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Recap / Mr Robot S 02 E 06

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...and thus begins the weirdest episode of the series.

As Elliot suffers a total beat-down from Ray's thugs, he finds himself trapped in a wildly strange hallucination: a road trip with the rest of the Alderson family. Elliot realizes along the way that someone is in the trunk of the car, and later investigates after stopping by a gas station. He finds what he assumes to be Tyrell blindfolded, bound, and gagged. Mr. Robot tries to keep Elliot distracted by sending him into the store, where he runs into Alf and Angela, who is working behind the counter. The two make small-talk, but Mr. Robot and Magda burst in to steal various items. When Angela threatens to call the police, Magda pepper sprays her and the family departs.

On the road again, Elliot questions Mr. Robot about the man in the trunk, but he continues to feign ignorance. The car suddenly blows a tire, and Mr. Robot is forced to pull over. While the two try to fix the tire, Gideon of all people approaches in a police officer's uniform and inquires about the disappearance of a certain business executive. Out of nowhere, Alf speeds by, running Gideon over and killing him. Back in the car, Elliot grows more frustrated about what is really going on. The man in the trunk manages to escape, hopping down the street and yelling for help. Elliot and Mr. Robot catch up to the man and return him. At his wit's end, Elliot accosts Mr. Robot about him denying the man's existence as well as the purpose of the situation. After bludgeoning the man, Mr. Robot reveals that he is protecting Elliot from the agonizing punishment he is receiving. In despair over the possibility that Mr. Robot has taken control forever, the latter reassures Elliot that it is only temporary, and leads him to a nearby hospital on foot. Mr. Robot hugs Elliot, saying that it is time for Elliot to come back.

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Return to the normal world, where a pulverized Elliot is in a hospital bed being intimidated by Ray into helping him launch Midway City. Ray and the thugs leave Elliot, who turns to see that Alf is on the television outside of his room.

Imagine a world gone insane...'

  • Bathos: The more horrifying aspects of the sitcom parody are paired with plain ridiculous gags, such as Tyrell trying to escape down the street, still bounded and blindfold. He then runs into the scene's backdrop.
  • Bittersweet Ending: While Elliot is definitely in trouble, he and Mr. Robot reconcile.
  • Black Comedy:
    • Magda punching Darlene: awful. Magda punching Darlene after she just begins to wake up from the last: hilarious.
    • After Mr. Robot coughs up blood, he and Magda share this golden exhange:
    Magda: "Eugh... sounds like that cancer's acting up again.
    Mr. Robot: *holds up bloodied hand* "Looks like it too!"
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  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: While the episode does this efficiently on its own, the original airing on USA Network took it all the friggin' way by having 90s-themed commercials and aesthetic of the channel in that decade.
  • Cliffhanger: Elliot is being held captive by Ray while Angela is confronted by Dominique during the femtocell plant.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • This line:
    Mr. Robot: "On the bright side, I hear that prison jumpsuits are in these days."
  • From Bad to Worse: As if being nearly thrashed to death is bad enough, Elliot is then dragged away and thrown into a locked basement.
  • Hell Is That Noise: That unsettling demonic moan which accompanies the scene of Elliot being thrown in the basement.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: Gideon in a police uniform being ran over by Alf is just patently absurd on both sides of the context spectrum.
  • Laugh Track: Natch for the sitcom parody, and ironically Played for Laughs.
  • Locked in a Room: Ray throws Elliot in some dreary basement, keeping him as an asset for Midland City's development.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The sitcom parody turns out to be a very intense dissociative episode engineered by Mr. Robot to keep Elliot from experiencing his beat-down by Ray's thugs.
  • Mood Whiplash: Elliot waking up bruised and broken after his encounter with Ray. It's certainly jarring after spending seventeen minutes in a fake sitcom world.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Everything about the sitcom parody. It's just so bizarre and a huge left-turn for the show that it loops around to being inherently creepy.
    • Ray's heart-worm monologue. It doesn't sound intimidating at all when you read it, but the context as well as Ray's evil-relishing delivery is quite terrifying.
  • Oh, Crap!: Angela being approached by Dominique as she connects the femtocell.
  • The Oner: There is a simulated long take that follows Angela as she tries to plant the femtocell.
  • Red Herring: None of what happened to Tyrell in the sitcom parody is true, despite this and the next episode trying really hard to convince you of the opposite.
  • Tearjerker: Elliot crying and thanking Mr. Robot for protecting him while the two share a very welcome hug.
    • The ending flashback, in which Edward confesses his leukemia diagnosis to a young Elliot. The real Gut Punch is this line:
    Edward: "I'm never gonna leave you. Promise."
  • Third Act Stupidity: fsociety's plan to hack the FBI is needlessly complicated. Several viewers pointed out that the femtocell's activation command could have been automated and ran as an executable file by Angela, and Darlene could have used SSH to operate Angela's computer.
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