The first four hours of Mr. Robot took the time — some would say took too much time, some = me — to establish the new roots of its characters in its second season. Elliot (Rami Malek) locked himself up in his mom's house (yeah, right), Darlene (Carly Chaikin) was a little lost as the leader of a wayward movement and Angela (Portia Doubleday) was playing chicken with media publicists as she became Evil Corp's new bulldog. These stories were largely isolated, keeping the main characters from interacting with each other.
But "Logic Bomb" — the best episode of the season so far — proved that Mr. Robot works better when these characters bounce off each other and are after similar goals. The conceit of the program is the underdogs versus the evil corporate overlords, right? Well, we're finally getting back to that, and damn it feels good.
Elliot got himself into a heap of trouble when his curiosity — you know, that part of his mind that needs a good scratching every now and then — made him poke around Ray's (Craig Robinson) site, leading to a good old-fashioned thug beatdown in the streets of New York (or, as we've theorized, somewhere in the recesses of a prison or mental hospital).
We'll get to that in a bit, but what really itched that part of my mind in the excellent "Logic Bomb" was EVERYTHING with Whiterose (B.D. Wong), who continues to be not only the series' most mysterious character, but the character I believe holds the key to all of Mr. Robot's secrets.
This time, Whiterose was China's Minister of State Security, probably the same "character" we saw in the post-credits scene from the Season 1 finale. The twist here is that we know Whiterose is also the leader of the Dark Army, the very same group that the Minister of State Security should be going after. But what got me was everything Whiterose did with Dom (Grace Gummer), which turned out to be the most revealing information about Whiterose we've gotten in the series so far. But ha ha, joke's on us, because we still know nothing.
However, if you'll all put on the tin foil hats that I've provided, we can take some guesses while I remind you that this is a safe space for the wildest and craziest ideas about Mr. Robot. Nothing is off limits, so open your mind and go for it, because I'm about to.
Whiterose was saying some cosmic s--t, and is obsessed with time to the point that she's buying K-Mart cuckoo clocks from Germans for tons of cash. I can't help but think about the line she said in the first season: "You hack people, I hack time." (A line that was repeated in the "previously on" segment, signifying some kind of importance as it relates to this episode.) And as far back as Season 1, I've said out loud to actual human beings that I think Mr. Robot might be headed toward something a lot more than just rich corporate jerks putting their boots on the throats of the 99 percent. Yeah, I'm talking about immortality. Or time travel. Or something of that ilk. Yes, crazy, I know.
But in "Logic Bomb" — an apt title for these out-of-this-world theories — Whiterose gave us the biggest piece of evidence that I might be on to something. Whiterose clearly likes Dom as a potential recruit for whatever she's doing; not only does she find her interesting, but Dom would also make a fantastic mole inside the FBI for the Dark Army cause (assuming Whiterose puts being leader of the Dark Army over being China's Minister of State Security, which is the cover for her real job). She got Dom to open up to her, and she in turn was opening up to Dom. Unlike with everyone else, where Whiterose was taciturn on personal details.
So when Whiterose talked about "alternate realities" with a twinkle in her eye, it was almost as if she was testing Dom's interest in the subject so that she could gauge a potential recruiting speech, or at the very minimum, Dom caught Whiterose in a moment of vulnerability. Whiterose also talked about leading other lives and becoming other people in the other realities, something that ties in well with Mr. Robot's themes of personal masks and pretending to be other people, whether it is because of mental illness or because you want to sound hotter on Tinder. Or because you are an inter-dimensional traveler. Look, obviously I haven't locked this whole theory down, but I'm just trying to open up a discussion here. Point is, I don't think Whiterose is being entirely theoretical when she talks about these matters.
Whiterose also quoted Shakespeare: "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more." It's a quote that laments the limits of our existence and reminds us that not only will we be dead soon, but we will also be forgotten, our lives little more than bug splatter on the windshield of the universe. I would imagine that for the power hungry, mortality is their weakness. What good is all the wealth and power if you have to die? The rich and powerful are so rich and powerful that their only obstacle left is Mother Nature herself, taking their life away. When Whiterose says she's hacking time, could she be talking about hacking — or extending — mortality?
And what was with Whiterose's sense of urgency to get going as the clock struck midnight? I'm not saying she'll turn into a pumpkin, but there was something clearly going on. Maybe a late-night hacking date, maybe her face will melt off if she's not in a hyperbaric chamber soon. But it's another little detail that leads credence to the idea that Whiterose is a lot more than a transgender leader of a super hacker group who moonlights as a high-ranking official in the Chinese government. Yes: I'm saying she's more than that.
Let's get back to reality, or as close to reality as Elliot understands, for this last part. Elliot did some Notepad swapping with Rat Tail, the previous system admin for Ray's super-secret site. What Elliot found out was that many people on the internet theorizing about Ray's site were right and that Ray's site was an underground Tor network facilitating the most heinous of crimes, including arms sales, sex slaves, illegal drugs and contract killers. It's obviously something Elliot isn't a fan of and wants to stop, but it's also something that will take Elliot's attention away from the greater cause, which didn't please Mr. Robot.
I like seeing this side of Elliot, it reminds us that he's truly a good person at heart. That doesn't mean Mr. Robot is wrong, it just means they have different priorities, Elliot's being to help everyone in immediate need. Of course, that means Elliot will run right into Ray, who may end up being this season's Vera, i.e. the mini-villain that Elliot deals with in the middle of the season.
I know Angela isn't a fan favorite, but she made some big steps toward getting back on the good guys' team in this episode. She's still operating out of self interest as the Feds have inched closer to suspecting that she had something to do with the 5/9 hack, forcing her to team up with Darlene to help fsociety hack the FBI. But it was a huge step to see her enter the fsociety lair as one of them... And to see her face when she saw this revolution was put together by three people standing around a few computers. Also, good chat with Elliot, right? Do you all still hate Angela?
"Logic Bomb" was a return to Mr. Robot at its best, leaving us with plenty to chew on and kicking the Season 2 story into gear. After an okay start, it looks like Mr. Robot is back on track to wow us again.
- The craziest moment of the episode happened when some armed attackers opened fire on the FBI while they were in Beijing. That had to be the Dark Army, right? Did Whiterose actually want Dom dead and she just lucked out or were there instructions to make sure she got out alive? The shooting seemed a bit indiscriminate to me.
- JOSH GROBAN NIGHT!
- Qwerty is doing fine, phew!
- Okay, last crazy theory. Joanna's pay out Karim (?) got super killed by Joanna's muscle after asking too many questions (and revealing that he was protecting "some scrawny kid in a hoodie"). But he also exhibited similar traits to Elliot, like feeling like he was being watched and "feeling" people following him. Is that a coincidence, or is it linked to everything else somehow?