Previously on Mr. Robot, “eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme”
Mr. Robot - S2E8 - eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12 | Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Michael Cristofer, Stephanie Corneliussen, Martin Wallström, Grace Gummer, Gloria Reuben | Writer and Director: Sam Esmail
Successor n. COMPUTING: one of the primitive functions used in the characterization of computability by recursive functions.
To those who’ve any experience in computer science, the aptly titled episodes of the second season have been faint portents into the continuing downward spiral for Elliot and crew. Once believing they’d change the planet for the better, fsociety - with exception to Darlene - have come to regret their actions, realizing the grand vision for the future they grasped so tightly can’t and won’t ever manifest. While E Corp was thoroughly kneecapped by a handful of idealistic hacktivists, everything remains according to Whiterose’s plan.
- The world is in disarray.
- China cannot be implicated in the cyberattack.
- The Dark Army has full access to the FBI.
- fsociety once more rocks the US government by unveiling Project Berenstain.
The stage is set and all the players are in a row as they begin to claw, rend, and devour one another within the wretched mire they made themselves.
If there is a lesson to be learned from watching fsociety operate as shabbily as they do it’s this: don’t join a hacker group if you know the leader is extremely mentally unstable. Clearly, history is doomed to repeat itself over again with fsociety, who have an unshakable fondness for Ron’s Coffee.
Anyway, fsociety manages to eavesdrop and record the Project Berenstain conference call and effectively put the FBI on blast for their illegal taps, traces, and investigations into three million Americans. No doubt such an endeavor would be a great embarrassment to the federal government, yet the unprecedented nature of this venture seems to not be as damning as fsociety gaining most of the attention for their antics. Though Darlene and the gang have sullied the reputation of the FBI, they also learned more about Berenstain and just how close DiPierro’s division is to detaining them all.
Mobley (Azhar Khan) has always had an inkling of deception from Cisco and his Dark Army buddies, but stuck around with Darlene, Romero, and Trenton (Sunita Mani) in spite of his legitimate worries. While Mobley appears to be the most rational person in the group, we also don’t know why exactly he joined fsociety. Every member has a definitive reason for toppling E Corp: Elliot and Darlene seek vengeance. Trenton wants a better life for her family. What’s Mobley’s motivation? Romero’s purpose was also unexplored, a quality he shares with the man who recruited him in fsociety. Considering his unceremonious end, Mobley has every reason to believe his time is nearly up.
“I didn’t know I could do that.”
Speaking of one’s time being up, fsociety’s bungling essentially cost the life of E Corp’s super lawyer/apex predator Susan Jacobs (Sandrine Holt), after a revealing monologue by increasingly distressed Darlene. The pieces are finally starting to fit in place for the Alderson family, who seemingly have more dark corners in their history than realized. Whether it was a subconscious trigger during an earlier hack or a deliberate attack remains hazy, but Darlene’s decision to squat at Jacobs’ place is suspect because she seemed all too prepared for the inevitable confrontation with Susan. Why else would the group not have any type of security cams or alerts on the premise? Or keep tabs on Jacobs’ movements even? Unless Darlene was to quietly take responsibility in that matter.
In any case, Darlene’s questionable reliability has imploded before our very eyes with the “accidental” death of Susan Jacobs and the possible lethal trauma inflicted on Cisco. With every passing day since 5/9, the Alderson kids are becoming more alike, twisted by their eccentric, violent upbringing, hardened by their antisocial behavior and ultimately unsure of their place in this world.
“I’m 27, and I’ve got a six figure salary at the biggest conglomerate in history. And I’m just getting started.”
When it comes to Angela Moss, viewers are in one of two camps: either you barely tolerate her presence or absolutely hate “the bitch”. That term is put into quotes for a reason and it’ll be explained in a moment. For those in the latter that vehemently stand by their decision, it’s best that you not think in absolutes. Yes, Angela isn’t the most personable character in Mr. Robot and on the surface, her choice to work for E Corp and “change it from within” seems laughably naive. However, after only a month, Moss was supremely effective in projecting a persona that’s equally impressive and vexing, all the while manipulating key personnel - including Phillip Price himself - to her whim.
It’s apparent Angela has a plan… but it’s not entirely set in stone. At least from the hints that viewers are given. Be it a top-down dismantling of what’s left of a sprawling, extremely diversified conglomerate or acquiring greater influence through coercion and blackmail, Moss doggedness cannot be swayed - save for a few shots of whiskey. Everything that occurred in the karaoke bar appeared to be utter chaos especially after Moss ran into a former neighbor who obviously didn’t get the memo that Little Angela grew up to become a professional dick-kicker. Her conversation with the older gent may not have been as spontaneous as one is led to believe. We don’t know who he is, where he works, or what he’s celebrating with his associates. Don’t be surprised if Daddy Warbucks is part of the E Corp in some form and fashion, and a mark that could give Angela greater leverage in a currently murky scheme.
The only impediment in everyone’s way is Dominique DiPierro (Grace Gummer), who is not even close to letting any potential suspect out of her sight, no matter the personal cost. Between the 5/9 investigation, the attack in China, and now Project Berenstain out in the open, the FBI are basically shitting their pants while everything burns around them. Leave it to the unnervingly calm DiPierro to keep focus and use the agency’s illegal activities to intimidate their likeliest suspects, beginning with Mobley. Unfortunately, Agent Santiago (Omar Metwally) has Dom cut Mobley loose due to a lack of evidence. Once more, DiPierro’s investigation has been stifled by Santiago’s by-the-book attitude. It’s tough to say if that is truly the case, or if Santiago is sweeping away deliberate connections to fsociety and the Dark Army. The most damning evidence of his possible association is not being present with the rest of his team during the assault in China - as DiPierro remarked a few episodes back. Given her brusque demeanor with friends and suspects, Dom can easily be put on the hot seat for blunders and unsanctioned activities approved by colleagues and superiors, especially if she continues to hound leads and seek evidence through unlawful means.
Save for a devious few, the world continues to circle down the drain. Countless lives are in ruins, establishments that have stood the test of time have been fractured and the concept of order that many have clutched zealously has been proven to be nothing more than an illusion. In spite of all the pain and disarray, some good could come out of society falling apart, if people can only see how corrupt and inequitable the old systems had become. There may remain a ‘solution’ to all this.
The only issue is whether he’ll want to attempt to save them again.
Mr. Robot S2E8 = 9.3/10