|Airdate||August 10, 2016|
|Written by||Adam Penn|
|Directed by||Sam Esmail|
“eps2.4_m4ster_s1ave.aes” is the sixth episode of Season 2 of Mr. Robot. It was broadcast on August 10, 2016.
Origin of the Title
- In computing, a master is a computer that causes action by one or more slave devices, typically peripherals. The master has unidirectional control over its slaves; the most commonplace of these is the connection between a desktop computer (master) and the printer (slave) attached to it.
- The extension: .aes identifies files encrypted by open-source AES Crypt software, which features Advanced Encryption Standard encryption.
Elliot experiences a twisted 1980s sitcom version of a family road trip with Tyrell locked in the trunk, featuring ALF. Mr. Robot encourages him to keep his eyes forward until he is ready to wake up in the hospital. Ray lets him know that he is Elliot's master. Upon being locked away by Lone Star, Elliot hugs Mr. Robot for protecting his mind during the beating. A flashback reveals that, the day Elliot's father told him he was fired for being sick, he also let Elliot name the new computer store. Cisco receives equipment from the Dark Army for fsociety's FBI hack, but they break off a hypodermic needle in his finger for asking too many questions. Dom was spared in the shooting, as both attackers killed themselves. Though the attack gets blamed on Chinese separatists, she is determined to investigate the Dark Army. Congress refuses to move forward with Phillip Price's bailout plan to borrow from China because four FBI agents were killed there. Darlene and Mobley coach Angela through hacking the FBI, but Dom appears just before she can finish.
The Sitcom Sequence
Mr. Robot takes Elliot to a "happy place" where he doesn't have to feel the pain of the beating by creating the world of a 1990s family sitcom. It was presented in the 4:3 format, and standard definition of the time. Modeled after ABC's TGIF block sitcoms such as Full House and NBC's Family Ties, the show includes familiar elements, including:
- The first USA Network logo and first slogan "America's Favorite Cable Network".
- A title sequence in the style of the period, including "caught in the act" introductions to each character, fuzzy scenes of the setting, and a family portrait.
- A theme song, titled "Imagine a World Gone Insane" written and performed by Bennett Salvay and Jesse Frederick, who are best known for composing the theme songs sitcoms such as Full House and Family Matters. Transitional music is heavily saxophone-based, as was typical of these shows.
- A problem the family must solve together, and a road-trip theme, a traditional trope favored by these sitcoms.
- A commercial for USA Up All Night, hosted by Gilbert Gottfried, which featured low-budget pulp films such as "The Careful Massacre of the Bourgoise"
- ALF makes a cameo appearance
USA Network made the lyrics to the theme available online at http://www.usanetwork.com/mrrobot/blog/now-you-can-sing-along-with-the-mr-robot-theme-song.
- "Celebration". Recorded by Kool and the Gang. Plays in the Great Loan commercial during the sitcom fantasy sequence.
- "Gwan". Recorded by the Suffers. Plays as Angela hacks the FBI and plants the femtocell.
- "Dear Mama". Recorded by 2Pac. Plays as Mobley places a fake call to the FBI agent's phone.
- "Guiding Light". Recorded by Television. Plays when Edward picks young Elliot up at school, and tells him about the new computer store.
- For the sitcom sequence in the second season, creator Sam Esmail and his crew researched and consulted with other crew members who worked on 80's/90's multicamera sitcoms, as well as learning how to film an episode in that format. For authenticity, Beta tapes and cameras were used to film the sequence.
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