Need to catch up? Check out our previous Mr. Robot recap here.
How did Mr. Robot wrap up its third season? By taking us back to where it all began — creaky Ferris wheel car and all.
The Dark Army is looking to delete Elliot for good, and they ransack his apartment while he hides out next door. He’s frantically texting Darlene, but she’s not answering, because she’s still stuck stewing in that FBI interrogation room. Dom’s boss Santiago — aka the secret Dark Army mole — has other plans for her, though: He turns the video camera off, cuffs her with a zip tie and stuffs her in the back of a car. Dom catches him before he can leave, and he makes up some excuse about how she’s “not authorized to know” what he’s up to. When Dom starts to call his superior, though, he punches her in the jaw, knocking her out cold. Guess his bumbling-nice-guy charade is over, huh?
Elliot heads to the arcade lair to meet up with Darlene, but she’s not there. He starts to panic, fearing she’s in danger and blaming himself: “I brought this on myself. I’ll never learn. This is on me.” So he climbs back into that creaky Wonder Wheel car — a callback to the pilot — for a chat with Mr. Robot, who assures Elliot he wouldn’t have gone through with Stage 2 if he had known about the 71 buildings. (Aw, Mr. Robot, you old softie.) He tells Elliot that Santiago is a Dark Army mole, but when they search for evidence, they’re greeted by Irving, who hauls them off to the remote mountain hideaway he stashed Tyrell in. In a barn nearby, they find Santiago and Leon waiting for them… along with Darlene and Dom.
Dom finds herself on the chopping block — quite literally — as Irving leads her out to the stump where a bearded Tyrell chopped wood. With Santiago begging him to spare her life, Irving picks up the ax, and we’re fearing the worst when he swings and… hits Santiago, not Dom, square in the chest. “We’re retiring this s–tstain,” Irving informs her, “and you’re taking his place.” She insists she’d never betray the FBI by becoming a mole — but she changes her tune when Irving mentions her 4-year-old nephew Jamie… along with all her other family members he knows the exact location of.
Back in the barn, Elliot notices a surveillance camera watching them and senses they’re waiting for “someone important” to arrive. And on cue, Whiterose’s right-hand man Grant pulls up. Elliot tells Grant he’s infiltrated the Dark Army servers; if anything happens to him, he’ll leak evidence of all their crimes. He even promises to help move Whiterose’s operation to the Congo, but none of that seems to move Grant, as one of the Dark Army henchmen points a gun at Elliot’s head. But then! Leon shoots the henchmen dead, and holds Grant at gunpoint! We knew we liked that guy!
Whiterose, luxuriating in a warm bath, calls Grant to inform him that Elliot’s Congo offer makes him too valuable to kill, and cuts Grant loose — to which Grant responds by blowing his own brains out. Leon calmly produces a laptop and tells Elliot to get to work with that Congo hacking he promised. He does, and it seems like our heroes are all safe. (Or alive, anyway.) But Elliot still has something nagging at him in his mind: He still wants to undo the Five/Nine hack. Dom logs into the FBI’s Sentinel server and gives him access, and Elliot discovers Romero didn’t export the E Corp data after all… but someone else did. (Oh, and Dom tells Darlene to go to hell — which, fair enough.)
It was Mr. Robot who exported the data, Elliot realizes… but why would he include a backdoor in his master plan? Robot admits that there’s a part of Elliot in him, and he needed a Plan B in case things went bad. (And they most certainly have.) After Elliot vows to take down shadowy elites like Whiterose and Phillip Price, Mr. Robot agrees to help: He burned the encrypted data onto a blank CD, and embedded it in an old family photo of Elliot and his dad. Elliot pops in the CD, recovers the data, pastes it into an email to E Corp and hits “send.” And just like that… it’s like Five/Nine never happened. Back to the future, indeed.
Bits and Bytes:
* Angela may have had an even worse week than Dom did: Not only did Phillip Price burst her bubble and tell her Whiterose’s promises of turning back time and bringing her mom back were all lies, he also revealed he’s always had a fascination for her… because he’s her biological father! (Cue the Luke Skywalker memes: “Noooooo!”) She did end the episode vowing “retribution,” though. Hell hath no fury like an Angela Moss scorned.
* Hey, a post-credits scene! It featured Darlene telling a friendly prostitute that the Five/Nine hack is about to be undone, but the hooker doubted it would fix all that much. Then a gang of toughs rolled up, led by… Vera, Shayla’s nasty drug dealer from Season 1! Talk about a blast from the past! Does he intend to exact more revenge on Elliot next season?
* Elliot got a harsh reminder of his faulty memory when he asked Darlene about that fateful day with the Kevin McCallister snowman, when their dad pushed him out a window. Darlene remembered it completely differently: Young Elliot freaked out, smashing things with a baseball bat before jumping out the window himself. Maybe Elliot’s dad wasn’t as bad as he (incorrectly) remembers?
* I hope this isn’t the last we see of Bobby Cannavale’s Irving — but he’s right: He did earn a little R&R at the Sandals in Barbados.
* Poor Dom. Will she go along with the Dark Army’s wishes and become their new mole inside the FBI? Or will her innate integrity compel her to fight back? An intriguing plot thread to follow next season.
* Did you catch that clip from Superman: The Movie, with a grieving Superman spinning the Earth backwards to turn back time so his beloved Lois Lane wouldn’t die? I see what you did there, Sam Esmail.
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