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Mr. Robot Sets the Stage for an Exciting Finale

I can’t believe we’re almost here. The terrific third season of Mr. Robot is almost over. We’ve seen alliances shift, loyalties change, incredible plot twists, a tease towards hard sci-fi, and more visual creativity than you’d find on the rest of TV combined. With a season so eventful and amazing to watch, how does Sam Esmail plan on ending it? Could he possibly top the incredible sixth episode of this season?

Mr. Robot’s penultimate episode set the stage for something pretty great, and I’m excited to find out.

Spoilers for 3×09  “eps3.8_stage3.torrent”

mr. robot robot and tyrell

Recap

Why does every show I watch start with flashbacks these days? This time Mr. Robot starts with a flashback of E Corp meeting with Gideon before hiring Allsafe to handle E Corp’s security. Tyrell and Terry Colby seem unimpressed but Price decides to hire them after a moment passes with Angela (more on this later). Tyrell protests carefully but is shot down brusquely.

In the present, the FBI returns Tyrell to his empty home where he cries beside his missing son’s cradle.

Meanwhile, Elliot comes back to awareness in his bathroom, where Robot left a message saying the Dark Army owns the FBI. He finds his computer open and tries to figure out what Robot did the previous night. He also sees that Tyrell was released, free of charges, by the FBI.

The audience gets answers as perspective shifts to Robot. He visits Tyrell and insults him over Stage 2. The insults between the two escalate until Tyrell starts beating the crap out of Robot. They’re interrupted when Price shows up.

Elliot meets with Darlene at the old arcade to tell her about Trenton’s email. They argue over the possibility of retrieving Romero’s equipment from FBI evidence and how to do so. Darlene wants to use Dom but Elliot doesn’t want to since the Dark Army infiltrated the FBI. Elliot concedes in the end and insists he can deal with the Dark Army.

He interrupts Irving in the middle of a sales pitch to request a meeting with Whiterose for a “Stage 3”. Darlene later meets Dom at a bar to try under the guise of new info to try and scan her FBI badge. Her swipe fails and she has to take a new approach.

Elliot returns home to find Angela outside his apartment building. She hands him a newspaper saying Tyrell has been named Chief Technology Officer of E Corp. Angela thinks this is proof Whiterose is returning things back the way they are meant to be. Elliot argues against her and they eventually go inside.

Darlene’s new method with Dom turns out to be seduction. She tries to play wingwoman and hook Dom up, but Dom resists her efforts. When Elliot and Angela enter his apartment, Leon is sitting on the couch. Angela thinks they’re trying to trick her and stop Whiterose and leaves. Leon is there to bring Elliot to a meeting.

Back in the room with Price, Tyrell, and Robot, Price offers the CTO position to Tyrell. He also makes clear the position is meaningless and makes clear his lack of power. He then makes clear to Robot how he knew about the 5/9 hack all along and let it happen. Everything they’ve done has been because the people more powerful people allowed it.

Dom and Darlene head back to Dom’s apartment, where Darlene tries to sneak the FBI badge while they kiss. Dom resists and puts her gun and badge in the safe before they have sex. Angela returns to her own apartment, which is plastered with photos and looks like Charlie Kelly’s mail room when he figured out most of his company’s employees were made up. Angela packs some stuff in preparation to leave.

Leon brings Elliot to what turns out to be a meeting with Whiterose’s second in command, not Whiterose. A couple goons take his laptop and use a USB drive to pull info off it, which Elliot seems to want to happen, and he talks about a Stage 3 attacking E Coin until they are done. Meanwhile, Angela is picked up by some people in suits.

Darlene tries to sneak the FBI badge out of Dom’s safe after they had sex, but Dom busts her. We see Robot and Tyrell talk in the aftermath of the Price meeting, where Robot is still determined and wants to use Tyrell’s new position as a way to gather info. Tyrell tells him about the Dark Army having a mole in the FBI, and we switch over to Dom interrogating Darlene in an FBI office.

Dom’s boss interrupts and Darlene tells them the FBI is crooked. Dom tells her boss about sleeping with Darlene as well as her attempt to steal the badge. Darlene eventually tells them about being able to undo the 5/9 hack. Back in the boss’s office, he tries to dismiss what Darlene said and assigns her to a different FBI agent. He then calls Irving to tell him about Darlene.

For the first time, we get to see the unhinged side of Whiterose as she throws a tantrum over delays moving her project to the Congo. Her second tells her it’s her fault and she should not have gone so far with Elliot/Robot’s plans. He promises to try again to move the project sooner. While Elliot enacts his real Stage 3, which is a hack of the Dark Army using the info from his USB drive, Whiterose and her underling agree that Elliot lied about targeting E Coin.

Elliot seemingly does take control of the Dark Army, while Whiterose’s second says they should kill him and Whiterose gives him permission.

Review

I talked after the Stage 2 attack about the stage-setting for everyone to come together against the Dark Army. The episode after the attack focused on Trenton and Mobley, and the one after that on Elliot overcoming his guilt and finding the motivation to live and fight. With this episode we finally saw the pieces shift onto the same side, even if reluctant or unaware they did so.

It’s a small step, but one necessary to what I assume will be season 4’s focus on taking down the Dark Army. These characters have too much history to just come together and work in harmony already. All we need right now is to get these characters in rooms together, with reason to see each other further. Now they are.

Along the way Mr. Robot reminded anyone who might have somehow forgotten just how fragile all these characters are. Ultimately this remains a show about these characters, focused on their mental states above all else.

This episode saw everyone reacting to a full season’s worth of weight upon their shoulders. For once Elliot might have been the healthiest person on the show, and that’s saying something. He was the only part of the main cast with a clear, focused goal he could carry out calm of mind. Which, of course, he is not, considering how lost his Robot persona currently is. Everyone else plain cracked beneath the pressure here. Even Whiterose, who for the first time lost her calm, controlled demeanor.

Considering just how much has happened this season, I expect nothing less. Almost everyone has lost everything anchoring their lives. The world underwent a massive shift. Everyone has to adjust and adjustment will see them cooperate with people they never would have expected to cooperate with even back at season 3’s halfway point.

It’s all so exciting!

Think of how many characters ended up in rooms together in this episode. How cool was it for Price and Robot to sit in a room together? If Robot or Tyrell goes to him now with a way to undo 5/9 and keep him in power, Price will definitely end up cooperating. Now that Darlene told her about the way to undo the 5/9 hack, there’s no way Dom ignores it and no way she doesn’t figure out the truth about her boss. This will likely put her on the same side as Darlene and Elliot. Dare I dream, they might all end up in a room together through Elliot/Robot.

Are we there yet? Of course not, and it’s also highly likely some of the cast dies off in next week’s finale because of Elliot. Maybe other fans disagree, but I really feel like everyone except Elliot is in danger and might be a shocking victim in the finale. The stakes have risen so high and there are clear, mortal risks facing all these characters. Dom’s boss might kill her to stop her from finding out his true loyalties, or in the aftermath. Dark Army might go after Darlene to stop her. Tyrell faces the same danger to cover a loose end. Angela has plain lost it and could die in any number of ways due to her current mental state. Price might die because Whiterose holds a grudge.

Jeez, and I haven’t even mentioned Elliot hacking the Dark Army (I highly doubt he really did, not unknowingly) or the likelihood of finding out more about Whiterose’s ultimate plan. So much has happened, and so much is left to happen. It all makes for some explosive possibilities.

Mr. Robot has established a ton of potential to end season 3, and I’m frothing at the mouth to find out what happens.

Assorted Thoughts:

  • Price has some connection to Angela prior to their meeting. I’m starting to believe the theory about him being Angela’s real father.
  • Tyrell being free just like that is kind of ridiculous. But I guess it shows how the FBI is in the Dark Army’s pocket.
  • Angela is heartbreaking. So is Dom.
  • Price encouraging Robot was weird but cool. And damn, he hit right at the egomania of the Robot persona.
  • Seeing Whiterose’s personal side for the first time was fascinating. The music being supplied by a woman circling glasses was basically perfect.
  • This episode had two women hook up and a man kiss a transgender woman. Both scenes lacked much real focus on the genders of anyone involved. Stunningly, society is okay. Maybe the world won’t burn to the ground when TV shows let gay, bi, or transgender people have casual love lives on TV.

Images courtesy of USA Network

Bo
Written By

Bo relaxes after long days of staring at computers by staring at computers some more, and feels slightly guilty over his love for Villanelle.

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