Synopsis: Elliot tries to lead a normal life, but can’t escape fsociety. Gideon, meanwhile, grows suspicious; and Tyrell plays dirty.
Mr. Robot consistently does an interesting thing. It viciously condemns the corporate America drones, and the way people are slaves to the economy and technology and are fighting to get just a little bit ahead of someone else. But it never condemns the individuals for being born into such a system, or suggests that they are ‘bad’ for being a part of it.
Elliot’s coworkers and the people around him are presented as flawed but basically good. His boss Gideon is the epitome of the ideals that Elliot chafes so hard against, but he is a good dude to the core. Elliot’s distaste of capitalism stems from an aversion to what it does to good people, rather than a general hatred of the population itself.
Conversely, the people who are most like Elliot, the people who believe as he believes or who want the power to affect change that Elliot wants, are set up as the antagonists. Elliot truly wants to help people and to protect himself. But Mr. Robot and his cronies are kicking over wasp nests just to see what happens. However, to the outside observer, Eliot and Mr. Robot are both doing essentially the same thing.
Tyrell is certainly a corporate slave, but he doesn’t care about the system, he just wants the power and notoriety, exactly like Mr. Robot. And he’s bending the rules and going around the system on his own to make it happen, exactly like Elliot.
The episode revolves around the idea of ‘bugs’ and how bugs in software might be mistakes, but they still came from somewhere, and are representative of something bigger. Elliot’s bug is apparently his addiction to discovering and exposing how Evil Corp killed his father.
This plays a stellar double role in the episode because, initially, it’s the story of his father’s death that makes Mr. Robot shove him off a pier, and Elliot basically tells him to stick it. Mr. Robot accepts this and says the whole plan is moot anyway if Elliot won’t join.
Thrilled that fsociety has been stopped, Elliot decides to try and jump into the ‘normal life’ he’s been missing out on. It’s hilarious and sweet to watch him try, but he doesn’t even make it through one dinner party before seeing a newscast revealing the same oversight by Evil Corp that led to his father’s death.
Having now seen that Mr. Robot and his crew exposed the one thing Elliot was after, he agrees to join them, even though he’s not happy about it.
Going forward, this means that Elliot is working for the same people who started the epic internet hack his day job is to investigate and prevent. The people who can force Evil Corp into the light are assholes, and the people with their nose to the grindstone trying to keep Evil Corp’s dirty laundry in the dark no matter what, are truly good people. And he’ll have to square with that eventually.
This is an incredibly dark and low key take on the classic superhero story, updated for the millennial generation. It’s depressing and striking, but pretty freaking awesome.