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'Mr. Robot' fan recap: Impenetrable

Episode 5 | “eps1.4_3xpl0its.wmv” | Aired July 22, 2015

What’s the deal with Tyrell?

This week on Mr. Robot, he inexplicably turns up at Steel Mountain on the exact same day and time as Elliot. He calls it fortuitous, but it feels more suspicious, and somewhat threatening.

Perhaps Elliot’s paranoia is rubbing off on me, because I can’t really tell if Tyrell is the bad guy or not. Sure, he’s a creepster for real, but what exactly classifies him as a villain—aside from working for Evil Corp? He hasn’t shoved Elliot off a ledge or held a gun to head. Outside of his slimy suit and dumb hair, why am I getting such an antagonistic vibe from him?

Tyrell hates waiters, and probably himself on

Maybe it’s how he’s simultaneously smarmy and slick, while still being squeaky clean. It’s unsettling. What kind of sociopath suggests suicide to a woman one minute, then stalks into the bathroom when she’s doing her business? While he’s having dinner in her home, while he’s trying to get a job with her husband? She was the one who turned it into a sexual invitation. I think. I’m not really sure what is happening.

Tyrell is yuck. I’m not saying otherwise. His entire situation makes my skin crawl. He hates waiters and sommeliers, and generally thinks he’s above it all. Blech. But his reluctance to turn Elliot in over the Colby situation makes me think he’s lining Elliot up for something, and that makes me really nervous.

It seems like Tyrell might be connected, in some part, to the bigger project linked to the Dark Army. Truthfully, I’m having a hard time sorting out all the moving parts of the conspiracies, and I usually watch each episode twice. All I know is, the Dark Army—and by extension, China—is out of the game, and Darlene feels responsible.

It doesn’t seem like the writers of Mr. Robot would ask us to keep straight two different complex hacker plotlines, so my guess is that Tyrell is pulling the strings somehow. This also means that the gang’s hard work and plotting at Steel Mountain is for nothing.

Elliot handling business at Steel Mountain on

Without the Dark Army doing something somewhere else, they can’t move forward. I’m sure it will become clearer later, but for now it seems like we should focus on Elliot and his growing interactions with the world.

Elliot spoke and interacted with more people in this episode than he has all season. Assessing and utilizing their exploits seems to be his new talent, although Bill takes it hard.

But good for Elliot. He’s proud of himself for doing what needed to be done, and I am as shocked as Shayla is to hear him say, “I’m good” when asked. Elliot’s flashbacks/hallucinations of his mother paint a sad and damaged portrait of his self-image. Elliot’s weakness, contrary to what Tyrell thinks, is not revenge, but feeling small.

His success at Steel Mountain made him feel successful, like he is part of something; that alone is quite an accomplishment for him. After what (it appears) his childhood was like, he needs the win. His mom seems like a real asshole.

Speaking of assholes, Angela finally does the right thing and leaves Ollie, but not after using his computer to trigger the virus. He’s gross too, but her move back home leads her to uncover a lot of Evil Corp invoices in her dad’s house.

This makes me want to scream, just like last week, “WHY DON’T YOU CALL ELLIOT?” What’s the use in having a genius hacker friend if you can’t get him on board with your e-problems?

Although Shayla is finding out that having Elliot for a friend isn’t working out so well for her. Vega, now a jailhouse philosopher, figured out that Elliot snitched on him and kidnapped Shayla for revenge. Poor Shayla. Her life has become increasingly more difficult since she’s taken up with Elliot.

As for our theories about Mr. Robot and the multiple personalities, I’m stumped. It seemed like the folks at the coffee shop could see Mr. Robot, and he did steal that guy’s badge … but it could all be clever tricks.

Can they see Mr. Robot too?

When Elliot was analyzing everyone’s exploits, discussing their vulnerabilities, it sounded like he was talking about versions of himself. Mobley’s exploit is self-control; Romero’s is being a know-it-all; Mr. Robot’s is careless urges. All of this sounds like Elliot.

Tyrell is even in on the mystery now. He tells Elliot in the bathroom at Steel Mountain, “We’re all human—except me, of course.”

What do you make of that?

Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 10/9C on USA.