Mr. Robot is back to the present after last week’s Tyrell flashback episode, and Darlene is finally hitting her limit.

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Spoilers ahead!


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Darlene Gets Robbed, Then Finds Elliot in Her FBI Apartment


Darlene gets her wallet pickpocketed by a young woman while sleeping on the subway. Upon waking, Darlene immediately clocks the woman as the thief due to her body language, and, in typical Darlene fashion, immediately confronts her with supreme confidence. To our surprise, though, Darlene only requests the return of a Polaroid picture from inside her wallet, and lets the woman keep the rest. When the woman asks why, Darlene explains that she is behind the 5/9 hack, so, Darlene says, she has already stolen from her (and everyone else) before the woman stole from her. She also explains that she murdered a woman with a stun-gun before promptly walking off the train.

The pressure of betraying Elliot, losing Cisco and committing murder is obviously getting to Darlene, and, having immunity for the 5/9 Hack, she’s acting out in a weird way. She wants to confess her sins, and selects another miscreant as her confessor.

As we know from the end of Episode 3, Elliot has found Darlene’s FBI safehouse apartment, and we see him looking in the windows, and going through the mail and the trash. Elliot then uses his trusty lock-picking kit to get into the apartment, just as Agents Dom and Norm realize he’s there (and start panicking). Elliot starts monologuing internally about metadata again, hence the name of this episode.

Darlene is seen by Dom and Norm, about to come home to the apartment and get confronted by Elliot, but Agent Dom brushes past Darlene with perfect timing, and alerts her of the situation before she goes inside, with instructions to go in and act natural, so as not to blow their cover.

Darlene cautiously enters the apartment, and appears to be worried that she’ll find Mr. Robot waiting for her there. We don’t actually know if the current driver of Elliot’s body is Mr. Robot or not at this point, so we should be worried as well. The last time Darlene saw Mr. Robot, he attacked her. When Elliot immediately gets aggressive, slapping a “voice protector” anti-surveillance device down on the mantle, and begins questioning Darlene about all her lies,, we are reminded of an uncomfortable fact: we cannot always discern Elliot from Mr. Robot by their behavior alone.

Darlene is bold, as always, and pushes back hard against Elliot’s interrogation, questioning whether Elliot is Elliot, or if he’s “him”, citing Mr. Robot’s assault of her in Season 3 Ep. 2. Upon mention of the assault, Elliot is immediately ashamed, and quietly assures Darlene that it’s “him”, to which she understandably responds “that’s a pretty complicated statement coming from you”.

Darlene tells Elliot that the reason she hacked him was because he wouldn’t talk to her, and because she doesn’t trust Mr. Robot. In doing so, Darlene successfully keeps the FBI’s operation a secret, and Elliot seems to buy the lie.


Irving and Angela Meet and Talk About Meat


Irving and Angela meet at The Red Wheelbarrow, and, while eating with obvious enjoyment, Irving explains how the ribs are so good there. He knows the recipe, for some reason.

When asked if she was followed, Angela assures Irving that she is doing SDR (Surveillance Detection Routes) and that doing so is “second nature to her”. Angela oversteps here in her arrogance, as she later gets followed by someone she knows, and doesn’t even notice.

Irving then lets Angela know that Stage 2 will go off on September 29th, 10 days from their meeting.

Angela is concerned about the shipping delays (which she doesn’t know are being caused by Elliot), disrupting the timetable. Irving reminds her that it’s a good thing they have their “guy on the inside” (Elliot), to assist in expediting Stage 2, and Angela quickly assures Irving that the new timetable will not be a problem.

Angela is also concerned about collateral damage, and so tries to verify with Irving that an emergency evacuation is in place for when they blow up the E Corp records building. Irving confirms that an emergency evacuation will happen, but I’m not convinced he’s telling the truth. I don’t think Angela is, either. This will definitely come up again.

Angela then mysteriously asks Irving if White Rose “ever showed him”, which gets a more-serous-than-usual reaction from Irving, almost as if Angela is asking him about something sacred. He says “Yes” and she asks “and you believe in it?”. Irving then uses the ribs he’s eating as an example of how far technology has come, saying “I wouldn’t be surprised if they grew these in a lab”, to which Angela responds “I’m not talking about ribs” and Irving says “I think anything’s possible”.

This is a huge clue. They are talking specifically about something artificial being made, that 1. shouldn’t be artificial 2. doesn’t seem artificial, and 3. no one can tell the difference between the artificial and the natural versions, except maybe by the fact that the artificial one is better. My theory is that they’re talking about a Matrix (an artificial world in a computer) they all exist in, but another theory is that they’re talking about people being grown in a lab. Either theory would explain why Angela thinks she can get her deceased mother back from the dead.


Elliot and Darlene vs. Mr. Robot and Tyrell



Elliot and Darlene go to his apartment and he shows her that he did a “deep search” of his apartment to ensure he was not being surveilled. “Deep search”, meaning he destroyed everything in his apartment except his computer. His mattress is slashed and stuff is scattered everywhere. In the past, Elliot mostly just destroyed all his computer components in his microwave when he was concerned about surveillance. I guess he didn’t want to tip off the FBI that he was onto them by destroying his computer this time.

Elliot shows Darlene his evidence of what Tyrell and the Dark Army are up to with Stage 2. Darlene questions Elliot as to why he has not turned in the perpetrators already with the evidence he has, and Elliot explains he is having trouble “letting go of what we started”. Darlene begs him to help stop the Stage 2 attack, and he agrees.

Elliot explains that the best way to stop Stage 2 is for Darlene to watch his comings and goings, and follow him if she suspects he’s Mr. Robot. He says that he’s been losing time at night, and requests that Darlene watch for Mr. Robot activity by staying up all night in the adjacent apartment, which previously was occupied by Elliot’s deceased girlfriend Shayla. Darlene agrees, wanting to help her brother.

Elliot then re-iterates that whatever Mr. Robot does, “it’s not him.” Darlene, very graciously, believes him.


Random Guy Gets Arrested for fsociety Video


The man supposedly responsible for uploading the newest fsociety video is arrested at his apartment. He was waiting for their arrival, eating Fruity Pebbles and watching Love, Actually in his underwear. When he saw the FBI was coming, he simply put on an fsociety mask and knelt on the ground with his hands behind his head.

Agents Dom and Norm question this guy in an FBI interrogation room, and he sits, perfectly still and expressionless, not saying a word. Dom runs through a list of names to try to get a reaction out of the guy, and when she gets to “White Rose”, his eyes move. This guy is a real hard-case. Eventually, Dom gets him to say one thing and one thing only, “fsociety“.

Dom doesn’t like how this arrest feels, thinking it’s a set-up of some kind. Norm tries to reason with her, saying that a Dark Army operative would have killed himself rather than be caught. I believe this is the “blame the 5/9 Hack on Iran” plan (that Zhang ordered in Season 3 Ep. 3) coming to pass, and that the operative needed to be arrested alive so there would be someone to blame.


Elliot Gets Caught Messing with the Paper Records Shipment


Elliot is working at E Corp while internally monologuing about the fact that he is excited by the idea of the Stage 2 attack, and that this disturbs him, greatly.  Elliot puts his head down on his desk, pained by his thoughts, and doesn’t notice Angela walking up to his desk, E Corp paper record shipping statuses clearly visible on his monitor.

Angela asks him, “what’s that?” so Elliot tells a bad lie, and he and he realizes right away that it’s not going to fool Angela. She doesn’t react, but she clearly now knows that Elliot is behind the shipping delays.


Elliot and Darlene Make a Vengeance Pact


Darlene says she’ll “come with” Elliot while he takes Flipper for a walk, and we, for a brief moment,  see a normal brother/sister relationship between Elliot and Darlene that is actually touching, and feels real. Feel-good moments like this one are extremely rare in Mr. Robot, so I’ve learned to appreciate them when they appear, however intermittently.

Darlene says that if she follows Mr. Robot and someone kills her as a result, she wants Elliot to avenge her death by killing her killer. Darlene follows this up by saying she would do the same for him, and Elliot pauses for a moment before responding “#### yeah, I’m in”, and their “vengeance pact” is born. This does not bode well for Darlene at all, as I think this pact is going to come into play, and someone has to die (or at least appear to be dead) for that to happen, and it can’t be Elliot, or the show would end.

This is a pretty obvious signal by the creators of the show that Darlene is going to die, so it’s probably a misdirect. Don’t underestimate the trickiness of Mr. Robot’s creators.


Darlene Downloads a Movie that Doesn’t Exist, and Follows Mr. Robot


We see Darlene, at night, in the vacant Shayla apartment, downloading a movie via torrent on her laptop. The movie, we see, is Shazaam. This is either a big clue, or a big misdirect by the creators of Mr. Robot.

Here’s the run-down: Shazaam, like the Berenstain Bears theory I mentioned in the Season 3 Ep. 3 Analysis, is the center of a set of popular internet theories. No film titled Shazaam has ever existed IRL. The only visual representation of the film’s existence is a photoshopped poster for the fake film that has circulated the internet for years. Many people, for some reason, have memories that the movie exists, or has existed at some point. Like the Berenstain theory, this is often cited as an example of the Mandela effect (collective false memory) or, by the more fantastically-minded, as a proof of an alternate universe encroaching upon our own. We’ll just have to keep an eye out for more clues here, but I’m not willing to take them at face-value at this point.

Anyway, while Darlene switches between looking at travel packages to Budapest and her Shazaam torrent, she hears Elliot’s door open. Going to the peephole, Darlene sees Elliot leaving his apartment, and upon a second look, we see Elliot change into Mr. Robot. Darlene, true to her word, follows him through the city streets. Darlene sees, to her surprise, Mr. Robot meet with Angela. Mr. Robot and Angela pitifully try to evade Darlene, but she sees them get in a cab and doesn’t follow. I guess Angela isn’t as good at counter-surveillance as she thinks she is.


Tyrell is No Match for Mr. Robot


Angela, Mr. Robot, and Tyrell meet, and Angela explains to them that Elliot is behind the shipping delays.

Tyrell totally freaks out and smashes the computer keyboard along with a couple shelves of computer stuff, screaming that Stage 2 is completely ruined, and that they have no way of salvaging it.

Angela remains calm and tries to problem-solve, but Tyrell isn’t having any of it, and screams complaints about Elliot to her until Mr. Robot interjects:

“You can talk to me.”

I’m not sure if Tyrell is stupid or what, but he still calls Mr. Robot “Elliot”, and doesn’t seem to understand how separate the two are. Was this not explained to him?

Mr. Robot finally addresses Tyrell’s rant:

“You can talk to me.”

In response, Tyrell launches into an aggressive denouncement of everything Mr. Robot/Elliot to Mr. Robot’s face.

“We work nights together for over six weeks to prepare this project, but you spend your days ruining all we’ve accomplished. You, as a person, make no sense.”

Well, he’s right there. Tyrell very succinctly sums up the inherent problem with the Elliot/Mr. Robot situation: It makes no sense, at least in the way we understand it. I’ve said in the past that Elliot’s “mental illness” does not fit the symptoms of any mental illness IRL. I believe this is a deliberate clue from the creators of the show that points to something very different from a mental illness.

Tyrell is so over Mr. Robot, and is very disappointed that he didn’t turn out to be the “god” Tyrell thought he was:

“I always thought you’d be a god. I loved you. But now I see how foolish I was and how inferior you are. Like a ####ing cockroach.”

With that, all Tyrell’s adoration from that last episode is history. Tyrell then explains to Mr. Robot that he’s going to take over Stage 2, and that Mr. Robot is no longer in charge. Bad idea.

Mr. Robot attacks Tyrell, choke-slamming him against a wall. Mr. Robot tells Tyrell that he is not in charge, and never will be, in no uncertain terms:

“This is my revolution. I am the architect.”


“Don’t forget, I could have pulled that trigger twice.”

At this point, we see Mr. Robot begin to glitch, and he backs away from the beaten Tyrell, with a frightened look on his face. Angela sees all is not well as Mr. Robot, and, very afraid, tries to stop him from switching into Elliot mode. Unsuccessful in her attempts to prevent Elliot’s arrival, Angela quickly goes for sedative syringe she has kept nearby expressly for this purpose.

Mr. Robot is now a very confused Elliot, asking why Tyrell is there and what’s going on. Angela speaks softly and empathetically to Elliot, almost as if he were a child, her entire demeanor markedly different from her usual hard-and-competent persona. While speaking to Elliot, Angela surprises him by injecting him with the sedative, and Elliot passes out, begging for an explanation of “what’s happening”.


Darlene Probably Hacks Agent Dom at a Bar


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Darlene texts Agent Dom to meet her at a bar, under the pretext of informing Dom of a new development in the operation to capture Tyrell. When Dom arrives, though, Darlene doesn’t really want to discuss FBI business.

Instead, Darlene tells Dom she is lonely, and that she has been so isolated by her involvement with the 5/9 Hack (and the subsequent FBI investigation) that she is desperate to socialize, with anyone, even Dom.

The form of socialization that Darlene chooses appears in the form of her pressing Dom with personal questions. Dom does not seem to detect this, but the questions Darlene asks her are ones that could easily be used as security questions for credit purposes, or password resets. Dom answers several of Darlene’s questions, and Darlene seems satisfied. They move on to FBI business.

Darlene says she is having major internal problems, and, though seemingly resigned to the plan of capturing Tyrell at the expense of Elliot, is very unhappy she’s a “traitor” and that Elliot will go to prison when Tyrell is caught.

Dom tells Darlene they need to get Tyrell before the next attack happens, and, though she doesn’t have details, that she believes the next attack is coming very soon.

Darlene says she has a lead but that she won’t wear a wire, I assume so as to not further implicate Elliot in the crimes of Mr. Robot, but I suspect Darlene’s plan is much more complicated than that.


Irving Talks Tyrell Down and Butters Him Up


Irving meets with Tyrell to deal with the issues between Mr. Robot and Tyrell, and to figure out the shipping delay obstacle.

Irving uses his superpower of manipulation on Tyrell, telling him that even if Elliot isn’t a god, Tyrell still is. Unsurprisingly, this is exactly what Tyrell wants (and needs) to hear to come up with a solution to the shipping problem. Rising, inspirational synth plays as Tyrell becomes confident again, and he puts forth a list of requests to Irving.

We learn that Tyrell has no idea that Joanna is dead when he requests access to his infant’s baby monitor, which he says has “been down for weeks”. Tyrell also wants Irving to check on Joanna, to make sure she’s okay. She’s not okay, at all, of course, so this will soon become a major problem.

Tyrell then says he needs to be sent, with his family, to the Ukraine as soon as the Stage 2 attack is done. Irving, knowing Joanna is dead, says he’ll “get into that”, which satisfies Tyrell, for the moment.

Tyrell says he needs one more thing to execute Stage 2:

“The full force of the Dark Army.”

We still don’t know how Tyrell plans to move all that paper to one building so fast, but apparently it’s going to require something rather special in the form of Dark Army assistance.

As far as Joanna being dead goes, one of two things will happen:

  1. Tyrell keeps pushing Irving until he determines that Joanna is dead, and we see the mother-of-all Tyrell freakouts.
  2. Joanna mysteriously re-appears alive, re-created by the Dark Army in the flesh or as code (if they’re in a Matrix), and Tyrell has no idea she was ever dead.

Either way, this will be interesting for sure.


Angela Gets Elliot Fired From E Corp


Angela has a typically weird conversation with Philip Price, requesting that Elliot be fired from E Corp, and will not answer Price when he asks why. Price assents on the promise that she’ll “return the favor.” and that Price knows she’s “good for it.”

Let’s not forget that when Angela and Price met, she was, essentially, a nobody. What in the world made Price so obsessed with Angela, and how could she possibly “return the favor” to a man in such a powerful position as E Corp’s CEO? Sounds creepy, of course, but I’m just going to assume that the relationship between Price and Angela is a few steps away from the obvious.

Angela, done with Price, hangs up the phone and walks into another room of her swanky apartment, where Mr. Robot seems to be nursing a headache, no doubt due to the sedative Angela administered to Elliot in the warehouse.

Mr. Robot is concerned about Elliot “waking up again” now that Elliot has seen Angela and Tyrell together, but Angela, confident as ever, responds that Mr Robot should “do what you do best, fight him off”

Angela has really confused me ever since she hit that switch in Season 2 and became cold as ice. The way she switches from cold to warm when speaking to Elliot makes me think the coldness is all an act for a purpose. That purpose would obviously be getting her parents back through the power of White Rose. The return of dead loved ones is plenty of motivation for a person to do crazy things like blow up a building and put on a false persona, so this fits for me.

Mr. Robot laments the shipping delay, and seems to be in a state of hopelessness, stating that:

“Stage 2 has been completely derailed”

As Mr. Robot complains, Angela receives a text from Irving, saying that they’ll be “ready to go on Monday”. Apparently, Tyrell’s unknown plan to move the paper records quickly is a good one.


Darlene Bugs Out


Darlene, all alone, packs her few belongings in Shayla’s apartment into a backpack, then knocks on Elliot’s door. It looks like Darlene expects him to be there, but as we know, he never came home after he left the night prior as Mr. Robot.

Darlene enters Elliot’s apartment, sees Flipper there alone, and places the Polaroid from the first scene, (a family photo from when they were children), on Elliot’s shelf and leaves.

Signs in this episode point to Darlene fleeing, possibly to fake her death and hack the FBI with the information she received from Dom in the bar. I think she’s had enough of betraying Elliot, and has decided to take the power back.

If Elliot thinks she’s dead, will he honor the Vengeance Pact he made with Darlene in this episode? Is that part of her plan? It would be odd for Darlene to use Elliot to kill someone, but I guess you never know.


Additional thoughts and theories




New theory: Elliot Died, and was re-born


Maybe Elliot died as a child as a direct result of his dad pushing him out the window, but was re-born using technology that his dad was working on. I suspect the re-birthing (or cloning) process was in a prototype stage, and was only used due to the emergency of Elliot’s dad, its developer. The prototype nature of the process probably caused the problems Elliot has with the split Mr. Robot personality. Mr. Robot’s form being that of Elliot’s dad fits with this theory as well.


Mr. Robot’s name, again


I feel more and more that the creators of the show are dancing around Mr. Robot’s name. What do the other characters call him? In this episode, we see him called “Elliot” by Tyrell and “Mr. Hyde” by Darlene. What do the other characters, (Angela, for instance, his new best friend) call him? I feel this is being avoided deliberately so as to not reveal the true nature of Mr. Robot.




I bet Joanna’s coming back. Wait on it.


See our other Mr. Robot Season 3 Recaps and Analyses here

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