BY RYAN HARKNESS
Mr. Robot continues to intrigue and frustrate viewers with the many mysteries it’s hiding inside every plotline. Season 2 kept up the trend of raising more questions than it answered, to the degree now where we’re desperately hoping season 3 (debuting October 11th at 10PM on USA Network) helps us make sense of what we’ve seen thus far.
Our own Alan Sepinwall has a spoiler-free review of what you can expect, and we’ve also got a handy season 1 and 2 refresher that lets you know where the most important characters are as things kick off. But right now let’s talk about some of the biggest questions that need answers for Mr. Robot season 3.
What is the Dark Army’s true purpose?
On its surface, the Dark Army’s goal seems to be the financial destruction of the United States. They nearly achieved this, wiping out America’s debt at the end of season 1 and then making sure the country wouldn’t be getting back off its knees at the end of the last season with Stage 2. But in the last moments of the season, E Corp CEO Phillip Price gets an agreement out of Chinese Minister Zhang (whose alter ego Whiterose leads the Dark Army) for a loan to E Corp worth $2 trillion with zero interest.
Price uses that money to set up E Coin, a runaround of the American dollar that effectively puts E Corp in control of the US economy. But why did Zhang agree to this if stops the Dark Army from achieving their goal? The only answer must be that there’s a bigger objective on the horizon. The cratering of the economy is just the setup to whatever the Dark Army really wants to achieve. Was letting E Corp take control of US currency part of the plan, or a strategic allowance in pursuit of the ultimate end game?
What really happened at the Washington Township plant?
Elliot, Darlene, and Angela are all connected through a terrible incident in their youth: an industrial plant leak in Washington Township that gave Angela’s mother and Elliot and Darlene’s father terminal cancer. The plant was owned by E Corp and the incident covered up to avoid paying out damages, which fuels Elliot and Darlene in their quest to take down the massive conglomerate. Angela is also working from the inside to expose E Corp for their crimes, aided for some shadowy reason by E Corp CEO Phillip Price.
The incident at the plant seems to play a bigger role than just setting up the show’s main characters in their war against E Corp. There is also an important connection between the Washington Township plant and the Dark Army. At the end of season two, Price gets his E Corp bailout from Zhang / Whiterose through blackmail. His leverage? A threat that he’d shut down the Washington Township plant.
What is in the plant that is so important to the Dark Army and Whiterose? How does what happened to Elliot, Darlene, and Angela’s parents tie into the bigger story?
What is the true nature of Mr. Robot?
From the point we realize that he’s not a real person, Mr. Robot has been portrayed largely as a manifestation of Elliot’s mental illness. He seems to be suffering from multiple personality disorder, with his alternate identity, Mr. Robot, taking regular control of Elliot’s body and often working against Elliot’s wishes. But what if Mr. Robot is more than just a figment of Elliot’s imagination?
There’s all sorts of wild speculation as to what Mr. Robot may really be. Is he the result of a covert psy-op that was performed on Elliot when he was younger to create a sleeper soldier for the Dark Army that can be activated at will? Is he actually the consciousness of Elliot’s father, transferred into Elliot’s brain as part of the Dark Army’s ultimate goal of transcendental immortality? And if Elliot has someone else living in his head, who else on the show does? Angela? Darlene? Chinese Minister Zhang says he had a sister that died. Does he become Whiterose in the same way Elliot becomes Mr. Robot?
With Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail stating his story will take four or five seasons to tell, it could still be a while before we learn what’s really going on. In the meantime, we have no doubts that things are only going to get weirder. So buckle up and prepare yourself for more mind bending episodes that leave you in the dark as season 3 of Mr. Robot kicks off.