TAKING PLACE DIRECTLY AFTER THE LAST (EXTREMELY INTENSE) EPISODE, we are back following Elliot’s attempt to prevent Stage 2 (blowing up the E Corp paper records building) from going off.
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We learn quite a bit in this episode about key story components that drive the show. Lots of Mr. Robot interaction, lots of Angela’s motivations and worldview, big moves from Zhang and his Dark Army, as well as some clues about the nature of the entire world of Mr. Robot.
Exciting and effective enough to be a season finale, this episode is non-stop tension all the way through. Mr. Robot has always been a very good show, but the longer it goes, the more it comes into its own, with this and the last episode being truly impressive in all ways an episode of TV can be.
This episode is the polar opposite of the last one in structure. The last episode had no cuts, and this one has a ton.
Scenes are extremely brief, and everything is happening simultaneously. That makes writing about this episode more difficult than usual, and I’m left feeling very impressed with the people who make this show. It’s extremely complicated to write about, I can’t even imagine what it must take to write, film and edit it in the first place.
It’s hard to pick favorites, but this is definitely one of the best Mr. Robot episodes to date, and that’s really saying something.
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Full Episode Recap and Analysis
A Weird ‘You’re Going to Die’ Party for Angela’s Mom
This episode begins with a flashback. Back to the Future playing on an old TV, and we see little Angela is watching by herself at a party,
It’s a weird party, apparently acknowledging the impending death of Angela’s mother Emily Moss (Julia Crockett), from leukemia. They have a red velvet cake decorated with the words “See you in another life!”. No one seems to be having much fun, but Emily is at peace and in a good mood.
Elliot’s father, Edward Alderson, sees Angela sitting glumly and comes over to talk to her.
Edward, really, really isn’t like Mr. Robot, and aside from the pushing-Elliot-out-of-a-window incident, the two share only a likeness and nothing else.
Edward is very nice and understanding with Angela, and convinces her to go talk to her mother even though she’s afraid. Edward thinks Angela will regret not talking to Emily if she gives in to her fear of confronting the issue of Emily’s death.
Angela asks why Elliot isn’t at the party, and Edward says that Elliot didn’t feel up to it.
Before he leaves her, Edward asks Angela this favor:
“Hey, Angela, somewhere down the road, if Elliot needs some help and I can’t be there for him Just give him a little push too, okay?”
The “push” phrasing is not lost on me.
Anyway, Angela responds, simply:
I wonder what Edward foresaw happening to him. I’m sure that we will find out someday.
Edward leaves, and Angela, screwing up her courage, goes to talk to her mom. Emily tries to comfort Angela, saying that she will always be there for her, even after death, but Angela, angry, says:
“This isn’t fun. It’s weird. I hate this. I hate all of it. I know what dying is. You’re never gonna see us again. Not Dad, not me.”
But Emily has a very different perspective, and, to excellently dramatic, rising synths, makes Angela a promise:
“You wanna know what I believe?
That this isn’t the end, that there’s another world out there for both of us, that we’ll see each other again.
And we’ll play and dance and bake and sing. Doesn’t that sound beautiful?
Will you believe with me?”
Angela smiles, and we see she believes. The music abruptly ends as we cut to present-day Angela, being confronted by Elliot as we saw at the very end of the last episode.
Elliot wants Answers, Angela!
Elliot confronts Angela, asking her if there’s anything she wants to tell him. When Angela plays dumb, Elliot tells Angela:
“I saw you. The 23rd floor. You were at the code signing machine. What did you do?”
Okay, hold on, maybe I’m misunderstanding this.
Elliot, as far as we know, was outside the building when Angela was at the HSM. We definitely didn’t see him see Angela. So maybe Elliot saw her from outside the building through a window, or something. No, even if Elliot could somehow see what was happening through a window on the 23rd floor, the HSM room that Angela was in didn’t have any windows.
The beginning of that scene when Angela first gets to the HSM room is really unusual. Our perspective, the camera, is hovering over her, going through walls and looking through the ceiling like we are spectating a video game.
This may be tenuous, but did Elliot somehow “see” how “we see”, which he mentioned wanting to do in that very episode? We’ll have to wait and see, but this sticks out to me.
Anyway, Angela tells Elliot that they “need to let today happen”, and Elliot forcefully responds:
“They’re blowing up a building!”
I guess Elliot expected Angela to be shocked by this, but instead, he himself is shocked when she calmly responds
“Yes, I know.”
Elliot cannot believe that Angela is okay with this act of terrorism, especially due to the fact that there are likely people in the building. When Elliot screams that people are going to die if Stage 2 succeeds, Angela gives us a little more insight into her mindset:
“No, they’re going to be fine! Including your father and my mother.”
This pretty much confirms my theory that Angela now believes that the world around her is, somehow, not real.
White Rose likely convinced Angela at the end of Season 2 that her entire world is existing inside of a computer, or something like that. It’s The Matrix without bullet-time, at least from Angela’s perspective.
This also sort of explains Angela’s apparent radical personality change, and why she thinks it’s okay to abuse Elliot. In her mind, the fact that her actions will resurrect her mom and Elliot’s dad justifies everything she’s doing. In fact, Elliot would thank her if she got his dad back, right? Right?
Angela hides her feelings as much as possible, but when Elliot shows how betrayed he feels at her manipulation of him, she lets out a quiet sob. I really do think she cares for Elliot, and that she thinks the ends will justify the means for him as well as for her, but that Elliot just isn’t privy to the information she is, so he doesn’t know that yet.
Angela is clearly not allowed to tell Elliot (or anyone) what White Rose showed her that got her so twisted. Angela, I believe, thinks going along with whatever White Rose orders will be so good for her and Elliot that it’s okay to hurt him in the short-term in pursuit of that goal. It’s also okay to hurt anyone else, like that security guard in the last episode, because none of this is really real.
So, in essence, I believe that White Rose has proven to Angela, either in reality or with a very convincing trick, that she can resurrect anyone Angela wants if Angela cooperates with the Dark Army. So Angela does whatever White Rose tells her to do. All carrot, no stick. This does make me wonder, though: If none of this is real, what does Angela think her goal is with all this Stage 2 business?
Upon hearing this, Elliot is freaking out even more. He has no idea what Angela is talking about, and she stops answering him. Turning her back on Elliot as she turns on her typical creep-mode, she says:
“I’m sorry, Mr. Alderson, but are you even allowed to be in this building? I heard you were let go this morning.”
Elliot says nothing else, but spots the Red Wheelbarrow bag that was given to Angela at the end of last episode by Sandwich Guy. This triggers Elliot’s memory of one of the weirder things Tyrell has said to him:
“So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow, glazed with rain water, beside the white chickens.”
I’m not even going to speculate on that. “Red Wheelbarrow”, quoted in its entirey above, is a poem by William Carlos Williams, and we know that Tyrell’s father reportedly recited it proudly in English, but I don’t know what significance it has other than that. However, the memory helps Elliot, as he believes he now knows the location of Tyrell.
The FBI Get a Tip… From Elliot
Elliot tells Darlene to pass along a message to the FBI: Go to the Red Wheelbarrow restaurant and find Tyrell there. Agent Dom tries, via Darlene, to get Elliot to come to them, but he, predictably, isn’t into it.
Dom and Norm take the tip to Agent Santiago, who, as we know, is a mole for the Dark Army. Santiago, obviously stalling, comes up with excuses to not approve a raid the Red Wheelbarrow, instead suggesting surveillance.
Dom and Norm are pretty surprised at Santiago’s reaction to the Tyrell tip, and I think Santiago knows he’s overstepped, making it obvious to the other agents that he’s up to something. Being involved with the Dark Army, though, he really doesn’t have much of a choice. Santiago retrieves a phone from his desk drawer and texts a warning to Irving:
“Location burnt. Need to take care of Wellick.”
Santiago, text sent, stares at a news broadcast about… You guessed it. The annexation of the Congo.
Phillip Price and Minister Zhang Hang Out at a Party Together
Price and Zhang hang out at a party located at the Mar-a-Lago Club. The room containing the party is bathed in pink light, and, sipping champagne, the two men talk shop for a bit.
Zhang mentions the trouble at E Corp, which doesn’t seem to have bothered Price much, and Price says:
“Speaking of my dear little, wounded E Corp, I’ll be expecting China to sign that economic accord.”
To which Zhang responds:
“All will be done by end of day. You have my word.”
I’m not sure that means what Price thinks it does, but it pleases him, and the men move on to negative banter. Talking trash, they mention some guy named Sergey, apparently the person who picked the venue, calling it “utterly tasteless” and the owner a “buffoon”. They then discuss the inadequacy of the owner’s swimwear which he has previously insisted upon wearing while the two have been boating with him. This makes Zhang laugh out loud, almost spitting out his champagne.
It’s weird to see these two laughing together, but I confess their conversation, though more mirthful than usual, didn’t do much to paint them in a more sympathetic light, in my eyes.
Zhang also uses an interesting word in this scene:
“For now, let’s break from our usual brinksmanship. No need to spoil this afternoon. We both won, as intended. It’s time to drink and be merry.”
I had to look it up, and it means:
“the art or practice of pursuing a dangerous policy to the limits of safety before stopping, typically in politics.”
I just thought that was interesting. Nothing further.
Just after Price walks away from him, Zhang receives a phonecall. Someone is letting him know that Tyrell’s location is “burnt”, but this doesn’t concern Zhang at all. He says:
“Well, that doesn’t change anything. You know what to do.”
That could mean anything, so let’s wait and see what Tyrell’s fate will be.
Elliot Visits the Paper Records Building to Stop Stage 2 From There
When Elliot arrives outside the records building, all the evacuated E Corp employees are being let back in. Elliot now realizes the flaw in the bomb warning phone call he placed in the last episode. Because he called in a bomb threat, the police went checking for a bomb, found no bomb, and decided it was a false alarm.
The problem with warning specifically of a bomb is that the bomb in the paper records building isn’t a bomb, it’s the UPS (uninterrupted power supply) in the building. The UPS is made up of thousands of large daisy-chained batteries stored together in a giant room.
The Stage 2 hack is supposed to mess with the batteries, making them release hydrogen as well as simultaneously preventing said hydrogen from being vented. Eventually, a spark would just happen, igniting the flammable hydrogen, which would cause a massive explosion, and boom goes the building.
With the police leaving, Elliot sees no other option than to go into the building and stop Stage 2 himself, from the inside. Elliot walks in, swipes a badge from a security guard, and gets to work.
Mr. Robot Gets More Aggressive Than Usual With Elliot :/
In a different belly of the same E Corp beast, Elliot finds a conference room (again) inside the paper records building. This time, the conference room is empty and donut-less.
I’ll take a moment to mention the bizarre decor in this conference room. The walls appear to be cinder-block, painted pale green, which isn’t that weird. The weird part is the large, mounted fish on the wall that is painted entirely in the same color as the wall. I have included a picture of this oddity in the episode gallery above. Moving on.
Elliot sets up shop at the conference room table, and, now in the E Corp network, gets started on a fix. His plan is to roll back the firmware to his clean version, which will give him a little time to revoke the keys from the evil Dark Army bomb firmware. Only seconds have elapsed since Elliot started working on this on his laptop, and he’s already ready to execute, but for some reason, he hesitates, finger hovering above the “ENTER” key.
We hear the now-familiar crackle-crackle sound, signaling Mr. Robot.
“A couple of minutes, and we’ll be…
Why can’t I do this? Why can’t I start the restore?”
Crackle crackle. Elliot looks down at his clothing, which startles him so much that he leaps up from his chair, back toward the wall. Elliot is suddenly dressed as Mr. Robot.
The screen glitches to Elliot, suddenly in a taxi with a chatty cabbie talking about her goldfish, which are also, oddly, in the cab. Elliot freaks out and tells the cabbie to stop the car. The cabbie does so, very quickly, smashing Elliot’s head into the partition.
Elliot jumps out of the cab, thinking a million miles a minute. Upon checking the time, he realizes that Mr. Robot took over for a full 15 minutes in an attempt to get him as far away from the records building as possible. Elliot doesn’t have 15 minutes, as the records building could explode at any moment. Elliot brings up a good point, here, wondering why “we” always cut things so close.
Elliot finally gets back from his Mr.-Robot-induced cab ride and heads straight to the conference room where he was working on blocking Stage 2 on his laptop. When he arrives there, Elliot finds all his equipment gone, discarded in an unknown location by Mr. Robot.
Elliot, understandably, is frustrated, and has no choice but to go to a communcal computer lab containing one unfortunate E Corp employee, who stares at Elliot as he enters.
Elliot sits down at one of the computers and logs in, starting the firmware rollback process again.
Elliot feels Mr. Robot coming, but glitches into an E Corp elevator anyway. Mr. Robot had control for a shorter duration this time. Determined, Elliot runs straight back to the computer lab and, out of breath, is met by an even more suspicious look from the E Corp employee he’s sharing the room with, who just saw him leave when Mr. Robot took control. Elliot starts the firmware rollback again.
Elliot glitches forward three minutes, but is still sitting at the computer. Mr. Robot has exited the process Elliot was working on.
Elliot, feeling he is locked in a stalemate, is ready to try a new strategy:
“I’m running out of options. Instead of fighting, maybe it’s time we talk.”
Elliot types out the following note on the computer for Mr. Robot to read when he inevitably takes over again:
“it’s not too late. we can still stop this. we are NOT murderers. people don’t need to die for”
Elliot glitches into the middle of the computer lab, surrounded by smashed computers. The lone E Corp employee is cowering against a wall. Elliot observes:
“I guess he didn’t like my note.”
The E Corp employee flees, and Elliot decides to try going to the UPS battery room itself to deal with the problem physically.
On the way, Elliot explains his plan to us in detail:
“The battery room has a halocarbon fire suppression system.
If I can activate it, it’ll suck all the oxygen out of the room in 30 seconds, seal all the doors, and create a vacuum, making it impossible to create any kind of spark, which would prevent…”
There is an abrupt crackle, and Elliot falls down the flight of stairs he was hurrying down. Elliot rallies and continues doggedly.
Elliot gets to a long hallway, and starts to rush down it but crackle after crackle is heard, and our screen continuously glitches. Mr. Robot and Elliot are each getting a few seconds of control at a time, and when Mr. Robot is in the driver’s seat, he smashes himself into walls and hits his head on equipment over and over. Of course, it’s not really his head he’s hitting, it’s Elliot’s. 🙁
But Elliot, impressively, isn’t phased by this:
“The kill command. Here I am, trying to use it to stop this attack while Mr. Robot is trying to use it on me.
Does that just mean we cancel each other out, fighting so hard, we end up standing in place?
#### that. I gotta keep moving.”
Darlene Calls Dom for an Update
Darlene is freaking out, and calls Dom to find out what’s going on with the whole Stage 2/Elliot situation.
Dom, of course, can’t tell Darlene anything about the investigation, but does tell Darlene, again, that she knows Darlene is hiding something, presumably to protect someone. Their conversation ends there.
Darlene leaves her apartment to be greeted by two cheerful little girl scouts (or something similar) right outside her door. Darlene succinctly tells them, before walking away:
“Wrong ####ing day, girls.”
The person Darlene is protecting is Angela, so guess where Darlene is headed?
Dom Decides to Defy Santiago’s Orders and Get Tyrell
Dom gazes at The Red Wheelbarrow restaurant on a map on her computer monitor. She is not satisfied with Santiago’s stalling, and is very intent on getting ahold of Tyrell once and for all.
Deciding to flaunt orders and do whatever it takes to secure Tyrell, Dom asks Norm if he’s hungry. Norm gets the message, agrees to the plan, and the two head out to The Red Wheelbarrow.
Dom and Norm arrive at Red Wheelbarrow, and Dom goes inside alone. She counts everyone in the restaurant and watches the bathroom doors, but doesn’t see Tyrell. She decides to stick around just in case, and orders some food.
While she’s at the counter, Dom asks how long the restaurant has been open, and gets an answer: Six weeks. Dom keeps her eyes peeled and goes back to a table with her food.
Tyrell Panics, and Gets New Orders
Tyrell and Irving watch as all the computer equipment used for Stage 2 is being moved out of the warehouse. Tyrell doesn’t understand what is happening, so he asks Irving, where his family is and when will their flight to Kiev will be. Irving stands solemnly, staring at, but not answering, Tyrell, and says:
“Your trip to the Ukraine, it’s not gonna work out the way we discussed it.”
Tyrell immediately starts screaming like an angry child, saying that Irving “promised” to get the Wellicks to the Ukraine, which, by the way, I never heard Irving say.
Tyrell then decides that the Dark Army must be about to kill him, and continues to scream in an impassive Irving’s face. Irving doesn’t kill Tyrell, instead handing him an envelope, saying:
“Follow the instructions inside, and then burn them.”
Tyrell is baffled and can’t believe he’s not going to die, for some reason, and Irving walks away with a final message:
“Tyrell, I’m sorry.”
Santiago Calls His Mom
Santiago clearly knows about the Stage 2 plan, and calls his mom, telling her to stay inside all day to keep her safe. His mom is only worried about whether she can get Ensure that day, and Santiago promises to order her some to be delivered same-day.
Santiago then stares at an I ❤ NY snowglobe on his desk worriedly.
Angela Runs Into Trouble on the Subway
Angela is on the subway, listening to two elderly women talk about life and the “E Corp melee” that ococcurred that morning.
In a nearby seat, there is a twitching (“River-dancing”, as Darlene would say) man wearing a suit and fsociety mask. The man jumps up, pulls a gun and demands the elderly womens’ purses as they beg for mercy. Angela watches calmly, tightening her grip on her purse.
Upon snatching the other purses, the masked man turns to Angela, demanding hers. Angela just stares at him, not responding as he continues to scream at her. The other women plead with Angela to turn her purse over to preserve her life, but Angela ignores them.
The train reaches the station and the man gives up on Angela, running away. One of the women says to Angela:
“You could’ve died!”
To which Angela calmly responds:
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“No. No one’s gonna die.”
Wow. Angela is really committing to the nothing-here-is-real life philosophy, even when it comes to her own life.
This actually makes her look better, and more sympathetic, because it appears she really believes all the people she is complicit in hurting are actually, in reality, being hurt. If she believed that her life was in danger during this incident, it would have proven that she actually knew she was hurting people, and she would be a true villain.
For her sake, I hope that she’s right, and none of this is real.
Tyrell Starts His New Mission as Dom Closes in on Him
Tyrell sits on his bed in an underground room, and opens the envelope containing his next mission from Irving. Tyrell reads the instructions, and then burns the envelope, as instructed, in a trash can. Tyrell chugs from a bottle of liquor, letting us know his next task is to be a stressful one.
At the same time, we see Dom in The Red Wheelbarrow checking the bathroom. Upon finding nothing, Dom sneaks into the back kitchen. No one stops her, and Dom sees smoke coming from somewhere in the back. Dom radios Norm and tells him there is smoke coming from the back room, and Norm says there’s no back room on the restaurant floor plan.
Dom calls the cavalry on her radio, pulls her gun and kicks in the back room door. She descends into a smoke-filled, creepy underground area. It’s pitch dark, and Dom hears sounds around her but sees no-one.
Dom enters the room we just saw Tyrell in, but he’s gone. Dom sees a pair of handcuffs attached to Tyrell’s bedframe, with the other cuff opened as if a prisoner (Tyrell) had just escaped, and a smoking trashcan that Tyrell used to burn his mission info on the floor.
Dom continues into the underground lair and finds a secret door in the brick wall. Dom goes through the door into a tunnel.
Now we can see that this area is where Tyrell, Angela and Mr. Robot were working on Stage 2, not the original warehouse designated for this job as I had supposed.
Cut to a little later, and Dom and Santiago are now in the underground lair together. The area is now swarming with FBI forensics workers.
Santiago is mad, obviously, but what Dom did was pretty by-the-book and yielded results, so he can’t find real fault with her actions. Santiago sends Dom back to her office to await evidence from the Tyrell crime-scene. Dom is frustrated by the whole thing.
Mr. Robot Reaches Out to Elliot
Elliot finally makes it to the room adjacent the UPS room, and the batteries are finally seen in all their glory through a viewing window, but Elliot can’t get in the room. His stolen badge won’t work here.
Elliot tries to kick the door open, but instead, Mr. Robot takes over and flings his body into some filing cabinets. When Elliot rises, he sees a message from Mr. Robot on the computer in front of him, it reads:
“give up, kiddo. get out of here before you kill us both.”
Elliot sees an opportunity for dialogue, and types a message back:
“what are you even fighting for? there are no paper records in this building. it’s empty.”
Wait, what? I didn’t get the memo on that one, and apparently neither did Mr. Robot. Did Elliot just observe this and not bother to mention it, or is something else going on, here?
Mr. Robot is concerned by this message, but doesn’t respond.
Elliot types again:
“i know you won’t believe me. look for yourself.”
Mr. Robot reads the message and sees that Elliot has kindly opened all the paper records shipping data. Mr. Robot sees none of the records have been delivered to the New York facility they are currently inside. They’ve all been shipped to different locations.
“you need to face it. you’re being played.
so please, just help me. we need to open that door. there’s no reason to go forwa”
Upon reading this, we can see that Mr. Robot is having a serious internal struggle about the fact that he’s been used by the Dark Army, and about what to do next. Mr. Robot looks at the door, considering Elliot’s request. This is a big deal. If Mr. Robot and Elliot are aligned, who knows what they could accomplish together.
Tyrell is “Captured” While Shouting
Dom, just getting back from the Tyrell underground lair crime scene, is getting coffee from a cart outside her FBI building when Tyrell comes running comically and frantically out of nowhere, yelling and screaming.
The FBI outside immediately apprehend him, and Tyrell exhorts them to stop the impending attack:
“No! Stop the attack! You have to stop the attack!
Listen to me, You have to stop the attack! It’s gonna happen any second.
Please, listen to me, I can help you! You don’t understand! No, no, no, listen to me, you have to stop the attack!
People are gonna die! Stop the attack!”
Not a lot of information there, buddy. I guess it looks good on paper that Tyrell “warned” the FBI of the impending attack even if it’s just superficial and useless while in reality being a mission from the Dark Army.
Of course, we do know that Zhang wants the blame for the 5/9 Hack to be put on Iran instead of Tyrell, so this is no doubt toward that goal as well as others yet unknown.
Dom runs up to Tyrell and asks him “What attack!?” he’s referring to, but receives no answer. At least, not in time.
Darlene Goes to Angela’s Apartment
After the incident on the subway, Angela is now at home in her sweet Zhang-style apartment. Darlene finally arrives, and, banging on the door, says she can see Angela’s “big-### eye” through the peephole.
Angela lets Darlene in, and Darlene yells at her for “###ing us” and manipulating Elliot. Angela acts like she doesn’t get it, saying they’re on “the same side”, and that taking down E Corp was Darlene’s plan in the first place. Angela says that E Corp is about to be completely destroyed along with the consolidated paper records, once and for all. We know that the records are not even in the building that’s being targeted, but I don’t think Angela does, yet. She’s been duped as well.
Darlene says that they never wanted to blow up a building full of people and Angela assures Darlene that the building will be evacuated prior to the explosion. I wonder why Angela cares about this if no one can really die in her version of reality? Maybe she has some doubts after all.
Darlene doesn’t care about E Corp at this point, and threatens Angela by saying she’ll turn her in, asking for a reason to not do so. Darlene also gives Angela some advice, telling her that she will be haunted by the things she’s doing, obviously speaking from experience. We’ve seen that Darlene is especially disturbed by the murder of an E Corp exec she committed in Season 2.
Angela tells Darlene:
“Go ahead and turn me in. What attack? I know what I’m doing is right”
At that very moment, we hear an emergency alert alarm from Darlene and Angela’s respective phones. They both look at their phones, then at each other, shocked by what they just read.
Elliot Wakes Up to An Open UPS Door
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Elliot is back from being Mr. Robot, and is still in the UPS area. He sees that Mr. Robot, against all odds, decided to help him after all, and that the UPS battery-room door has been opened by him. Hurray!
Elliot rushes in and pulls the fire alarm, removing all possibility of the batteries being used as a bomb. Elliot says to us:
He did it. We did it.
So what now? Am I forever in limbo, not knowing which side I’m really on?
And what about Mr. Robot? Does he now understand that Tyrell and the Dark Army have corrupted his alleged revolution?
Does he have any fight left? If so, who’s he gonna fight?
Them or me?”
Elliot, relieved, exits the E Corp building, wiping blood from the wounds Mr. Robot dealt him.
“There were no paper records in the building, and the Dark Army knew that, so why did they try to go today?
What was White Rose’s real plan? Does she know something I don’t? Does everybody know something I don’t?”
Elliot notices everyone in the street is looking at their phones, shocked. He was so distracted by his victory he didn’t notice everyone around him acting strangely until now.
Zhang and Price Both Get Messages at the Mar-a-Lago Party
Price and Zhang, still at their pink party, are both looking at their phones, and Price rushes out of the room. Zhang looks serious, and not displeased, obviously. This was all his doing, after all.
Stage 2 Isn’t What We Thought it Was; It’s So Much Worse
Elliot, still walking in the street after his victory, sees a crowd of shocked people watching a news broadcast in a shop window, he goes to see what all the fuss is about, and sees the news before we do. Elliot reacts:
“I fought so hard to protect the New York facility that I couldn’t see the bigger picture. It wasn’t a single point of failure.
We finally see what all the shock is about as the TV News becomes visible to us, reporting the following:
“In a series of seemingly orchestrated strikes across the country, a reported 71 buildings owned by E Corp exploded or caught fire.
There has been no official confirmation, or even speculation, as to what caused the explosions and fires to occur.
Officials with knowledge of the attacks have stated that the death toll is expected to be well into the thousands.
Meanwhile, first responders continue to fight fires and sort through the rubble, with the hope of finding survivors.
President Obama is scheduled to hold an emergency press conference later this afternoon to address the American public. “
We were already seeing a dystopia starting the the world of Mr. Robot, and I feat this will send that world into absolute dystopian chaos.
Okay, let’s regroup.
Angela said White Rose is going to “save the world”. Hmm. From what? Being alive?
Mark thinks that if the Mr. Robot gang are existing inside of a Matrix, maybe Zhang is trying to crash it by messing the world up to the maximum level. It definitely seems like he’s trying to destroy the entire world infrastructure, so this is possible.
Would that “save the world”, releasing everyone from their digital bondage like Neo did in The Matrix? Perhaps.
Angela believes she’s doing the ‘right thing’ by working for White Rose. She still cares for Elliot but is willing to hurt him in the short term to get their parents back, something that she believes White Rose can (and will) do if Angela follows her orders.
Angela also believes that no one can die in the reality of Mr. Robot. This pretty much confirms my theory that she has been “shown” by White Rose, and believes, that the world she’s living in is not real. She was ready and primed to latch onto this worldview due to her un-dealt-with trauma surrounding her mother’s death, as well as her mother’s promise to see her again in “another world”.
Will she still be able to believe this now that she’s seen the mass-murder the Dark Army committed? We’ll see.
The Dark Army Fooled Everyone
The Dark Army/Zhang duped everyone as to the true nature of Stage 2, as far as we can tell. Zhang and his Dark Army seem to be the only people who were privy to the actual plan, along with, possibly, Tyrell.
Mr. Robot Has Skills, and a Heart (sort of)
It seems Mr. Robot can do things that Elliot can’t do, like open that UPS door. It’s possible that Elliot just couldn’t do it because Mr. Robot was interfering, but he did ask for Mr. Robot’s help specifically.
Mr. Robot could have killed Elliot in this episode to make sure Stage 2 happened, but warned Elliot to stop before he killed them both, as if he cared. This is a little weird, as he previously told Tyrell to shoot and kill Elliot, so maybe he’s softening up, or his perspective on whether dying along with Elliot is really worth it has changed.
Can Mr. Robot change? Can Elliot and Mr. Robot’s interests be aligned? That would make for an interesting change in the story possibilities. I bet they could get a lot done together if they stopped fighting each other for every second of consciousness.
An Unprecedented Glitch
We see Darlene and Angela “glitch out” when they look at their phones and see news of the Stage 2 attack.
As far as I know, up until this point, we have only ever seen that glitch effect on Elliot. To me, this indicates that Angela is correct, and that we are looking at a Matrix-like world inside of a computer.
This also fits with Mark’s theory that Zhang is trying to crash the Matrix by messing up the world as much as possible. The E Corp attack is that big of a deal.
Edward Alderson is Too Nice of a Guy
to Push Elliot Out a Window
I’m just not buying the window story anymore, at all.
Every time we’ve seen memories of Elliot’s dad, Edward, he’s nice. Like, super nice. More nice and understanding than your average nice person, in fact.
I think the snowman memory reference, along with the many Mandela Effect references this season, may point to the fact that everyone remembers Elliot’s dad pushing him out a window, but that that never actually happened. Something else, yet unrevealed, did.
The Dark Army and E Corp Have No Idea
That Mr. Robot and Elliot Are Separate Entities
Took me long enough to catch on to this one. That’s why Angela won’t explain to Irving that Elliot isn’t always available to help their Dark Army cause.
Why is Angela keeping this to herself? Maybe because it’s hard to explain, she doesn’t understand it herself, she thinks they will kill Elliot or remove him from Stage 2 if they find out? The Dark Army seems like they know everything, so it’s weird that they don’t know this.
As we found out when Angela requested that Philip Price fire Elliot, E Corp doesn’t even know that Elliot is a person who exists, so they definitely don’t know that he was responsible for the 5/9 Hack, or anything else. Philip Price is totally clueless. This is hard to explain.
Was Tyrell’s Plan the Real Stage 2, or Not?
What was Tyrell’s plan to destroy the paper records? Was it the plan we saw in action this episode, blowing up 70+ E Corp buildings, or was it something else that didn’t end up happening?
We know that the Dark Army wanted to kill a bunch of E Corp employees, but did they want the paper records destroyed too, or was that just a lie from the beginning? Remember, Stage 2, in its original form, was Mr. Robot’s idea from the beginning, not theirs.
Were the paper records destroyed in the Stage 2 attack or not? I know they were scattered all over the place in E Corp facilities, but since Stage 2 blew up 70+ buildings, they may have been destroyed anyway.
If blowing up the paper records was never the plan, did they ever really need Tyrell at all?
I’m tired, but I’m not tired of Mr. Robot. With four episodes left in this season, anything could happen, and I’ll be watching (and writing) about all of it.