Mr. Robot’ Season 3 Finale Nail Biter – SPOILER ALERT
The season finale episode opens with a Dark Army raid on Elliot’s apartment. They find the Mr. Robot jacket, but not Elliot, who is hiding out in the twin apartment next door, somehow tipped off to the raid. Elliot is worried about Darlene, who has been held captive at the FBI HQ all night, so she isn’t responding to his texts.
Dom tries to turn in a report about Darlene’s apprehension, but the agent she’s speaking to has no idea what’s she’s talking about. Having caught Santiago in a lie, Dom chases and catches him escorting Darlene in a private vehicle. Dom asks him, “are you going to finally tell me what the f*ck is going on?” Santiago tries to put her off the trail, saying she’s not authorized to know. They square up Old West style, going toe-to-toe in a wide shot of the parking garage, but Santiago fires fist first, knocking her out with a hit to the face.
This Is On Me
Meanwhile, Elliot is back at the arcade, searching for clues. Like in the midseason extended shot episode, Esmail uses shots of the computer screen to hide cuts, making the endless shot mirror the infinite, unrelenting spiraling of Elliot’s own mind. Elliot punches through the glass of the popcorn machine. “This is on me,” he repeats over and over.
Elliot then buys a ticket for one for the Ferris wheel, but Mr. Robot crashes. Elliot needs Mr. Robot’s help to save Darlene and even admits to his father that he misses him. “The only reason that we haven’t been talking is because I haven’t let myself. Because I’ve been scared of you,” Elliot admits. Interestingly in this scene, Mr. Robot is not wearing the ubiquitous hat and jacket. Could it be emblematic of a kinder, friendlier Mr. Robot? A less anarchic, more patriarchal ghost hacker?
Dom wakes up in the back of Santiago’s car with Darlene, driving into the woods. Dom calls him out on his cowardice during the attacks in China, blames him for Darlene’s boyfriend’s death, and basically puts the entirety of the FBI’s repeated punching of itself in the face on him. Santiago cops to all of it, trying to claim martyrdom. “You don’t know what they put me through,” Santiago tells her, “but you will.”
Mr. Robot and Elliot are searching Irving’s office when they find a Red Wheelbarrow BBQ menu with code hidden on it. Their search is interrupted by Irving, giving Leon-esque commentary on narrative. “Gotta have a wow ending,” Irving says, before recommending that Elliot come with him.
Angela is at some antique home in the country, begging to see Whiterose but being mollycoddled by a waspy “house manager” who wants to make her pancakes.
You Work For the Dark Army Now
Similar to Tyrell’s episode, we see a long overhead shot of a car pulling down a winding road, set to squeaking horror violins as Elliot, Mr. Robot, and Irving approach the safe house where Tyrell hid out for so many months.
Leon, Dom, Darlene, and Santiago are there, all meeting in a barn. Santiago and Irving are fighting over who should be cleaning up after whom. Irving beckons Dom to follow him. They lead her out into a field. Leon has been left to guard Darlene and Elliot in the barn. Elliot points out a security camera from which he assumes Whiterose is watching all of this unfold.
Irving has walked Santiago and Dom over to the wood chopping stump, where Irving prepares to do damage. Santiago reveals himself to be a coward again, trying to talk Irving out of whatever he is about to do. He tries to convince Dom to flip, but Irving doesn’t hesitate with the ax. Irving tells Dom to breathe, and look at the sky, and then a spray of blood strikes her face. Irving’s axe has hit home, in Santiago’s chest.
“He’s retired, and you’re taking his place. You work for the Dark Army now,” Irving tells her.
Dom refuses to turn, saying she’d rather die than work for them, but Irving has dirt on her whole family. As Irving chops up Santiago, he tells Dom how easily it could be her family, as he mentions them by name. He even knows their daily habits. “Am I illustrating my point?” Irving asks her. He tells Dom to head into the barn and await further instructions, while he takes a moment “to center himself.” Irving told Tyrell to chop wood to meditate. Irving is now practicing mindfulness by chopping as well, albeit a different substance.
Elliot and Darlene are shocked by Dom’s horrifying appearance when she returns to the barn. Leon offers her weed, and she declines. Mr. Robot wants to take action, but Elliot says they have to wait. Someone else important is on their way. It’s Zhang, the de facto commander right now since in the last episode Whiterose authorized him to try things his way.
“I had to kill the FBI mole,” Irving admits, “that guy was a dickhead.” He gets Zhang caught up on the latest, and then says he’s going on vacation. Zhang has other ideas. Irving isn’t having it, “I was you years ago,” he tells Zhang. Irving’s history with Whiterose is clearly storied. Irving has more power and rank than was previously known.
It is revealed that the palatial manor where Angela is staying belongs to Price. He has brought her there because she wouldn’t answer any of his messages. He had to intervene. Angela claims she supposed to be with Whiterose, but Price says that is delusional. Price also reveals he met Angela’s mother 32 years ago, and loved her but never admitted it. He is Angela’s father. And as her father, he’s got to try and snap her out of her Whiterose-induced reverie. Price believes Whiterose’s “plan” is impossible. Whiterose blew up the 71 buildings out of pettiness, not some larger purpose.Angela wants retribution, and tells the man she now knows is her father to do it. Price tells Angela she has to find a way to live with what she did.
You’ve Taken Everything From Me
Zhang tries to call Elliot’s bluff about Stage 3, but Elliot beats him to it and admits there is no Stage 3, and that he owns the Dark Army. He tells Zhang that if he hurts Darlene, he will publish every piece of Dark Army data he has. Zhang doesn’t believe him, but Elliot proves it with information he could only know from such a comprehensive hack. Zhang doesn’t care. He trains two guns on Darlene’s head. “You are one person,” Zhang says. “What makes you believe you are better than an army of people exactly like you?” But at the final moment, when Zhang is about to pull the trigger, bullets fire on the Dark Army agents instead. Leon has shot every Dark Army agent except Zhang, whose phone rings. “I think that’s you, bro,” Leon tells him.
Whiterose is watching all of this unfold from a bubble bath. “Your jealousy has always blinded you to Mr. Alderson’s value.” She tells Zhang their time has come to an end. Zhang shoots himself in the head.
Leon opens a computer and tells Elliot to executive the Congo hack. Elliot swiftly does so. Alone in the barn, Mr. Robot asks what they should do now. “Undo the hack,” Elliot responds.
They all get in the car, and Dom logs in to Sentinel. “Don’t think I’m doing this for you,” she tells him, before telling Darlene, “all you deserve for the rest of your life is agony… you’ve taken everything from me.”
Elliot is able to find the key log for everything typed on the machines during the hack. Mr. Robot is the one who made the key log during the hack and backed it up. He both executed the largest hack in history, and saved a backup that could undo the whole thing.
You Weren’t Pushed, You Jumped
Now in the city, Darlene and Elliot discuss Kevin McCallister, their childhood snowman, on the train. “That was the day Dad pushed me out the window,” Elliot says. But Darlene doesn’t remember this either. Just like his therapist, Darlene doesn’t remember his father pushing him out the window. Instead, Darlene remembers Elliot violently threatening to jump out the window. “Elliot, you weren’t pushed. You jumped.”
Superman flies backward around the world to reverse time after Lois Lane died. The scene plays on multiple monitors as Elliot walks back to his apartment. Elliot now has the opportunity to reverse time too, by putting the world back to regular order and undoing the 5/9 hacks. The keys to doing so? Mr. Robot hid them in a photo of the two of them dressed up in Back to the Future costumes. “We can make it like 5/9 never happened,” Mr. Robot says.
Elliot puts the decryption key into a new email to eCorp’s recovery team, and hits send.
In a season that has been so much about Elliot’s own agency and internal battle between good and evil, the revelation that a formative childhood trauma was actually self-inflicted underscores his growth as a character. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, and for Elliot, there’s a lot to admit about his own culpability. Like all of us, Elliot and Mr. Robot have the power to create and destroy, and the urges are equally strong inside him.
Season 4.0 Coming in 2018
Mr. Robot, written and directed by Sam Esmail, concludes its third season with this finale. The network confirmed on Wednesday in a twee that the show has been renewed for 4.0. No words yet on yet the new programmation will air.
— Mr. Robot (@whoismrrobot) December 13, 2017
Missed the previous Mr. Robot recap? Read it here.
(Featured Photo by Michael Parmelee/USA Network)
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