Mr. Robot: 405 Method Not Allowed

“It’s time we talked.”

This show has always known how to incorporate these clever little gimmicks. This episode is no exception.

In "405", as our cast of characters faces a very dreadful Christmas, we are graced with the sound of silence.

Besides the opening and closing scenes, there is no spoken dialogue in this episode. It brought to mind last season's "runtime-error", where the illusion of an unbroken tracking shot made the escalating chaos at E Corp even more gripping. This is equally gripping, because aside from the occasional text message, everything in this episode is communicated through visuals and action.

After he sets fire to the Dark Army van and its dead driver, Elliot reunites with Darlene. They proceed with her plan to infiltrate and hack Virtual Realty, who house the Cyprus National Bank servers that are crucial to Whiterose and the Deus Group's power.

This involves a very ballsy plan in which Darlene poses as a Virtual Realty employee and causes a distraction that allows Elliot to get inside too. From there, he compromises the building's surveillance, allowing the brother-sister duo to get to work.

This episode more than any other, I think, displays just how damn effective Elliot and Darlene are. They bring everything they need to not only hack the data servers, but also to work around security and even create a copy of one of the guard's fingerprints, which allows them to gain access to the server room. And there's no dialogue, so we are watching Elliot and Darlene going through the motions of their work without ever speaking a word to each other. The episode summary refers to them as "darelliot," which is fitting because they do act as something of a singular entity in the process of their hack.

Of course, nothing ever goes exactly as planned. One of the security guards gets wise to their presence, and our hacker heroes soon find themselves on the run.

While this is going on, a retired Philip Price is given several cryptic messages which lead to him discovering that he will be attending the Deus Group meeting in place of the missing Tyrell Wellick. He informs Elliot.

Elliot finds himself busy when the police converge on Virtual Realty, forcing him to go on the longest run of his life when he's spotted by security and he bails to give Darlene a chance to escape. This was one of the most intense moments of the series, as Elliot races through the city, one block after another, struggling to outrun the cops on his heels and dodge oncoming traffic. There was even a second where I thought Elliot just decided to kill himself when he is cornered and jumps over a guard rail. Fortunately, he just ended up rolling down a steep hill, where Darlene -- having used another quick disguise to escape -- is waiting for him below. As they make their getaway, the two finally begin to reconcile as Elliot silently takes her hand in his.

And while that's going on, Dom DiPierro's family Christmas is interrupted when Janice orders her to investigate the burned van in Pike's Hollow. She uses deception to give the Dark Army access to the local police's computer network, knowing that a stoplight camera will have likely seen anyone in the vicinity of the van. She then discovers that Elliot and Darlene were involved, and the Dark Army wants her to bring the Alderson siblings in. Oh joy.

As Darlene said a couple of episodes ago, the routine for her and Elliot alway seems to be "two steps forward and three fucking leaps back." It appears she was right. The closer they get to their goals, the more obstacles arise to hinder their progress and threaten their lives.

The biggest, though, might be the one they're not even paying attention: Fernando Vera. At the end of this episode, he and his minions finally confront Elliot's former psychiatrist Krista. Vera wants to bend Elliot to his will, and he sees Krista as the key to achieving that goal. This is sure to set Elliot back once again. Vera is one of the few characters who has ever managed to defeat Elliot. And now that he has Krista, who knows all of Elliot's secrets, he might have the opportunity to do it again.

It's shaping up to be a Merry Christmas.

Ones and Zeroes:

* Elliot takes Tyrell’s cellphone, which displayed an image of Joanna holding their son. I still can't believe they actually made me feel bad for the Wellicks.

* Speaking of Tyrell, Dom and the FBI were investigating the area in which he apparently died and they don't appear to have found his body.

* The guards at Virtual Realty watching Die-Hard was a nice touch. This episode might have been paying homage to it a bit.

* I figured Darlene's alias "Dolores Haze" was in reference to something. Turns out it's the real name of the title character in Lolita.

* When Price is sitting alone in a fancy restaurant, he watches a family happily enjoying each other's company during Christmas, clearly feeling envy and regret. Can't believe they made me feel bad for this dude either.

Quotes:

No quotes this time. That might be a first for me.

Four and a half out of five forged fingerprints.

2 comments:

milostanfield said...

Can't wait to see a major motion picture by Esmail. This show is so cinematic.

Loved that the big chase scene was done using RHI (Real Human Interface), and not CGI. Kudos to all those stunt people.

Nice trick with the little tracker that Darlene installed on Eliot's phone. That way the narrative could put the two together (twice) with no mysterious plot holes or long scenes of "Ok, where is he?". Can anybody ever really be alone any more? An ironic thought given how deeply lonely D & E really are.

Logan Cox said...

I hadn't thought of the tracker, but you are absolutely right. In a lesser show, Darlene somehow finding and rescuing Elliot probably would've just been a random plot hole. And yes, that chase was very well-done; although, I watched it with my mom and she refused to believe those out of shape cops could have kept up with Elliot for that long, but that's just funny to me.

And yeah, considering the level of talent on display here and the show Homecoming, Esmail does seem like the kind of guy who'd make some pretty wild and memorable movies. I definitely look forward to his future projects.

Thanks for the comment, milostanfield.