<em>Mr. Robot</em> recap: With his back against the wall, Elliot crosses an unthinkable line

Mr. Robot recap: With his back against the wall, Elliot crosses an unthinkable line

We begin with a story. The story of a Bully and a Little Bitch. Vera’s words, not mine. He mentions it being Christmas — though he pronounces it “ex-m

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We begin with a story. The story of a Bully and a Little Bitch. Vera’s words, not mine. He mentions it being Christmas — though he pronounces it “ex-mas” — and the LB finally getting what he wants. The LB loves baseball more than anything, and he gets a sweet aluminum bat on ex-mas morning. He goes outside to play with it, but it isn’t long before his bully comes by and wants that bat. The LB is an LB no more. He pummels his bully with the bat and beats him within an inch of his life, knocking out all his teeth, blood everywhere. That bat wasn’t built for this, but the bat still fulfilled its purpose in life: to lift the LB up. Krista, tied to a chair with a gag in her mouth, takes all of this in. Vera walks over to her, gets real close. “I’m going to break Elliot, and you’re going to be my aluminum bat,” he says.

So begins yet another chilling episode of Mr. Robot. I’m really starting to think that Sam Esmail and company might follow through and deliver a truly bleak ending to this show. Everyone is hurtling towards oblivion, and it’s hard to see a way out. Plus, time is short. Darlene and Elliot are frantically planning the Deus Group hack, which is set to go down on Christmas night. They only have a few hours to get the login credentials from Olivia’s boss, which they need to transfer the funds, and get Darlene set up in the hotel across from the meeting so that she can hack all of their accounts and steal the money.

Elliot resorts to drastic measures to speed things along. He meets with Leon at Tod’s Coffee — I think this is the old “Ron’s Coffee” where Elliot caught the guy sharing child porn, which explains why Leon asks about the place seeming familiar — and receives something from him. Then he orders two peppermint mochas and heads to Olivia’s. He surprises her with this delivery of “Christmas in a cup” and then surprises her even more with his true intentions. When he closes the apartment door he stares straight into the camera for a moment, once again making us complicit in his actions. He tells her about the Deus Group, Cyprus National, and his plan.

Of course, Olivia is offended and hurt, shocked that Elliot would hack her and learn so much about her life. She wants him to leave. He starts to go but then asks her what would happen if she failed a drug test. He mentions her custody battle. She connects the dots. He’s put Oxy in her drink in order to convince her to call her boss and get him to log in to the system so that Elliot and Darlene can clone his credentials. It’s a heartbreaking moment, Elliot at his most selfish and destructive. Olivia breaks down, talking about how any slip when it comes to her addiction will lead her down a dark path. Real “Walter White lets Jane die” vibes from Breaking Bad here.

Meanwhile, the Dark Army is on the hunt. Dom shows up at Darlene’s and points a gun in her face, asking where Elliot is. When Dom calls Janice and lets her know that Darlene won’t give him up, but that she has her phone which they can use to trace him, Janice orders her to kill Darlene. The scene is tense, the music building as Darlene pleads for her life and Dom sees no other way to keep her family safe. Dom pistol whips her instead, and when Darlene wakes up Dom tries to institute another plan. She gives Darlene the gun, turns it and points it at her stomach, and tells her to pull the trigger. Dying is the only way she can keep her family safe, but she’s too terrified to kill herself. Darlene doesn’t do it and in walks Janice with two members of the Dark Army. “I’m not going to kill you. But this is going to be very painful for you,” says Janice to Dom. Darlene wipes her phone at that moment, her last move against the threat of Janice. And that’s where we leave that story for the week.

So, back to Elliot. He’s disgusted with himself, and he’s lashing out, telling Olivia that she knew who she was working for and that she chose to look the other way, that she essentially brought this all on herself. Mr. Robot recognizes that Elliot is spiraling. Olivia goes to the bathroom, and for some reason, Elliot doesn’t think twice about it despite what he knows about her Oxy bottle. Sure enough, we hear a crash. Elliot rushes in and tries to stop the bleeding from where Olivia has slit her wrists.

He gets the bleeding stopped, she recovers, and he convinces her to call her boss. If I have a knock on this episode, it’s that the show flies through Olivia’s attempted suicide and her recovery. I know she’s in a daze, just numb to it all, but it still feels rushed. Anyways, Elliot gets what he wants, the credentials to log in to Cyprus National, but at what cost? As the episode comes to an end, with Elliot getting a call from Krista, who says she was kidnapped by Vera and wants to meet with Elliot, Mr. Robot observes: Elliot is running off to her, to be the hero again — he seems to know Vera’s men will jump him, so he must have a plan. But what kind of hero destroys someone’s life like Elliot did with Olivia?

Like I said, there may be no happy endings in sight here.

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