Last time! Tyrell took home a beautiful man who honestly kinda looks like Elliot. Despite what might seem unusual nighttime activities (if you’re BORING), Tyrell was the E Corp Golden Boy. But … was he?
Then (or perhaps always) he developed an obsession with Elliot; the red wheelbarrow connection was made. Since then … Tyrell is real, he’s not real, he’s imaginary, he’s an android replicant clone character from the Sims. He was real and alive, but now he’s dead and imaginary. Or he was never alive. Or he’s always been alive. Elliot spoke of what was above them; in another scene, Joanna asked ‘What?’, and Tyrell said ‘God’.
And so, we flashback to that same moment from the Season 2 opener, when Elliot and Tyrell enacted the first fsociety hack. Tyrell repeats his line about something coming alive. An eerily detached Elliot fishes the gun out of the popcorn machine. He approaches Tyrell from behind, gun drawn directly at Tyrell, and now he’s Robot and he fires the gun! Oh, shit! It misfires, probably from the popcorn dust and grease which shouldn’t be such a big surprise really. Is THAT the big twist Esmail thinks we missed? So both answers were true, they did ‘shoot’, Tyrell, the intention was there, the act was carried out. Just with the wrong result.
Tyrell goes full Jules from Pulp Fiction for a second about the misfire being ‘proof’, then he laughs like he’s actually honestly crazier than Elliot. Then he tells Robot ‘We…are Gods’. Even Robot, the (as near as we know) imaginary friend of a very mentally unwell young man, looks at Tyrell like ‘…..oh damn son, you’re legitimately crazy’.
Tyrell gets … well, Tyrell, intense, and talks about how god chose them to lead the revolution, and proves he knows his stuff by pointing out how the hack won’t be enough, and there has to be a plan for Evil Corp’s inevitable collating of the hard copies of all their data. He talks up their ‘connection’ since that first day they met (which waaaaasss when, exactly, T?) and to prove his worth invites Robot to go ahead and shoot him again; Tyrell will just accept the result.
Robot demures and admits he will need help for that oh so important second stage, so Tyrell embraces him, which makes Robot flicker back to Elliot for a second. Tyrell thanks him and wants to say he loves Elliot, but Robot stops him. What happened between these two that Tyrell loves him? Because it sounds pretty romantic when he says it, especially when he gently cups Elliot’s face and leans in for a kiss like that. Robot gives Tyrell the gun, and plants the idea one day it may have to be used on Elliot. Tyrell just takes it and I’m sorry, butMartin Wallström walks away with every damned scene he is in.
Outside, Irving arrives with two Dark Army goons and they bust into the arcade, and surprise Tyrell and Elliot in the middle of Tyrell letting on he knows who will deal with the hack within Evil Corp. Irving takes Tyrell’s phone and keys, the gun, sends Robot to dump Tyrell’s car while Tyrell is taken with Irving. RobElliot shoots that down, so Irving explains Tyrell’s little trick hack was reported to then alive Gideon, who in turn passed that on to the FBI.That’s why they think Tyrell is The Guy, and Irving is here to keep him safe. Robot creeps up on Tyrell and says ‘You should go’ and I think I imagined how well Slater affected some of Rami Malek’s way of speaking on those three words but if I didn’t, hot damn, Slater.
We cut to a shot very intentionally referencing The Shining, both visually and musically, and as we’ll see, narratively, as Tyrell is escorted to his new home, a rundown cabin at an unknown location. Irving is pretty gracious about offering to let Tyrell call Joanna through secure means, but Tyrell knows this isn’t safe. Irving is leaving, and Tyrell is anxious about being alone; turns out this isolated cabin is at the centre of 37 acres of highly secured property that ‘we’…Dark Army, I guess, just casually owns. No one is getting in. Or, presumably, out.
We quickly cut to Elliot’s arrest and the flashbacks of Whiterose as Minister Zhang, being informed by her assistant — who by the way, doesn’t appear to have an official name just yet. The scene takes place in some crazy beautiful location on an unmapped island, because the show is done hinting at how powerful this Goddess is. Dark Army ‘tried to interfere’ with the arrest, which we know for them could mean anything from calling in some fake order to release him or, you know, kill everyone they could see. But, it happened too fast, and now he’s in prison. Whiterose, takes out some of her frustration about this by demanding Assistant use Rosetta Stone to learn English, to Assistant’s subtle distress. Whiterose orders Leon be sent to meet Elliot and sets up the early release we know gets handed down later on. Whiterose asks what Elliot stole, and laughs at news it was the dog. On the TV Whiterose is watching Pre-presidential Trump waffle and bloviate.
So if those ‘god’ allusions Tyrell made were still rattling around your noggin, Whiterose is about to double-down. After blithely ordering her Assistant to just up and free Elliot from that entirely right and proper prison sentence he did definitely earn, in the USA, mind … Whiterose greets her next visitor, the TV host Frank Cody, who has been the only sensible media voice we ever get to hear on the show. Whiterose explains Tyrell is about to get Bin Ladened in the press, and so our TV host friend will be salvaging Tyrell’s image, blaming fsociety in Iran (referencing this in some way?) and oh … backing Whiterose’s presidential candidate.
Who … it turns out … is Trump. Cody joins us in ‘bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah?’ territory, because Trump is entirely unpredictable. But, Whiterose knows she can control anyone, because she is, and I’m serious, God. And I mean, not a masculine ‘god’, I mean, she is the Creator, The Alpha, The Omega. At least, in my mind.
Tyrell is woken by TV noises and sees two Dark Army guys in their opera masks in the den, watching what looks like some old Hasbro looking cartoon at full blast. Um, rude. The Cartoon is called M.A.S.K., and is about a group of underground crime fighters taking on an eeeeevil syndicate. Oh, show.
In the kitchen a Mr. Williams is played by living legend, Wallace Shawn (Vizzini!) putters around making Swedish tea just for Tyrell — but Tyrell, who has been alone for 4 days up to now — just wants answers. Luckily, Williams is here to give them, but only after he has a little snifter of white powder from a glass jar and that HAS to be a little in joke to Iocane Powder, right? Last year, Ray’s IT guy used the log in name Dread Pirate Roberts.
If you’re not sure what I mean, go and look up The Princess Bride.
Williams opens a notebook of questions and says he is here to confirm Tyrell’s loyalty but all Tyrell wants to do is carry on the work. Williams asks firmly if Tyrell killed Sharon Knowles and Tyrell flinches, recoils, eventually answers ‘No’. The questions get more intense, similar to the ones Angela was asked though less abstract, for the most part; does Tyrell love his wife, (Of course!) has he slept with anyone else since he’s been married. Tyrell says ‘No’.
Williams won’t let the anxious Tyrell look away and asks more. The questions become about whether Tyrell hates or fears becoming like his father. The questions loop, and he’s asked about Sharon again. We see three crosses beside the question, three denials, Williams has more coke (?). Tyrell’s asked about his loyalty, Sharon, his sexual behaviours. Finally, he says ‘Yes’, he’s slept with others. But, he has not cheated on Joanna(which the audience knows to be true. His sleeping around was strategically planned by both of them). He’s quietly weeping now. The red tea kettle screams. He does hate his father and it hurts him to admit it. He was fired from Evil Corp. He’s sobs as he admits he is afraid of becoming his father and yes, he murdered Sharon Knowles. He will not be loyal to Williams. He breaks down sobbing. The Assistant enters as Williams turns off the kettle, shakes his head about Tyrell. Tyrell firmly says he will always be loyal to Elliot. That is, it seems, enough.
Williams explains Tyrell will be given a phone and laptop, and be able to set up Stage 2 remotely. The mission? It’s called “Red Wheelbarrow”.
Tyrell shakes, and demands to speak with Elliot. Later, we see Tyrell’s side of those strange phone calls Elliot would get, but of course, to Tyrell, Elliot’s reactions are weird and off, so the phone is treated to a flying lesson across the room. Irving is babysitting, and decides to help Tyrell work through his frustration and stave off insanity by teaching him to chop wood, and balancing ‘the work’ with relaxing. He sets up another block, Tyrell easily and expertly cleaves a block in twain, explaining he used to do it as a kid, but hated it. I mean, he IS Swedish. Irving is genuinely rattled by Tyrell’s utter badassery as Tyrell gets to work.
A musical montage kicks in. Tyrell emotionally checks in on Joanna and the baby. He grows a beard, chops wood, plans the hack. We cut to Darlene and Cisco preparing for Angela’s FBI hack; Cisco is fatigued and over it all. He wants to just be a normal couple. Sweetly, Darlene promises that when ‘the shitstorm’ dies down, they can be normal. Um, excuse you Sam Esmail for HURTING ME LIKE THIS.
Cisco delivers the drive to Dark Army to get modified for their hack, and Irving has to cruelly remind Cisco that Darlene is ‘just a job’ but she’s also protected in the event of a failure, Cisco is not, so should be careful. Tyrell is working on the drive and bitches about the Dark Army’s own software, about wanting to be working directly with Elliot. Irving is in NO. MOOD, but neither is Tyrell.
Back to his montage and look, I love this show but if it became a montage of Tyrell chopping wood I would be all here for it. Tyrell checks on Joanna and the baby again, learns about Joanna and Derrick, and starts to crack a little.
We cut to him shirtless, bearded, sharpening his axe. Oh …. my.