Mr. Robot: with spoilers

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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 19 Sep 2016, 21:09

Shem wrote:
Jennifer wrote:Make that a "pale blue" font; I use the standard forum color settings, wherein the background of posts is light blue.
Not really; highlighting would still be a problem. Easier just to pull the trigger and make it a spoilers thread.
For your convenience, here's the encrypted parts:

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT
Kolohe wrote:I'll agree that was annoying - I thought for a while that I missed something. They showed the address, but not the significance of the address, iirc.

It vexes me as to where it is. I'm sure they would recognize E Corps HQ right away without a secondary search. Even more so for the Wellick's place. Could it be Madam Executioner? It didn't seem that her pied a terre was all the up on the Upper East side, not with where she was jogging.
Jennifer wrote:My initial guess was that it was Scott Knowles (husband of the woman Tyrell murdered), especially since the "previously" scenes at the beginning of that episode showed Joanna at an ECorp party mentioning to the Knowleses that Tyrell always gives her little gifts -- basically, I figured Knowles was using the phone calls, and occasional pretty-but-useless gifts, to sadistically fuck with Joanna. But the happy way she reacted upon seeing the address appears to blow THAT theory out of the water.
Jennifer wrote:
Kolohe wrote: If there's a downfall in this series, it's going to be mother fucking Bitcoin as a major plot point. Esmail may knows computers, but he doesn't really understand 'money', much less the US government's relation with it at the dawn of the 21st century.
But it's not "Bitcoin" -- which is mentioned by name in the series -- but ECoin. Which, from the perspective of anyone who gives any sort of a damn about privacy (far below official "libertarian" levels) is horrifying: remember Philip Price telling that government guy "Yeah, you can regulate the hell out of it! Backdoors, front doors, side doors, you can see every single monetary transaction anyone ever makes" -- yecch.

Also, given the frequent mentions of or allusions to the ongoing shortage of actual hard-currency cash, it's obvious that whatever the hell else the government is doing, they're not even trying to make "hard copies" of "electronic" money; no thought of "Hmm, given the obvious problems with electronic money and banking and everything else which the 5/9 hack has exposed, maybe it would be worth re-considering the notions of 'cash' and 'paper checks' and the like -- they're not as obsolete as pre-5/9 futurists would have you believe."

That said: I think that I myself more-or-less understand the concept of "money" as a store of value (especially as opposed to pre-money barter-n-trade economies); I understand the concept of "fiat money" which has no "inherent" value, the way precious metals do, but gets value via being backed by the rich-n-powerful US government. I'd even understand the value of ECoin, if it were indeed to be traded one-for-one with the US dollar -- that would be another form of government-backed fiat money, only with a private corporation serving as a middleman .... but I do not understand where the value of Bitcoin comes from.
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 19 Sep 2016, 21:25

Jennifer wrote:.... but I do not understand where the value of Bitcoin comes from.
[/quote]
It comes from people being willing to consider it a store of wealth and medium of exchange and it attracts many of its users because there is a finite number of bitcoins that can be mined, which goes to your concerns about inflation, and it is anonymous in the way that no other currency transaction can be any longer.

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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Shem » 19 Sep 2016, 21:28

Appreciated, Jennifer.
Jennifer wrote:
I don't get that she's able to handle every single situation from delis to conference rooms to interrogations everywhere and anywhere - but can't handle being in her own bedroom.
I buy that, though -- everything else you've mentioned, she's done in the context of being "an FBI agent on the job," rather than just "herself." It's similar to how, when I was a working journalist, I had little-to-no difficulty starting conversations with complete strangers in a journalism context -- showing up to an event with pad and recorder in hand, press pass on a lanyard around my neck -- that's entirely different from just "Ordinary, non-working me" being in that same situation.
She reminds me of a guy I used to RP with who would put all his points into class skills and wind up with the absolute bare minimum in social skills. The DM used to punish him by making him communicate using beeps and clicks when not in combat. You put all your skill points into your work, your social life is going to wind up beeps and clicks.
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 20 Sep 2016, 16:58

I finished re-watching season 1 and noticed many things I overlooked the first time (especially foreshadowing, which of course is easier to detect when you already know what's being foreshadowed), but this struck me as particularly col: apparently Esmail lifted a page from Kubrick's playbook in filming The Shining: Elliot's apartment, and the hallway leading to it, does not always have the same layout and floorplan.
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Kolohe » 22 Sep 2016, 12:18

Just watched the finale (the 2nd episode of the 2 part finale)

I haven't minded the explicit references to Fight Club, because they have been explicit, but yet another plot point borrowed from it? (I.e. 'you said to stop anyone that tries to stop us - including you')

So the FBI slow rolled their investigation? I can't think the White House would have allowed it. (But they also wouldn't have let Price keep his job - Mr Robot Obama is the weak kneed empty suit of Fox News)

I hope they go back and show how Angela was a conspirator with Wellick, otherwise the season ending twist is kind of weak sauce.

You know, I just realized I didn't wait to see if there was a post credit scene like there was last year.
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 22 Sep 2016, 12:49

Kolohe wrote:You know, I just realized I didn't wait to see if there was a post credit scene like there was last year.
There is: it shows a Fry's electronic store someplace warm enough to have palm trees (people on reddit identified it as the Fry's in Phoenix, with its distinctive Chinese-dragon sign). Two people in Fry's uniforms are drinking sodas at a picnic table outside -- camera zooms in to show it's Mobley and Trenton. They're living with a friend of Mobley's, whom Trenton thinks is a jerk -- something about "He knew perfectly well I was in the bathroom that time" -- and Mobley says she can save her money and get her own apartment pretty soon, since apartments are dirt-cheap around here. Also, Trenton is saying she thinks she's figured out a way to undo the damage from the hack, and wants MObley to look at it. Someone off-camera walks up to them, Mobley says "Sorry, man, we're on break," then you see he's talking to Leon, who asks "Do you have the time?" End scene. End season.
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 22 Sep 2016, 13:22

Even that little scene, though, underscores certain questions I've had about how money works in this new post-hack economy: if Mobley and Trenton had any money saved in the bank pre-hack, that's lost. But ... Fry's apparently has money enough to stay in business and hire new employees? Even in a cheap place like Phoenix, where $50 a day might be enough for an individual to get by, how do people have enough to also keep an electronics store in business?
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Kolohe » 22 Sep 2016, 13:24

Thanks. I can probably look it up easily enough, but I wonder if there's a license plate connection between this Cadillac and the limo that drove BD Wong to Illuminati Mansion. (I think the limo was also a Caddy, but it definitely had yellow NY plates, not the whitish ones seen here. I don't remember the specific tag number last year but I'm also pretty sure it too had 6 characters)
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 22 Sep 2016, 13:28

Kolohe wrote: I hope they go back and show how Angela was a conspirator with Wellick, otherwise the season ending twist is kind of weak sauce.
I'm guessing that's a new development, which only came about after White Rose said whatever-she-did to make Angela come on board with whatever conspiracy is behind the Washington Township plant.
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Kolohe » 22 Sep 2016, 13:28

I also should have guessed I missed a scene when the Leon actor's name was in the opening credits but I hadn't seen him yet. Last year's finale I watched on an airplane, so there was a clue there was more material when there was so much time left of the scroll bar when the credits came on. This year I recorded a late showing, so I thought USA might have just been wonky for their time compression for Law And Order.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 05 Oct 2016, 14:10

This is inspired by something Hugh posted on the Setec Astronomy thread, though I didn't want to put Mr Robot spoilers in a thoroughly unrelated thread:
Aresen wrote:
Hugh Akston wrote:Looks like there may be another leak at the NSA
The contractor arrested in recent weeks is suspected of taking the highly classified “source code” developed by the agency to break into computer systems of adversaries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. Two officials said that some of the information the contractor is suspected of taking was dated.
Doesn't that create a sense of reassurance that those 'back doors' that the intelligence community demands for ecryption will 'never fall into the wrong hands'.
I wonder if this will be worked into next season's storyline? The way the timing of the non-flashback parts of the show seems to work is: first season started more or less the same time as real life, and when the season ended, its "present time" was only a couple months behind the viewers' timeline: the 5/9 hack happened on May 9, 2015, though season 1's finale aired in IIRC September of that year. Then, season 2 aired in summer 2016 but showed events of the previous summer, a few days after that May 2015 hack. With our real-world time now a year ahead of the show, the writers were more easily able to work in mentions of real-world current events, such as those offhand references to ECorp facing lawsuits over the water supply in Flint, Michigan.
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Kolohe » 05 Oct 2016, 14:39

I can't remember if Snowden was explicitly mentioned by name (or tv screen b roll) in season 1, but it seems to me that the show definitely has both Snowden and Wiki leaks in mind when building the characters and world.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 05 Oct 2016, 14:59

Kolohe wrote:I can't remember if Snowden was explicitly mentioned by name (or tv screen b roll) in season 1, but it seems to me that the show definitely has both Snowden and Wiki leaks in mind when building the characters and world.
I don't remember that either, but I do recall them explicitly mentioning the Ashley Madison hack. Ironically, that also became arguably the show's single most unrealistic techno-reference to date: Krista's scumbag married boyfriend Lenny supposedly slept with lots of women he'd met on AM -- before the revelation broke that pretty much every woman on that site was a bot.
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by JD » 03 Nov 2016, 15:02

OK, I finally got around to watching everything and reading this entire thread!

Firstly, I think that Season 2 suffered some issues very common to second seasons: the writers have to explain why Season 1, which appeared to wrap up things pretty neatly (partly because that's the way seasons work, partly because they may not have known if they were even getting a second season) did not in fact wrap up everything, they have to introduce new characters and situations and explain why they're important yet didn't feature into Season 1, etc.

But the second season did a pretty good job of handling these things. Overall I think the show did a really good pivot from "super-hackers seek to take down the system" to "man deals with serious mental illness". I did not see Elliot's incarceration coming, although I did think that his new living situation and routine were so unusual as to probably require some kind of explanation. Many of the characters I have to say I have no idea what their long game is. Re: the season 2 ending, I was the one sitting there going, "Nope, Tyrell is not just a figment of Elliot's imagination, he's real." This was partly because we've already had that reveal once, and doing it twice would be uncharacteristically sloppy writing, but also because we knew for a fact Tyrell was a real person, and while it's not impossible he could have come back as a projection of Elliot's, it just didn't feel like Mr. Robot (the character) felt.

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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 28 Nov 2016, 18:51

This is another situation wherein I wanted to post a joke/observation on a political-discussion thread, until I remembered NOT to dump a Mr Robot spoiler there: on one of the Trump threads, I mentioned that as of a couple days ago, Trump is suggesting David Petraeus for secretary of state -- the general who pleaded guilty to mishandling classified info after leaking secrets to his mistress.

Assuming Season 3 picks up roughly where season 2 left off, next season's Mr. Robot storyline will be two years behind ours -- they're still about halfway through 2015 while we're watching in the year 2017. Season 2 has already taken advantage of this a couple of times -- the one example I remember is a throwaway mention to Angela about how ECorp is facing lawsuits over contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, which came out in RealYear 2016, but in Mr. Robot-world some characters knew about it in 2015.

Season 2 also included an allusion to Presidential-Candidate Trump -- Terry Colby said something about how with all the dirt he has on him, he could maybe demand a cabinet seat. And there's also a reference to the Petraeus secrets-for-sex scandal, when FSociety looked through the ECorp lawyer's emails and discovered she'd slept with judges to win some of her cases, Darlene said something like "You've got a Petraeus email scandal going on, Suze!"

I've no idea if Petraeus actually will be the SoS -- given how he's handled it thus far, I'm not convinced Trump even has any idea who he wants for that job -- but given that season 3 will almost certainly run in the first year of President Trump (or the immediate aftermath of his impeachment or 25th amendment insanity discharge), I am very curious to see what behind-the-scenes things the characters of Mr Robot discuss in their still-ongoing 2015.

If we had a betting pool, I'd put in a few bucks toward the theory that, when Mr. Robot's timeline reaches summer 2016, they will make some reference to the press conference where Candidate Trump called on Russia to hack the DNC. And if Petraeus actually DOES become Secretary of State, they'll make use of that too.
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Kolohe » 28 Nov 2016, 19:13

my gut feel is that they're going to diverge significantly from the real-world timeline. Trump is not 'the system' the way Clinton is.

eta: i mean, the show's creator is not going to be able to come to terms with the fact that Trump effed society better than fsociety could have ever dreamed of.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 28 Nov 2016, 19:31

Kolohe wrote:my gut feel is that they're going to diverge significantly from the real-world timeline. Trump is not 'the system' the way Clinton is.

eta: i mean, the show's creator is not going to be able to come to terms with the fact that Trump effed society better than fsociety could have ever dreamed of.
True. On the other hand, I don't think it would be too difficult to work Trump into the "hackers fuck things up" storyline. There's still a lot of nefarious-conspiracy stuff we don't know -- what exactly are Tyrell and Stephanie plotting, what is White Rose up to, etc. -- and also plenty o real-world hacker stories related to the campaign and election.

Though Esmail supposedly has the entire Mr Robot storyline written out -- IIRC he originally wrote it as a single-movie screenplay, so the series is presumably a vastly expanded, detailed version of that story. If Esmail's originally planned ending is "Hackers trying to make the world better are actually helping a bigger, more nefarious conspiracy, and seriously fuck everything up," President Trump might actually work out better for the story than any normal president ever could.
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Kolohe » 28 Nov 2016, 19:43

Thinking about it some more, you might be right about Trump.

I was thinking "how can you out conspiracy theorize President Conspiracy Theory?"

But one of Esmail's huge missteps was the notion that Yellin and Lew and the 3rd person I can't remember would wither in the face of a Price ultimatum.

When in reality, if Obama shot Price in the middle of 5th Avenue, they'd repeal the 22nd amendment and give him another term.

Esmail doesn't actually understand the power of the government, nor its role in the modern economy.

But neither does Trump, so it all works out
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 28 Nov 2016, 20:02

Kolohe wrote:But one of Esmail's huge missteps was the notion that Yellin and Lew and the 3rd person I can't remember would wither in the face of a Price ultimatum.... Esmail doesn't actually understand the power of the government, nor its role in the modern economy.

But neither does Trump, so it all works out
Yeah, Yellin and Lew might well have withered if the ultimatum came from POTUS Price. A president who is also a greedy corrupt businessman will likely make Esmail's lack of understanding matter far less to the story.
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 11 Oct 2017, 19:31

I re-watched season 2 last week to refresh my memory before season 3 begins tonight. I've also watched the season 3 trailers (two of them, at least), but I'm wondering how many "fakeouts" they contain -- for example, last season ended with Darlene in FBI custody, yet the trailers show scenes of her walking freely on public streets. Does this mean she gets away from the FBI, or are those scenes from flashbacks?

I'm also curious to see how much the real-world antics of President Trump end up making their way into the scripts. IIRC, it's still mid-to-late 2015 in the show's timeline; how many things which only became evident in 2016 or '17 were already known to the shadowy behind-the-scenes powerbrokers in Mr. Robot World?
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 11 Oct 2017, 23:40

Damn, I really hope all this "time travel/parallel universes/undo the past" stuff turns out to be a bunch of red herrings. I enjoy that sort of science fiction in its place, but I've invested two seasons watching what seemed to be "realistic" sci-fi (as in, possible with only currently exiting level of technology and knowledge), and will be very disappointed if it turns out to be "unrealistic" instead.
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Kolohe » 12 Oct 2017, 09:26

Jennifer wrote:
22 Sep 2016, 13:28
Kolohe wrote: I hope they go back and show how Angela was a conspirator with Wellick, otherwise the season ending twist is kind of weak sauce.
I'm guessing that's a new development, which only came about after White Rose said whatever-she-did to make Angela come on board with whatever conspiracy is behind the Washington Township plant.
I don't even remember why I wrote what I wrote, but your take seems to be spot on.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Kolohe » 12 Oct 2017, 09:33

I thought, at first, that the parallel universes in the opening scene was going to be a clever wink and nod to 'yeah, um, so all this anarchist amoral hacking potentially gave us Trump, and we don't really want to deal with that, so here's our story set in a parallel timeline'

But then Elliot voiceovers, then straight up monologues halfway thru with a spiel that says 'yeah, we're going to deal with Trump universe after all'. (I found that scene kinda clumsy by the standards set for this series).

Then at the end with Angela saying (to Elliot) 'what if we could take it all back?' and riding on the bus with Mr Robot looking up at the lights, an effect that also is made to look like a particle accelerator - this whole White Rose is building a Time Machine seems to be the real plot of this season.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 12 Oct 2017, 16:20

Kolohe wrote:
12 Oct 2017, 09:33
I thought, at first, that the parallel universes in the opening scene was going to be a clever wink and nod to 'yeah, um, so all this anarchist amoral hacking potentially gave us Trump, and we don't really want to deal with that, so here's our story set in a parallel timeline'

But then Elliot voiceovers, then straight up monologues halfway thru with a spiel that says 'yeah, we're going to deal with Trump universe after all'. (I found that scene kinda clumsy by the standards set for this series).
Yeah, IIRC they're still in mid-to-late 2015. Trump was campaigning then, but everyone figured he'd lose. I can't remember when he first started talking about the Mexican wall, though a search for "Trump" and "wall " in the archives here (excluding mentions of "Wall" street," or "trump" used as a lower-case verb, or similar things) shows that the earliest reference I can find appears to be this comment (link below) I made in December 2015, when I said "...As for the assholes who think Trump would be a great president because he'd ban all Muslims from the country and build a big wall on the southern border and has the "courage" to say that only rapists and other criminals come here out of Mexico..."

So, okay, it was already well-known enough by December that I'd refer to it as something everybody here knows about, no links or explanations necessary. Perhaps, then, it was already common knowledge in Elliot's time? And even before anybody knew Trump would win, it was certainly worth concern, the fact that such racist ideas should gain such traction, and Elliot blaming himself and his hack for it wouldn't be implausible. (Also, there was at least one mention of Trump in season 2, when Terry Colby said something along the lines of "Can you believe that asshole is actually running? With all the dirt I have on him, I could demand to be on his ticket.")

If time travel or alternate universes does prove to be an actual plot point, I hope it's simply "White Rose is crazy/deluded enough to think it'll work, and managed to convince or frighten Angela into believing it, too." Given all the stress Angela had been under, plus what we already know about her character, that wouldn't be too implausible either, provided the writers handle it properly.

I hope it's something along those lines, anyway, as opposed to "They're doing no-shit time travel or past erasure, somehow."

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1314&p=319853&hilit ... ll#p319853
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 12 Oct 2017, 17:07

Another thing -- this is inspired by a re-read of some posts here from last season -- I still am not satisfied with the tidbits they've given us regarding how the economic meltdown is effecting ordinary people. Last night's episode showed us a glimpse: when Elliot went to his apartment, there was a "notice of eviction" on the door of another apartment in his building, and his landlord mentioned looking for new tenants. And last season we saw that the Iranian convenience-store owner who made the sandwiches Dom liked so much was also losing his place, because he couldn't pay the rent.

However: the rationale for a landlord to evict non-payers is, of course, "I'm kicking out your non-paying self so I can rent that space to somebody who WILL pay me." But in the post-5/9 economy, who the hell has the money for it? Presumably Elliot's soon-to-be-evicted neighbor couldn't pony up the rent after the hack -- but who the hell CAN pay the rent, especially in Manhattan, when everybody is restricted to a $50 daily allowance? The relatively few people who are so rich as to be unaffected by the hack are rich enough that if they want a place to live in Manhattan, they can afford a place much nicer than Elliot's building. (And if these rich folks are looking for investment opportunities, they're NOT going to go for "Yeah, lemme take over the mom-n-pop convenience store and sandwich shop formerly run by an Iranian immigrant.")

If anything -- assuming you were a good, reliable, non-troublemaking tenant before 5/9 made it impossible for you to pay the rent -- it would make more sense for a landlord to let you stay there for the duration, rather than kick you out and have that spot become a vacant squatter-magnet.
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