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Mr. Robot - 410 Gone - Review: "The Greatest Cameo Ever?"

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Following last week's successful destruction of the Deus Group, last night's episode of Mr. Robot was beautiful in its simplicity, and focus on unique human connection. The will-she-won't-she element of the hour reached an unexpected conclusion, and it was topped off with the best cameo appearance I've ever seen, thanks to Bobby Cannavale. Showrunner Sam Esmail wrote and directed "410 Gone".

The great news early on in this episode was that Dom was alive and in fairly good health considering what she was put through by Janice a couple of weeks ago. We saw Dom in the hospital initially, but that predictably changed rapidly as she sought to discharge herself at the earliest opportunity.

Part way through cooking herself a grilled cheese sandwich, Darlene showed up, and a debate ensued concerning whether they should GTFO of the city for a while, whether for a break or for good. The ironic lyrics of the song Alexa was playing shortly before Darlene obliterated it was only a taster for what was to come, and the perfectly sculpted level of tension and denial the pair shared in this moment remained in place for the entire episode.

I'm not gonna let the Dark Army kill another person I care about.
Eventually, Dom opted to go with Darlene, but her reluctance was abundantly clear because she wanted to see her family again despite not being told by her FBI colleagues where they were taken to. At a motel somewhere, the pair met with Elliot, and promptly parted ways. Elliot set his sights firmly on the Washington Township project Whiterose has repeatedly referred to over the past couple of seasons. No Mr. Robot at all in this episode, which was an interesting change, but that made sense considering Elliot's appearance was nothing significant. Dom did see the two siblings share a goodbye hug, and I think that brought home to her how close their bond actually was. It's worth remembering that barely a month ago she was on the hunt for the pair, and capturing but not killing Darlene was largely to blame for what happened at the hands of Janice.

The character transformation and growth of Dom's character continued throughout the hour, particularly as two haunts from her past re-emerged. In the motel room she found Leon, who she last saw in the final episode of Season 3, in which he killed four Dark Army operatives. Leon took some time to recall that incident, which was way more entertaining to watch that it sounds when written down like this.

Leon's job was to escort Dom and Darlene to Boston for their flight to Budapest. On the way they took a rest stop, and moments after some of the finest cinematography of a dull, graffiti-ridden bathroom you'll ever see on the big or small screen, this was where some more tension and denial between the two ladies took place. Darlene launched another script on her phone which redistributed the Deus Group's former funds equally across the population. Darlene kissed Dom while the hack worked its magic, and after it succeeded, Darlene ushered several wonderful sentences. I rarely quote more than a sentence or two in my reviews, but I made an exception this time:
And they were so powerful they wrote the laws to benefit themselves. They got away with everything because the banked on us, all of us, to trust the system. That was our vulnerability, and they took advantage of it. It took this to finally stop them, and you were a part of it.
Look around. This is it. Everything we've been through led up to this one moment. The greatest redistribution of wealth in history. We just Robin Hooded those evil motherfuckers. If you ask me, this is exactly what justice looks like.
What I loved the most here was the contrast between Dom's view of justice, and the view on the same subject held by Darlene. Essentially, you can understand why one is an FBI agent and the other isn't. The contrast between the power of the state and the power of the people was clearly a secondary undertone here, but one which has also worked across the entire series. It took Dom a wee while to come to terms with Darlene's outlook, and although I don't think she will ever believe in it to the extent Darlene does, she does have a concept of the greater good, which is what Darlene as well as Elliot have been working for all along.

At the airport, Dom was browsing the bookstore when she happened upon perhaps her worst nightmare, Irving, the man who killed Agent Santiago with an axe in the Season 3 finale. Bobby Cannavale's performance in the third season is one of the top highlights for many Mr. Robot fans, including myself, and his cameo here couldn't have been better. His trademark immaculate attire and complete disregard for the emotions of those he is talking to was present in all its glory, with Dom looking petrified at his presence, while I was chuckling at the notion of him being a published author.

Surprisingly, Dom blurted out all her misgivings against the Dark Army since they last met, but Irving brushed it off like it was a speck of dust on his suit. According to him, Janice was a pain in the Dark Army's backside, and also the Dark Army aren't looking for Dom or Darlene any more. They're essentially free to go, though minus a few dollars Dom had to shell out for the autographed copy of his book.

So now, Dom and Darlene had a choice to make. Do they go to Budapest or not? We've all seen a similar type of scene in a similar type of setting in many a movie and TV series prior to this, but as per usual Sam Esmail managed to take an overdone trope and redo it in a way only he knows how. Dom was stretched between wanting to be with her family and wanting a fresh start, whereas Darlene was stretched between not wanting to be alone and wanting a fresh start.

The will-she-won't-she element was masterfully deployed here. Dom decided to stay behind, leaving Darlene on her own, but changed her mind at the point of no return in the airport and instead returned to the boarding gate. Not wanting to be left alone, Darlene ran to the bathroom in a panic attack, predictably missing Dom returning to the gate by mere seconds. Eventually, Darlene seems to decide to stay in America, while Dom is asleep on the plane as it departs. And that is where the episode ended.

A final point worth mentioning came in the opening seconds while Dom was in hospital. News reports from fsociety's Deus Group data dump confirmed Zhang is Whiterose. Now that's in the public domain, things may take another turn, as next week's episode promo suggests.

This hour was a great one to watch. After the action-packed Christmas Day episodes, this one provided a weird kind of stress relief before next week's penultimate hour, and the following week's two part series finale. Though I hope we see Dom again, I get the feeling her arc has now come to a close, and this was a happy ending of sorts, albeit without her forbidden love, Darlene. I loved having Leon back, but Irving's cameo really takes the cake. It was such a nice surprise, and an absolute crack-up. I can't think of a better cameo that I've seen over the years I've watched TV.

That's all from me for this week. Thanks as always for reading! I'd love to hear your thoughts and theories on this episode so be sure to drop them in the comments below. I'll see you right back here next week.

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