USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 3, Episode 2: “eps3.1_undo.gz”
Directed & Written by Sam Esmail
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps3.0_power-saver-mode.h” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps3.2_legacy.so” – click here
It’s a brand new day. Elliot (Rami Malek) wants to undo his part in the “downfall of human civilisation.” Today, he’s headed up to the inner sanctum of Evil Corp. He’s found a “way to hit undo.” Angela (Portia Doubleday) was able to land him a job. He’s working from the inside out. He wonders if he’s able to keep Evil Corp in check, so long as they’re a “necessary evil” he can control. He’s growing up, medicating, partaking in the realm of “2D emotions” everyone else was living in around him.
It’s not selling out. It’s maturation, as well as figuring out a way to undo what he did in the Five/Nine hack. Likewise, he wants to avoid Tyrell’s (Martin Wallström) plan of destruction. He sets out to try convincing the upper-ups to go digital with their records, converting from paper records. When one dude won’t listen, he digs into his shady secrets, gets him arrested, then goes up the corporate food chain.
So for now it’s live that life, the supposedly normal life, while he keeps on going. The next bureaucrat goes down, as he pushes his agenda higher while manipulating the shipping of the records. Luckily everybody around Elliot is pretty much an idiot socially, where his social anxiety comes in handy.
Finally, he gets up the ladder to one of the women. She’s the one to listen, setting the wheels in motion to get Elliot’s plan moving. He’ll soon talk to the VP of Technology at E.Corp. After this, he’ll be further on the way to undoing the hack, and when E.Corp reboots, they’ll also be free of embezzlers, sexual harassers, and so forth. “Making it better,” not destroying it and never looking back.
But it’s not all roses. His loneliness, his mental illness won’t just go away. He spends the night weeping, alone, stuck in a void. The drugs can’t fix everything, and he’s struggling. He still sees Krista Gordon (Gloria Reuben) for therapy. Yet he forgets his own birthday. He’s fractured, wondering if the disappearance of Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) is what’s done this to him, even if things are relatively better. He tells Krista about a time with Darlene (Carly Chaikin) when they were younger, their love of Home Alone; also the day dad pushed him out a window, breaking his arm. Krista is shocked, she’s never heard of this before.
Frank Cody (Erik Jensen) has Joanna Wellick (Stephanie Corneliussen) on his show, after Scott Knowles has been arrested on charges of his wife’s murder. Joanna talks about her husband, that she knew he was innocent, as well as the fact she’s rescinded her petition for divorce from Tyrell.
In the meantime, a new fsociety has gone online. They’ve got a new plan, it says. Darlene is in custody, the video says they’re “malicious,” so who’s doing it? Dominique (Grace Gummer) and Agent Santiago (Omar Metwally) believe she knows more, they also mention her brother’s connection to Tyrell. Darlene doesn’t believe it. This requires her hearing a call between Wellick and Elliot to know the truth.
Later, Mrs. Wellick and Mr. Sutherland (Jeremy Holm) are followed by her boy toy, mad that he was lied to, that he was conned into helping her get her husband free of the charges. However, Mr. Sutherland tries convincing him not to get too upset. So the boy toy shoots the guy, before putting a bullet in Joanna’s head. Holy fucking shit.
Out on the pier, Darlene meets with Elliot. She wants to stay close, he pushes her farther. He believes she’s his “trigger.” Although he loves her, he knows the brings on his illness worse when they’re together. She claims to be leaving, going upstate. They reminisce about Kevin McCallister the snowman, the one they made that day dad pushed him from the window. And then he realises he needs her around, no matter about any emotional triggers.
Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) gives a speech at the G20 in Turkey, talking of a “currency war” on the Chinese end when they won’t sign an accord to accept eCoin as the global currency rather than Bitcoin. In the audience sits Mr. Zhang aka Whiterose (BD Wong). He’s not happy, nor will he bow down. He wants his UN vote, or else. When Phillip gets angrier, Zhang brings up Angela, which does not sit well.
Whiterose: “Don‘t mistake my generosity for generosity”
We see Elliot trying to get Krista to talk with Mr. Robot. She coaxes him out, then he’s there in the room, her patient changing into his father before her eyes. He’s not entirely forthcoming. He’s angry at her, too. Believing she wants to destroy him. Krista would rather understand, to help Elliot. She does begin seeing the depth of his mental illness.
But there’s worse things happening. Darlene seems to be cooperating with the FBI, after meeting her brother earlier. Things are changing. Elsewhere, Whiterose decides Stage 2 will go ahead, no matter what the UN vote outcome. He has a deep hatred of Price’s hubris.
Oh, and Elliot – he’s sent the FBI an encrypted link via e-mail, and he’s sneaked into his sister’s apartment while they’re watching. Hmm.
This episode shocked me with Joanna’s death, and even more than that it was a crazy ride the whole way through, so much poised to happen/already happening. Things are ramping up for a very serious, exciting Season 3.
“eps3.2_legacy.so” comes next week.