USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 3, Episode 3: “eps3.2_legacy.so”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail
On the night of the Five/Nine hack, Elliot (Rami Malek) tried firing the gun at Tyrell Welick (Martin Wallström), Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) coming out to try stopping their big, destructive plans. Except the gun didn’t fire. A jam. Tyrell believed it was “proof” that the two of them were destined for huge things, an “act of God.”
So he asks Elliot to pull the trigger a second time. Although Mr. Robot won’t do it, realising a “second stage” is required beyond the Five/Nine hack, because they know Evil Corp won’t stop there, they’ll recreate the data lost. And Mr. Robot sees something in his crazy friend, something that can save him from himself.
“Some things are better left unsaid. Subtext, y‘know?”
We see Irving (Bobby Cannavale) took a few Dark Army contacts to meet with Tyrell and Elliot. Of course, Mr. Robot is still kicking around. Irving sends Mr. Robot to drop off Wellick’s car someplace, then to go home. Basically, we’re witness to more of the depths to which Elliot’s mental illness takes him. He’s met the supposed used car salesman before, the night of the big hack, he was there when Tyrell’s disappearance was manipulated into action by the Dark Army. Yet remembered none of it. This further shows Irving’s status as a type of cleaner, or a guy who does whatever, whenever and does all things necessary for the shadowy corporation.
“If you‘re seein‘ me, that means you boys fucked up.”
All leads back to when Elliot was arrested because of his connection to fucking with the guy his psychiatrist Krista (Gloria Reuben) was seeing, and Tyrell was whisked into hiding. Elsewhere, Zhang aka Whiterose (BD Wong) watched on, controlling everybody like puppets as he so often does. He wants to push Trump for POTUS, as well. “If you pull the right strings a puppet will dance any way you desire,” he tells Frank Cody (Erik Jensen), another of the puppets under his orders.
Tyrell is in a shitty little place, as opposed to what he’s used to, and an old guy (Wallace Shawn) snorting cocaine is chatting with him about Stage 2. Wellick’s pissed off being cooped up for days. The old man is there to make sure he’s loyal to the Dark Army. They want to know if he killed Mrs. Knowles, all about his personal life, all his secrets. He gradually breaks the younger man down until the truth comes out. Tyrell says he will not be loyal to the army, but that he will never betray Elliot. Thus begins Operation Red Wheelbarrow, by request of the hacker himself; or, likelier, Mr. Robot. Here, we’re privy to when Tyrell called Elliot in jail, as well.
Love how Sam Esmail wraps us around to show us everything, yet it doesn’t feel too expository or drawn out or over-explained. It’s always exciting. We watch Irving try keeping Tyrell busy, chopping wood so he doesn’t go crazy, in part reliving the old life of his father he left behind.
We also get a look at Darlene (Carly Chaikin) back then, Cisco (Michael Drayer) meeting with Irving, who considers their relationship a “job.” He advises Cisco to stop caring about her, that she’ll be protected should anything bad happen; certainly, we’ve already seen the results of that. But what’s further obvious is the twisting, turning labyrinthine web of relationships spindling out from the Dark Army. We see just how much control they’ve had, from day one.
Things were tough for Tyrell, watching his wife file for divorce and the tabloids talking about her possible new relationships, et cetera. This prompted him to suit up one day, take off for a trek through the woods. Except a cop sees him, hard as he tries to stay relatively invisible. He winds up running back through the woods to get away, though the officer chases him down, catching him quick. They’re only an hour away from the FBI. The cop even wants a “selfie” before they turn him over. However, we can already see Tyrell working to break his own thumb to sneak out of his cuffs.
Eventually a black SUV arrives. They put a bullet in the cop’s head. Who’s the FBI contact? Agent Santiago (Omar Metwally). God damn. I’d not thought about that one before. He’s not happy when he gets back to Irving, complaining about all the other Dark Army collateral lately. After he leaves, we discover more of Irving, that his wife left when he fucked up their lives, took his kids, so he had to turn himself around to get them back. Just a story, a load of bullshit? I wouldn’t be too quick to believe him.
Interesting use in this episode of “I’m Your Puppet” by James and Bobby Purify, right after the previous scene, also considering the quote by Whiterose earlier and all the Dark Army centred plot in this episode. Not to mention we see that, indeed, Irving’s story is a lie. He goes back home, to nobody except a windowsill of coffee cups, writing a novel on his laptop in front of the TV.
Next day he goes to see our old pal Leon (Joey Bada$$), wondering about Elliot and how he’s doing. Then it’s back up to get Tyrell, preparing for the hacker’s release from jail. A happy day for our crazy friend. Tyrell goes to where they’ve setup, their new computer lab in that dingy building. He’s then brought to a fancy hotel, where he’s given a nice room to wait until he gets to see Elliot. He doesn’t care about appearances, either; cops be damned. He wants to look spiffy for his friend. So he shaves, gets his nice suit back. Then he goes to see Elliot himself, back before we knew of any o this side to the story.
Naturally, this was prior to Tyrell shooting his friend, Elliot being worked on by the Dark Army surgeons at their hideout lab. This is where the hacker’s mental illness comes into play, how it affected those around him who didn’t realise what was happening in his head. Angela (Portia Doubleday) lays it out for Wellick, that Elliot can “become a different person.” And gradually, it all becomes clear to him.
Another quality chapter in the saga of Mr. Robot, as only Sam Esmail can deliver.
“eps3.3_metadata.par2” comes next week. As usual, I cannot wait for more.