“Intentions are irrelevant. They don’t drive us; demons do. And me, I’ve got more than most.”
Last week’s episode revolved around the weaknesses inside every human being, around our collective ability to be exploited as individuals and as a society. This week, the show takes the idea further by delving into the concept of an inner demon, of something that doesn’t merely allow for control like a vulnerability would; instead, it controls us from the inside, seducing and manipulating and owning us as we attempt to push on through the monotony of life. The illusion of control might be oftentimes created due to the manipulation from the outside world, but sometimes, it’s frightening to look within yourself at your own “monster”.
“I chose all this,” Elliot’s voiceover states amidst various images of morphine at the beginning of the episode. And in particular, the camera zeroes in on a “final line” of the drug, an image that shows up again as a road at the end of the hour. In both cases, there’s a line that’s just waiting there to be crossed, one that seems like an inevitable crossing point for someone who has to deal with his demons alone. Whether that line is the one between life and death or reality and hallucination, these characters are tumbling toward it in one way or another. “We don’t plan our path. We just wait and see where the moment takes us.”
Speaking of hallucinations, this episode is structured around a long sequence of “What the hell?” The drugs don’t just apply to Elliot; they extend across the whole show, tying in characters like Angela and Shayla and raising even more questions about whether or not Mr. Robot is a hallucination. “Maybe this was all intentional,” Elliot muses during the sequence. “My subconscious in the background…turning me into a physical manifestation of my fears”. This is an episode fascinated by the workings of the inner mind, by the ways we try to forget and avoid and by the ways we react. In the end, as Elliot suggests, “the Devil’s at his strongest while we’re looking the other way.” Even as the FSociety video promises to “exorcise demons”, to provide “an awakening from your slumber”, we still face the cold, hard hand of inevitability moving us toward the line. And that hand comes from within.
-To the guy picking the lettuce out of his burger: TELL THEM “NO LETTUCE”. HOW DIFFICULT IS THAT? JEEZ.
-The dinner scene at the cubicles is awesome.
-That sounded like Keith David as the fish. Also, this scene is actually pretty relevant thematically: “My whole world is on your side table. Same shit, different day. Won’t stop unless my life does.” This is one of the big points the show has been making about society, about how we live our lives.
-I love the meta hacking discussion scene. “Somewhere Hollywood is making some bullshit show that’s gonna screw up how this generation thinks hacker code actually is.”
-Cool, yet unsettling, commercial. I love when a show can tie in all aspects of its production to create an immersive experience.
-The “Is Mr. Robot real?” question is brought up, confirmed, not confirmed, confirmed again, not confirmed, and then confirmed again by the promo. At this point, I don’t even know if it’s worth attempting to figure out.
Photo credit: USA, Mr. Robot