Who Is Mr. Robot's Landlord? eps 2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z
Who Is Mr. Robot's Landlord?
Can Dom make friends with Alexa?
Has Mr. Robot traveled down the path of science-fiction or is it's road more Lynchian?
Is Elliot Mr. Robot, or is Mr. Robot independent? Is Tyrell Wellick alive?
What is Whiterose's endgame? What is Elliot's endgame? What is Price's endgame?
And what has happened to Angela?
Lots of questions to answer in two episodes (and I didn't even mention Dom) but I will do my best to help you get on firm footing for the finale next week.
I am sorry this is late, I was traveling to Atlanta today, and as I am sure you know the internet can be spotty and writing is hard sitting on the tiny airplane seats (Josh big + seats small).
If you have not seen eps 2.9_python-pt1.p7z stop reading * Spoiler Alert *
#MrRobot Crazy Comes With A Kid, A Commodore, and a Red Phone
So, it turns out that the infamous "Inconspicuous Man" and "Inconspicuous Woman" were not working for the FBI, they were working for...wait for it....the Dark Army.
If you missed the subtext, IM and IW have been trailing Angela Moss (Portia Doubleday) for most of the season, showing up in the background of almost any public scene that she was a part of. They have been credited throughout, and they have been the focus of massive speculation throughout the season.
Anyway, as I mentioned last week, the two people who confront Angela on the subway train after Elliot leaves were indeed IM and IW. They do confront and abduct her putting her in the back of a van as they drive to some unknown location. During the entire trip, they refuse to talk to her but in order to quiet her down they do play jazz (night train) and the Ballad of Davey Crocket (Fess Parker) really loud.
Ultimately they pull into what appears to be a suburban garage (parking the van window right up against the yellow tennis ball), walk her through an impeccably designed home, and then ask her to enter a room which IW and Angela sit in until there is a noise then IW leaves and when Angela tests the door, it is locked.
The room contains a desk (the desk has a floppy disc and a Commodore 64 computer), two chairs, a fish tank, and a cat poster suggesting that Angela "Hang Around."
A young girl enters the room and basically tells Angela that it is time to get going. Get going doing what? Well, playing a 1980's style Commodore 64 question and answer style-game (one of the lines on the 64 screen suggests Maniac Mansion).
At first, Angela refuses but then the girl informs her that if Angela doesn't play, she will be beaten (and she shows her the scars). Angela decides to play along. Oh, also, the fish tank is draining while the questions are being asked so Angela is also at risk of killing a large Koi.
Some of the questions Angela was asked:
Have you ever cried during sex?
Have you ever thought about murdering your Father?
Are you a giraffe or a seagull?
After a few more questions, Angela is asked if she has the key to open the door. This stumps Angela for a bit until she decides to say yes (after being asked by a computer enhanced or generated voice over the mysterious red phone). Once she says yes, the girl leaves and tells Angela to wait for her results.
Enter Whiterose (see, IM and IW were working for the DA).
So, what was the point of all of this (aside from the cool mashup of James Bond and David Lynch movies)? I believe it was to vividly demonstrate isolation. To demonstrate how far people can become alienated from humanity.
Whiterose (B.D. Wong) has become so alienated from humanity that she can only interpret people as if they are made up of binary code. She tests Angela using a test constructed of X's and O's. She has lost the ability to understand or desire to communicate with human beings directly without code.
Anyway, Whiterose tells Angela several things:
1) That she will not kill Angela because Angela should have died "90 days ago" which the Reddit Mr. Robot host placed as being the day after the 5/9 hack in the show's timeline. Whiterose actually implies that Angela should have died many times but has not, so Whiterose has decided not to go against fate (and kill Angela).
2) That she wants Angela to stop messing with the Washington Township Facility. In particular to give up on her revenge plans.
One thing we really know between the discussions with Price and Angela is that Whiterose REALLY wants the Washington Township Plant left alone (which means that my Dr. Strangelove theory is still possible).
3) That Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) put the entire Whiterose - Price relationship and all of Whiterose's plans at risk because he is so enamored of Angela.
Several weeks ago, I was very bummed when we found out that Angela was more naive and trying to get revenge on E-Corps than empowered and trying to take over E-Corps. Now, we see a beaten down Angela ho seems ready to give up hope. This is the Angela Moss who told Elliot that there is no way that we can beat "them."
I would vastly have preferred the Angela "breaking bad" to the Angela "broken and turned cynical" by the insidious and corrosive nature of corporate and sub-national powers scenario.
Some people have suggested that this means Whiterose has some "magical" plan that she is enacting. I disagree, I still believe that she is making a play for the instruments of power. However, she does, again, say some mystical and magical mumbo jumbo about the nature of reality.
This is more David Lynch than it is Dr. Who.
In the past, I have suggested that when Whiterose talks about "reality" she is talking about seeing the entire Mr. Universe and not just the show's timeline. I believe that Whiterose sees us even more than Elliot sees us. Elliot sees us watching him, Whiterose sees everything we are up to related to the show. I think that this is true. The "magic" of the show is that we exist and are seen by characters inside the timeline and can create and theorize outside of it.
Sam Esmail recently confirmed this saying that the closest that anyone has gotten to correctly interpreting Elliot's "search my room" scene was that it was more about us being a part of Elliot's world than it was about the hunt for clues to solving Elliot's dillemna.
Anyway, I doubt Whiterose will do something magical. I believe this is a play or using a nuclear power plant to make cobalt bombs. I am sticking to that until it is disproven (at which point I will admit I was wrong...sigh). I am not saying that there is not magic in Whiterose, I am saying the endgame isn't magical.
But, let me take this a step farther.
Most of this show is about how isolation and trauma affected the lives of a certain group of people (Elliot, Whiterose, Angela, Darlene, and Dom). One of the ways is by creating for them duality.
* Elliot (Rami Malek) has Mr. Robot and a connection to his audience beyond the 4th wall.
* Whiterose is also Zhang and can see the larger world beyond the shows 4th wall.
* Angela is central enough and important enough to preoccupy Price and meets Whiterose and talks to herself through affirmations (her invisible friends).
* Dom (Grace Gummer) has an almost magical ability to walk up to any crime scene and almost immediately figure out exactly the information she needs to move her investigation forward and she talks to Alexa because she is utterly alone (her invisible friend).
Ray talked about how people like this are divine. I think he was talking about them being precious in God's eyes. I don't mean to be all holy roller here but, I think there has been a great deal of religious imagery in Season 2 and I supect that is for a reason. But whatever the reason, what makes them special is their dislocation from society.
It is easy to get caught up in all the theories and surreality, but at the core of this show and of its characters is an incredible amount of isolation and loneliness. In some ways, what makes these people special is how utterly isolated and strange they feel in the world
If Mr. Robot deserves credit for anything, it is for making the main players both masters and victims of technology and society. They were all born from what appears to be profound sadness.
For anyone who was disappointed or put off by the delivery, I hope you can connect to the deep pathos. The heart of this show is about people so dislocated, so lonely, so socially awkward that they find entirely other (and often dangerous) ways to connect to the world.
We Did Learn Phillip Price's Plan About Bitcoin and the Ledger of Power
I have admitted pretty openly that I have been about 50% right this season. So, forgive me for taking a victory lap. Both here and on Reddit and Twitter I have consistently said that:
* The E-Currency play is E-Corp not the Dark Army
* That E-Corp is pushing E-Coin to try to corner the E-Currency market.
This time, I was 100% correct.
E-Corps created their version of Bitcoin to run Bitcoin and the US Treasury out of the currency game. In fact, as a result of the Chinese bailout of E-Corp they can leverage the USFG to actually help them become the go-to currency.
Because the bailout is the "miracle" answer to the 5/9 crisis the world has been waiting for. The US Government cannot afford to mess that up. In order to look "good" and "popular." they have to be on board with a solution that is likely to run them right out of the ability to leverage monetary policy or currency against banks and corporations ever again.
To understand the full implications of this, try to imagine if the only person you could turn to after the housing crisis was E-Corps. No matter how you felt about the bailouts, in a world where E-Corps was the only referee, it is doubtful anyone but the banks would have benefited.
Yes, I get that Price invited the Treasury Secretary to regulate him, but that is a short-term play. Once all of the power resides in E-Corps currency he will be able to tell the Fed to take their regulations and shove them. In Phillip Price's Brave New World, The rooster will literally be running the hen house.
Oh, and don't forget, this means that the hammer behind the traditional fiscal instruments of American foreign policy will have to go through E-Corp or have no enforcement power. Phillip Price has essentially given himself a veto over US Domestic and Foreign Policy. The core of American power, in many ways, is our economy backed by the strength of our currency.
After this move, the government will have debt but no ability to leverage it, without the permission of the Corporations.
Checkmate. Full Corporatocracy.
Seriously, this is a MASSIVE play.
One other thing, as you may know, I write about music...This is technically a music blog. Not so long ago I did an interview here with Benji Rogers (the creator of Pledge Music). Most of what we discussed was his idea for using the Blockchain to ensure that music artists get paid accurately for the use of their music (I can explain this more if you ask).
Now, one of the things that we discussed was why control of the ledger is so important to the credibility of a Blockchain system. This is what Price is talking about when he says that a Bitcoin win would be a disaster. For Price to truly be able to take over the world he has to be able to control the ledger. He has to make himself (or his company) the arbiter of record.
Think of it like this, right now Spotify is like E-Corps wants to be, they and the record companies control the ledger and do the accounting and payment to the artists. In the current Bitcoin system, the ledger is maintained in the open and through a rigorous verification procedure. If Price wins, he is like Spotify in this analogy except he controls the ledger for all transaction in the US economy (loans to debt).
By the way, for all of the many people complaining that Part One gave you no answers. This was a pretty huge reveal. It may not seem as sexy as some of the other stuff going on, but E-Corps just got a massive interest free loan and got the Fed to back them in cornering the market in currency.
Can't get much bigger than that (seriously).
And all it cost them was one Plant in Washington Township.
Elliot Keeps One of my Theories Alive and Tyrell Kills Another One
Okay, just to keep the Mea Culpa list going:
* I have said all year that Tyrell is still alive (correct)
* I have said all year that Elliot shot Tyrell (incorrect)
* I suggested, but admitted I was mostly being playful, that Tyrell might be taking out the members of fsociety as revenge (incorrect).
Anyway, Tyrell (Martin Wallstrom) is back.
Many people are trying to suggest that the opening scene (where Elliot attempts to wake Mr. Robot by saying "Mind Awake" "Body Asleep" over and over) signifies some other magical mumbo jumbo.
I am sticking to what I have said all along, Elliot is learning to cooperate with his Alter (Mr. Robot). This is another method of making the handshake effective.
This all goes hand in hand (pun intended) with my DID research that I did. Here is a recent synopsis of my theory of Elliot that I recently wrote on Reddit:
Anyway, I believe Elliot 2 again confirmed my theory when he thinks that he is losing track of Mr. Robot and says "I can't lose Mr. Robot because I am Mr. Robot." Bingo.
So, Elliot decides to nap in order to wake Mr. Robot and get him working on Stage 2 (which he remembers but Elliot 2 does not). He gets to see Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) doing some really cool hacking stuff involving a secret message delivered via BBQ menu (why can't people send me secret messages through BBQ?).
Anyway, once the code is all broken we learn that Elliot 1 (in whatever form) is supposed to catch a particular cab, in a particular place. He follows Mr. Robot to that cab, loses Mr. Robot, remembers that he is Mr. Robot, gets in the cab and starts grilling the cabbie.
The cabbie, being just a cabbie, seems utterly baffled by Elliot 2 yelling at him. And then Tyrell Wellick, looking dapper as ever gets in the car.
At first Elliot 2 is sure he is being delusional. He starts yelling at the cabbie to verify the existence of Wellick. Eventually, they are expunged from the cab.
Tyrell realizes pretty quickly that Elliot 2 is mostly out of the loop on Stage 2, so he offers to escort him to the place where he has been making the plan real.
They walk off together as Tyrell does a bad impression of Rick from Casablanca.
One note for the people who are predicting insane twists, it is possible Whiterose and/or Elliot have a plan that will relate in some way to Back to the Future. The song played at the beginning of the episode (Night Train) and at the end of the episode (Earth Angel) were both in Back to the Future. Just saying.
So, next week we should find out why Whiterose wants the Washington Township Facility so badly, what Tyrell and Elliot are up to (in support of my theory, the preview shows Tyrell standing in front of a map of nuclear power facilities throughout the United States), and what Dom can accomplish when the FBI wants no part of going after China or the Dark Army (because of the E-Corps loan).
There are a few odds and ends. Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen) was going in search of Tyrell, but we never see her arrive at the location that Elliot found for her.
Angela went and warned her lawyer friend to totally stop pursuing legal action against the WTF.
We saw nothing of Darlene (Carly Chaikin) but we do know she is in custody (Dom asked to lead the questioning).
Dom wanted to be immediately reinstated but was denied by Santiago (because the Chinese loan to E-Corp makes it politically unpalatable to go after China or the Dark Army in the current political environment). Dom also had a very long conversation with Alexa (see above). Poor Dom :(.
That is pretty much it, hope you are having as much fun as I am. Only one episode left in what to my mind has been an amazing season of televised content.
Should we accept that Santiago (and the FBI) are China averse after the loan or is there more to his constant Dom blocking?
Why does Whiterose want the WTF so badly?
What is Stage 2? And will it work with or against Whiterose's plans?
Can Dom stop whatever disaster is about to become reality?
What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Let me know what you think, leave a comment!