‘Mr. Robot’ Recap ‘eps3.1_undo.gz’: Separation Anxiety

In the ‘Mr. Robot’ recap, Elliot tries to undo everything he did to bring down Evil Corp but Mr. Robot emerges with a frightening new revelation…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

It appears no one is safe in ‘Mr. Robot’ season 3.

Following a debut episode that got back to the core of what this show has been about since the beginning — a hacker taking down a massive corporation for the betterment of society — the series continues to eliminate obstacles to stay focused on that main story.

In the latest episode titled ‘eps3.1_undo.gz’, that was on display courtesy of some shocking violence that saw one major character gunned down with another being revealed as an FBI informant and if you’ve ever watched ‘The Sopranos’ you know that never ends well.

The main crux of the story once again follows Elliot as he attempts to undo the hack that brought down Evil Corp while his split personality known as Mr. Robot continues to work for the exact opposite cause.

In a twist that’s much different from the first two seasons, however, Elliot and Mr. Robot are now operating as two completely different entities and that makes for all sorts of new problems.

Add to that, the real conflict between Evil Corp CEO Phillip Price and Whiterose is revealed, which makes Elliot’s speech from a week ago about the commercialization of the ‘Five-Nine’ hack hit home that much harder.

With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Mr. Robot’ titled ‘eps3.1_undo.gz’…

New Sensation

It’s nearly impossible to do justice to the opening sequence of this week’s episode as Elliot Alderson begins his new job at Evil Corp while secretly helping to undo the hack that destroyed the company’s files while also protecting the hard copies of that same information by hiding and re-routing shipments to keep everything away from the main housing center in New York that his friends at fsociety are planning to topple with a bomb.

The dizzying sequence set to the INXS track “New Sensation” hits the fast forward button on the story over five weeks as Elliot pops Zoloft, rides the subway to work everyday in clothes provided by a subscription to Trunk Club while quietly undoing the hack that he just enacted two seasons ago.

Over the course of his new employment, Elliot also attempts to put in place new security protocols that will stop hackers from breaking in again much less getting to the hard copies of the information that he’s trying to protect from his counterparts at fsociety as well as the Dark Army. Unfortunately, Elliot runs into less than enthusiastic executives who brush him off so his solution is to dig into their backgrounds and get each of them arrested by the FBI for all sorts of crimes — such as selling customer information or cheating to help cover up emission tests — until he finally gets to someone willing to listen to his plan.

Elliot set out to destroy Evil Corp but now he’s systematically changing the way the company operates by eliminating the scum who work there while ensuring that no one else can topple them again the way he did with the Five-Nine hack.

As satisfying as Elliot’s work has been — “hitting undo and friend it feels great” — his home life is suffering. The depression medication isn’t really helping much and Elliot is being overwhelmed by a sense of loneliness that he hasn’t felt in forever. He’s shut out his sister because he believes interactions with Darlene are what lead to Mr. Robot re-emerging from his fractured psyche.

His old girlfriend who lived across the hall is dead and perhaps the most telling absence of interaction comes from Mr. Robot himself, who has seemingly disappeared all together ever since he was shot by Tyrell Wellick at the end of last season or at least that’s the way it seems in Elliot’s mind.

The End of the Road

This week’s episode also brought to an end to the saga involving Joanna Wellick.

A pivotal and curious character in season one, Joanna was relegated to a secondary story last season that saw her tortured by constant notes and presents that she believed were coming from her estranged husband when in reality it was an Evil Corp executive seeking revenge after Tyrell killed his wife after a sexual encounter on a rooftop.

Joanna got him back by having her part-time lover frame the Evil Corp executive for the murder her husband committed, which landed him in jail and got at least some of the charges against Tyrell dropped.

Joanna’s appearance this week started with a spot on a nationally syndicated talk show where she touted her husband’s innocence in that murder while also proclaiming that she was no longer divorcing him after filing paperwork last season. Joanna was standing by her man, even if he was on the run as one of the FBI’s most wanted.

After leaving the studio, Joanna, her baby and her driver found themselves being followed by a car. It was revealed to be smitten bartender Derek, who watched the interview and was irate that Joanna wasn’t with him but instead proclaimed her love for Tyrell on national television. Her driver Mr. Sutherland tried to punch some sense into Derek for his continued stalking but no one could have predicted what happened next.

A shunned Derek opens fire on the SUV, killing Joanna and nearly taking out Mr. Sutherland as well but he’s able to get off one shot that stops the scorned lover in his tracks. Unfortunately, Joanna took a head shot and her blood was splattered all over the car including on her poor defenseless baby still wailing in his seat.

The FBI discovered the grisly scene and quickly covered it up so Joanna’s death wouldn’t be reported while handing her baby over to social services as one final fuck you to the entire Wellick family. Sadly that brings to an end Joanna Wellick’s journey and an outstanding portrayal by Stephanie Corneliussen in the part.

It felt like ‘Mr. Robot’ could have done so much more with her — especially following that chilling encounter she had with Elliot last season — but alas in a narrowing of the storyline in season 3, some pieces had to be sacrificed and sadly she was one of them.

Confidential Human Source

Following the debut last week, our suspicions were correct — Darlene has been flipped and she’s now reporting directly to the Federal Bureau of Investigations with Agent Dom DiPierro as her handler. It seems Darlene’s job is to find Tyrell Wellick by using her brother to get to him. According to Dom, Darlene signed on for this assignment to avoid jail time but also to protect her brother Elliot from prosecution.

Unfortunately since leaving that Federal building several weeks ago, Darlene has produce exactly dick as far as evidence the FBI can use to nail Wellick.

Patience is running short so they turn up the pressure on Darlene, who finally gets an opening when she sees Elliot to wish him a happy birthday while telling him that she’s leaving town. While Elliot is still skittish being around his sister over fear that Mr. Robot will come out to play, he’s been so lonely lately that he just wants a human connection.

So he invites Darlene to stay the night with him — but when he wakes up from his slumber, he sees his sister standing by his computer doing something that he wasn’t supposed to witness. At that moment, Darlene realizes that she’s no longer talking to her brother — she’s face to face with Mr. Robot.

In a panic, Darlene freaks out and runs from the apartment as Mr. Robot attempts to figure out what she may have done. It turns out, Darlene planted a mirroring device on Elliot’s computer that allows the FBI to see everything he’s doing in hopes that will lead them back to Tyrell Wellick.

Pissing Match

As Evil Corp continues to tighten its grip on the world’s finances, Phillip Price gives a speech about E-Coin and how it’s the top source of funding across the world now minus one country who refuses to sign onto the accord that makes them the official global currency.

Whiterose — as Minister Zhang — is sitting in the audience with a smug look on her face.

After the speech is finished, Price erupts at his former colleague, demanding that China sign onto this accord or perhaps he’ll put in a word with the United Nations that will stop them from allowing his country from annexing the Congo.

It seems on the surface, Whiterose’s entire planned takedown of Evil Corp came down to blackmail to ensure Price would do everything in his power to make sure China was able to take control of the Congo. Of course there may be more to this behind the scenes than we know — including that nuclear plant we saw a week ago where Whiterose pondered changes to our very reality.

Still, Price’s threat seems serious but Whiterose clearly doesn’t care much because she orders the Dark Army to exact revenge on Evil Corp’s building with ‘Phase 2’ aka blowing the place to smithereens on the same day of the U.N. vote on the Congo regardless of the outcome.

Even if Price swings the vote China’s way, Whiterose is going to make sure he pays for his insubordination.

Separation Anxiety

As Elliot continues to struggle with intense bouts of loneliness, he’s returned to therapy with his doctor Krista Gordon, who is attempting to pry into his psyche while he opens up more about his childhood. Elliot tells her about one particularly happy day where he built a snowman with his sister that was an homage to Kevin McCallister from “Home Alone”. It was such a joyous occasion as Elliot even smiled while thinking back on the memories.

His elation over that moment was quickly brought crashing down around him when Elliot adds that the day he built the snowman was the same where his father pushed him out of a second story window and broke his arm. It was a highly traumatic moment — one Elliot could have swore he told her about before — but this is the first times she’s ever heard it. It was also the moment that has forever ingrained Elliot’s father into his brain.

Krista then suggests that she needs to meet this Mr. Robot to find out more about what’s ailing Elliot so he allows her to bring him out.

Mr. Robot has a swagger and attitude that’s nothing like Elliot when he confronts Krista. He’s equal parts intelligent and frightening and he more or less toys with her during their conversation while also making one key revelation.

It seems ever since the shooting, Mr. Robot has been taking over Elliot’s body but they are no longer present in the same space. Previously, Elliot saw Mr. Robot as another person that he talked to and interacted with when in reality he was only there by himself. Now when Mr. Robot emerges, he completely takes over Elliot’s mind and body and he has no memory whatsoever that the interaction has occurred.

That’s why Elliot is convinced Mr. Robot is gone because he no longer sees him but he’s always been there and in some ways he’s taking over. Unfortunately, Mr. Robot also notes that he needs Elliot to start to remember some of the things he’s doing when he’s in control but in this current state, he has no memory whatsoever of their encounters.

Elliot and Mr. Robot are now two completely separate entities but that could mean even more problems for the guy whose mind is already fractured into numerous pieces.

Come Out to Play

Agent Dom DiPierro and her asshole partner are keeping a constant watch on Elliot and his computer after Darlene installed the mirroring device that allows them to see his every move.

As they search for evidence that proves a connection back to Tyrell Wellick, they find that Elliot sent of a mysterious email to an unknown person. The FBI agents look at the email and open the attachment, but they find nothing — and that’s exactly what Elliot wanted.

It seems he knew that Darlene bugged him and he was playing along while allowing the FBI to find exactly what he wanted them to find. Opening that attachment allowed Elliot to locate their safe house, where they’ve been hold up while forcing Darlene to betray her brother.

In the end, Dom DiPierro is shocked when she sees Elliot walk into the basement apartment where Darlene was staying as he looks directly at them through a hidden camera. The FBI is smart but Elliot Alderson is smarter.

Now the only question remains — is the FBI looking at Elliot in that image or is that Mr. Robot staring back at them?

‘Mr. Robot’ returns next Wednesday night at 10pm ET on USA Network for a brand new episode.

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