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Slovenly Muse

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  1. Ok, here is a half-baked theory I've been working on. Forgive me, this show is so dense with backstory that it is hard to remember what we have learned already with regards to Elliot and his family's connection to ECorp. I'm struggling to recall details, but maybe you can help me put the pieces together: After this episode, I kept thinking about the boardroom scene and asking myself, why a boardroom? It was such an incongruous setting for their conversation. Wouldn't Elliot's subconscious be more likely to place the projections of his family in a domestic setting? Does Elliot's family have corporate connections that he's buried with his memories? Why else would he associate his family with a boardroom? I started wondering about other things we've learned or revisited this season: - Elliot's bedroom key is shaped like the ECorp logo - Price was ECorp's CEO and Angela's father - Angela and Elliot were very close childhood friends Could Elliot's father (or mother - we know so little about her) have been a founder of ECorp? Was the computer repair business a stepping stone to a tech startup? Did Price and Alderson work together (one handling tech, the other, business?), and that's why Elliot and Angela met and spent so much time together? (Presumeably, Angela stayed close to the Alderson family after her father abandoned her for his work.) If this is the case, then ECorp could well be named after Elliot. It would be right in line with the type of grand gestures that abusers use to make their victims feel "special." Then the substitution of "EvilCorp" in Elliot's mind would be an expression of the guilt, shame, and loathing (self-loathing?) that can come with abuse. It could also explain the shape of the bedroom key, as ECorp was used by Mr. Alderson symbolically as a tool to gain and maintain access to Elliot. Is this a show about Elliot's attempt to destroy his family's legacy, something that was done in his name? This would also mean the Aldersons likely have longstanding connections to Whiterose and her project. What happened in Washington Township must be related to what "he" did (whoever and whatever that will turn out to be). Have we seen other details to support or refute this idea? What am I forgetting?
  2. Yes. AND it goes to show how smart a player Gerri is. We don't know for sure how she feels about her and Roman's, erm... arrangement. We only see hints of her feelings, and the strongest hint was that it wasn't mutual. She didn't have to participate. She could have laughed it off and pretended it was one of his gross "jokes" and their relationship would have been fine, but by going with it, she cemented an alliance that is so much more than professional. A member of the family, who will probably always take priority over her, is now Ride or Die for Gerri. That is how you play the cards you're dealt to fucking perfection!
  3. I agree about the time between seasons. I was lukewarm on the show in season 1, and every season I think I've appreciated it more and more to the point where I think I finally fell full-on in love with the show this season, but honestly, I start every new season with very little memory of what happened in the previous one, and it really dampens my enthusiasm. It's a bit slow-moving, its tone can be flat, it doesn't do the kind of splashy stuff that sticks in your mind, and I find it does kind of drift away as soon as the season is done. I'm not saying that's a bad thing: I'm actually really into its tone and the way it tells its story, but the long breaks between seasons do not serve it well. I'm planning to do a full-series rewatch leading up to the last couple of episodes to see how the whole thing holds together as one cohesive unit. I don't think I'll know how to feel about the show as a whole until I see it as a whole.
  4. Was it ever confirmed that HJ was a Nazi sympathizer? As far as I can remember, they were only rumors. Maybe totally false, or maybe rumors started by Captain Metropolis to cement the idea of HJ's "whiteness." Because in the Minutemen, it's better to be thought a Nazi than a black man. Or perhaps his single-minded pursuit of the KKK was misread by his fellow Minutemen (who never got to see his folder and hear about his work on Cyclops, I assume) as interest, rather than antipathy. Because, why would a white man be paying attention to the Klan if not to join? Or maybe they've just decided to do away with that little bit of comics canon. For an origin story this good, I'll definitely let them get away with it. I loved this episode completely, and I love what this show is shaping up to be!
  5. Damn, this show seems determined to go out with a bang, and I am here for it! The last episode freaking HAUNTED me all week, and I was really hoping we'd get to see Krysta and Elliot in the immediate aftermath of Vera's death. I am so, SO happy that Krysta helped him and is still trying to take care of him, even after everything that happened. She's such a genuinely good person, and those little story touches, where Elliot is having a shutdown in the presence of someone who is willing and able to stave off their own impending mental and physical collapse long enough to reassure him, and protect him, and be kind to him when he needs it... those bright moments are such a stark contrast to the darkness and brutality and pain that suffuses this series that I find them profoundly affecting, and I'm so grateful that we got that one tonight, because I really needed it! (And the scene with Mr. Robot holding Elliot at the end - My heart!) I don't believe the young Elliot is the third alter. He felt more like a temporary visitor to help adult Elliot process what he was remembering. Beyond that, he has no reason to exist, and no agenda to enact through Elliot. Having it spelled out for us, where Mr. Robot came from and why he was created and when... that was really useful in helping us understand how Elliot's fractured mind manages reality. After episode 2, I theorized that the new alter might be Angela, since her death is the kind of massive, traumatic, triggering event that could cause an alter to form, and would give that alter a reason to exist and an agenda to accomplish: Avenge Angela's death in more brutal and devastating way than Elliot would be capable of on his own (the way Mr. Robot was attempting to avenge Mr. Alderson's death when we first "met" him). But since that episode there hasn't been a single reference to Angela (a small one tonight - hooray!) and I'm concerned that she really is gone for good. I still hold out hope, though. Darlene encountered the third alter after Angela's death, and I can't pinpoint what other big, life-changing event Elliot has experienced in the meantime that could cause another alter to either be created or step in and start taking control. (Though I can't remember everything that happened at the end of last season. I need to do a rewatch.) I don't think Esmail is trying to pull the rug out from under us by, say, having a character that's been on the show the whole time secretly be an alter - that seems like a cheap gimmick and the show repeating itself. But I am definitely on the hook to find out who it is!
  6. It's funny, looking through this thread that seems to be the general takeaway, but I had a totally different read on that scene. I thought Kendall decided to turn on Logan after the "killer" speech NOT because Kendall was becoming a killer himself, but because he finally allowed himself to accept that even though he was directly responsible for the death of another human being, he really was NOT a "killer." And he didn't deserve to go to prison and suffer for his dad's crimes because of what he himself had done. Rather it was Logan, who threw common people (entertainers, cruise passengers, caterers) to the sharks in droves to maintain his own comfort and shrug it off as "no real people involved," who was the REAL killer, and the one who actually deserved to pay. I didn't think Kendall was embracing being the killer his dad wanted, I thought he was taking the first steps to heal from the trauma he experienced, and try to set things right. Whether he will actually take responsibility for his OWN wrongdoing and admit his part in the caterer's death remains to be seen, but acknowledging how deeply it's affected him, and how little the human cost of their business has affected Logan, is a huge first step in the right direction. Kendall didn't do this to be a killer like his father. He did it because he wants to be a better person than his father, and to see the REAL killer taken down. Did Logan set this in motion? Did he want Kendall to fight back and turn on him? Well, to believe that, I'd have to believe that Logan would be genuinely willing to suffer the consequences of his own actions, rather than see his child suffer in his place, and from everything we've seen of him this entire series, there's not a chance in hell. Logan wanted a human shield, and while he might respect Kendall's play, there's no way this was his plan, or this was what he wanted. He's not capable of that kind of selflessness.
  7. Wow, thanks @AgentRXS! I had no idea the characters were based on real people! That makes so much sense, and it actually helps a lot to explain some of the creative decisions that have confused me (see above). Appreciate the background!
  8. This is exactly it. That condom scene was brilliant, I thought. Previously, Lori was on set insisting her co-stars wear condoms because she saw them as prostitutes or porn actors who might give her something nasty they picked up on a "gay for pay" film. And when Vince asked her to use a condom, even though he was absolutely right to ask that, it made total sense for Lori to feel like he saw HER as a dirty prostitute/porn star who might give him something. Especially since she's trying to move away from that chapter of her life and be seen as just a woman who is valued and desired for who she is, rather than what she'll do for money. It was a reminder that she'll never be anything but a whore in some people's eyes. So, while Vince was right to ask, you can't say Lori was "wrong" to feel the way she did. It makes perfect sense to me, and people don't always FEEL in ways that are sensible or logical. I thought both of their actions and reactions in that scene were spot-on and perfectly in character. R.I.P Frankie, I guess. Even though I never understood why his character existed in the first place, and never felt much of a brotherly bond between the Francos who never actually acted opposite each other because they're the same person, I guess he will be missed? (Seriously. I have not understood, even from the beginning, why the show would go to the trouble and expense of having Franco play a dual role, for so little artistic reward (and the detriment of distracting us from the story by making us wonder about how scenes were filmed). If they really wanted brothers, why not make them brothers who are NOT twins and cast different actors, so we could at least get some familial chemistry going on? The only reason the show has needed them to be twins, was so they could be confused for each other in the pilot and Vince would end up tied to the mob, but that could have happened regardless! Same with this hit, if maybe Vince was supposed to be the real target (just guessing), it wasn't really necessary for them to be twins. And, I know this is just nitpicking, and it always bothers me when I see one actor playing twins, but the Francos didn't look DIFFERENT enough from each other to be realistic twins. Very few adult twins are actually perfectly identical. They have slightly different facial features, not just different hairstyles. Anyway, I guess when I say Frankie will be missed, I mean... not by me.) But I'm definitely interested to see how these last few episodes play out without him!
  9. Yeah, I'm also inclined to believe this is a stylistic choice made because we are seeing the scene from Elliot's point of view. Elliot sees a separate other person in the room that no one else does (Mr. Robot) and so his mind is making those slight changes to fill in the gaps and compensate for that slightly-altered reality. For example, even though Darlene is speaking directly to Elliot the whole time, his brain will generate an altered perception of her physically turning to address his different personalities, in order to make sense of the fact that Mr Robot is an established solid entity that is elsewhere in the room. This makes it actually NECESSARY for her to turn, because both Elliot and Mr. Robot would separately perceive Darlene (or Price) making eye contact and speaking directly to them. So, in order to make sense of the fact that they perceive each other to be in a different spot in the room, they MUST see her turn to address whichever one she is speaking to. Does that make sense? This is Elliot's flexible reality compensating for concessions he's already made. I don't know that the Wellick theory makes sense anymore. Certainly it COULD be his mom, and he is trying to reassemble his family in some way... but my theory is that it is Angela. After all, when Elliot's father died he created the Mr. Robot persona to process, and protect himself from, those feelings and seek revenge on the corporation responsible. It would make sense that seeing the picture of Angela's body caused a similar response... a sort of avatar of Angela being constructed in the back of his consciousness out of all the ugly things he wanted to do to the people responsible. An avatar who can eventually take control and take the revenge that Elliot can't bring himself to face. Plus, it would keep the actress around, and it GENUINELY surprised me that they seemed willing to write her out in the first episode of the season. While Angela's own journey might have ended the way we saw, Elliot's journey WITH Angela is still in need of closure. That's my best guess, but time will tell. Yeah, this show is so grounded in the realities of what technology means for our lives today, I can't see them going the route of introducing a literal time machine or something else that is too far removed from current possibilities. However, I COULD see this project as being something of a Black Mirror-type supercomputer capable of, say, creating realistic simulacra of dead people in a virtual space, based on the data collected by E Corp during their lives. A "time machine" that could re-unite people with their loved ones ONLY in a hollow, digital way. But I don't know. If that were their end goal, I'd think Whiterose would say she was hacking "death" instead of "time." But I DO feel, given the themes of the series, that the answer is related to the massive amount of data collected by tech companies. Maybe it's a way to extrapolate backwards in time based on the sheer volume of data collected today, that can help us understand previous generations, or even civilizations, based on what current data is able to tell us about patterns and human nature? But then, Whiterose wouldn't be talking about reuniting people with their dead relatives. So I don't know! But I feel pretty certain the answer is somewhere between "absolute realism" and "sci-fi nonsense," rather than one or the other. This show has surprised me every season but the first, so I'm not going to go too nuts trying to get ahead of it. I'm definitely excited to see where it's all going!
  10. Woah, you guys! Luz is PREGNANT?! With Chester's baby?! What a shocking twist! She's come so far since the beginning of this series. A real whirlwind of a journey.
  11. Great article on Vulture about the show, and how it was made, that answers a few questions that have popped up in this thread (confidentiality, compensation, cameras, etc). https://www.vulture.com/2019/09/couples-therapy-showtime-cast.html I normally hate reality TV, but I ended up watching this all in one evening. It was absolutely fascinating and so heartfelt. TV shows, especially ones like this without a direct narrative, like to clearly spell out for us who the "good guys" and "bad guys" are so that we have something to guide our feelings when we watch, and I hate seeing complex people and relationships artificially stripped down to "this one's a jerk, that one's a saint," etc, just so I don't have to put the brainpower into actually understanding them. So I was delighted to see what a nuanced, fair, and well-rounded picture they created of the people and problems in these relationships. I found myself basically on everyone's side at once, throughout the season. Well, everyone but Mau, of course. I have so much sympathy for what he has been through, and I can see where all his behaviours stem from, but that doesn't mean he gets a free pass for subjecting Annie to 23 years of bullshit. I was glad to see that he had made SOME progress over their sessions (basically making the tiny step from saying that absolutely everything Annie said was semantically incorrect and therefore invalid, to claiming the problem wasn't NECESSARILY 100% all her and some was "compatibility"), but until he decides to actually work on himself, I don't believe there is a sentient being in this universe with whom Mau could be "compatible."
  12. I'm glad you brought up Scientology! Everything I know about MLMs has come from the people on the bottom of the pyramid sharing their experiences, so I don't know what kind of lunacy happens nearer the top (but I'm not surprised that it's more poverty), so maybe this is genuinely a portrayal of an MLM scheme, but Obie Garbeau is giving me serious L. Ron Hubbard vibes. Just the way he swans around the place like an unhinged person who should not be trusted about anything ever, the way he somehow convinces people to throw their money at him hand over fist in the thin hope that they might be able to eventually buy what he's selling, the way people will literally get down on their hands and knees to clean up his messes out of desperation because they have nothing left in their lives but what he's offered them, and his "affirmations" in the recording booth seem modeled specifically on the set of bizarre affirmations that L. Ron Hubbard wrote for himself, including statements like, "You have no fear of what any woman may think of your bedroom conduct. Some women are not capable of pleasure," and "Snakes are not dangerous to you. There are no snakes at the bottom of your bed." Even in the next episode, I generally think of MLMs being sold to people as a money-making opportunity, but the show seems to be merging that with ideas of "faith" and community, such that Garbeau is both a con artist AND a cult leader, and they've chosen to model him directly off Hubbard. It could be that MLMs really are very similar to cults, I'm not sure how much faith typically factors in, but I really like the way they are hitting this angle as a way of explaining how people get roped into these scams, and why they stay when nothing seems to be paying off.
  13. Ok, last season, my biggest criticism of the show was that the historical and supernatural elements of the story did not seem to mesh very well. In fact, they seemed to dilute each other. If they had invented a fictional expedition and had the sailors encounter a supernatural force, and just committed to the fantastical, it would have been better. OR, if they had done a straightforward dramatization of the Terror and Endurance's expedition (and terrible fate) and made it a full-on psychological thriller, it would have been better. Instead, we got this mishmash of "man vs man" and "man vs evil spirit" and also "man vs nature," which did not work for me at all. In the wise words of Ron Swanson, "Don't half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing." I feel like the same thing is happening here. A historical drama about the Japanese Internment during WWII would be awesome. Or a supernatural story about a demon haunting its ancestral bloodline preying on children could be awesome. But in this case, the two seem to distract from each other, and neither one is achieving its potential. And, yes, I DO have to be this person, but my second-biggest complaint about season 1 is how poorly its female characters were treated. And yes, I know, a story set on a historical ship crewed exclusively by men leaves little room for female characters. I totally get that. But the show seemed to also get that, so they invented a female character to become an integral part of the story, only to render her mute and sidelined halfway through the series. (Again, a product of half-assing the two stories.) NOW, we have a story with many more female characters in it, and yet the problem persists. Luz is apparently the female lead, and was only important to the story when she was pregnant (and once she lost the babies she went cuckoo-bananas baby-crazy with grief and seems to have been shuffled off elsewhere out of the way of the real story), and in the VERY NEXT EPISODE we discover that the demon is actually the spirit of a woman who died without getting to be a mother, went cuckoo-bananas in the afterlife from, presumably, chronic lack-of-child, and is now back from the dead to haunt her bloodline and try to steal babies to take back to the other side with her? (The other side, where she had previously met ANOTHER spirit who was a mother gone mad in relation to lack-of-child/presence-of-dead-child?) Is there NO female character this season who is important in her own right, and not just in her capacity as mother/wife/girlfriend to a man? I'll finish the season, but honestly, this show loses me more and more with every episode.
  14. It is so damn satisfying. And a welcome change from those "genius man detective" shows that are all about showing up, looking at the evidence, and having the sudden stroke of brilliance that solves the whole thing. It's not about being a genius, it's about doing the work. (Something that is presumably not beyond the capabilities of the male detectives in ep. 1, btw.) It's wholly satisfying, realistic, and illustrates better than probably any crime show I've ever seen what makes your average investigator "good" or "bad."
  15. It also sounds like the distinction between "business partners" and "romantic partners" could have muddied things, since only one of those was disclosed to the parents, but the concepts can sound so similar in conversation. For example, if Patrick was saying things like "My parents are so glad things are working out for us," or "My parents are so happy we met, they love you" then it would be reasonable for David to interpret this as meaning romantically, and Patrick to mean it as professional (and lean in to romantic undertones when relaying their comments out of fear of having to tell David that his parents only know about their business relationship and friendship). You'd be amazed. I have had conversations with people about a "friend" or "partner" of mine, trying as hard as I could to tell them without directly saying it that we were together in a gay, romantic way, and people DO NOT hear it if they don't want to or don't expect to. David could have told Patrick's parents basically anything on the phone, and they would likely rationalize it as being friendly, or David (who they likely know or suspect is gay) just teasing or flirting without it even entering their minds that it might be a two-sided relationship. I have to say, I think this episode is the greatest coming-out story I have seen on TV. I really admire the approach of the writers to eliminate homophobia from the storytelling. It may not be the most technically accurate coming-out story by averages, but the lack of homophobic blowback makes space for a more meaningful message about autonomy, dignity, and the kind of support people need and deserve when speaking their truth. It's an inspiring picture of how things can go, and should go, if we don't make room for bigotry in the real world. I absolutely adore it.
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