Okay…that happened. Let’s do this.
Usually with my Mr. Robot recaps/reviews, I write them in chronological order, but since this particular episode didn’t have too much going in terms of plot (which isn’t a bad thing in this case), I’m going to separate it by the characters’ events. Enjoy!
Walkin’ In a Winter Wonderland
The episode picks up where we left off last week. Tyrell is shooting his mouth off about taking down Whiterose, and Elliot has to shut him up. Meanwhile, just as we all suspected, a Dark Army operative is sitting in a van outside, listening to it all. After a brief moment of silence, we hear Elliot offer Tyrell a drink of water and then check some stuff on his computer. As Elliot continues to diagnose what’s going on with his PC, interference starts to come through on the microphone. The static gets worse and worse until full on feedback starts flooding the operative’s headphones. He opens the doors to the van to fix the antenna when Tyrell appears and clocks ol’ boy in the head with a hammer!
Elliot meets Tyrell downstairs seconds later (Elliot’s reaction to seeing that giant gash in the operative’s head was priceless, by the way), and the latter orders the former to check the logs and wipe everything if the recording wasn’t sent back to the Dark Army. Finally, Tyrell’s common sense comes back! Elliot asks what to do about the operative, and Tyrell declares him dead…without bothering to check a pulse. And we’re back to being sloppy again!
The fellas take the van and drive off into a secluded area somewhere upstate. It turns out the logs weren’t sent, so their only concern is the body. They stop at a little convenience store where Tyrell fills up a gas can and has Elliot buy a lighter.
When they try to pay for the lighter and a stick of beef jerky, the cashier tells them the internet is down, so E-Coin can’t be used (and apparently the beef jerky and lighter came to a little over $19! I hope that included the damn gas! Looks like the economy ain’t boomin’ that much!). The gentlemen soon learn that since they’re in the boonies, there’s no cell reception, either.
The cashier keeps asking Tyrell where she knows him from, but he plays coy and acts like he just has one of those faces. The cashier doesn’t drop the subject, so Tyrell lies and says he was on Big Brother before he and Elliot go back out to the van. There’s only one issue…the van is gone!
Apparently the Dark Army operative was alive, and now that he’s driven off, he’s free to send the conversation log to Whiterose and they’re all as good as dead. Elliot and Tyrell (and Mr. Robot) go back in the store and ask the ditzy cashier if they can use her phone, but the phone was connected to the internet modem. No internet, no phone. Elliot asks the cashier how to get to the next town, as it actually has cell reception (now, whether or not it’s the right cell tower is a whole ‘nother issue! Prime example, my uncle lives in a rural area that only has a Verizon cell tower, so if you have a phone with AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint, you’re SOL).
She mentions the quickest way to get to Pike’s Hollow is via a shortcut, but when Elliot asks her where the shortcut is, she pauses and just hollers out, “GOT IT! TYRELL WELLICK!? THAT’S WHERE I KNOW YOU! But I didn’t know you were on Big Brother!” 😂😂
Tyrell still tries to convince the woman that he’s not him, but she won’t let up. Even when Elliot tries to bring her back on track by asking where the shortcut is again, she continues to pester Tyrell about his identity. By this point, she’s managed to even work Mr. Robot’s nerves and he cusses her clean out, demanding to give them the directions to the shortcut. The cashier finally relents and tells them, berating Elliot for his lack of manners. That doggone Mr. Robot always gets Elliot in trouble, but I seriously doubt he gave a damn in this case.
The men begin their journey in the woods, but the cashier’s directions must’ve been bullshit, because they end up lost as hell. To be honest, it’s very reminiscent of the Kathy Bates “squirrel lady” scene from Rat Race (if y’all haven’t seen that film, please watch it. It’s hilarious!). During the walk, Tyrell sings Swedish Christmas songs and touches on deep subjects such as up and leaving his old life behind and being a failure because he always cares about what other people think, whereas Elliot prides himself on being an outsider.
Elliot lets it be known that Tyrell is getting on his last nerve, and he blames him for being lost in the damn woods in the first place, considering Tyrell was the one that declared the Dark Army operative dead. All the while, some strange noise is heard in the background. Tyrell freaks out whenever he hears it, believing it’s a omen. Elliot just writes it off as an animal.
They eventually hear a car moving down the road and assume that they’re finally getting close to the next town. The fellas run to the street and chase after the car, just to see the gas station they initially stopped at across the way. These jokers walked in a complete circle! BWAHAHAHAHA!!
The trio decide to just walk down the road, but they’re getting nowhere fast. Tyrell starts freaking out again, saying that even if they make it to town, it’ll be crawling with Dark Army, seeing as the operative probably sent the log to Whiterose by now. Tyrell stops, asking Elliot if he ever cared about him. Elliot tries to dance around the question but Tyrell won’t let him. Elliot, who’s fed up at this point, answers no and Tyrell gives up. Poor Tyrell. I’m sure this isn’t how he envisioned his and Elliot’s first date.
Elliot tries to get Tyrell to push on, but to no avail. They hear the noise again, and Tyrell remarks that they’re just walking towards their doom. Elliot can’t take anymore and Mr. Robot takes over to try to give Tyrell a pep talk. Not workin’. Elliot blows up, telling Tyrell he’s about to leave his ass right there in the woods.
They start having a screaming match (that sounds a lot like a lover’s quarrel, to be honest) and Elliot hollers, “STAY HERE! DIE! I DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOU! I’M DONE!!” He even put his finger in Tyrell’s face for emphasis! Damn, Elliot! Tell us how you really feel!
Elliot walks off, while Tyrell screams at Elliot that all roads lead to the same useless destination. Mr. Robot opts to stay with Tyrell. How he manages this is beyond me, because Elliot is DFR…down the fuckin’ road.
However, Elliot realizes he’s wrong as two left shoes and doesn’t walk too far away. He comes back and admits to Tyrell that he doesn’t like being an outsider; he’s just good at hiding how much it bothers him. Tyrell asks why Elliot didn’t just keep walking, and Elliot tells him that it’s wrong to leave him alone…plus Tyrell is the only person that really likes him. Elliot must’ve forgotten about Leon, Lloyd and Olivia. Speaking of Olivia, Elliot sure does have a lot of energy for someone that’s been up all night with no sleep and is post-coital on top of everything else!
During this moment of confession, Elliot also owns up to the fact that he also believes they’re dead men walking. Tyrell asks why Elliot even wants to continue if it just means death, and Elliot says he needs to get to Pike’s Hollow and warn Darlene. After all, he got her into this mess, and he’s been so horrible to her lately. The least he can do is call her and tell her to get away. That’s all Tyrell needs to hear to keep moving.
The trio keep walking and come across a dead deer in the road. When they look further ahead, they notice the Dark Army van, wrecked and sitting in the bushes.
I’m assuming the operative—who may still be dazed from that concussion—hit the deer (or he may have attempted to avoid the deer, but failed) and ran off the side of the road. The three of them slowly approach the van, with Elliot and Mr. Robot on one side, and Tyrell on the other.
When Elliot creeps over to the passenger side window, the operative starts opening fire on both sides. Elliot ducks just in time (by the way, I loved how Mr. Robot pulled Elliot away like a protective dad), and the operative uses his last bullet to blow his own brains out.
Elliot’s okay, but when he and Mr. Robot check on Tyrell, they see he’s been hit. Elliot tries to call 911, but there’s still no reception. Tyrell tells Elliot he can’t go to a hospital. If he does, the Dark Army will find him, and if they find him, they’ll find Elliot.
Tyrell has Elliot promise he’ll take Whiterose down before he leaves. Elliot calls after him, saying that he can’t let him die. Tyrell tells Elliot that he’s just going to go for a walk, and continues staggering down the street. It almost seems as if he fades into the background.
Must’ve Been Ol’ Santa Claus
While Elliot and Tyrell are upstate reenacting a scene from Goodfellas (or should I say The Sopranos?), Darlene is still in NYC, pissed at her big brother, understandably. Not only is she still upset at Elliot’s behavior towards her earlier that day, but she thinks he just flat out forgot to meet her back at Allsafe as they planned. Not only that, it turns out Olivia’s access to the Dark Army bank accounts is no good. Darlene can’t transfer money with Olivia’s credentials. In order to do so, they’ll have to physically break into their servers at a data security firm called Virtual Realty. Darlene leaves a brutal voicemail message on Elliot’s phone, cussin’ him out and telling him that she hates him, and that she wishes he were dead. However, we all know that’s just a bunch of bull and Darlene’s just letting off steam, and she re-records the message.
When Darlene goes over to Elliot’s apartment to check on him, she sees the busted door and the “They’re listening” note, sitting beside a device we can only assume was used to scramble the Dark Army operative’s signal. Darlene becomes rightfully concerned and sees Elliot’s cell phone pinging somewhere in the boondocks.
Darlene tries to boost a car, but a drunk Santa Claus catches her and chases her down. She manages to talk the guy out of calling the cops, and in turn, he asks her if she’s seen his keys so he can get home. Of course, Darlene hasn’t seen the keys, so he asks if she can start his car. Darlene tells Drunk Santa—who we soon learn is named Tobias—he can’t drive home, and he should take a cab. Tobias says he lives upstate, and cabs don’t travel that far. Ding, ding, ding! Darlene makes a deal with him: she’ll drive Tobias home if he allows her to take the car later to “run an errand.” Tobias takes the deal.
During the ride, Darlene loses Elliot’s signal, which makes her even more worried. She’s also alarmed by her current company. As she and Tobias make small talk on the way to his house, he touches on several topics: he works as a Santa at a children’s cancer ward, he identifies with a man named Jimmy that may be suicidal, his wife was involved in an accident, and he carries a bottle of Percocet along with a bottle of liquor, saying “sometimes the pain is too much.” Yeah. Very disconcerting.
When she finally reaches Tobias’s house (which looks like Santa and his elves puked all over it), she sees that his car is actually there. He remembers that he didn’t drive to the hospital, his friend drove! Darlene asks whose car she just stole, and he’s all like, “I don’t know.” BWAHAHAHAHA!!
Darlene tells Tobias good-bye, and he remarks that good-byes are short and final. That’s all the confirmation she needs, and Darlene jumps out of the car, telling Tobias that she doesn’t want him to hurt himself. Tobias asks whatever gave her that idea, and she mentions that he kept talking about his suicidal friend Jimmy. Tobias clarifies that he was referring to James Stewart’s role in It’s a Wonderful Life. So what about the bottle of Percocet with the bottle of liquor? Turns out it’s for Tobias’s wife. He reminds Darlene that he told her his wife was in an accident. Darlene says that can’t be it; his wife is dead. Tobias has to correct Darlene on this point, too. His wife didn’t die in an accident. She just hurt her back trying to put the Santa Claus figurine on their roof.
It turns out Tobias is fine. Darlene is the one that needs help and someone to talk to. After Tobias tells her that she needs to confide in someone she breaks down and tells him that she’s lost everyone in her life: her boyfriend, her best friend and both her parents. The only person she has left is Elliot, and even though her brother treats her like crap, she’s extremely worried about him. She doesn’t even understand why she’s so worried, considering that he told her he didn’t want to be bothered with her, so why should she be bothered? Tobias takes all that in and goes in his house, leaving her alone.
A few minutes later, he comes back out and tells her that even though she’s worried about her brother, she needs to worry about herself. Darlene says she’s trying. Tobias tells Darlene he hopes Elliot’s okay, wishes her a Merry Christmas and goes back in the house—to his alive, and for the most part, well wife—while Darlene leaves to find Elliot.
Darlene still can’t locate Elliot’s signal, as he’s still in the area that has no cell reception. After driving a little ways on the country road, she pulls over and has a mini panic attack. However, some time passes and Darlene calms down again. We can only assume she keeps searching for Elliot…
The Nightmare Before Christmas
So Dom’s home alone on Christmas Eve (no pun intended), double clicking her mouse to Darlene’s interrogation video. Just nasty. I understand everyone does it, I just don’t have to see you doing it. Here’s what perplexes me…you hate Darlene so much, but you’re pleasuring yourself to her video? Riiiight. Looks like Elliot’s not the only member of the Alderson clan that can bring it in the bedroom. The video leaves Dom unfulfilled, so she decides to join the IRC sex chat. By the way, has anyone else ever noticed that when Dom digs in her cooch, she starts touching stuff right afterwards and never washes her hands? Gross! Once again, I get everyone does it, but just wash your dang gum hands afterwards…or fall asleep and don’t touch anything. Just sayin’!
Anyway, Dom reaches out to her personal favorite chat fuck buddy, happyhardonhenry806. Not too long after they start sex chatting, Dom dozes off. She wakes up and apologizes for not responding, and happyhardonhenry suggests they meet up and do the do in real life.
Dom declines, admitting that she’s into girls. That’s another thing that confuses me. Why does Dom try to get her jollies chatting online about how much she wants thick dick when she’s clearly not into dicks period?? Sometimes I don’t get Dom.
Back on subject, happyhardonhenry has a confession of his own to make…he’s not a dude. She’s a girl. Dom’s like, “Come again?” (no pun intended) and happyhardonhenry says she likes to basically catfish folks.
Dom is intrigued, and lets happyhardonhenry, or whatever her name is, know that she’s DTF. happyhardonhenry asks for the address. Hmm…
Some time later, the mystery date is at Dom’s place, and it’s a bit on the awkward side. However, after sharing a Tecate and having some brief small talk about Dom’s apartment, they start kissing and doing some heavy petting.
Dom breaks away from her guest and excuses herself to the bathroom. When she walks in there, she sees it’s been decorated with rose petals and candles. Dom looks around, confused. Just then, her date walks in…wearing a Dark Army mask. The mystery woman then pushes Dom in the bathtub and proceeds to drown her!!
As Dom struggles, the woman tells her to stop fighting and give up control. She needs to realize that she’ll never be free. Just when it seems like Dom has drowned to death, her eyes open.
The scene cuts to Dom opening her eyes again, this time, in bed. She’s still in bed, with her laptop lying on her stomach. The real happyhardonhenry806 (who I’m assuming is really a man) logged off IRC 4 hours ago. She checks her phone and sees that her mother called three times and left several text messages. Dom then goes to the bathroom to rinse her face. She looks over at the tub, which is empty, and back at her reflection in the mirror.
The Colorful Conclusion
Tyrell is still walking in the woods, alone. The screeching noise continues. We see something emitting a purple light nearby. The noise is heard again, closer this time. It appears the noise is coming from whatever is radiating the purple glow. Tyrell staggers over to the source of the light, and when he gets to it, he seems to have a look of astonishment on his face. The sound is heard again, and the screen fades to white.
Uh, yeah…this episode was weird. Weirder than usual. It was right up there with the “eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes” episode; you know, the one where Elliot wakes up in a TGIF (or in this case, a TGIW) sitcom. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. Hell, the sitcom episode is one of my favorites in the series. Although I can’t say the same about “404 Not Found,” I will say that I got a lot of enjoyment from this installment (and it’s the first one from this season that didn’t make me lose sleep, although I woke up with a million questions).
A lot of people wrote this episode off as being filler for the final season, and I have to agree with them. This chapter of the series has the fellas lost in the woods, Darlene driving home a drunk Santa Claus, and Dom having a bad dream. However, it’s not filler in the true sense of the word, and my calling it such isn’t a criticism. “404 Not Found” isn’t just some trash ass episode added in just so Sam and Co. could present a 13 episode arc to the network as promised. The ep had meaning and importance to the overall story. It’s filler simply for the mere fact that it slowed the action way down and still takes place on the most stressful Christmas Eve ever. It makes sense when you think about it. Keep in mind that the entire season is supposed to span the course of eight days. The previous seasons took place over a number of months. Shoot, the entire series takes place in 2015! So yeah, there’ll probably be a few more episodes that stretch the story out just to chronicle one day. It’s not the first time Mr. Robot has done this. In season two, episodes 9-12 told a narrative that took place in a day and a half.
If you delve a little deeper into the plot (or lack thereof), you’ll see that although the intensity has eased a bit, the stakes are still super high for our heroes. If Elliot, Tyrell and Mr. Robot don’t do something about the Dark Army operative, they’re all dead. Darlene has to find Elliot, but she has no idea where he is or how to find him, and despite that he’s treated her horribly, he’s all she has left. Poor Dom can’t even escape the Dark Army in her fantasies. They’ve taken control of every aspect of her life. Will she relinquish control as the mystery woman advised?
Also, the nightmare is an interesting throwback to the dream that Dom told Angela about in season two. If you don’t remember, before Dom was forced to flip to the Dark Army, she mentioned to Angela that she had a dream about a beautiful woman, and all of a sudden, someone was drowning her. However, when she gave up control, she survived. Dom may have to take her own advice.
One thing I really liked about this episode is that it was really funny. The cashier at the gas station and Tobias the drunk Santa Claus kept me crackin’ up. I especially LOL’ed when Tyrell, Elliot and Mr. Robot thought they were getting closer to the next town and ended up walking in a damn circle! 😂😂😂
To quote Darlene, Elliot’s really going the distance with the silent treatment. I didn’t mention Mr. Robot’s narration this time, because although it was poignant, it was brief. Once again, Mr. Robot doesn’t spill enough tea! Not only that, but after Elliot’s night with Olivia, he’s still acting brand new! He shocked me going off on Tyrell how he did. I thought for sure he’d be back to his old self by now, but it looks like that may not happen until the end of the season. I get why Elliot’s become so hardened, but I want my sweet Elliot back; the one that talks to us and isn’t so driven by a certain goal he can’t even think about anything or anyone else. At least we saw some semblance of the old Elliot towards the end of the episode.
As for Tyrell, my reaction to his shooting surprised me. Before the season started, I went on Reddit and made a list of characters that I wanted to live, die, and who could meet either fate. Tyrell was in the “die” category, because although I liked him, he was too damn crazy. When he left to meet his fate, I felt really bad. Then, when he saw the purple lights, I was hoping it was the cops coming to save him. But it wasn’t. I can’t say I’m sure Tyrell is dead. He saw a purple light, heard some weird noises, and the screen faded to white. You best believe the wild theories are bouncing around social media. Some folks believe he did die, others think he saw a computer screen, there’s people that swear down he came across Whiterose’s machine, and then there’s some fans that believe he was abducted by aliens. Child, I don’t have the slightest idea what happened to Tyrell, and I’m not gonna pretend I know. All I know for sure is that he’s gone.
Again, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. It wasn’t my favorite this season (those accolades go to “402 Payment Required” and “403 Forbidden“), but I liked it. I can’t wait until the next one. It’s a “very special episode” (I won’t spoil the reason it’s so special) that showcases Darlene and Elliot breaking into Virtual Realty to get full access to the Dark Army’s accounts. I’m lovin’ this season so far (except for Angela getting killed)!
—Written by Nadiya
So what did you think about “404 Not Found”? Was it a filler episode in every sense of the word, or did it have significance for the overall season? Are you upset that Tyrell seemingly met his demise? Do you think Tyrell is really dead? What did you think about Tobias? Did you also mistakenly believe he was suicidal? Is Darlene right to continue to be worried about Elliot after the way he’s treated her? Do you like the change in Elliot’s character arc? Do think Dom should allow the Dark Army to take control of her life, or should she fight back? Did any part of this episode make you laugh? Let me know in the comments section!