This week the cast of Mr. Robot grapples with the fallout of last week’s explosive twist. The mounting death toll from the Dark Army’s massive attack sends Elliot, Mr. Robot, and Angela into a tailspin, while Dom hunts for the real culprits behind the destruction. Tyrell finally learns of his wife’s death, as two characters thought dead resurface. And Whiterose basks in her success, reminding Phillip Price that events transpire only as she wills them.
The episode opens on missing fsociety hackers Trenton and Mobley where we left them last season – discovered in hiding by Dark Army agent Leon. As it turns out, the scene we saw at the end of season 2 took place in the near future, and events are just now catching up. Joey Bada$$ gives another great performance as disconcertingly mellow, sitcom-obsessed Leon, rambling about 80s show Knight Rider (we’re treated to the theme song) and forcing Trenton and Mobley to dig a grave they fear will be their own.
Tyrell, in FBI custody, identifies the suspects the Dark Army has instructed him to frame for the attack. We’re shown a picture of Elliot as a misdirect, but once we hear that there are two suspects, it’s pretty obvious that Trenton and Mobley have returned only to take the fall for Phase 2. It all seems a bit too perfect for Dom, who grows more and more suspicious of her boss Santiago (who’s secretly working for the Dark Army) when he refuses to investigate further. With Tyrell’s usefulness at an end, Santiago reveals Joanna’s death, taunting Tyrell and threatening his son to ensure his silence. Silence is all the audience can hear as the camera peers through the blinds at Tyrell, screaming in grief.
Meanwhile, Elliot’s failure to recognize the full scope of Phase 2 has sent him spiralling. Unable to cope with the guilt for the lives taken by a revolution he began, he runs to therapist Krista, desperate to confess but unable to say the words. Mr. Robot has no such compunction. As Elliot retreats into the recesses of their mind, Mr. Robot emerges, and tells Krista everything that Elliot has always wished he could say aloud.
Mr. Robot doesn’t feel guilt – he’s angry. Angry that his mission has been co-opted by the very forces he’s been fighting against. He confronts Irving, who knocks him out and brings him to watch a party full of the rich and powerful, indulging in excess while the country burns. It’s an object lesson that opens Mr. Robot’s eyes to the truth: “Your revolution was only allowed to happen because it was bought and paid for by people like them.”
If the day’s events created cracks within Elliot and Mr. Robot, then they completely shattered Angela. Elliot tried to stop Phase 2. Angela single-handedly ensured its success. Darlene finds Angela completely numb, playing and then rewinding footage of the destruction over and over again. She’s convinced that all of the dead will come back to life – that events will “rewind” and the damage she’s caused will be undone.
We know Whiterose has convinced Angela he can bring her mother and Elliot’s father back to life somehow. Considering Angela’s fixation with rewinding, it’s looking more and more like Whiterose’s plot has something to do with rewinding or altering time. Whiterose’s obsession with mastering time and making the most of every moment certainly lends this theory credence. Or maybe it’s all a ruse? We know Whiterose is a master manipulator, and Angela has already fallen for her lies once. With this plan to “rewind” time, could Whiterose have constructed a lie so elaborate that she’s gathered an entire army to her cause?
It’s not infeasible. Everything that’s happened since the series began has gone according to Whiterose’s plan. She controls global politics and economics like pieces on a chessboard. The attack on E Corp’s buildings was ultimately unnecessary – the death of thousands was all to remind Phillip Price that she was in control. And she did it just because she “had to ask [him] twice.” Whiterose is both the Queen and the King, and Price is just one of the many pawns she’s sacrificed to achieve her goals.
“Sacrifice” is the operative word this episode. As Trenton and Mobley beg for their lives, Whiterose’s second-in-command assures them that their sacrifice will be for a greater cause. In a gut-wrenching moment that’s been building the whole episode, the Dark Army forces Mobley to turn a gun on himself. We see an FBI team move in, giving us a semblance of hope that he won’t pull the trigger. But Whiterose would never cut things that close. The team arrives to find Trenton and Mobley dead in pools of their own blood, shown hauntingly in night vision. False plans for a second attack, an Iranian flag, and an fsociety mask ensure that the FBI believes they were responsible for the attack on E Corp.
It seems that everyone has sacrificed something but Whiterose. “You’re actually going to get away with this,” Dom says as she pins Whiterose’s name to her board of suspects. At the moment, it certainly looks like it. But pride comes before the fall. With everything going so perfectly for Whiterose, is it only a matter of time before time finally catches up with her?
Watching each of the characters process the attack on E Corp in their own way is compelling, but a surprise return and an emotional sendoff for Trenton and Mobley are the highlights of the episode. Whiterose seems to hold all the cards. Elliot and Mr. Robot are going to have to work together if they want to take back their revolution.