Where Is Mr. Robot?

By  · Published on September 8th, 2016

With Just Two Episodes Left, Season Two Breaks Out Some Very Big Guns.

Sam Esmail has cleverly shifted the gutpunches of Season Two of Mr. Robot from the crash opens to the end credits, leaving viewers stunned and clamoring for any nuggets of what’s to come in the brief teasers for each new episode. In “eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx,” this formula is executed to perfection as the episode opens with an almost boring exchange between Price and Terry Colby – saved only by a well-placed zing at Donald Trump. Price is trying to secure his Chinese bailout, promised to him in the last episode by Whiterose, and is asking Colby to sway a U.N. vote. Although it feels out of place as an opening scene, it does its part to ease us into the episode, complacent and relaxed and in no way ready for what is in store.

Elliot comes face to face with Joanna Wellick, who wants Elliot’s help in tracking the calls that she presumes are coming from Tyrell. Joanna tells Elliot that she is certain that the phone is a present from Tyrell because he has rewarded her with presents since their first date. In perhaps the most intriguing test of loyalty ever, Joanna told Tyrell to sleep with another woman on their date and to then present her with the woman’s cheap earrings. She shows the cubic zirconia studs off to Elliot and tells him that they are the cheapest but most important thing that she owns. They are also why she knows the phone calls must be coming from her husband and that only Elliot can find out the location of the calls. After a little persuasion from Joanna, who slinks up to Elliot and coos in his ear that he does not want to deny her, Elliot obliges.

On a trip to pick up a fresh batch of equipment for the hack, Elliot receives a phone call on the cell phone Joanna has given him. The call is only a few seconds of heavy breathing but afterwards Elliot notices that Mr. Robot – who has been with him the entire time – has suddenly gone missing. What does Mr. Robot know about Tyrell Wellick’s true fate that Elliot doesn’t? Back at his apartment, Elliot uses NYPD loopholes to unblock the number and track down a location on the the Upper East Side. Joanna’s driver, who has accompanied Elliot, recognizes the address but ominously tells Elliot that there is no way Tyrell would be at that address. As the driver continues talking to Elliot, he mentally removes himself from the conversation, sweeping the apartment from a bird’s eye view telling himself that there must be something there that Mr. Robot wants. But we see nothing. Or do we?

Our final glimpse of Elliot, now sans Mr. Robot, comes during a tense meeting with Angela in an empty subway car. Angela flat out asks him why he started fSociety, which visibly throws Elliot off before he insists that he never wanted to get her involved. But Angela is fed up and tells Elliot that she is turning herself into the FBI, admitting only to her own wrongdoings. Although it seems that Elliot might fall on his sword for Angela, he simply gets up and says goodbye to her. It’s a poignant scene as the two finally share a tender kiss before Elliot walks off of the train, possibly never to see his friend again. As he goes, Angela turns to find herself confronted by two unknown persons, perhaps fulfilling Dom’s gloomy prophecy in the previous episode. But is the FBI or the Dark Army?

Angela isn’t the only one in danger as the net closes ominously tighter around Cisco and Darlene. So, what was waiting for Cisco at Susan Jacobs’ townhouse? One of Darlene’s fSociety hackers, Vincent, whom she had sent down to DC to handle the Capitol Hill job. Vincent has been beaten to a pulp and the two argue over bringing him to the hospital. Darlene is concerned that Vincent will wake up and start talking about what he knows, specifically about her. It’s an incredibly tense scene as Darlene, who now has blood on her hands, seems ready to let Vincent die for the cause. In the end, we find the two in an emergency room waiting area, where Darlene tells Cisco that she couldn’t let Vincent die.

Although it is a reassuring breath of humanity for Darlene, she also feels her agency has been stripped by her brother, as it is his plan – and not her strong leadership while Elliot was in prison – that the Dark Army values. Darlene continues to talk about how she felt overshadowed by Elliot and her father as a child and that on a family trip to Coney Island she was kidnapped by a woman who made her feel like a princess and how she was disappointed when the police came and took her home the next day. It’s another dark entry in the childhood annals of the Alderson Twins as we continue to uncover the twisted roots that have sprouted their revolution.

Unbeknownst to Darlene and Cisco, the FBI have taken over Susan Jacobs’ townhouse, thanks to a bust in Maryland where Vincent’s co-conspirators were apprehended after a nasty car crash. Since they were due to meet at the townhouse, the FBI converged and hauled in Dom who is handed an eyewitness sketch of Cisco. She argues unsuccessfully with her boss to keep the sketch private, since she is worried that the Dark Army will go after Cisco before she can find him. Although she is eventually able to find his apartment, by tracking down the cab he took back with Vincent, the apartment is empty. In the meantime, Cisco and Darlene are told to step out for an hour by the ER nurse and decide to figure out what they plan to do over a bite of food. In their absence, the ER nurse sees Cisco’s picture on the news and calls in the FBI, who swarm the hospital. Rather than wait for Cisco and Darlene to return, Dom decides to go looking for them.

Eventually, Dom tracks the couple down to the Mexican restaurant where they are sharing a meal. She storms in to confront them and alerts her team, but before they can arrive a motorcycle pulls up front. The Dark Army have arrived. The glass plated window where Cisco and Darlene were sitting shatters in a hail of machine gunfire but we are too far away to see the damage. Dom pops back up and hits the gunman but he commits suicide as the police arrive. And as the sirens and police cars converge, we can only see Dom covered in blood like a triumphant Final Girl, before we crash to the end credits with no answers and a knot in our stomach.

Well played, Mr. Esmail. Well played.

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Jamie Righetti is an author and freelance film critic from New York City. She loves horror movies, Keanu Reeves, BioShock and her Siberian Husky, Nugget.