A little Mr. Robot housekeeping first. When it launched in the UK, no more than a couple of weeks ago, it was available exclusively on Amazon Prime. So anyone who didn’t have Prime was unable to see it, unless they “made other arrangements”. Now, though, it’s available to buy through both Amazon Video and iTunes, with the first episode free. I suppose if they’d done this at launch, or even made it known that it was in contemplation, some of the viewers who “made other arrangements” would have ponied up to get the show legitimately. I remain amazed at the alacrity with which content providers find new ways to shoot themselves in the foot.
Anyway, to the episode. I’m bound to say that, while I enjoyed it, I didn’t think it was quite as good as last week. The big confrontation from the end of that episode led to Wellick offering Elliot a job at EvilCorp, which Elliott has little difficulty in turning down. FSociety is threatening to dump the sensitive data it hoovered up last week unless EvilCorp agrees to ransom demands which it’ll never accept: cancelling all the debt it owns, giving its money to charity, that sort of thing.
There’s another Dexteresque takedown for Elliot: Fernando Vera, his dealer’s dealer, seems to have raped Shayla. Although Elliot realises that getting rid of Vera will mean that he no longer has access, through Shayla, to morphine, he nonetheless provides the police with evidence of Vera’s crimes, then creates his souvenir. And Ollie, Angela’s unpleasant boyfriend, accepts a CD on the street from a wannabe rapper: even in a normal show, we’d be suspicious, but on Mr. Robot, where paranoia is encouraged, we really do know that Ollie shouldn’t put the CD anywhere near his laptop. He does, of course, and now someone’s inside his system.
Mr. Robot’s intervention – real or imaginary, I’m still not wholly convinced – this week is to try to persuade Elliot to help with blowing up a gas plant, which is situated next to Steel Mountain, a data storage facility used by EvilCorp among others. Doesn’t seem to me like the best place to put a data storage facility, but there we go. Elliot resists getting involved, because he thinks people will die, and he doesn’t want to be a killer. He eventually comes up with another idea, but Mr. Robot – who even if imaginary is something of a jackass – sulks a little, then demands Elliot tells him about the death of his father, then REDACTEDS him onto the Coney Island REDACTED. I’m assuming that the consequences won’t be too significant, but I wasn’t expecting it, and it made for a nicely unsettling ending to a just-a-little-underwhelming episode.