Leaving aside, for now, the question of whether Elliot was actually pushed by the possibly-non-existent Mr. Robot at the end of the last episode, there’s certainly nothing imaginary about his injuries. He’s subsequently told by Mr. Robot that there’s no Fsociety without him, but decides to choose normality instead of emo-ing around in a hoodie, even accepting an invitation from his boss Gideon to a dinner party, and taking Shayla to it as his girlfriend. (Intriguingly, Gideon clearly doesn’t quite trust Elliot.)
But then Elliot discovers that Fsociety has dumped emails implicating EvilCorp in the death of his father – and, as it happens, Angela’s mother – from leukaemia, and he throws his lot in again with Fsociety. What this means for the show isn’t yet clear: I’ve managed to avoid spoilers, but it looks to me as if we’re being steered pretty firmly towards something being a figment of someone’s imagination; and since no-one, apart from Elliot, interacts with Mr. Robot this week, I’m going with him unless and until there’s evidence to the contrary. Which immediately, for me, blunts any impact the character might have. Darlene I think we can take at face value for now, although she’s hella annoying.
Apart from Elliot, this episode is notable for the rise of EvilCorp’s Tyrell Wellick as an important secondary character: we start, in fact, with him, as he works himself up to the point where he can pitch himself as the new CTO of EvilCorp, although he doesn’t even get asked for his speech. He then pays a homeless man so that he (Wellick) can beat him up, picks up and has sex with his boss’s male assistant in order that he can put some software on his phone, then rounds off the night with some mild consensual S&M with his very pregnant wife. Busy busy busy; the message, I think, is that Wellick does what needs to be done.
And Angela is dragged into the plot as well: Ollie admits to her that he’s being blackmailed into putting spying software on the EvilCorp server; oh, and he’s been unfaithful to her as well. Because of the consequences for her and her father were Cisco to do what he’s threatening, Angela tells Ollie to acquiesce; perhaps more surprisingly, although her immediate reaction is to split up with Ollie, she almost instantly changes her mind for some reason. Girlfriend can do better, I’d say, although my Angelliott ship has run aground on the Shayla rocks for now. As it happens, I quite like Elliot and Shayla as a couple as well, so I’ll maybe sit on the fence for a while. Another good episode, even if – for now anyway – I’m not quite watching the show I expected to be watching after the pilot.