Monday, December 9, 2019

REVIEW: 'Mr. Robot' - Darlene and Dom Hit the Road Together Running from the Dark Army in '410 Gone'

USA's Mr. Robot - Episode 4.10 "410 Gone"

we stan domlene.

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.

"410 Gone" was written by Sam Esmail and directed by Sam Esmail

Darlene stages the biggest redistribution of wealthy in history. She shares that moment with Dom. It's a joyous celebration. All the funds taken from the Deus Group have been transferred to the Ecoin accounts of everyone on the planet. They each pocket the same amount of money. It's an absolutely life-changing amount as well. It's startling to see just how much wealth and influence the people at the top have. It being fairly distributed could robustly revolutionize humanity with what's possible. That's the hopeful message at the core of the show. However, that's just one moment that occurs in this hour. It's fundamentally about the relationship between Darlene and Dom. They have endured a lot together. They have condemned each other for the horrible actions that have destroyed their lives. But now, they are on the run together after taking down the Deus Group. They believe they are being hunted by the Dark Army. That nefarious organization must be seeking vengeance. They can't stay in their current lives. Everyone is seemingly telling Dom that everything will work out for her as soon as she gets a good night's sleep. That's all the comfort she needs. She balks at the suggestion. That has never stopped her before. She understands the threat still against her. But she also holds a desire to earn her family's forgiveness for what she has just put them through during the holidays. For most people, this is simply an ordinary time of year. It features travel and hassle. It may feature the celebration of family. But it's quickly back to normal. The wonder comes from the transfer of money to everyone's accounts. That brings joy. It may prove that Dom has always been thinking too small when it came to her focus with the job and her responsibilities. She has held onto those so tightly because they gave her such a strong purpose. She has suffered plenty on the job both physically and psychologically. She is still healing from her lung being punctured. She has to go on the run. Darlene convinces her to do this. It's the best thing she can do for the people she cares about. She keeps running into familiar faces from past tragedies. She doesn't look at Leon as a welcoming presence who is trying to help her escape danger. Instead, he is the Dark Army operative who killed people right in front of her. Similarly, Irving is the Dark Army handler who forced her into servitude in the first place. And now, he just randomly appears in the airport gift shop selling copies of his book. He is so chillingly menacing even though he shares the news that the Dark Army isn't hunting down Darlene and Dom. They are no longer targets. The group's priorities are elsewhere. That may factor into what Elliot is doing by returning to Washington Township. That is his purpose at the moment. Meanwhile, Darlene and Dom get into a charged debate about what they actually want from their lives moving forward. This burden is lifted off of their shoulders. There is no longer a threat against their lives. They have the freedom to choose what to do next. That contributes to such a sweeping display of emotions in the final third of the episode. They are both desperately trying to convince the other that they need each other in their lives in order to be okay. Darlene has always been attached to the idea that she has to focus on others in order to be fine herself. She has jumped from relationships always believing that she would be paralyzed or spiral if left on her own. That's how she views her panic attacks. Meanwhile, Dom comfortably embraces the loneliness and the demands of the job. It means there is a visceral reaction when Darlene throws her Alexa on the ground. These two need to embrace certain truths about themselves. They help the other find that path towards self-improvement. All of it plays as if it's some grand romantic comedy that ends with the two of them coming together. It doesn't. It does feature both of them running through the airport - a staple of the romcom genre. However, it's clarifying that their roles are essentially reversed in that moment. Dom gets on the plane and stays there because she gives herself the freedom to take a break. Only then is she able to find the sleep she has desperately needed for years. At the same time, Darlene is staring herself down in the bathroom mirror with a panic attack. In that moment, she reassures herself that she can handle it on her own. A core message of all of this can be the power that comes from people accepting the help of others. And yet, a person can't make someone else improve their lives following a pattern of self-destructive behavior. There is only one person who can make that change. Darlene and Dom may confront each other and present as being good together. However, it's much more emotionally rewarding to see them get individual clarity at the end of their respective journeys here.