watching). But, as we all now know, something went drastically wrong with the reintegration plan ending with Tyrell shooting Elliot before he exposes Stage 2.

Too Much Paranoias.

June 20th = Too Bizarre

The June 20th entry actually covers from June 20th through the 23rd because Elliot takes so much Adderall that he flat-out loses his mind.

The entry is a bunch of gobbledygook which then turns into a bunch of code. As you know, I don't do the programming or hacking so I leave the translations to the Mr. Robot ARG folks.

The main thing that Carla points out in her reading is that in the gobbledygook Elliot mentions Shayla Nico (Frankie Shaw). Sigh...Sadness :(  

I am mostly mentioning this so that you don't wonder why the next "Tales" starts on June 24th.

Obviously, there are only a few "tales" left for me to tell (I am planning on doing some posts on the books mentioned throughout Red Wheelbarrow as well).

Wrapping Up


Anyway, that is the end of Part 17.

Normally, during the season, I write a recap of Mr. Robot called “Who Is Mr. Robot's Landlord.” I also recap Black MirrorGame of ThronesHalt and Catch FireThe FlashBetter Call Saul, and put out new Spotify playlists every Tuesday (among other music content).

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

And if you need to catch up on this series:

Missed Part One? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Two? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Three? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Four? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Five? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Six? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Seven? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Eight? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Nine? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Ten? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Eleven? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Twelve? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Thirteen? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Fourteen? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Fifteen? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Sixteen? Catch Up Now. Missed Part Seventeen? Catch Up Now.

Don't forget, my Mr. Robot eBook is coming soon too.

Let me know what you think, leave a comment!