Mr. Robot, S01E06 – “Brave Traveler”
Episode Number: S01E06
Original Air Date: July 29, 2015
Time: 44 minutes
Synopsis: Elliot has two choices: figure out how to hack a jail and get Fernando Vera out, or risk the lives of Shayla, Darlene and himself.
Fight or Flight
Shayla and Elliot meet for lunch—he’s saying he wish he could have done things differently when Issac Vera grabs Shayla and drags her out of the restaurant. Fernando speaks to Elliot from prison—Elliot must undo the situation with Vera and his crew or Shayla will die. Issac and DJ, another member of Vera’s gang, drive Elliot home and tell him to get to work hacking Fernando out of prison. Elliot doesn’t think it can be done, and certainly not on such short notice. But they’re not taking “no” for an answer.
Darlene drops a bunch of USB drives in the parking lot of a police station, but the hacking exploit installed on the drives is caught by a malware detector. Darlene meets Elliot as he’s walking is dog and isn’t sorry her exploit didn’t work—she wasn’t given enough time. DJ catches them talking and takes them both back to Elliot’s apartment.
Notes: The painting in the opening restaurant scene is by Dominican painter Gilberto Hernandez Ortega.
Characters: DJ is played by Jas Anderson.
Filming Location: According to Where is Mr Robot, the lunch scenes were filmed at Redstone Rocket Lunchpad, located at 32-35 48th Avenue in Queens, NY 11101.
Terminology: Guisado is a Spanish or Mexican pork stew. According to Elliot, most prisons still use standard “industrial control systems,” not unlike those at Steel Mountain, but much less sophisticated. I couldn’t find any on-line code resource called Rapid Nine, but it sounds similar to other on-line resources like Github or Bitbucket. A Script Kittie is a slang term in hacker culture for an unskilled novice who uses scripts or programs to attack networks.
Dig and Dig
Angela is at AllSafe researching the Washington Township toxic waste scandal, going through documents from the case and others released during the Evil Corp hack. She tracks down the original attorney in the case, Antara Nayar, and tells her that Emily Moss, one of the victims, was her mother. Nayar isn’t interested in reopening the case that nearly ended her career unless Angela can somehow produce an inside witness to the cover up.
Notes: There were originally 26 families represented in the case.
Characters: Antara Nayar, the attorney in the Washington Township scandal, is played by Sakina Jaffrey.
Rack and Ruin
Scott Knowles in interviewing potential CTOs when Tyrell Wellick strolls in to the conference room and suggests they take the rest of the day off. Scott isn’t interested—his wife told him what happened and he offers to let Tyrell watch him go to the bathroom, if that’s what he’s into. And he tells him to get used to the idea: Tyrell will never be CTO. At home, Tyrell loses it while Joanna, his wife, calmly eats.
Terminology: Vacheron and Patek Phillipe Tourbillon are brands of expensive watches; according to listings on Chrono24, an on-line watch market, the Patek’s start at around $1.6 million.
Done and Gone
Elliot’s not having any luck with the hack when Angela shows up at his place. DJ and Isaac tell him to get rid of her. Angela tells Elliot about the lawsuit and he encourages her. Back inside, Mr. Robot is waiting on the steps—he tells Elliot to call the cops, but Elliot thinks he can come up with a plan that saves everyone.
Elliot heads to the jail to meet with Vera. The plan is to hack the jail network—Elliot left his phone running a wireless sniffer at the security desk—but Vera has to promise to let Elliot and Shayla go or another data dump will be released, exposing his entire operation.
Using the wi-fi network in a passing police car, Elliot hacks the jail. That evening, all of the cell doors open and Vera walks out of jail—and has DJ shoot Isaac. He lets Elliot go and drives away, telling Elliot that Shayla’s been in the car with him the whole time. Elliot opens the trunk: Shayla is dead, her throat slashed.
Notes: This is the first death of a major character on the show.
Filming Location: According to Untapped Cities, the scene where Isaac almost executes Elliot was filmed at Newtown Creek, an industrial waterfront on the border between Queens and Brooklyn, near the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge. And the prison exterior scenes were filmed outside the Westchester County Correction Facility, located at 10 Woods Road in Valhalla, NY.
Quotes: Vera: “Told you you’d get her back, bro. You just didn’t realize she was with you the whole time.”
Tense and frenetic, this episode was the tightest of any since the pilot, piling more and more tension on until the final tragic scene. Elliot is in way over his head and everything with fsociety has to be put on hold as he deals with the repercussions of putting Fernando Vera and his crew in jail.
Watching Elliot continually roll with the punches and invent new hacks on the fly is fun, but the longer the episode went, the more worried I got for Shayla: they never showed her in danger. At no point did they cut to her in a dingy house, tied to a chair. But there really didn’t seem to be much to Vera’s crew—I guess all his higher ups were jailed in the bust.
I liked Elliot’s move, playing the brothers against each other, but it seemed obvious. I was expecting Vera to kill Isaac or Isaac to kill Vera, who turned out to be equal parts psychotic and philosophical. But how did he get word to DJ and arrange for a car to pick them up? It seems like Fernando had the whole plan worked out ahead of time.
Fernando’s name means “Brave Traveler.”
NOTE: All sites accessed on August 31, 2016.
Mr. Robot Wikia. http://mrrobot.wikia.com/wiki/Mr._Robot_Wikia
Untapped Cities, NYC Film Locations for USA Network’s “Mr. Robot.” http://untappedcities.com/2015/07/29/10-nyc-film-locations-for-usa-networks-mr-robot/
Where is Mr. Robot, several pages. http://whereismrrobot.blogspot.com/search/label/S01E06
Wikipedia, several pages. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page