Mr. Robot ‘Daemons’ Review: Somebody Call Sigmund Freud


WARNING: This review includes spoilers

The beginning of this episode was highly misleading as it showed FSociety working on Elliot’s plan to eliminate the data stored in Steel Mountain, which would mean that we would get the chance to explore the relationships between the FSociety members. However, the planning was interrupted when, in an attempt to get clean and give up morphine, Elliot goes into full withdrawal syndrome.

According to Wikipedia, in multitasking computer operating systems, a daemon is “a computer program that runs as a background process, rather than being under the direct control of an interactive user”. In this episode, daemon represented the subconscious. Daemons are “unconscious habits, repressed memories”. It’s what goes on in our heads without us noticing. “Intentions are irrelevant. They don’t drive us, daemons do”.

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What does the key open?

There are many ways to interpret what Elliot dreamed. The most important thins is that Elliot is repeatedly given a key and Elliot doesn’t know what it opens. We also see him revisiting his old house, where now there’s only a sign of “Error 404. Not Found”. He goes back to his apartment where he finds Tyrell, but instead of talking to him, he talks to the fish. The fish complains about always seeing the same thing. It almost seemed like it was a metaphor for taking action, or doing something to change the scenario (which would go back to Episode 2’s question of “Are you a 1 or a 0?”). The fish is later eaten by Angela, who is having dinner with Elliot (although their table is separated). Elliot ends up choking with a key. The key here represents a ring, to which Angela says “yes”. They go to the FSociety headquarters where they are dressed to get married (Elliot is still wearing his hoodie over his tuxedo). Angela says “You’re not gonna do it, are you? Change the world… Figures, You were only born a month ago. You’re afraid. Afraid of your monster. Do you even know what it is?”. Then she gives him back the key and says “it didn’t fit”. When he asks why not, she replies “You’re not Elliot“. Say whaaaaaaaat?!

After this strange trip, Elliot wakes up and repeats over and over again that he is alone. But Mr. Robot is there. He tells him “I’m not going anywhere, kiddo. We’re in this till the end”. While this was supposed to be recomforting, I also found it quite disturbing. After all, Mr. Robot is in some way using Elliot. Does he really care about him or does he just wants him to be safe for his own purposes? And what is “the end” exactly? Many people have speculated that Mr. Robot is actually Elliot. But what if Elliot is actually Mr. Robot? I know. Fourth episode. Too soon…

While Elliot was going through his own personal nightmare, we got to see some bonding time for the girls. On the one hand, while the men of FSociety were busy dealing with Elliot’s syndrome, Darlene took Trenton to her usual Sunday routine. They meet with the Dark Army in a car, who wear masks slightly different to FSociety. Darlene later meets with her ex, which turns out to be the same guy who sold the corrupted CD to Ollie and Angela. Apparently, she needs him to advance the FSociety plan.

daemons - mr. robot - the daily fandom

On the other hand, we have Angela’s personal story with the Dark Army blackmailing her into hacking AllSafe computers. After she attempts to visit Elliot, she stumbles upon Shayla, who invites her to accompany her go walk the dog. Shayla offers her ecstasy, which Angela rejects at first. A few hours later, she is high in a club with Shayla and making out with her. Shayla gives her an advice: to only worry about herself. This convinces Angela, who goes to work extremely early to introduce the CD to one of AllSafe’s computer. Could Shayla be actually working for the Dark Army?

This was, without a doubt, the most paranoid episode of Mr. Robot we have seen so far. If we couldn’t trust what was real and what wasn’t before, ‘Daemons’ was even more confusing. After having past the 3-episodes test, ‘Daemons’ was a way of saying “this is not a show to relax, this is a show that will demand something from you”. Maybe some didn’t like this episode because of that reason. After all, this wasn’t an episode to enjoy, but one that left you confused. This is smart television so it is understandable that some people will sign off. Some watch television to relax and have a good time, others watch television to think and reflect. Mr. Robot would the second type because, after all, we are a part of the story and we are demanded to be there. “Did you leave or did I?”


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24-year-old TV journalist. I especialize in fangirling over TV shows and anime. Currently fighting for fan studies to be recognized as a valid academic field.

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[…] exists. “We have to hack me“. He finds nothing. This goes back to the episode ‘Daemons‘, where Angela told him that he wasn’t real during his dream trip. Revelations […]