In the ‘Mr. Robot’ recap, Elliot pursues his agenda against the Dark Army, Darlene gets closer to Dom and Mr. Robot finds out who has the real power…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
“World catastrophes like this, they aren’t caused by lone wolves like you. They occur because men like me allow them. You just happened to stumble into one.”
Those words from Evil Corp CEO Phillip Price echo throughout the penultimate episode of ‘Mr. Robot’ as the show’s namesake along with Tyrell Wellick find out just how insignificant they really where during the Five-Nine hack and subsequent plans to bring down E-Corp.
All season long, ‘Mr. Robot’ has been playing the long game to prove that Elliot Alderson and his group of revolutionaries known as fsociety were nothing more than pawn being moved around the chessboard while the real power brokers behind the scenes — Price and Whiterose — were engaged in a battle for global domination.
To put it different terms — Elliot/Mr. Robot managed to win a local election for Mayor in an attempt to change the world while Price and Whiterose were busy taking over the White House.
That analogy works on a larger level for this entire season of ‘Mr. Robot’ because while the events in the show are still taking place all the way back in 2015, it’s clear that creator Sam Esmail is building his story towards the ultimate corporate takeover that was Donald Trump somehow managing to transition from television show host to President of the United States. There were those who thought they were starting a revolution and others who never imagined it could actually happen and the end result was Trump in the White House.
‘Mr. Robot’ has been very much the same way this season as Elliot/Mr. Robot believed they were the ones who helped to bring down Evil Corp when in reality it was a staged coup all done for the cameras but no one was brought down who wasn’t falling down anyways.
With that said, let’s recap the penultimate episode of ‘Mr. Robot’ season 3 titled ‘eps3.8_stage3.torrent’…
When Elliot wakes up in front of a mirror after disappearing for an undetermined amount of time as Mr. Robot, he finds a note left scribbled for him.
THEY OWN THE FBI
It’s enough of a clue that Elliot figures out rather quickly that “they” is the Dark Army, which means even the most powerful police force in the U.S. will be no help in bringing them down for destroying 71 buildings and killing thousands when Stage 2 was enacted a few weeks ago.
From there we flashback to what happened when Elliot transformed into Mr. Robot.
He actually paid a visit to his old friend Tyrell Wellick, who has been trying to figure out where he goes from here now that he’s been granted his freedom but his wife is dead and his son has been shipped back to Denmark. When Mr. Robot arrives, Wellick is filled with rage believing that his former partner in crime was to blame for everything that has unfolded in his life and the two start bickering back and forth.
Mr. Robot is trying to convince Wellick that neither one of them were to blame much less the cause of everything that unfolded — they were nothing more than pawns put in place by the Dark Army to do their bidding before being cast out. Letting them live — for now anyways — is the reward that Mr. Robot and Wellick get for their part in the planning.
Wellick finally erupts and attacks Mr. Robot but that’s when there’s a knock on the door and Evil Corp CEO Phillip Price arrives to pay a visit. He’s there to see Wellick but doesn’t seem all that shocked to find Mr. Robot there.
Price tells Wellick that he’s being reinstated at Evil Corp and promoted to CTO — a job that’s come with a steep price for the people who have held that position previously. Wellick is over the moon believing he’s being brought back as an integral part of the machine but Price quickly busts his bubble by explaining that he’s only being given the title and he’ll have no real power in the company.
Instead, Wellick is nothing more than a figure head — the savior who helped bring the Five-Nine hackers to justice after 71 buildings crumbled — and his role is just a puppet with Evil Corp and the Dark Army pulling the strings.
This is attached to an earlier flashback that started the episode when Price, former CTO Terry Colby and Wellick visited All-Safe for a pitch meeting on using them to protect their assets online. Colby and Wellick laugh off the pitch but Price insists that a contract is drawn up and the company is hired. This is the first clue that Price was putting this entire “revolution” into motion by his own accord by hiring All-Safe where Elliot Alderson and Angela Moss were employed.
On the way back to the office, Wellick tries to convince his boss that he’s suited for a promotion and that he could build an in-house security system to protect all of Evil Corp’s information. Price more or less laughs in his face and tells Wellick just how insignificant he really is to this company.
Considering the way things played out, Wellick should have listened.
Of course, Mr. Robot is still irate that his revolution to get back at Evil Corp is being credited to the Dark Army but Price informs him that nothing that important would be left up to a group of small time hackers. Instead, Price says that everything was calculated and put into place by the real people with power behind the scenes and Mr. Robot was just led to believe he was in control. To that point if Mr. Robot is such a leader behind the fsociety movement, where are all his people?
They’re all dead.
Price leaves because his role as CEO at Evil Corp will also soon be filled by someone else while Mr. Robot is left trying to figure out where to turn next after realizing that his revolution was just a staged plan and he never really did anything to change the world.
With Mr. Robot and Wellick finally back on the same page with both looking to exact a little revenge on the Dark Army, they finally figure out something to use against them. Wellick tells Mr. Robot that the Dark Army has an operative inside the FBI — Special Agent in Charge Santiago — and that’s a key that could be used to bring them down.
Mr. Robot rushes back home but he begins to transform into Elliot so he quickly scribbles that note across the mirror as a warning to his other half about who not to trust. Mr. Robot and Elliot have been at odds for the biggest part of the last two seasons and while they’re not exactly working together now, they are plotting towards the same goal.
Bringing down the Dark Army.
The Gentle Art of Seduction
As Elliot scrambles to find a way to get back at the Dark Army, he shares some vital information with his sister Darlene about the email sent to him by Trenton after her death. The email contained information that Romero — the former fsociety member who was killed last season — that he had backed up some encrypted keys that could be unlocked, which would then restore all of the information lost during the Five-Nine hack.
The only problem is the FBI has those encrypted keys after confiscating everything of Romero’s after his death.
That leads Darlene to a plan where she will attempt to gain access to the secret FBI file room known as ‘the Sentinel’ by working her former case agent, Dom DiPierro.
It seems since Stage 2 happened and the Evil Corp buildings were destroyed, Darlene has been released from her obligations to the FBI and she’s no longer considered a confidential informant. Still, Darlene reaches out to Dom to let her in on a few secrets — nothing too damning — but it’s enough to draw her out to a bar where they start sharing a few drinks.
Darlene is actually trying to clone Dom’s badge so she can gain access to the FBI building but unfortunately the device in her backpack isn’t doing the job so she’s going to have to take this one step further.
That involves seducing Dom back at her apartment as Darlene tells her she’s not a lesbian but that she still likes girls. The two of them end up in bed together but later that night Darlene wakes up, opens the safe in Dom’s apartment where she puts her gun and badge with hopes of getting the access she needs to Romero’s files.
Unfortunately for Darlene, Dom is wide awake — remember how little she sleeps each night — and she realizes that this entire night was just a plan to get to her ID card.
Back at the FBI, Dom interrogates Darlene with Santiago standing right beside her when she comes clean about her real agenda. Darlene was trying to gain access to the Sentinel to get Romero’s files so she could undo all the damage done by the Five-Nine hack. Of course, Dom is ready to find out just how much Darlene really knows while Santiago is going into panic mode because this is exactly what the Dark Army doesn’t want to happen.
Santiago quickly knocks Dom off the case — telling her she’s compromised since she slept with Darlene — while he makes a call to Irving looking for direction on what to do next. Irving seems rather unconcerned about what’s happening while Santiago is nearly melting down.
Meanwhile, Angela is in full mental breakdown mode as her paranoia has finally gotten the better of her. She tries to turn to Elliot for help but when they go to his apartment, Leon — the Dark Army handler — is there waiting for them (more on that in a bit) and she freaks out and runs away.
Back at her apartment, which is now decorated in pictures taped to the wall of all the victims from the Stage 2 bombings, Angela packs up a cart full of her belongings before fleeing down to the street. It’s there where she runs into a street vendor selling CD’s, just like the one she bought from Cisco back in season one, and a moment later a white van pulls up and tells Angela to get inside.
Angela is convinced that the Dark Army still has her best interests at heart and that she’s integral in bringing down Evil Corp but little does she know that she’s been nothing more than a means to an end.
Elliot knows he has to find a way to get inside the Dark Army but they are quickly eliminating all of their obstacles now that they’ve gotten exactly what was wanted when the Five-Nine hack was enacted in the first place.
So Elliot concocts a plan to meet with Whiterose to explain to her the third stage in his plan to bring down Evil Corp.
Elliot tracks down Irving at his day job as a used car salesman to get a message to Whiterose, who sends Leon to retrieve him — thus the meeting in his apartment — before taking him to an undisclosed location where he comes face to face with her No. 2 in charge, Grant.
Of course, Elliot only wants to speak to Whiterose but Grant assures him that he’s had his last audience with her already but the information will gladly be passed along. Elliot explains that Stage 3 involves bringing down E-Coin, the currency that kept Evil Corp afloat after the Five-Nine hack happened in the first place.
Grant has the Dark Army operatives download the information about Stage 3 onto an external hard drive while they largely dismiss Elliot and his plan to bring Evil Corp down. The Dark Army already has what they wanted — the Congo has been annexed, their power plant will soon have a home there and Phillip Price will be ousted as CEO of Evil Corp. At this point there’s no need to attack E-Coin because ultimately the Dark Army profits from the partnership with Evil Corp.
Of course, Elliot had no Stage 3 — instead the information from his laptop was nothing more than malware that will allow him access into the Dark Army’s mainframe where he plans to topple them from the inside out. Elliot uses his hack to get inside everything the Dark Army touches because this is how he gets his payback. This is how he starts a revolution.
As for Whiterose, she’s frustrated because the planned move for her precious power plan to the Congo is going slower than expected. To make matters worse, Elliot won’t let go of his vendetta against Evil Corp despite Stage 2 being set up as the last act against them.
Whiterose has been in control from the beginning and she’s rarely listened to counsel from anyone else but this time around in her agitated state, she hears what Grant is telling her. He says that Elliot has now become a liability and she always promised that he would eventually give his life for them just like his father did several years ago. Grant believes now is the time to eliminate their enemies starting with Elliot Alderson — and Whiterose finally agrees.
Grant then makes his move on Whiterose as they begin to kiss — but more importantly there is a third stage set in motion as the Dark Army has targeted Elliot for termination.
‘Mr. Robot’ returns next Wednesday night for the season finale at 10pm ET on the USA Network.