The episode is preceded by a Previously . . . Segment, covering the synopsis of Season 1.
It opens in a flashback to the night of May 8th, when Tyrell and Elliot went to the Fun Society Arcade (“eps1.8_m1rr0r1ng.qt”). Tyrell is wearing the fsociety mask where the videos were filmed, only to take it off and asking why they would use a silly mask. He receives a phone call from someone named James. He orders that Gideon's honeypot be left disabled. Elliot is communicating with Dark Army on the computer, reorganizing the attack even though they are time sensitive. He quickly deletes the window as Tyrell joins him. The attack is executed. As Tyrell watches the screen, amazed that something has "come alive," Elliot rises from his chair and reaches into the popcorn machine, where a gun was hidden earlier (“eps1.7_wh1ter0se.m4v”).
Glass shatters and the scene cuts to Elliot as a young boy, having just been pushed out of a second story window of his house by his father. His parents rush to him, panicking. Edward is apologizing while Magda blames him, worries about her son and the neighbors. At the hospital, the doctor tells them that Elliot only suffered a mild concussion to his head. Whenever his broken forearm is brought up, Magda asks about the co-pay, reminding her husband that he has lost his job and they have no money. Meanwhile, young Elliot is staring at his brain scan on the wall as his arguing parents are asked to leave the room and the doctor talks to him.
The scene transitions to present day Elliot, waking up in a new bedroom. A month has passed. He dresses and we hear voice over detailing his daily routine. He explains that he is living with his mother, whose house does not have a computer or Internet access. He has breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a diner with his new friend Leon, who talks at length about his newly discovered Seinfeld. Leon wonders about the universe and randomness in terms of the show. Elliot's regimen also includes washing dishes, doing laundry, watching basketball at the local park with Leon, and attending a church group twice a week. He has also taken to keeping a journal. Meanwhile, his mother is seen sitting in front of the TV, watching US President Obama accuse Tyrell Wellick of working with fsociety as well as footage of store closings, garbage pileups, and mass protests.
It is revealed that Elliot has been speaking to his Krista in her therapy office. She asks why he has chosen his mother. He says she is the strictest person he knows and the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. When asked if he is lonely, he says Darlene comes by sometimes. She asks if he misses his old life. He says he can't trust himself back there. When he doesn't answer why, Krista reminds him that it took a lot for her to agree to see him again after he admitted to hacking her (“eps1.6_v1ew-s0urce.flv”) under the condition that he be more open with her. Elliot says he doesn't trust "him."
As Elliot is walking home, he begins talking to the viewer. He says he cut away from the previous scene and what he told Krista because he doesn't trust you after what you did. In his bedroom, Mr. Robot is waiting. He wants Elliot to get back to work and says "control is an illusion." Elliot journals about what is happening as Mr. Robot becomes increasingly enraged. He pulls a gun, but Elliot first wants to know where Tyrell is. Mr. Robot shoots Elliot in the head, splattering the wall with blood. Elliot rises and journals, writing that he didn't panic like last time.
That night, fsociety militants wearing the mask cut the balls off the Wall Street Bull. On the morning of June 11th, Susan Jacobs is jogging around Greenwich Village. She goes through Washington Square Park, where many tents are set up selling things. Darlene can be seen sitting on the fountain. Susan returns home to a smart house. She is terrorized by the alarm, loud music, cold AC, a hot shower, and a projection of Frank Cody's TV show lamenting the state of the world and the possible rise of fascism. Susan can't get her house fixed over the phone and is forced to leave for a house in Greenwich, Connecticut. Darlene and fsociety arrive soon after she leaves.
At Elliot's mother's house, Gideon is sitting at the dining table while Magda watches TV in the adjoining living room. Elliot arrives to speak with his former boss. AllSafe has been shut down, although Gideon is hopeful that he can start it back up again. Elliot begins havin a headache, which he imagines as bleeding form the bullet hole from earlier. Gideon explains that he is under investigation by the FBI for 5/9, despite cooperating with them. His email is being hacked. Mr. Robot is cutting an apple, taunting Elliot that either of them could have ruined Gideon's life. When Gideon asks for help, Elliot denies. Gideon gets upset and threatens to go to the FBI and talk about Elliot and his strange behavior in the days before 5/9. Mr. Robot slits Gideon's throat and Elliot leaves, drawing the attention of his mother.
Elliot journals in his room, repeating the line "I am in control." He bandages his head and continues his daily routine. At the diner, Mr. Robot continues to yell at him, playing off his paranoia about a man at another booth. Elliot talks to the viewer about what is or isn't a mask. He asks that you have hope for him.
The monologue covers scenes at the smart house. fsociety militants celebrate with the gold balls of the Wall Street Bull with beers and selfies. Darlene is in the top level bathroom, looking sad in her bra. She puts on her top and lipstick before emerging on the balcony and silencing the party with her presence. She demands a guy's phone and breaks it. She reminds them that they are losing the war and explains that Susan Jacobs is General Counsel of E Corp, able to kill off the wrongful death lawsuits brought against the company.
Later, Darlene orders the militants to make sure they aren't tailed back to the smart house. Mobley joins her. They note that the other founding members are absent and Darlene calls them half-in. Mobley questions her speech, saying it was reminiscent of George W Bush. Darlene is hurt by that, but claims she needs to rally the troops in the losing war. Mobley wonders if the endgame is protests. Darlene says they need to continue the fight and change the world. She finishes coding on her computer and gives a USB to Mobley, asking him not to be half-in like the others. He asks if she's seen Elliot, but she says he isn't as important.
At the Bank of E, a woman is complaining to a clerk about her mortgage payments. The clerk apologizing, saying they can't verify payments, not even the paper documents presented as many are being forged. The woman wants to cancel her account, but her money isn't guaranteed to return. The banks computers freeze with a hacked screen as the clerk makes a phone call. We see that Mobley is an IT consultant at the bank and he simply shrugs when the woman on the other end of the phone says he's working on it.
In a top level lounge at E Corp, CEO Phillip Price and CTO Scott Knowles are annoyed and waiting. Susan Jacobs arrives, apologizing that she came from her place in Greenwich. They acknowledge the hack of the bank. Susan was on the phone with the FBI all night, determining that the same hackers are behind this attack. They demand 5.9 million dollars delivered to a certain time and place. Scott doesn't want to pay, claiming his techs can decrypt the data in five tops tops. Susan reminds them of money lost in that time as well as the optics of the situation, how they will be perceived. She suggests they pay the ransom with money they could easily find in their couch cushions.
Price addresses the demand that a chief officer deliver the money, which he laughs off. Scott is cautious of dealing with terrorists and Susan suggests sending security undercover. Price doesn't want to risk being caught and having it all go wrong. Scott volunteers for the job.