USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 3, Episode 9: “eps3.8_stage3.torrent”
Directed by Sam Esmail
Written by Kyle Bradstreet & Courtney Looney
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps3.7_dont-delete-me.ko” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 finale, “shutdown -r” – click here
Let’s go back a little, to the AllSafe days. When Gideon Goddard (Michel Gill) was alive, Terry Colby (Bruce Altman) was still around, and Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström), too. Of course this is long before the Five/Nine hack, before Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) ever discovered that Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) was the second half of his personality.
Naturally, Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) is in the meeting with Gideon, as well. He’s a bit more willing to listen, rather than Colby who treats Angela Moss (Portia Doubleday) like a secretary, also using language like “teddy bears and handjobs” because he’s a crude dummy. We’re seeing the first time Price notices Angela. Afterwards, he’s decided to go with Gideon to handle his “security operations centre.” Does that have something to do with Ms. Moss? One thing’s for sure, he’s not interested in anyone else’s approval, not Tyrell or Colby, either. Thus begins the saga we’ve already watched occur.
Today, Wellick is being watched closely by the FBI, even though he’s been released into the wild, so to speak. Except he has no family anymore. His wife is dead, his baby is a ward of the state in the foster system. Not to mention Agent Santiago (Omar Metwally) has made clear that, through the Dark Army, should Tyrell do anything to mess up their plans he’ll allow awful things to happen to the child.
Coming to after a dissociative state, Elliot finds a message from Mr. Robot on the bathroom mirror: THEY OWN THE FBI. He’s beginning to see the reach of the Dark Army. Now he’s also worried his dad’s seen the e-mail from Trenton, what that could mean.
“What exactly did Mr. Robot do last night?”
Well we see Mr. Robot go visit Wellick. They’re absolutely at odds. Wellick doesn’t realise he’s being pulled along by the Dark Army’s plans. Great dig at Trump when Tyrell bumbles: “No puppet, no puppet; you‘re the puppet.” After a little while the hacker and the formerly wanted man wind up in a fist fight, or at least the latter’s the one doing the punching. Right before none other than Phillip Price walks through the door. So, the three gentleman sit down for a talk.
Elliot and Darlene (Carly Chaikin) are looking through the plans from the e-mail Trenton sent, involving Romero and his plans; the older hacker didn’t trust the young man from the start, which is the whole reason a Plan B exists in the first place. What do they do next? Our hacker is plotting a risky course of action. But his sister wants to try her own way first. I wonder, will she confide in Dom (Grace Gummer)?
In between doing dirty work, Irving (Bobby Cannavale) also sells used cars. During a test drive he gets stopped by Elliot, who wants to meet with Whiterose (BD Wong) about a “Stage 3.” I’m always worried about our man, but even more so when he’s flirting with the Dark Army willingly.
Yes, yes, Darlene goes to meet Dom at a bar. They talk of the Five/Nine hack, Whiterose, all those nefarious subjects. Dom’s excited to hear it, wanting to take the Dark Army down, especially considering what they’ve done to her, nearly killing her a couple times. Darlene’s actually trying to get her own info out of Dom, hoping she might scan her FBI badge number, anything to help infiltrate the agency. Even if that means going home with her, maybe trying to get in her pants.
We’re seeing a flip of the script, as Elliot is trying to help Angela, whose mental breakdown is getting worse all the time. She’s paranoid, she’s not in any proper frame of mind. And it worries her old friend. He knows all too well the struggle of mental illness, too. When they go upstairs, Leon (Joey Bada$$) is waiting for them, and this really goes to work on Angela’s head, believing Elliot is working against her.
Back to the previous night. Price tells Wellick he’s been named CTO at E.Corp. However, it’s just a title. The old man wants to make sure of Wellick’s obedience. Quite an awkward conversation. The younger man tries playing his own cards, but Phillip is a craft bastard: “It‘s not that I‘m out of moves, it‘s that you‘re not worth one.” Ouch.
Seeing the inside of Angela’s apartment is insane. We see how crazy she’s getting, diving into madness. She gets a call from her father, but doesn’t answer. The place is covered in pictures. And she’s talking to somebody, but to whom, exactly? When she heads out with her things, somewhere, a white van stops to take her away. Yet she’s deep in a manic state. Not. Good.
Leon takes Elliot to someone called Dr. Wang (Clem Cheung), and then he’s gone again. Our hacker is brought to a meeting with Grant (Grant Chang) from the Dark Army. Grant is curious about this supposed third stage. Elliot wants to speak with Whiterose face to face, but that’s not happening. They’re sceptical of Mr. Alderson and his new plans. Is he up to something else, though?
After Darlene’s hookup with Dom, she wakes to try breaking into the safe in the closet. She’s able to get her hands on the badge. But Dom catches her in the process. Big uh oh. She’s in massive trouble now. No choice now except to tell Dom, and Santiago, about undoing the hack. Santiago is going to do some spinning to avoid going down this road. Shit. Immediately, he calls Irving.
At the same time, Tyrell’s coming to the harsh realisation of being “a prisoner” to the Dark Army, just like Mr. Robot was telling him. Maybe he can work from the inside out with that useless CTO title.
Right now, Whiterose is finding out about Darlene in FBI custody, Stage 3, targeting eCoin. But there isn’t a third stage. No, Elliot has his own plans. He’s busy making sure it goes according to schedule, using the data he was able to sneak away from his meeting with Grant.
Elliot: “Now, I own the Dark Army.”
Only problem is, they’re already starting to plan his death.
Good LORD! I can’t wait for the finale. “shutdown -r” is next week, the end of Season 3. What a ride it’s been. Definitely going to be another season, there has to be, so I’m anticipating what we’ll see at the end of this season here shortly.