Episode six, br4ve-traveler.asf, opens with a close up on a big picture, literally. The screen dissolves from black to reveal an abstract piece of art, as Elliott’s voiceover talks about fight and flight. For the first time this season, a person who Elliott took down comes back to haunt him. “Sometimes the universe aligns perfectly, and it led me right to you,” explains Vera during episode five’s ending scene. More importantly Vera is a very real threat to Elliott’s life, as he is a known criminal and does not shy away from violence. Elliott took down Vera in an attempt to protect Shayla, but now her life hangs in the balance. Our hero now must set Vera free from the very cell that Elliott put him in (irony). After the monologue ends, the music climaxes, as the Mr Robot title card appears on top of the portrait. Cut to a wide shot of Elliott and Shayla sitting in a dingy dinner, with the abstract portrait hanging on the wall in the background. This scene is abruptly interrupted, when Shayla is hauled away from Elliott by Vera’s guys. Now Elliott needs “to take a step back” and examine the bigger picture, but all he can focus on is the detail, Shayla…being alive.
“Zero sum Elliott…you’re playing a game you already lost.” -Mr Robot
There is a Brave Story: New Traveler Japanese video game. The game opens with two friends sitting on a bench playing video games. One is so immersed in the game, that he fails to notice the disappearance of his friend. He realizes that his friend is sick and must complete a mission to collect five gem stones to heal his friend. This game is based on the Japanese comic series called, Brave Story. In this story a young boy struggles with his parent’s divorce and attempts to change his destiny in the fantasy land called Vision. After reading a synopsis about both the game and story, I can’t help but to think that showrunner, Sam Esmail, pulled inspiration from these sources; especially in terms of this episode. Yes, Fernando does mean brave traveler, and that’s a great easter egg, but I like to examine the whole egg carton.
“I told ya…you’ll get her back bro…you just didn’t realize that she was with you the whole time.” -Fernando Vera
Elliott and his captors watch from a distance, as mayhem erupts in the prison yard. All of the prisoners make their escape. Vera sentences his brother to death, hugs Elliott, and returns Shayla, all before escaping back into the darkness. In contrast with the opening, we initially view the bigger picture (wide shot) and then close in onto the emotional details within this episode. During a two and a half minute long shot, we watch as Elliott (left alone) breaks down with his inability to change Shayla’s fate. After being taken from the diner, her throat was slit, and body thrown into the trunk of a car. Elliott overstepped his place when he attempted to take down Vera. Now he stands over Shayla’s lifeless body and his loss becomes all too real.
“Life is so much easier when you’re numb.” -Elliott Alderson
By Sarah Belmont