BY SCOTT WARDELL
Another piece of the puzzle has been revealed, and the picture is slowly coming into focus — do you see it? While we're unable to grasp Sam Esmail's complete vision for Mr. Robot just yet, the latest trailer for Season 3 reveals more clues as to where the game is heading.
By the looks of things, New York will turn into a veritable powder keg in Season 3. With fsociety, the Dark Army, E Corp and the FBI all poised for attack, what will be the spark that sets it all off? Let's unpack the contents of this cryptic look into the next chapter of #MrRobot and explore some of the burning questions we have in the run-up to Season 3.
Elliot Has Woken Up
The Mr. Robot Season 2 finale saw Elliot threaten to compromise Stage 2 of fsociety's attack on E Corp. Not willing to risk everything that he and fsociety had set into motion, Tyrell shoots Elliot and — in a puzzling twist — calls Angela to tell her what he's done. Tyrell is distraught, struggling to understand how Elliot refuses to believe that Tyrell is real, casting a heavy shade of doubt on his idol's mental state and loyalty to fsociety.
Now, Elliot is awake and in Angela's care, with little knowledge of what has happened. The last time Elliot lost consciousness the five/nine attack had been carried out by Mr. Robot and fsociety. With another time lapse unaccounted for, what could Mr. Robot have accomplished with Elliot out of the picture? It's likely that audiences will experience multiple flashbacks this season, filling in the gaps that Elliot himself cannot answer — yet.
Additionally, Elliot appears to be medicating again, this time with sertraline, a drug used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic and anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Will Elliot's reliance on this medication further question audiences' trust in him? Tyrell already questions Elliot's loyalty, possibly hinting that the power has shifted out of Elliot's hands and into that of another, more determined player.
Tyrell Has Reentered The Game; Angela Seizes Control
Tyrell's absence in Season 2 is likely to be a major focus of Mr. Robot Season 3, as shots of him in a hotel room sporting an unkempt beard (with Bobby Carnavale's Irving in the background) suggest that the Dark Army has taken an interest in him and may be using him to bolster its ranks and ensure that Elliot and fsociety carry on with Stage 2 and the destruction of E Corp.
Meanwhile, Angela seems to have shifted into more powerful role this season, working from within E Corp to continue keeping Elliot out of harm's way while also advancing her own, still mysterious, motivations. Conversely, Darlene — who was an unrelenting leader for fsociety in Season 2 — appears to have lost her influence and control after being confronted by Dom and the FBI. Darlene is dangerously positioned between fsociety and the FBI, so she may have to tread carefully, relinquishing control to Angela in order to keep the game moving forward — as well as stay alive.
The Dark Army Prepares For Attack — Which Players Remain?
War is coming, and it's clear that not everyone will make it out of this battle alive. Mr. Robot has slowly built up conflict between the major warring factions, and it looks as if Season 3 will result in all-out war. Darlene's declaration that "The Dark Army has turned on us" coupled with Mr. Robot's counter that "The Dark Army needs to know what it's done" sets up a three-way battle between the two hacker collectives, with E Corp in the crosshairs and the FBI desperately trying to intervene. Shots of military action and violent protests set the tone for what is sure to be the point of no return.
No side looks more prepared to take up arms than the Dark Army, who have introduced a new character for Mr. Robot Season 3: Bobby Cannavale's used car salesman Irving. Irving appears to be the Dark Army's "problem solver," a key manipulator who will ensure that the Dark Army's agenda moves forward without interference, including bringing Tyrell into the fold once again.
Another of the Dark Army's soldiers has also returned: Leon. Last we saw Leon, he made contact with Trenton and Mobley in Arizona, who teased that they may have discovered a way to reverse the damage done from the five/nine hack. However, the FBI suspect board in the trailer shows the two suspects crossed out, suggesting that not only do their whereabouts remain a mystery to the FBI, but that they may remain in hiding for the majority of Season 3.
The Clock Is Ticking
Time is of the essence for all the players in Season 3, not just those like White Rose, for whom time is an obsession. The aftermath of five/nine has only just begun to boil over, and with more at stake this season than ever before, one side will soon be forced into action. Expect violence, retaliation and further conflict as the game continues this season. Mr. Robot Season 3 looks to mark a definitive turning point for the show and its characters, especially when we consider Elliot's ominous warning:
"If we don't do anything, there'll be no coming back from this."
Mr. Robot Season 3 returns on October 11, 2017.