BY MATTHEW RUDOY
E Corp may be a corrupt corporate entity on Mr. Robot, but the conglomerate has treated fans like royalty over the past few days. For Season 3 promotions, fans who signed up for an Ecoin account — the currency E Corp created in the wake of the 5/9 hack — receive access to a host of benefits. Red Wheelbarrow food trucks set up shop around NYC over the weekend offering free BBQ only to E-coin members (an opportunity yours truly enjoyed very much).
Free food paled in comparison, though, to the treat offered last night when the first seven minutes of Season 3 became briefly available to Ecoin members. These scenes — now available for all on YouTube — heavily focused on the Dark Army and two individuals in particular. Let's break it down.
Warning: Mr. Robot Season 3 spoilers ahead.
Audiences have known for a while now that Bobby Cannavale was slated to play a crucial new character in Season 3. Snippets from the trailers left fans with burning questions about his character Irving, questions that can now be decoded thanks to the new footage. As teased in the trailers, Irving works for the Dark Army, often operating as an intermediary figure. Irving is the first person on the scene in the wake of Tyrell shooting Elliot at the end of Season 2. He assesses the situation and what needs to done for Elliot in an efficient, businesslike manner.
For the distraught Tyrell still reeling from his decision to shoot Elliot, Irving gets in touch with his Dark Army associates and writes a familiar name on his hand: Angela Moss. This explains how the Tyrell-Angela conversation came about at the end of Season 2, as she's identified to be the best person to get both Elliot and Tyrell back on track. Irving's role as an intermediary figure is also referenced by Tyrell recognizing him and expressing a modicum of relief upon Irving's arrival.
Irving's personality, though, is arguably more compelling than his role within the Dark Army. Viewers first encounter the character standing in line at a Red Wheelbarrow BBQ, matter-of-factly arguing with the cashier that he's earned a free milkshake. Initially he doesn't come off as threatening, but he's clearly not going to let it slide either. The moment he begins talking to someone on his earpiece and casually mentions if someone — probably Elliot — is dead, the interaction changes entirely.
Given his role in the Dark Army and that he proceeds to deal with Tyrell after shooting Elliot, this is likely what he's talking about, but it's also possible that he's purely messing with the cashier in order to get the free milkshake. This unforeseeable nature mixed with the matter-of-fact way he's seen dealing with situations at this point makes for an intriguing character. It's going to be hilarious, unpredictable and a little frightening once Irving and Elliot begin to interact.
The Dark Army-centric beginning didn't stop with Irving, but rather switched focus to the chief mastermind Whiterose. After passing employees at an E Corp facility and following further blackouts in NYC, Whiterose discusses the current state of affairs with an assistant. Whiterose's schemes continue to be enigmatic, but the most intriguing part of the conversation is Whiterose praising Elliot's vision for the 5/9 hack, the event that Whiterose sees as the key to achieving the ultimate plan.
This has already been hinted at, yet it's still fascinating that the 5/9 hack was never the crux of Whiterose's plans, and only a means to an end. In fact, it sounds like Whiterose explored other options before being presented with Elliot's vision. Whiterose only appeared in two scenes during Season 1, and while the character played a more significant role and received more screen time in Season 2, the character's core relationship revolved around E Corp CEO Phillip Price.
Given the overarching importance of what Elliot and Whiterose set in motion, it's imperative that their relationship be further explored — and Season 3 looks to be doing exactly that. The two characters haven't interacted with each other since the 5/9 hack. It often seems like Elliot is an unwitting pawn of the Dark Army. However, in this scene Whiterose expresses praise and admiration for Elliot. Beyond Elliot's vision for the 5/9 hack, Whiterose emphasizes Elliot's invaluable nature and admires Elliot for the pure, unadulterated rage that drives him.
Yet, it's revealed that Elliot is only indispensable until he fulfills the roles envisioned by Whiterose. He will be cast aside once his work is complete, just like his father, who unknowingly served Whiterose's schemes at one point. Does Whiterose know that Elliot's father manifests himself through Mr. Robot, influencing many of the actions and plans the Dark Army desires from Elliot? The assistant may want to run Stage 2 himself, largely because of the instability demonstrated by both Elliot and Tyrell. Whiterose's vision will not be compromised, though, especially when Elliot remains the key to so much.
Season 3 of Mr. Robot premieres Wednesday, October 11 at 10 PM on USA Network.