BY DAMON MARTIN
After spending the better part of two seasons teasing ‘Phase 2’, ‘Mr. Robot’ finally unleashed the attack last week and it’s safe to say the result was shocking to just about everybody involved as well as viewers watching at home.
Elliot Alderson has spent the majority of the season trying to stop the attack that was expected to topple a building in New York City that housed all the paper records for E-Corp that backed up all the information wiped out during the Five-Nine hack.
Somewhere along the line, Elliot realized that his plan to topple Evil Corp wasn’t going to work, but even worse, it was actually harming people rather than helping them. Unfortunately while Elliot was trying to save one building, Whiterose and the Dark Army were executing a plan to take out 71 others to ensure Evil Corp would be crippled.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of the entire plot, however, was Whiterose revealing to Evil Corp CEO Phillip Price why she targeted him and Evil Corp in the first place. It was almost like something out of ‘American Psycho’ where a yuppie with all the money in the world has to get his rocks off by killing people for the fun of it yet he can never get into any trouble no matter how many confessions he makes.
This time around as Irving so brilliantly points out while speaking to Mr. Robot — the rich and powerful go on with their lives no matter how many people get sacrificed on the ground and that’s the same situation with Whiterose and Phillip Price. While the rest of the world is being crushed under the weight of Evil Corp’s might or then later destroyed by the hack that brought them down, the most powerful people remain untouched.
It’s a little sickening but also a harsh realization of what actually happens in the world each and every day.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Mr. Robot’ titled ‘eps3.6_frederick&tanya.chk’….
Elliot’s head is still buzzing after watching the horror unfold on television as 71 Evil Corp buildings came tumbling down with thousands dead inside. He can’t quite wrap his brain around what just happened so Elliot runs to visit his therapist Krista for an emergency session but before he can explain what’s going on, Mr. Robot takes over.
While Mr. Robot was rather crass and outspoken the last time he encountered Krista, this time he’s a ball of nerves and rage after witnessing what unfolded with the ‘Phase 2’ attack on Evil Corp. Even Mr. Robot at his most sinister only planned on bringing down one building to wipe out the physical records at Evil Corp to complete his work on the Five-Nine hack but now he’s convinced that he’s been used as a pawn and now all the evidence will surely point back to him when the authorities come looking for a suspect.
Of course, Krista can’t help but question the lunacy spilling from Mr. Robot’s mouth — after all he is one part of a split personality shared with Elliot, who is also rather manic even when he’s trying to make sense. Still, Mr. Robot insists that he was the original mastermind behind the Five-Nine hack but now the Dark Army has corrupted everything with this current attack and he’s struggling to find answers.
Mr. Robot finally leaves Krista’s office and runs to visit Irving at his car repair business to find out what exactly happened with ‘Phase 2’.
Rather than finding answers, Mr. Robot is struck over the head and dragged unconscious to a rooftop party along with Irving where he gets the answers he’s been so desperate to find.
Irving explains to Mr. Robot while pointing to the rooftop party where the rich and elite of New York are still laughing, drinking, fucking and just generally enjoying life a few hours after thousands of Americans were just snuffed out. He points out that no matter what happens to the rest of us, the elite just go about their lives without a care in the world and that’s the way it’s always been and always will be.
Irving exits the conversation by explaining that he’s now going upstairs to disappear a mistress that was seeing a U.S. Senator on the Dark Army’s payroll who just overdosed on some bad cocaine. That’s just how the world works — the rich and powerful shit on the rest of us and we just have to find the best way to clean it up.
Meanwhile back at Krista’s office, she contacts her lawyer with concerns that perhaps Elliot/Mr. Robot was telling the truth and he really was behind the Five-Nine hack and this attack on Evil Corp that left thousands dead. Unfortunately, Krista’s lawyer warns her away from saying anything because unless Elliot/Mr. Robot told her about a crime he was about to commit, anything he’s already done is protected by doctor/patient confidentiality. Saying anything publicly or reporting what Elliot told her would end with Krista losing her medical license.
In other words, she can’t tell anybody anything without flushing her own career down the toilet.
Following the attack, everybody is searching for answers and trying to find the person responsible for all of it.
Tyrell Wellick — as predicted in last week’s recap — has now claimed that he was held hostage for the past five months and commanded to do the Dark Army’s bidding or his family would be killed. Because there’s no proof to actually connect him to any of the crimes committed, Wellick’s lawyer argues that the FBI would be better off using him as an asset to find the real culprits rather than trying to go through the long and strenuous legal process to convict him without any evidence.
It was all part of the Dark Army’s plan, which is why Tyrell put that handcuff on his bed last week, started a fire and then ran to FBI headquarters screaming about an attack. Tyrell was being given his pardon for helping the Dark Army get this far.
Unfortunately, Tyrell’s future plans have already been dashed out after Agent Santiago arrives to tell him that his wife was murdered and his son has been handed over to foster care. Tyrell is in disbelief but obviously Santiago is telling the truth.
Santiago then warns Tyrell if he tries to inform the FBI that he’s a Dark Army operative thus going against the plan put in place by Whiterose, then he will make it his personal mission to ensure Wellick’s son because just another statistic. Tyrell is left in shock after finding out that he will soon be set free but has no one to go home to now.
Finally, Tyrell follows through with the last stage of Whiterose’s plan as he points out the two co-conspirators responsible for the Five-Nine hack and the Phase 2 attack that just wiped out 71 buildings.
Meanwhile, we finally catch up with Leon, who was last scene in the post credits for the season 2 finale when he ran into Trenton and Mobley where they were working at an electronics store on the west coast (under the names Frederick and Tanya, thus the name of the episode). Remember, Trenton and Mobley were part of the original team that orchestrated the Five-Nine hack but then made a run for it when it was clear they were in over their heads.
Leon shows up, takes them hostage, kills Mobley’s roommate and then drives the entire bunch out to the desert where he plans on burying the body. Much like his appearance last season, Leon likes to wax intellectual about the latest television shows he’s watching — this time it’s not understanding why ‘Frazier’ was so beloved (I’m with him on that one) and then wondering how ‘Knight Rider’ didn’t get more love outside of one lousy Emmy nomination.
Leon even compares Trenton and Mobley to George and Elaine from his all time favorite TV show ‘Seinfeld’. All of this is rather unnerving for Trenton and Mobley as they think this is just an elaborate set up to get them killed. Why would Leon take out Mobley’s roommate and then make them go out to the desert to dig the hole to bury him?
Trenton is able to slip free from her restraints at one point where she tries to make a getaway but sadly she never learned how to drive and soon enough she crashes the car stolen from Leon.
Finally after burying the body, Leon returns Trenton and Mobley home where he hands them over to the Dark Army operatives including Whiterose’s No. 2 main in charge. Leon leaves while wishing for the best for Trenton and Mobley but deep down he has to know things aren’t going to end well for them.
Much like Mobley predicted, they were taken out of the house for several hours while the Dark Army set up the stage for what would ultimately serve as their execution.
You see Tyrell Wellick pointed at Trenton and Mobley’s photos at the FBI offices and fingered them as the two masterminds behind the Five-Nine hack and the Phase 2 attack that just happened. When the FBI arrive at the apartment, they find Trenton and Mobley dead — made to look like a double suicide — with plans laid out on their computers that they had hoped to attack an airport next by crashing some planes into the ground.
Just like that, the FBI has their case wrapped up with a nice bow on it.
Trenton and Mobley were the masterminds, Tyrell Wellick identified them as the people who held him hostage and now the world can move on, satisfied that those responsible have been brought to justice.
TOO BIG TO FAIL
In the hours after the attack unfolded, Angela Moss has reverted from a willing participant to a shocked observer as she watches building after building tumble down with hundreds upon thousands dead when all she wanted was revenge on Evil Corp for poisoning her mother, which lead to her death.
The one condition Angela had this entire time was nobody had to die — but now thousands are dead and she can’t believe what she’s seeing. When Darlene returns to her apartment, she finds Angela stuck on one constant loop with her remote and the television as she rewinds one particular building crumbling down until it’s standing again.
Angela can only rewind to that moment just before the destruction happens as she mumbles under her breath that everyone is safe and sound.
And finally at Mar-a-Lago, Evil Corp CEO Philip Price looks like he just got gut punched as he sits down with Whiterose, who is quietly sipping a glass of wine while enjoying the spoils of the day.
Price is wrought with disdain for Whiterose but also confounded as to why this all had to happen, especially after he convinced the United Nations to allow China to annex the Congo just as she had requested months ago.
That’s when Whiterose unravels her entire plan — she planted Price as CEO to help squash the lawsuit filed by Angela Moss that was threatening her chemical plant. When Price decided to take on Angela as a special project, grooming her for success rather than ensuring that Whiterose’s plant was a first priority, she had to step in and handle it herself.
That explains why Whiterose sat down with Angela last season and recruited her into the Dark Army. Remember, Angela killed her lawsuit after meeting with Whiterose, which means the chemical plant is safe and ready to relocate to the Congo.
Whiterose then explains that Evil Corp’s currency plan was just approved by China, which means the company will bounce back and thrive once again despite this disastrous moment in time. Whiterose knows that people will rally around Evil Corp now and the currency plan will help them get back onto their feet in no time.
After all, Evil Corp is the definition of too bit to fail according to Whiterose.
The same can’t be said for Phillip Price, who was the target of Whiterose’s aggression this entire time. She put him in place to follow her orders but when he failed to react, Whiterose moved forward with ‘Phase 2’ of her plan.
Now Price will hand pick his successor based on whoever Whiterose wants in that CEO chair next and he will remember why his career came crumbling down after just a few months.
It’s because Whiterose had to ask him twice to complete the task put upon him. She then gets up from the table, with a smirk on her face and Price is left in the wake of her devastation.
When it’s all said and done, Agent Dom DiPierro — after being told that the evil masterminds behind this orchestrated attacks are dead — returns to her office where she looks at that board full of suspects once again. She begins crossing off names like Trenton and Mobley, looks past Tyrell Wellick and Elliot Alderson and then puts up a single piece of white paper with the name ‘Whiterose’ with a question mark after it.
Dom wonders if Whiterose is going to get away with everything but something tells me this is just the beginning.
‘Mr. Robot’ returns for a brand new episode next Wednesday night at 10pm ET on the USA Network.