BY KENNY HERZOG
In this week’s episode of Mr. Robot, Elliot hits the reset button a bit too hard, Price and Zhang get down to the nitty-gritty of their currency war, and Darlene gets deeper into her corroboration with the FBI. Most shocking, Joanna is murdered by her ex-lover, leaving the Wellick baby orphaned and remanded to social services, where he’ll probably wind up like Dexter Morgan. We took our best stab at decrypting the second episode of Mr. Robot season three, but if you want to offer an independent analysis, feel free to upload your thoughts in the comments.
Did Elliot’s dad really push him out of that window?
Elliot appeared to summon a pretty lucid memory in Krista’s home office, but our addled lead isn’t exactly a reliable archivist, and he dismissed Darlene’s attempt to drill down into the details of that fateful day that started with Home Alone–inspired snowman art and concluded tragically with Elliot’s two-story fall. Theories will abound about whether Edward, malevolently or not, sent his 8-year-old son smashing through that window, or if Elliot — perhaps in the throes of delusion — launched himself to near-oblivion. (Or, for that matter, if his tyrant mother gave the final shove.) No matter the answer, shedding light on the significance of that window might also train our attention on Elliot’s true trigger.
Who made that fsociety video?
What’re the odds that Elliot directed and/or starred in that latest clip while hunkering down below ground with Tyrell, Angela, and Irving? It would be the perfect diversion to keep the FBI off their scent while Stage 2 goes ahead as planned. Or maybe that’s Dom behind the mask (she did recall that film so well) and the FBI whipped it up as another tool to squeeze information out of Darlene. Then again, since everyone’s playing all angles, Darlene could have reprised her role as the mustachioed menace to keep the FBI on their toes while she figured out how to wriggle out of this mess unscathed and get justice for Cisco’s death. Never underestimate an anarchist scorned.
How will Tyrell react to Joanna’s death?
This will be a very telling moment in his development and his dependability as a Dark Army asset. While mere yards away from Mrs. Wellick’s corpse, Agent Santiago makes his case to Dom that nothing — not even informing next of kin that they’ve got an ostensible orphan on their hands — is more important than their mission. For the FBI, that mission is making Tyrell pay. But for Tyrell, the mission is executing Stage 2 at all costs, even when it meant shooting his idol Elliot. But will he still put the destruction of E Corp above all when he learns that his wife is six feet under?
How much will Mr. Sutherland say?
The poor guy will probably wish he were dead in lieu of Derek and Joanna. What’s unclear is where his loyalties lie now that Mrs. Wellick is out of commission. The implications of whatever her former bodyguard concedes will be massive, and it’s the one wild card Santiago and Dom can keep close to the vest for leverage — even if it means an innocent, blood-splattered baby gets caught up in red tape as a result. (Though this would bode well for Scott Knowles, no?)
Has someone been watching Trainspotting?
The sequence of Elliot going through the motions as cubicle warrior and hacker vigilante by day and loneliest of the lonely come nightfall effectively echoed his Allsafe days back in season one. But it seemed like an homage to this virtual-redemption scene midway through Trainspotting, which likewise preceded a crushing comedown and eventual crossroads. Which road will Elliot travel when he arrives at his?
What’s the deal with Frank Cody?
Is he a conservative news commentator, pure sensationalist, or a partisan hodgepodge of cable and network news personalities? Did he come up with the title Let’s Be Frank on his own, or was that focus-grouped? Is it potentially a propaganda arm for one of Mr. Robot’s adversarial cells? For that matter, is the broadcast even real or merely a surreal expository device for our benefit, not unlike Elliot’s narration itself? Frankly, we have no idea.
This show does love mirroring, huh?
A crucial first-season episode, one that restaged much of that pivotal day with Kevin McCallister and the broken window, was actually titled “Mirroring.” The aforementioned Trainspotting-esque time lapse reflected our earliest glimpse into Elliot’s routine. There’s even mirroring in Mr. Robot’s numerology, as with the 17 of 71 E Corp facilities whose data had been shipped to New York. And Krista gets really up close and personal with Mr. Robot himself, one slab of the finely cracked mirror image that Elliot’s all but disembodied from.
Is Krista working with the FBI?
She knows all about Elliot’s intrusion into her personal life and his subsequent stay in prison, her reasoning for work from home seems awfully suspect, and she’s prying into Elliot more perniciously than usual, not unlike Darlene in last week’s season premiere. Odds are she’s on the up and up, but anticipating Elliot’s paranoia is part of Mr. Robot’s pull.
Anything to that NUQ 1724 license plate?
That close-up sure lingered on Mr. Sutherland/Joanna’s grill. It so happens the same alphanumeric plate was featured in John Wick and in episodes of Person of Interest. Is it the Hollywood license equivalent of 555 numbers and Morley cigarettes?
Will Whiterose’s vengefulness be her undoing?
She seems to have the upper hand on Phillip, including a likely U.N. vote in favor of China annexing the Congo, which would bolster their oil-mining operations. So why buck global pacts and spark a currency war? Not to mention level threats Phillip’s way and harbor intentions to screw them all with Stage 2, even if diplomatic means meet their practical ends? This is, however, a woman who literally pissed on the grave of Phillip’s predecessor, whom she had assassinated. Phillip may be advised not to, as she says, mistake her “generosity for generosity.” But Whiterose may learn that you can’t control everything, certainly not when your American ally in subterfuge is disassociated from himself half the time and guys like Derek go and murder his sidekick’s wife. Time, as Whiterose knows all too well, will tell.
What is Elliot doing in Darlene’s apartment?
Darlene tried bugging Elliot’s computer, he jammed the cartoonishly susceptible FBI’s system in some way, and he’s now poking around her place for something to confirm his suspicions that she’s up to no good. Sadly, he doesn’t realize that Darlene is trying to save him from himself and spare him a life in prison. Worse yet, Mr. Robot would rather spend decades behind bars than risk blowing their explosive plans for E Corp. Elliot’s internal warring may prove more fatal than any conflict Phillip and Whiterose could ever rile up.