Sunday, November 10, 2019

REVIEW: 'Mr. Robot' - Elliot Crosses a Line to Get What He Wants While Vera Tells Krysta a Story in '406 Not Acceptable'

USA's Mr. Robot - Episode 4.06 "406 Not Acceptable"

vera tells a tale. darlene gets an xmas surprise. elliot goes rogue.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of USA's Mr. Robot.

"406 Not Acceptable" was written by Amelia Grey and directed by Sam Esmail

Mr. Robot has been extremely concerned about the lengths Elliot has been willing to go this season to defeat Whiterose and the Dark Army. He is the one narrating these concerns to the audience. He fears what will happen after Elliot crosses a moral line he once pledged to never cross. It produces an episode in which Elliot is every bit as monstrous as the antagonists he is battling. Whiterose insists that bringing him further into the operation will be enlightening. It will prove that they are actually on the same side in all of this. Meanwhile, Vera believes there is a strong spiritual connection between them that will ensure further success in his pursuit to control all of New York City. These two threats will do whatever they want in order to achieve their grand goals. And now, Elliot is acting the exact same way. Sure, the viewer should have always seen him as capable in that regard. He has long been a monster who has destroyed people's lives. In his pursuit of taking down the wealthy elite who actually control the world, he allowed so much human suffering to take place. His noble goal of the 5/9 hack was a complete illusion. It didn't work. Now, he has a new plan to go after the cabal of people who actually shape the world. The clock is ticking against him and he feels the urgency to make every single moment worth it. Whiterose's associates voice their worries about Elliot's objectives as a rogue operator. However, Whiterose has trust in a system that has led him to this point. He is no longer going to delay his passion project. He has calculated it all so perfectly. It can't go wrong now. Elliot plans on being in the room when the Deus Group meets. However, planning for that event keeps getting interrupted and hijacked. Elliot is furious that Olivia can't clearly see just how awful and abusive the people she works for are. It takes having some kind of personal connection to an atrocity in order for her to join in the noble sense of the job. Elliot believes he can't get to that point without having to drug her and threaten the complete destruction of her life. He does so in an incredibly callous way as well. The audience knows just how lethal a relapse could be for her. Elliot doesn't remember that. When she escapes to the bathroom, it comes with the sinking suspicion that this is all going to end in her suicide because her life was taken from her by Elliot. It wasn't the Deus Group or some shady criminal clients. It was the man standing in front of her who snuck Oxycontin into her coffee because he doubted that she would be open to reason. He assumes he knows best because he sees his mission as the most important thing that could be happening right now. It doesn't matter that it is Christmas. The holiday is used to create an illusion that people can escape from the ugly realities of the world. It's false. Dangers still lurk everywhere. In fact, the show may be even more cynical than ever by saying there are always complications that prevent any one person from actually making it to the top and being able to reshape the world in their image. Again, that may not be true in the end. The powerful always find a way to remain in power. Elliot has been taught that lesson already. But now, Vera's ambition is the latest interruption that Elliot will have to deal with. Elliot ends the hour in the trunk of a car because Vera has grand ideas of what they can accomplish together. Elliot doesn't have time for that. But again, the world is constantly throwing people curve balls. Things happen in unexpected ways. Darlene was going to assist in the hack. However, she is held hostage by Dom who refuses to kill her despite her orders. And now, they may both be at the mercy of Janice simply because the Dark Army needs to find Elliot as soon as possible. Again, all of these threats are converging on each other in interesting and engaging ways. People always see themselves as the best narrators of their lives and the choices being made. However, it's perfectly reasonable for Mr. Robot to be cut off and taken by surprise. He wants to extend some sense of humanity and empathy onto his other half. Elliot makes that difficult right now. Does he deserve to emerge victorious in this war? It's unclear mostly because of all the people he's hurt in order to get here. Those efforts are only intensifying too. He may break away to save Krysta. And yet, it's a trap he falls into because he still has no idea how to navigate these personal relationships that mean so much to him despite how toxic he has continually made them.