The episode opens with a USA Network intro from the 90s introducing Word Up Wednesday. Elliot finds himself in a sitcom, sitting with his mother Magda, father Edward, and Darlene in a car in front of a green screen. Elliot is confused. He hears the laugh track to his mother’s sinister one-liners concerning Edward’s cancer. He hears a man in the trunk. He looks at Darlene’s Gameboy, depicting his assault at the hands of Ray’s men, when his father tells him to keep his eyes up.
A vintage style theme song begins, presenting the real cast names over caught in the act vignettes: Elliot after he was pushed out the window, Edward at the doctor office, Darlene kissing Cisco who has climbed to her bedroom window on a ladder, Angela at her mother’s funeral, and Gideon reading about his own murder in the newspaper.
The car pulls into a gas station of an E Mart. Elliot is shocked at the world he is in. Magda burns Darlene with a cigarette and knocks her unconscious. Elliot looks in the trunk to find Tyrell bound, but Edward quickly shuts the lid and sends his son inside the store. Alf, the famous sitcom puppet, nearly bumps into Elliot as he’s leaving. Angela is behind the counter, a gum-chewing Jersey accent girl who thinks her promotions almost make up for the company killing her mother. Elliot’s parents run in to rob the store with Magda using mace on Angela.
As the car gets back on the highway, Darlene is knocked out by her mother again. Elliot sees his assault in the side mirror, but Edward tells him to keep his eyes on the road. The car gets a flat tire and they stop to change it. As Edward retrieves a spare from the trunk, Tyrell yells for help. A police car arrives and the show cuts to commercials: E Corp Online, Bud Light, E Corp (Still on your side since 1884), and for a midnight screening of the Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie. Back from commericals, Officer Gideon asks if they’ve seen a missing executive. Alf runs over Gideon in a car and drives away. The Aldersons drive away. Edward wants Elliot to get over his mourning even though it’s been 12 seconds. The trunk pops open and Tyrell begins hopping away, only to crash into the green screen. As Elliot and Edward stand over him, Edward denies seeing anything. Elliot gets frustrated, even more so as his curses are bleeped. They carry Tyrell back into the trunk. Edward tells Elliot how useful lies can be before he kills Tyrell with a tire iron. Elliot believes Mr. Robot has won and he has been buried into the subconscious. Edward says this is only temporary and shows Elliot a hospital nearby, their destination.
Elliot wakes up badly beaten, attached to an IV in a hospital room. Lone Star watches him while Ray Heyworth sits beside him. Elliot wheezes as Ray tells him how his dog Maxine became sick and was at her master’s will to survive. Ray says Elliot still has work to do as he and Lone Star leave. Alf is playing on the TV at the nurses’ station.
A news broadcast says it has been two days since the attack on the FBI in Beijing, July 2. Trenton is showing this to Darlene to tell her that the FBI are on high alert and they will be leaving the E Corp building in one day. Angela is learning to hack with Mobley. She messes up, but perseveres. Later, Mobley tells Darlene in the kitchen that no one can learn in 24 hours. She tells him to continue and promises him the femtocell device will be there when Cisco finishes modding it.
At the library, a Dark Army representative Xun tosses a bag with the device to Cisco. Cisco complains in Chinese that the wasted time having the Dark Army inspect the femtocell and asks why. Devil mask henchmen seize him as Xun reminds him that a foot soldier follows orders, not asks questions by inserting a syringe needle into Cisco’s finger and breaking it off inside.
Dom meets with Santiago in his office at night. He says she is recommended for time off, which she refuses. Disrupting the investigation is exactly what their enemies want. She argues it was Dark Army, whereas Santiago is willing to believe China’s story of Uyghur separatists instead of hackers.
The next day, Price is talking to the Speaker of the House John Boehner. The Speaker says the events in China means the US can’t borrow money for the bailout for fear of being seen as traitorous. Price is upset. Frank Cody plays on his TV. His assistant tells him that Minister Zhang isn’t answering his phone calls, but Price insists on trying again and again. He is told his car is being blocked by protesters, to which he demands that the Police Commissioner send as many NYPD as it takes.
Mobley and Trenton watch Angela practice hacking and repeat her positive affirmations. Mobley reminds her she can’t talk to herself out loud during the mission. Darlene prepares them to leave as Cisco arrives with the device in a bag and a cast on his finger. Angela stares at him, recognizing him as the man who sold her the infected mixtape, but denies that she knows him (“eps1.1_ones-and-zer0es.mpeg”). She takes the bag and leaves as Darlene glares at Cisco.
Dom is at Ahmed’s convenience store when she learns he is shutting down. She says she’s sorry and buys one last turkey sandwich.
Darlene in disguise infiltrates a hotel room and sets up her laptop. A newspaper covering Joanna in her nightgown in the street can be seen (Say Cheese, Danish!) Darlene calls Angela at her desk. Angela goes up to the FBI floor, mostly empty during lunch hour. A man notices her as she goes into the bathroom. Mobley and Darlene help her with her laptop when the script isn’t working. When Angela emerges, the agent introduces himself as Agent Ross Thomas and begins flirting. Mobley is unable to distract him with a fabricated call from his mother. When Angela is unresponsive to him, he asks what she’s doing on a restricted floor. Angela begins flirting back, chastising him for giving up so easily, before agreeing to drinks later. He leaves and Angela hooks up the femtocell under a desk. As she is leaving, Darlene notices the wifi go down and tells Angela to fix it from her cubicle. As she goes down the stairs, Dom notices her.
Elliot is in the hospital, thinking about the power struggle between master and servant. Lone Star and his men abduct Elliot.
Darlene has Angela insert a USB into her computer and helps her do what she needs to do. Dom arrives, apologizes for interrupting her phone call, and waits for her to finish.
Elliot is dragged into an empty room and left there. He curls up in pain when Mr. Robot appears. As Elliot struggles to his feet, Mr. Robot says he just wanted to save Elliot from the assault. Elliot hugs him, nearly collapsing, and thanks him.
Young Elliot and his dad are driving in a car after Elliot got into a fight. Edward assures that he will always be there to listen even if he doesn’t want to talk about it. He reveals he was fired because of days he missed going to the doctor. He reveals he is sick, but assures Elliot he will never leave him. They are going to see a store that Edward will be opening. He tells Elliot to name it and asks he keep his illness from the family. They arrive at the store.