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Romero

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Hollywood hacker bullshit. I've been in this game twenty-seven years, not once have I ever come across an animated singing virus.

— Romero


Leslie Romero is a computer criminal, engineer, and biologist, specializing in phone phreaking and marijuana husbandry. He lives with his elderly mother, Nell Romero, and has a history with Sunil "Mobley" Markesh. He is played by Ron Cephas Jones.

Though Romero is highly knowledgeable, his thirst for fame and lack of commitment leads to conflict with other members of fsociety.

History

Romero was interested in computers from a young age, and started hacking in 1988. He was arrested and charged with toll fraud in 2008 and sentenced to six years in prison. When Romero was released in 2014, his cellmate Clyde Bosham gave him the keys to the "cursed" Fun Society arcade, urging him to burn it down. Instead, Romero turns Fun Society into an anonymous bolthole, siphoning electricity from the municipal grid. 

In December 2014, Romero tries to convince Mobley to rent the arcade. Instead, Mobley recruits Romero into fsociety, promising revenge against the system that stole six years of his life. (“eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd”)

Season 1

After the February DDoS attack on E Corp's servers, Romero opens the arcade door for Elliot Alderson. (“eps1.0_hellofriend.mov”) He later congratulates Elliot for his success in framing Terry Colby, and at Mr. Robot's request, begins rechecking the backdoors placed in the E Corp network. (“eps1.1_ones-and-zer0es.mpeg”)

Romero is initially skeptical of Elliot's plan for infiltrating Steel Mountain; when he discovers that E Corp is making physical copies of their backups and shipping them across the country, he denounces the operation completely. Romero is further dismayed by Elliot's personal knowledge of interim CTO Tyrell Wellick, and confronts him on the looming symptoms of morphine withdrawal.

Despite Romero's misgivings, the mission goes forward. Romero uses a remote-control code scanner to unlock a minivan, and Mobley taps into the vehicle's internal computer network through the CAN-bus port.[1] En route to Albany, Elliot succumbs to the physical symptoms of morphine withdrawal, and the group stops at a hotel. While Elliot writhes around, Romero and Mobley scoff at Hackers, and Hollywood's other misguided attempts at portraying their subculture. Eventually, Romero's patience grows thin, and he and Mobley leave. They return a few hours later with the ingredients for a home withdrawal remedy, getting Elliot back on his feet and continuing on their way. (“eps1.3_da3m0ns.mp4”)

Romero and Mobley prepare a social engineering package targeting two Steel Mountain employees, Bill Harper and Wendy Gallagher. Though they manage to exploit Bill's personal vulnerabilities, Elliot is approached by Trudy Davis instead of Wendy, and Mobley scrambles to find a solution. In the end, the team is successful, but when Darlene informs them that the Dark Army has pulled out, fsociety disbands. (“eps1.4_3xpl0its.wmv”)

In May, Mr. Robot visits Romero's home; Romero greets him at gunpoint. Romero declines to rejoin fsociety, explaining that he needs to be available for his dependents and citing a thriving business with his new THC-infused lotion. Disgusted, Mr. Robot snatches Romero's gun and points it in his face, telling him he'll see him back at the arcade. (“eps1.6_v1ew-s0urce.flv”)

After the Five/Nine Hack, Romero helps disassemble and incinerate fsociety's computer equipment. Despite the team's low spirits, Romero helps distribute flyers for an "End of the World Party" at the arcade. (“eps1.9_zer0-day.avi”)

Season 2

On June 16, Mobley discovers Romero dead in his home. Frightened, Mobley flees the scene and reports back to Darlene, believing that Romero was assassinated by the Dark Army. Trenton shares his concerns, citing the recent assassination of Gideon Goddard

When the NYPD investigates, they notify Dominique DiPierro of a printed list of FBI personnel found at the scene. When officers attempt to access Romero's computer, they activate an incendiary charge[2], which destroys all digital evidence. Returning later to interview Nell Romero, DiPierro finds printed pages of code and a flyer for the "End of the World Party". (“eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd”) Upon further investigation, Dom determines that each printed page of FBI agents includes someone who interviewed Gideon Goddard. (“eps2.2_init1.asec”)

The FBI determines that Romero's death was not the work of the Dark Army - he was killed by a stray bullet, fired by a neighbor. (“eps2.9_pyth0n_pt2.p7z”)

References

  1. Josh Eells. “‘Mr. Robot’: Four of the Show’s Best Hacks, Explained.” Rolling Stone, July 13, 2016. http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/features/mr-robot-four-of-the-shows-best-hacks-explained-20160713.
  2. Kim Zetter. “We’re Not Just Fact-Checking Mr. Robot—We’re Hack-Checking It.” WIRED, July 21, 2016. https://www.wired.com/2016/07/mr-robot-hack-check-s2e2/.

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