Home Alone: Who Is Mr. Robot’s Landlord? Eps3.1undo.gz
Who Is Mr. Robot’s Landlord?
Like Mr. Robot itself, I hope that searching for the answer to this question is more fun than reaching any definitive conclusion (the contemplation moves me very deeply).
In case you missed “Who Is Mr. Robot’s Landlord?” last week here is my recap of Eps3.0power-saver-mode.h.
If you have not watched every episode of Mr. Robot or read Red Wheelbarrow this could contain spoilers *Spoiler Alert*
I am not a programmer, so apologies if this is inaccurate, but I think undo.gz is a command to unf*ck something you encrypted or zipped. On face, it is a reference to Elliot’s desire to undo what happened on 5/9.
So, I have interviewed Sam Esmail twice (or I should say that he was nice enough to answer my questions twice), I have talked to Kor Adana twice, and I have talked with B/D Wong before, but for some reason, this was the thing that surprised the heck out of me and even freaked me out a little (it was a response to one of my tweets from the Mr. Robot account earlier today):
Holy cow, that was way too specific (I am part of the Fsociety algorithm now).
his was a power-packed episode, it is going to take a while to unpack it all. Just think of all the minor characters that showed:
Mr. Sutherland, Derrick, Krista, Flipper, Lenny Shannon, Frank Cody, and Zhang’s assistant (who is of yet unnamed).
Derrick? (aka RIP Joanna)
Not sure how I feel about the unexpected demise (and dismemberment of Joanna). I am not usually very critical of Mr. Robot, and I fully understand that her plot arc was disconnected from the main story, but it sure seemed like she had so much more left to give to Mr. Robot.
I certainly didn’t anticipate that her second appearance during season 3 would be her last (the first was her interview with Frank Cody).
So many unanswered questions, just remember the scene last season where she came right up to Elliot’s face and went full femme fatale on him or the scene where she met Ollie (Elliot) in front of her condo after Tyrell disappeared in Season 1?
I really hate that the last significant moment she had on the show was the incredibly violent scene with Scott Knowles. Oh well, I tip my Gatorade in the memory of Joanna Wellck (and yes, I know half the world will have a theory about how she is not really dead etc.).
It also bums me out (more than a little) to have one of the truly terrifying characters on television get taken down by someone as useless as Derrick.
In a strange way, I suppose it was only fair that Derrick gets his revenge on Joanna for Joanna using him to get revenge on Scott Knowles but come on, Derrick?
In my own fantastic version in my head, Joanna should go out in a spectacular, iconic, and memorable fashion as Cody Jarrett did in the classic movie 'White Heat.'
“Top of the world Ma, top of the world”
As bizarre as this sounds, Joanna was one of my favorite characters, I will miss her particular brand of intense insanity.
RIP Joanna Wellick.
Should I have been surprised?
I said Darlene would be working for the FBI at the end of last year, I said it in my pre-season piece (Darlene 101), and I said it again last week.
You just can't have a senior FBI agent tell you that he is thinking of having you interned using Patriot Act powers and then go free, it just doesn’t work that way.
And while Elliot hasn’t put two and two together, Mr. Robot clearly did (and took appropriate countermeasures) and Angela also seemed to get that Darlene was compromised.
In other words, this was never intended as a twist and nobody was ever going to be taken in by it.
Going forward this will be more about Darlene trying to find a way to escape her situation without implicating Elliot then it will be about Darlene tricking the Dark Army, Fsociety, or E-Corp.
I suppose this is as good a time as any to address Mr. Robot.
I have been suggesting since Season 1 that the idealized vision of Edward Alderson in Elliot’s memory was not the real Edward Alderson. Like every single other character on Mr. Robot, Edward was a complicated person, capable of being patient and loving at one moment and also capable of pushing Elliot out a window in another.
I probably should also mention that I am virtually certain that in Elliot’s previous recollections of being pushed out of the window by Edward, there was no snow on the ground (which makes the snowman story particularly interesting). Not sure I have a good theory here yet, but something is going on with this story as well.
Anyway, Edward was willing to look the other way as his wife abused Darlene.
There were also strong hints that Edward had some real issues with women.
If you go back to the ‘Word Up Wednesday” episode listen carefully to what he says about his wife to Elliot in the convenience store (or was it a gas station?).
And there were also the Lolita references (in both Angela and Darlene’s backstories).
And while Darlene explicitly states that the death of Edward (and yes, she called him her Father tonight conspiracy lovers) messed her up too, you can hear in her voice that if it did mess her up, it probably wasn’t in the same way that it messed Elliot up.
You will notice that Darlene did not say she came back to hang out with Mr. Robot, she said she came back to spend more time with Elliot (also hold onto this idea for a few minutes, one of Darlene’s favorite movies as a kid was Robin Hood Prince of Thieves).
And now we have seen how Mr. Robot treated and talked to Krista (I believe he actually used the word “cooze” at one point) and physically threatened and intimidated both her and Darlene.
Edward was much more than the idealized father Elliot shares with us at times.
E Prime (all the parts of Elliot Alderson - the whole) represents both sides of Edward’s personality and also Elliot’s anger at both losing his father and at his father’s dark side.
Elliot (the one we all like) represents the idealized Edward, the person Elliot remembers in Edwards best moments, caring and trying to make the world a better place.
Mr. Robot exists for three reasons:
1. He represents the other part of Edward, the mean and abusive Edward who Elliot deeply resents. Sam Esmail called Season 2 “The Empire Strikes Back” for a reason, Mr. Robot is the dark side and Elliot’s anger at both Edward and E-Corp powers the dark side.
2. Mr. Robot is the part of Elliot that he needed to channel his rage and create 5/9. Elliot is Robin Hood (see what he was doing to all of his superiors at E-Crop) while Mr. Robot is Darth Vader. Robin Hood doesn’t kill or dispossess innocent people for the greater good. Robin Hood is not an agent of lifeboat ethics. Darth Vader can exterminate whole planets without losing much sleep.
3. Elliot needs Mr. Robot in order to prevent the annihilation of his own best self. Elliot represents the person he most wants to be and the person he can least afford to lose, his ideal father. Elliot is full of rage at his father and rage at E-Corp for taking his father from him. Without Mr. Robot, all Elliot would have would be rage (see the ‘whiterose’’ discussion with his Assistant at the beginning of Eps3.0)
In other words, Mr. Robot isn’t working against Elliot, at least not in the way many seem to think. Mr. Robot is what allows Elliot to exist. In a perfect world, where Elliot had no rage left, Mr. Robot would not need to exist at all (in dissociatives, alters exist because they are the parts of the fractured whole best able to serve necessary functions).
In other words, as long as Elliot retains his rage, Mr. Robot exists to preserve Elliot’s ability to imagine a better self.
This is also part of why Elliot is still crying despite his execution of undo.gz at E Corp.
Part One: Elliot is still full of rage, alone and angry. Deep down, he knows he isn’t happy (hence not ‘cured’ of his ‘problem’). When he says he misses being “part of something important” what he is really saying is that he still deeply wants to act his anger out.
Part Two: I suspect, Elliot’s understanding of the Stage 2 plan is woefully and purposefully incomplete.
I will not be surprised at all if his paperless backup is actually part of the actual Stage 2 plan and will actually be part of how it is actually executed. A part of Elliot knows this. This is a tell, he isn’t happy because he is not working to make society a better place, despite the lies he has told himself, deep down Elliot knows that he is not undoing 5/9, he is actually making Stage 2 happen.
Let me also mention here that 'whiterose' is still mucking about with the DR-Congo cobalt and coltan (if you haven’t read my Dr.Strangelove theory before it is still in play). Notice that in the pre-show clips, 17 of 71 facilities (nuclear) were mentioned again (yes, I know they are E-Corp storage facilities where paper records exits but something bigger is happening here).
Just saying, really dirty cobalt bombs could still be coming (not 100% on that, but something is happening that is much bigger than blowing up E-Corps back up documents).
The Wet Bandits
So, who is the fake Fsociety?
We know it isn’t actually Fsociety because there is no more Fsociety. Most everyone who was involved is currently on the show, dead, or were too minor to be involved.
A few possibilities:
* Frank Cody’s Alt-Right (I theorized during Red Wheelbarrow that they were E-Prime’s agent to get rid of Gideon)
* Trenton and Mobley (Leon?)
* Dark Army
There could certainly be other possibilities.
Who has an incentive to use Fsociety as a false flag and has access to the same Vimeo account Fsociety used to send their short-films out?
Find the answer, and we will know who the fake Fsociety is.
If you have a theory, add it as a comment but make sure that you include the motive for using Fsociety as a False Flag.
Happy Birthday Elliot
Elliot's birthday is September 17, 1986. Do you know which other important Mr. Robot figure also was born on September 17th?
So, Dom knows about the Elliot phone call with Tyrell (not entirely a surprise since all jail phone calls are recorded).
And now we know that E-Prime knows about the FBI and Darlene and that he used Darlene’s bug to trace the FBI’s safe-house location (even if Elliot doesn’t know). I also suspect that Darlene intentionally tipped her activities (although I am not sure she suspected Elliot would wake up as Mr. Robot).
Elliot “feels so alive” because while he may not be doing good, he does feel connected to something important again.
Also, out of the blue, Lenny Shannon comes and gives Flipper back to Elliot. Wow! Happy birthday Elliot!
Qwerty last week and Flipper this week. Good times.
It is good to see Dom back on the case, Santiago is obviously still an idiot and Dom appears to still be the only competent agent in the entire FBI. I have been really hoping for a deepening of the relationship between Dom and Alexa (the singularity) but that hasn’t happened yet.
Oh, and password ‘whiterose’ is really pissed at Phillip Price and is about to double cross him pretty seriously. The short form is that Price lined up every major country behind making E-Coin the new global currency but China backed Bitcoin instead (infuriating Price).
For some crazy reason, Price demands a meeting with Zhang ('whiterose') and threatens Zhang with the UN vote if Zhang doesn’t get China on board for E-Coin. Zhang doesn’t like being threatened and had two amazing lines:
1. “Your success will ALWAYS follow mine”
2. “Don’t mistake my generosity as generosity”
Anyway, password ‘whiterose’ let Price know he has been influencing Angela and also told his assistant to prepare for the double cross.
Password ‘whiterose’ is going to double cross E-Corp by instigating Stage 2 right after the UN vote goes down no matter if the UN vote goes the right way or even if it doesn’t.
This finally explains what the Dark Army’s reason for sabotaging E-Corp was. The Dark Army support for Stage 2 was to give them a backup plan capable of checking or using leverage on E-Corp but now, password ‘whiterose’ is just going to blow ECorp up either way.
Okay, that was one seriously packed episode.
I am not sure I have entirely unpacked all of its implications yet, so pay attention to my feeds during the rest of this week.
See you soon!