Mr. Robot: Team Robot scores a Pyrrhic victory in near silent episode

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Image: USA Network | Elizabeth Fisher

Every season, “Mr. Robot” produces one weird, formally ambitious episode. In season one, “eps1.3_da3m0ns.mp4” explored Elliot Alderson’s mind through a series of hallucinations. In season two, “eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes” depicted the hacker’s addled mental state as a twisted ‘80s sitcom. Then, season three’s “eps3.4_runtime-err0r.r00” captured the siege of E Corp tower in one seemingly continuous shot.

This season’s experimental installment is “405 Method Not Allowed.” The “Mr. Robot” episode only features two lines of spoken dialogue. However, because of the talents of writer/director Sam Esmail, the program’s cast, and the series’ established use of SMS, the gimmick didn’t fall flat. Indeed, the silence made the episode one of the program’s most tense hours.

No Answers

As predicted, the series declined to explain what happened to Tyrell Wellick in the last episode. Darlene picks up Elliot and tells him that she doesn’t have to explain. Instead, the pair launched their infiltration of Virtual Reality. First, Darlene caused a distraction, which allowed Elliot to add her profile to the employee directory. Then, the duo used their skills to knock out the building’s security cameras and hack into Cyprus National Bank’s servers.

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Though dicey at points, Elliot and Darlene successfully laid the groundwork to wipe out the Deus Group. Unfortunately, the pair’s victory came at considerable cost.

The exact nature of Team Robot’s subversion of Cyprus’ system isn’t exactly clear. The duo seemingly altered the network’s administration privileges to gain access to all of the bank’s accounts. However, as the season has seven more episodes to go, there is likely one more step to complete. Since the next episode’s preview showed Elliot reuniting with Olivia Cortez, the next phase of the hack is likely to be exceedingly messy.

The End of His Rope

Philip Price, who isn’t doing well since resigning from E Corp, spent the episode on a scavenger hunt. After following a series of clues, he learned that the Deus Group would be meeting at 9:00 p.m. on Christmas Day. He also learned from Elliot that Wellick wouldn’t be attending the meeting. Nevertheless, the former CEO committed to attending the big conference.

Even without dialogue, this episode showed how rudderless Price has become since leaving E Corp. The man’s life revolved around his job, and now that both it and his daughter Angela are gone, he has no anima. Price must be aware that the meeting with Deus will likely be the last one he attends. Even so, he doesn’t seem to care and just wants to see Whiterose taken down. At this point, that’s as close as he’ll get to a happy ending.

Since Price has served as one of “Mr. Robot’s” main antagonists and for three seasons, it’s strange to see him portrayed with such vulnerability. As the series’ finish line approaches, the show’s villains are being drained of their ominous power.

Image: USA Network | Elizabeth Fisher

A Ray of Light

Janice assigned Dom DiPierro to investigate the murder of the Dark Army operative that Wellick killed last week. Dutifully, the FBI agent used her credentials to infiltrate the local PD and plant a bug in its computer network. Later, Janice assigned Dom to track down a couple captured by a red light camera near the murder site—Darlene and Elliot.

Besides, Dom learned that Deegan Maguire had been released from FBI custody. In “402 Payment Required,” Agent DiPierro learned that Maguire worked as a vacuum repairman. Though it when unstated, Dom realized that Deegan could help her hide her loved ones. Now that the Maguire is free, she’ll likely arrange a meeting with him in the not-too-distant future.

However, she’s going to first have a showdown with the Aldersons. At this point, it’s hard to say how the encounter will go. Dom still holds the pair responsible for entangling her with Dark Army. However, as seen in “404 Not Found,” she’s also still carrying a torch for Darlene. Besides, she might understand that, with their hacking skills, the duo might be able to strike back at the organization that consumed her life.

Ultimately, Dom will almost certainly join Team Robot. In the meantime, she might let them twist in the wind a little first.

New York City Marathon

After completing the hack and realizing that they’d been discovered, Darlene and Elliot split up. Changing her appearance slightly, Darlene walked past security guards and the police without issue. However, Elliot ended up being chased through the Big Apple by two NYPD officers. In that time, the hacker fell down an embankment, got hit by a car, and then jumped down another embankment. Thankfully, Darlene picked them up seconds before a large group of cops could arrest him.

As the season of “Mr. Robot” is being told in a hyper-compressed timeline, Elliot won’t have time to recover from his injuries. As such, there’s a high likelihood that he’s going to make a mistake in the next phase of the Deus hack. Moreover, it’s hard to imagine how he’ll stay ahead of Dark Army, the NYPD, and the upstate police all at once.

Throughout the show’s four seasons, Elliot has ended up in a lot of horrific situations. Still, he’s rarely been in such dire straits. Hopefully, his mysterious Other One persona has something up their sleeve, because Elliot/Mr. Robot is running out of options.

Image: USA Network | Elizabeth Fisher

Taken

“405 Method Not Allowed” concluded with Vera confronting Elliot’s former therapist Krista. Previously, the crime lord said that he wanted to meet her to gain intelligence on Elliot. While she could provide some insights, she can’t give him the information he wants. Indeed, as Elliot has no interest in running New York’s underworld, no one could.

That said, a few scenarios spring to mind. Krista could confess that Elliot has a split personality, and Vera could use that information to manipulate the hacker. As the audience has seen, that tactic never works, but the show’s antagonists always try it. Conversely, Krista could tell Vera about Elliot’s involvement with the 5/9 hack and the E Corp bombings. The gangster could use that information to try and blackmail Elliot⁠—but that also won’t work.

Elliot’s made it clear that he doesn’t foresee living long past the Deus Group hack, so Vera has no future to threaten.

While the criminal kingpin’s grand design is unknown, one thing is certain. After interrogating Krista, Vera will want to kill her. Given that Elliot is so preoccupied with the Cypress hack, he’ll have no idea what’s going on. Even if he did, “Mr. Robot” doesn’t do last-minute dramatic rescues. Tragically, it’s probably the end of the road for Krista, who will join the long list of characters now dead because they knew Elliot Alderson.

As “Mr. Robot” wraps up, its heroes are losing their remaining virtues.

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“Mr. Robot” airs on the USA Network Sundays at 10:00 p.m. ET. but will be shown at 8:00 p.m. ET next week. Come back to The Burn-In for coverage of the show’s final season.