Mr. Robot: Team Robot loses a key member

Rami Malek and Martin Wallströmin in Mr. Robot, “404 Not Found”
Image: Scott McDermott/USA Network

Following up on last week’s cliffhanger, this week’s episode of “Mr. Robot” saw Elliot and Tyrell get hopelessly lost trying to evade the Dark Army. The installment also saw Darlene and Dom come to a few overdue realizations about their lives. And as predicted, the show seemingly bid goodbye to one of its major characters.

While other beloved 2010 prestige dramas dedicated their last seasons to disappointing fans as hard as possible, “Mr. Robot” is taking another path. The program is wrapping up its four season-long narrative in a suitably satisfying manner. However, that doesn’t mean the series isn’t going to break a lot of hearts on the way out.

Lovely, Dark, and Deep

Acting quickly, Elliot Alderson tasked Tyrell Wellick with attacking the Dark Army spy stationed outside his apartment. Meanwhile, the hacker distracted the observer by pretending the pair were carrying on their conversation. The executive brutally killed the operative, and the duo set off to dispose of the spy’s body in the woodlands of upstate New York. However, Elliot and Tyrell’s plans fell apart when they stopped to get gas. In the minutes it took them to pay, the agent and his van inexplicably vanished.

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Stranded with no cell reception, the former fsociety members attempted to walk to a nearby town but quickly got lost. Along the way, Wellick stopped just short of confessing his love for Elliot while contemplating the hopelessness of their situation. In return, the hacker claimed he never really cared about his longtime associate.

After four years of friendship, mutual hatred, and more besides, it was very fulfilling to see Elliot and Tyrell finally have it out. It was refreshing to hear Elliot admit he just used the E Corp CTO to further his plans. Plus, Welleck’s admission that he admired Elliot’s disinterest in societal norms felt remarkably bittersweet.

Furthermore, it was interesting to note that Mr. Robot had more compassion for Tyrell than Elliot did. When the show started, the characters had inverted views toward their associates and patsies. While Elliot has retreated into himself to the point of becoming apathetic, Mr. Robot has evolved beyond his role as Elliot’s id. It’ll be fascinating to see how that role reversal plays out as the series wraps up.

Carly Chaikin in Mr. Robot, "404 Not Found""
Image: Scott McDermott/USA Network

Achieving Catharsis with Santa

After Elliot no-shows their meet up, Darlene Alderson went to his house to see what happened. Finding the apartment in shambles and the ominous message, “They’re Listening,” she feared the worst. Reacting quickly, the hacker attempted to steal a car but was discovered by its inebriated owner, a hospital Santa named Tobias. Not wanting the man to drive drunk, Darlene took Tobias home and listened to his depressed ramblings.

Upon dropping him off, Darlene learned Tobias wasn’t depressed, and the car she stole belonged to someone else. With a little prodding, Darlene confessed to being overwhelmed by the loss of her boyfriend, friends, and family. Tobias, through a drunken haze, advised his new friend to take care of herself as well as her older brother. Heartened, Darlene set off to find Elliot’s GPS signal.

As Darlene had been mostly reactive this season, “404 Not Found” went a long way to put the character back on track. In classic TV show fashion, the program made her acknowledge how much pain she’s in by forcing her out of her comfort zone. Although she’s a supremely talented hacker, Darlene shares some of her brother’s trust issues. Accordingly, Tobias provided her with a much needed sympathetic and nonjudgmental sounding board.

Hopefully, the next episode will see Darlene take a more active role in directing Team Robot’s activities. As this episode showed, Elliot’s lost in his own head, and Price seems possessed by a wave of almost nihilistic anger. Consequently, the two need a clear-eyed third-party to lead them to victory over Whiterose.

Also, “404 Not Found” did a great job paying homage to “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Darlene as George Bailey and Tobias as her Clarence.

Dangerous Liaison

Dom DiPierrio, now back in her apartment, began the episode cruising for cybersex. In a moment of despair, she invited a total stranger to her home for an assignation. Things initially went well, but Dom’s chat buddy revealed she belonged to Dark Army and attempted to drown to her in her bathtub. Then the FBI Agent woke up from her nightmare. However, the extended dream sequence was not without purpose.

After waking up, Dom looked more focused and determined than she has all year.

Throughout season four, Agent DiPierrio has suffered one debilitating trauma after the next. Already left paranoid by the events of last season, Dark Army’s psychological manipulations have left her on unsteady ground. Indirectly, this episode revealed the character had contemplated suicide as a way to escape the group’s questions. However, the scene featuring her post-nightmare suggests she’s pulling away from despair.

Furthermore, “404 Not Found” also revealed Dom still has feelings for Darlene. Hopefully, that lingering attachment will prompt her to seek help from Team Robot.

Martin Wallströmin in Mr. Robot, “404 Not Found”
Image: Scott McDermott/USA Network

Bonsoir, Elliot?

In a burst of unexpected empathy, Elliot apologized to Tyrell and admitted he only lashed out in fear. As the pair reconciled, they discovered the crashed van of the Dark Army operative. The duo attempted to ambush the agent, who fired at them before killing himself. Though Elliot was left unharmed, Tyrell sustained a seemingly fatal stomach wound. Wanting to throw Dark Army off Elliot’s trail, the executive walked off into the woods to die.

However, after keeling over, Tyrell encountered a mysterious glowing blue object, and the episode faded to white.

So is E Corp’s CTO really dead? To be fair, it’s an open question. “404 Not Found” decidedly did not end with Tyrell closing his eyes one last time. However, the episode very much sets the stage for the character’s exit. He finally had his long in coming confrontation with Elliot, he had nothing to live for beyond revenge, and he sustained a gunshot wound while in the middle of nowhere.

Also, Sam Esmail conveyed the character’s final moments in beautiful cinematic fashion.

That said, next week’s episode could open with Darlene frantically driving her brother and Wellick to the nearest hospital. “Mr. Robot” has repeated depicted characters as dying or being otherwise permanently incapacitated only to reintroduce them later. Also, Price’s plant to take down Whiterose depends on Wellick being named CEO. If he’s dead, then Team Robot’s big scheme might die with him.

On the other hand, this is the program’s final season, and it’s already shown a willingness to kill off major characters abruptly. Moreover, it would be in keeping with “Mr. Robot’s” anarchic style to have the cast try to pull off their big scheme only for it to fall apart at the last minute.

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“Mr. Robot” airs on the USA Network Sundays at 10 pm ET. Come back to The Burn-In for coverage of the show’s final season.