In USA Network’s surprise summer hit Mr. Robot episodes always carry at least binary option robot lives meanings.
One relates to a specific technical term related to hacking, a technical action being taken in the main plot. Robot, the episodes are titled more like computer programs and their subsequent iterations. A piece of software will be considered 1. We’ve broken down the meaning of each episode’s title and its relation to the various content therein. EPISODE SUMMARY: We’re introduced to Elliot Alderson, a cybersecurity engineer at Allsafe. E Corp has recently been hit by a rudimentary hack.
The Anonymous-like hacking group, fsociety, is behind the attack. Part of the documentation for Martin Richards’ BCPL programming language, this program was highlighted in Kernighan and Ritchies’ seminal book, The C Programming Language, considered to be one of the most influential primers in the field. HELLO was later used as the name for a diskette formatted to boot Apple DOS 3. For the HELLO command to work, it has to have been created in the same language as the ROM of the system that the disk is being booted on. Translation: this tests if the disc and the computer are speaking the same language. EPISODE SUMMARY: Elliot has to decide whether to join fsociety’s mission to bring down E Corp or take a lucrative job offer from the targeted organization.
EXPERT EXPLANATION OF THE ROOT: Binary code is a set of computer instructions made up of ones and zeroes. This is the fundamental building block of all computer systems. This electrical activity is what makes the computer work. This is a bit of an oversimplification though because actual hardware uses signal edges. HOW THE TITLE RELATES TO THE PLOT: Elliot is facing a binary decision for his goals in life and career. Elliot must weigh the pros and cons.
Where will he and, in turn, the audience go? We have already been informed that we’re a figment of Elliot’s imagination. HOW THE TITLE RELATES TO THE CHARACTERS: Elliot must make a moral decision between what he perceives to be good and evil. Corp has already been determined by Elliot to be an immoral force.
The question he must mull over is whether or not fsociety is truly a moral force and in opposition. EPISODE SUMMARY: Elliot believes himself to be free of fsociety and just wants to live a normal life. Meanwhile, a peculiar suit named Tyrell is breaking his way up the corporate ladder. I’m gonna lead a bug-free life from now on. Following the loss of the dark army’s cooperation, our hero believes he’s out of the big-time hacking game for good. Most coders think debugging software is about fixing a mistake, but that’s bullshit.
4 EPISODE SUMMARY: Elliot has a new plan for destroying the analog backups of data at Steel Mountain. But that will require going in person. While traveling to the facility, Elliot’s morphine withdrawals get the best of him and he has to stop at a hotel to recover. EXPERT EXPLANATION OF THE ROOT: In a computer’s operating system, a daemon refer to anything that runs in the background without the user having direct control over them. Daemons are constantly working, doing low-level tasks, not just monitoring activity, such as handling system logging, or handling secure network connections. They’re a reference to Maxwell’s Demon, a rhetorical “demon” used in physics and thermodynamics thought experiments that would sort molecules. HOW THE TITLE RELATES TO THE PLOT: Elliot wants to install a daemon process at Steel Mountain headquarters that will raise the temperature in the room where analog backup tapes of all data are stored.
This daemon would wait until the designated time of the hack to do its dirty work. The devil’s at his strongest while we’re looking the other way, like a program running in the background silently, while we’re busy doing other shit. Daemons, they call them,” Elliot tells us as the episode begins, “They perform action without user interaction. This episode is arguably more inside Elliot’s head than any other. The first demon are all the people around him. Robot is entirely in Elliot’s head, but it’s also possible that all fsociety is. The second demon is morphine addiction.
He has to exercise it through a hallucination-filled detox stint in the hotel. Robot demon might be acting as an angel, staying by Elliot’s side and keeping him company through it all. The third demon isn’t as cut and dry. This demon relates to moral choices and whether they are even possible in a complex world of connections. Elliot is wondering if he is a good person and if his actions are the ethically just ones.
The reasons he’s unsure are the same reasons that we’re unsure. And he also has these imaginary friends running around, making it difficult to know what’s real. Plus, his allies and his enemies are never truly clear as far as their intentions. EPISODE SUMMARY: Elliot and crew infiltrate Steel Mountain while Tyrell further manipulates the executive selection process at E-Corp. EXPERT EXPLANATION OF THE ROOT: An “exploit” is a piece of software or a command that takes advantage of a bug or a vulnerability in a system to cause unanticipated behaviours to occur. HOW THE TITLE RELATES TO THE PLOT: “People always make the best exploits,” Elliot tells us. In an episode that plays like a heist film, fsociety makes its way into the Steel Mountain security facility to setup the daemon that will destroy the data backups.
While there, he runs into Tyrell, who may be exploiting Elliot for his own purposes. After Tyrell gets Elliot out of one hotspot, he is thrust into another when the slick executive insists on having a tense lunch filled with menacing conversation. Elliot excuses himself to use the bathroom and sees an opportunity to install his hack, only to be cornered by Tyrell again who almost intimates that he knows what Elliot is up to and he’s allowing it. With the hack installed, fsociety rides into the sunset, believing that the plan is nearly ready to execute. This is the other meaning of exploit. An exciting act or action, especially a heroic one.