'Mr Robot' Season 4 premiere episode 'Unauthorized' sees Elliot nearly die after he loses childhood friend Angela
Elliot might have taken on more than he can handle as he goes against Whiterose's "heart", her money stash in "Cyprus National Bank", but is discovered and captured by the end of the episode
This article contains spoilers for Mr Robot's Season 4 Episode 1 'Unauthorized'
Around the mid-point of Mr. Robot's Season 4 premiere, Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) questions Elliot's (Rami Malek) reason for pursuing Whiterose (representing the top one percent of the top one percent who influence key events shaping the global economy for personal gain). "When we started, this was about saving the world," he says.
"People are already forgetting... And they are going to forget. And I don't blame them. They're exhausted. I'm exhausted," Elliot says. It is a telling commentary on how the Occupy movement has resulted in several waves of protests that eventually exhausted themselves with not much changing.
For megacorps who evade taxes and privatize profits while the public pays for the risks and long-term consequences, it is still "business as usual". In some ways, forgetting is the only way to survive as each new day brings new horrors being rubbed into the 99 percent's collective face by the one-percenters.
Angela (Portia Doubleday) refuses to forget [despite her father E Corp's Phillip Price's (Michael Cristofer) best efforts] and is shot dead by Dark Army's agents. When Whiterose calls Price, minutes after Price's daughter Angela has been shot dead, he foams at the mouth and calls Whiterose "psychotic". But he also knows he can do nothing except go along with what Whiterose has set in motion.
Elliot Alderson is far less inclined to do so, especially after Whiterose sends him a picture of Angela with her brains blown out. From then on, it's personal. In some ways, this is the only way Sam Esmail can end the story that began with a grand-sweeping narrative and philosophizing about the state of the world and the people in it.
There is no way to end that story that begins a new cycle of exploitation and corruption each year after we have distracted ourselves into numbness at the end of the year. Mr. Robot's monologue towards the beginning of the episode says as much.
Instead, there is only the personal accounting to avenge the losses suffered in the here and now -- vengeance meted out in whatever limited way possible in the present. Elliot and his alter ego, Mr. Robot are more in sync than ever before as they blackmail Freddy Lomax (Jake Busey), a lawyer behind the financial transactions of Whiterose's male persona Zhi Zhang (BD Wong).
But when Freddy realizes that Mr. Robot has no safety plan for him and with the Dark Army agents behind him, he shoots himself before giving Elliot a name -- "John Garcin". The episode then cuts to the other characters who are still alive. E Corp's "nominal" head, Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallstrom), is being feted for his supposed role in mitigating the effects of the 5/9 hack.
The economy seems to be booming with E-coin becoming a normal part of people's lives. However, Wellick, as the dead-eyed CTO, is far from OK as he asks for a minute as his secretary lists his extensive and unending itinerary.
Elliot's sister, Darlene (Carly Chaikin), is a shaky, sobbing mess high on drugs seeing visions of Angela and still refusing to believe she is dead. Dom, the FBI agent who is forced to become the Dark Army's mole, seems to be suffering from PTSD from the events of season 3.
As she holes up in her mother's house, she is so jittery she pulls the gun on the workman who has come for a bathroom renovation project. She is equally distracted when Janice, a girl her mother wants to set her up with, comes to dinner.
But she snaps into full attention when Janice, a Dark Army plant, tells her she better report to her office tomorrow and clean up Agent Santiago's mess or she will "slit her mother from mouth to c**t". Turns out Dom was right to be paranoid after all as she sees three unmarked vehicles on her street.
In the meantime, Elliot has pieced together the information from Freddy's email and realized Whiterose's money trail ends at Cyprus National Bank. He wants to go after John Garcin as well by showing up at his place.
Mr. Robot wants to be cautious. But that is when Elliot gives his "I'm exhausted" speech, obviously running low on fumes but still determined to do something. "If we let this go, it will be back to business for Whiterose and her friends. The more she gets away with this, the worse this gets."
So disregarding the usual precautions, Elliot (and Mr. Robot) make their way to Garcin's flat. Finding the door unlocked, they walk in only to realize something is very wrong. The flat decor still has the price tags on them and the bedroom and kitchen shelves are empty.
Elliot discovers Satre's "No Exit" book with its character "Joseph Garcin" in the bookcase. That is when Elliot realizes, he has been set up by Freddy and the flat was a "honey pot" to trap nuisance-causing bees like him.
The next scene sees Elliot being dragged to his flat by three men. Sam Esmail makes a quick cameo, as one of the three men, and the one who administers the heroin-like substance into Elliot's veins after saying, "Goodbye friend".
Elliot blurts out everything, including knowing about "Cyprus National Bank" and how his death will not be the end. None of his words make a difference. The drug is injected and Elliot goes into his death spiral with the events from the past three seasons flashing through his brain.
Then the screen cuts to black. Just when you were wondering how on earth they were going to do a whole season's worth of episodes without its central lead, the camera returns to Elliot and him being revived with an antidote nose spray. It is Mr. Price and his henchman who have a message to deliver.
What that message is, we'll find out next week.
'Mr. Robot' airs on the USA Network on Sundays at 10/9c.