Although this show is still set in 2015, it’s still aware of the current climate of the world. Frederick and Tanya, known to us as Trenton and Mobley, are dead. Given their ethnicities, these deaths provided the perfect opportunity to redirect the focus of the FBI’s investigation while stirring up a some Islamophobia. Red Wheelbarrow BBQ also draws comparisons to the Comet Pizza conspiracy.
With the current barrage of terrible news being funneled down our throats day in and day out, it’s easy to lose hope. In a world where we’re constantly swimming upstream against a fierce current, sometimes conceding control seems like the easy thing to do. For some, this means apathy. For others, it means avoiding the world by unplugging. For Elliot, this means a full wipe down.
Elliot wipes down when he wants to delete everything. For complete deletion, he must go beyond dropping and dragging in the recycle bin. Even beyond a factory reset. Elliot drills through the motherboard and fries the memory. He’s not just deleting his hard drive either, he wants to delete himself.
This episode is about a man carrying the weight of the world who feels like he has nothing left to live for. Before Elliot deletes himself, he goes down a personal path of reconciliation. He gives our dear friend Flipper to a neighbor. He takes the Mr. Robot jacket and tosses it in the trash. He goes to Mobley’s brother to pay his respects. Mobley’s brother gives him some choice words and tells him to get off his lawn. When he visits Trenton, his day changes. He sees Trenton’s parents outside packing (who takes the boxes outside to pack, Sam?) and tells them he knew his daughter. After assuring them of her innocence, they thank him and he heads to the beach to complete his deletion. Before he could get started on his big bag of morphine, Trenton’s little brother sits down next to him.
This is where the episode got surreal for me. It played with my expectations because it has been flirting with time travel and alternate dimensions. How the heck did this little kid get here? Is he even real in the first place? After badgering Elliot, he takes the kid to the movies to see Back to the Future II since the date on the show is October 21, 2015. After tracking down this sneaky little kid and taking him home, the kid pulls his keys out his pocket and opens the door. He has tricked Elliot, he just didn’t want to be alone. Elliot didn’t want to be alone either, he just didn’t realize it. The kid asks Elliot if they would see him again and Elliot tells him they can see The Martian. The kids give Elliot a sucker and this causes him to break into tears.
Elliot then goes to Angela’s apartment and although she doesn’t open the door, he can still feel her presence. She sits in silence but his voice comforts her nonetheless.
When he returns to his own apartment, he rebuilds his computer, logs back into his email and sees the email from Trenton with “DON’T DELETE ME” as the subject. This episode was a powerful detour away from the central narrative. Elliot has been the voice of paranoia this entire show. He’s the little voice in our minds that questions news stories or have lost faith in humanity. But by simply taking a journey where he accompanies a little kid, he ends up in a movie reliving his childhood, visiting a mosque, and taking a ride on a weird ice cream truck. The driver actually delivers the best line of the episode: “In the end, humans actually persevere”. Seventy-one E-Corp facilities were bombed and Elliot thinks he’s solely responsible. Instead of deleting himself, he has a renewed purpose. No mistake is too big to be reversed and there is always something to live for. Elliot found both in Trenton’s final email.
This episode has a greater purpose as well. Whether it’s by admission or not, it can be viewed as a suicide prevention message. It was a heartwarming episode from a usually dense and bleak show.
Song of the week:
This show continues to kill it with the music.
Episode file format:
Piece of code that can be loaded and unloaded into the kernel upon demand. They extend the functionality of the kernel without the need to reboot the system.
Question and I only have one: That was definitely Christopher Lloyd, right?
Ok, no, I have two: Elliot really just walked off on his dad dying?