BY CAITLIN GALLAGHER
Angela may be loyal to Whiterose, but that doesn't mean she is above deceit when it comes to completing the Dark Army's plans. Spoilers for "Eps3.4runtime-error.r00" follow. During the Nov. 8 episode, Angela puts phase two into motion on Mr. Robot as E Corp is under attack from rioters.
Irving had specifically stated that Elliot should be the one to do it, but since Angela had Elliot fired from E Corp, she takes matters into her own hands. The Dark Army cleaner seems skeptical that Angela successfully followed the procedure, but if she did do all the steps correctly, Angela will be responsible for blowing up the building housing all of E Corp's backup files. While viewers will have to wait until at least the next episode to see if Angela did complete phase two, the Dark Army most likely ensured the success of its plan with some backup measures. So you should be concerned for Angela no matter how the E Corp recovery building crumbles.
Although phase two came from the Mr. Robot portion of Elliot's brain, he hasn't really been in control of the process in Season 3. Elliot spends his days dismantling the plan from inside E Corp, while Mr. Robot works with Angela and Tyrell at night to see it through. Yet, after "Eps3.3metadata.par2," it seemed that the Dark Army and Irving were prepared to work only with Tyrell and cut out Elliot and Angela from the process. Of course, Irving's intentions should never be trusted, especially as he continues to keep Tyrell in the dark about Joanna's murder, but his main goal is to accomplish Whiterose's goals with as little drama as possible. So if Tyrell could finish phase two without Elliot and his dissociative identity disorder, would it be advantageous for Irving to ditch Elliot and, by extension, Angela?
While it currently appears that Elliot's involvement is more of a complication than anything else for the Dark Army, there's evidence that he's essential to phase two. There's the fact that phase two came from Elliot's mind and he's a supremely skilled hacker. Then, in the Season 3 premiere, Whiterose as Minister Zhi Zhang explained to his assistant the importance of Elliot to the completion of phase two. Zhang says it's not a coincidence that Elliot's father unknowingly worked for the Dark Army on the mysterious project at the Washington Township power plant and that Elliot works for the Dark Army now. Because "time presented" Elliot to the Dark Army when they needed him, Whiterose said, "His will must be our guide." But after his work for the Dark Army is completed, Whiterose said Elliot can die like his dad.
Since the audience still has no idea what Elliot's dad Edward worked on at the Washington Township power plant, it feels like Elliot's time with the Dark Army isn't done yet. Instead, Irving could have been misleading Tyrell in "Eps3.3metadata.par2" when he acted like they didn't need Elliot for phase two. Irving's motive for lying would be that he wanted Tyrell to feel confident and focused about fixing Elliot's work since Whiterose wants E Corp's backup data building to blow up the same day as the U.N. vote on China annexing the Congo. Considering how important time is to Whiterose, it would be a major disappointment if phase two did not occur after the U.N. vote.
If Irving was lying to Tyrell that they don't need Elliot and Angela, then what Angela does at E Corp in "Eps3.4runtime-error.r00" is necessary for phase two. Yet, while Angela is competent in many ways, she's not a hacker, so there's a chance she screwed up the process. But as the Dark Army has always been multiple steps ahead of everyone, is it really feasible that Irving did not know that Angela had asked Phillip Price to fire Elliot? If you assume that Irving does know that Elliot no longer works for E Corp, then he set Angela up in this episode. However, it's not clear if he set her up to fail or to succeed. Perhaps Whiterose wanted to see what Angela is capable of. Or maybe the instructions Angela follows have nothing to do with blowing up the building, but were a trick. Either way, E Corp's recovery center is likely to go up in flames — whether Angela is the one who made it happen or not.
Even though Angela is deceiving Elliot (something he calls her out on at the end of the episode), you may still be concerned for her. And if phase two is completed, that feeling will probably grow. While Angela seems to have lost her morality, she has asked Irving multiple times to confirm that the recovery center will be evacuated before it is blown up. Angela does not want innocent people to be killed (which is why Elliot wanted to stop phase two in the first place) and because she is fixated on this, it's almost guaranteed that the Dark Army did not evacuate the building and that Irving has been lying to her.
Angela may be willing to make certain concessions when it comes to her morality — like when she informs Irving about the E Corp employee who saw her tampering with the hardware security modules (HSMs), knowing that the innocent bystander will be killed. But if she's even partially the same person that she was in Season 1, Angela is going to be filled with guilt if people die in the blast at E Corp's downtown recovery building. As much faith as Angela has in Whiterose, the murder of innocent people may be enough to make her realize that the end doesn't justify the Dark Army's means. Even if fans have no idea what the end is, Angela is motivated by the death of her mother — and so how can she continue down this path if she kills hundreds of people to make up for her one loss?
While there are still many unknown factors, the one good thing about phase two potentially succeeding is that the Dark Army's next step may become more clear. However, the downside for Mr. Robot fans is that Whiterose and her hacker army may just destroy Angela and Elliot in the process.