Episode 8 of MR ROBOT, WH1TER0SE.M4V starts off on a rooftop, albeit a different one than we left from in the climax of Episode 7 V1EW-S0URCE.FLV. While less action oriented that the previous 2 episodes of the series, this episode is high in intrigue and espionage, and furthers a number of plot lines and loose ends.
Darlene and Angela share some screen time early in the episode, at a dance studio of all places. Their interaction seems both familiar and nebulous, and it is not until the episode’s end that the meaning of this this meetup is fully disclosed.
Back in his home, Elliot does some housekeeping, including filing away Krista Gordon, his therapist, with the rest of his hacks. I am constantly amazed and amused at the names chosen for these faux audio CDs; the titles or bands chosen for each hacking target seem to have some relevance to the subject. In the case of Krista, she is labeled as Speaking in Tongues by Talking Heads. Draw your own conclusions as to the appropriateness of that choice. After this tidying up, Elliot continues his work on the Steel Mountain climate controls, and seems to have found a way that Fsociety can proceed.
Darlene seems to have gotten a fair dose of Elliot’s paranoia, following a strange encounter on the subway. She and Elliot seem to be breaking down barriers to be together and gain strength from each other, a process that continues throughout the majority of the episode. Darlene manages to “acquire” some protection that she attempts to share with Elliot; in the end, however, this safeguard is filed away in its own strange place, waiting for the right time to be used. Both Darlene and Mr.Robot hint to Elliot that the meeting with WhiteRose will need him to be present.
Wellick’s plans continue to spin further out of control, as evidenced by his behaviors. His initial scene portrays him stumbling through Evil Corp headquarters, exhibiting signs of shock, with a healthy dose of Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon to boot. After attempting to clear his schedule, he is informed that a visitor is waiting for him in his office: Giddeon Goddard of AllSafe. Giddeon discusses Angela’s gambit regarding the broken chain of custody, and proposes a honeypot trap to rectify the situation.
After dismissing Goddard, Tyrell does some of his own investigating, leading him perilously close to the Fsociety DAT file that started this entire chain of events. Before he can finish however, he has another unexpected visit.. from the police. He uses his secretary to duck them and flees, contacting the Dulles server farm from Episode 1 in the process as he continues to plan.
AllSafe, meanwhile, is in utter chaos for the majority of the episode. Their systems are being hacked, and the team doesn’t seem to be able to figure out how or why. This chaos provides a cover for not 1, but 2 plans, each hatched by different parties, but both involving Elliot. During the event, Ollie contacts Elliot, asking him to take a pair of hard drives to a data recovery center. Elliot immediately notices that Ollie is scared, and attempts to blow him off, but Ollie pulls rank, and Elliot eventually agrees to take the drives. Prior to leaving, however, Elliot performs some hacking recon, and gets the background on the issue from Ollie’s email… which implicates Angela as a part of the plot.
What follows is a fast and mysterious tumble down the rabbit hole. Elliot’s presence at the data recovery center seems to have been nothing more than a ruse to bring him in contact with WhiteRose from Dark Army (played by talented and awesome actor B.D. Wong in drag). This series is not afraid to engage in creative departures from convention to create atmosphere. While the previous episode dealt with time dilation, this week it is all about accounting for time, on a minute by minute basis. WhiteRose does, and this almost instantly transfers to Elliot for the remainder of the episode. Elliot is charged with dealing with the honeypot, and does so through more distraction, obfuscation, and timely hacking.
Turning back to Tyrell, we see his carefully cultivated mask beginning to unravel at an alarming rate. He has a clandestine meeting with a player no one expects, and the experience does little to restore his sanity. Returning home, he begins to babble to Joanna, a fervent, fearful dialogue that portrays him as the mad hermit who has made contact with a higher power that he simply was not ready to see. While Joanna begins to scold and mold him back together, the police arrive. Joanna is surprised, as is Tyrell. Apparently, the events concluding episode 7 were not a part of their shared plan. The couple recovers remarkably quickly to this new wrinkle, with Joanna leveraging her pregnant state to buy time (presumably to get their story straight).
The episode closes with Darlene and Elliot sharing time and celebrating their recent advances. Dark Army is ready to back their play, they have successfully eluded Goddard’s trap, and things are looking up. A misread sign by Elliot results in further awkwardness, as Elliot seems to regain a host of memories he had previously lost. Confused, angry, and struggling to make sense of it all, Elliot heads home. An unlabeled CD in his hack binder seems to fill in some of the gaps. His trip down memory lane is cut short by a visitor… and they have much to discuss.
Catch MR ROBOT on USA Network Wednesdays at 10/9c, or stream full episodes at their site.