In a nod to Fight Club, Mr. Robot shows Elliot working for Evil Corp trying to right the wrongs he set in motion during his hack to bring them down, only to be thwarted by his split personality working against him. By day Elliot pops Zoloft like candy, wearing new clothes from Trunk Club, and working at Evil Corp. He’s living the life of the people he mocked before, enjoying his work, and living in the sunny, happy chemical afterglow of the Zoloft high. The pills and his drive to reverse the damage he created in society are the only thing keeping him going, but for how long?
The Dark Army’s plan is to destroy all of the physical records Evil Corp is sending to their New York warehouse from 17 different locations throughout the United States. Once all the documents arrive, the Dark Army plans to destroy the building housing them, and throw the company, and the rest of society into ruin. This is what’s supposed to take place during the second phase of the mission Elliot started with his alter ego Mr. Robot. The first wave didn’t go as planned, and instead of liberating people from huge corporations, it allowed Evil Corp to take a tighter grip on an unraveling society by pushing it’s own E-Coin as the world currency. If Elliot can figure out a way to keep all of the paper records from arriving at the New York facility, and rewrite the code of the batteries powering the warehouse to protect them from being hacked and turned into explosives, he may be able to undo the damage he’s created.
Corporate life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure he has a 401K and a healthcare plan, but trying to get anything done in a corporate setting is nearly impossible. Elliot tries to talk to his boss about his plan to digitize all of the records instead of storing them in the same place, but the guy doesn’t have time for Elliot’s pitch. Elliot hits a dead end, but instead of quitting, he hacks his boss, finds out some illegal things he’s up to, and tips off the FBI. Once his boss is arrested, he moves up the ladder to the next highest boss, and repeats the same process over and over until he reaches an executive that’ll listen to him. While simply trying to just be heard by someone, Elliot has cleaned out a lot of scum from Evil Corp, as a string a bad people get perp walked out of the building. Now that he finally has someone’s attention, will he be able to convince them of his digitization plan and thwart the Dark Army’s phase two?
Darlene finds herself in a difficult situation. The FBI owns her and wants her to pump Elliot for information that’ll lead them to Tyrell Wellick since they believe he’s the real mastermind behind the hack. If she doesn’t do what they say, she’s facing real jail time with no rights, since they have her listed as an enemy combatant. Elliot won’t talk to her though, because he sees her as a trigger, or stressor that causes Mr. Robot to appear in his life, which is something he wants to avoid. She reaches out to Elliot on his birthday to tell him she’s leaving town, but he’s been in such a funk of loneliness after the novelty of his new life has worn off, that he pleads her to stay over at his place so he won’t be alone. Darlene waits until Elliot is asleep and then plants something on his computer that allows the FBI to see a mirror of everything Elliot does online, only Elliot catches her, but it’s not Elliot.
Mr. Robot confronts Darlene. He’s angry and becomes violent with her. It scares her to see Elliot like this, to see this change come over him and know Elliot is no longer in control. Once she’s done the FBI’s dirty work she leaves town, but Mr. Robot knows Darlene has been compromised, and screws with the FBI to show them he’s smarter than they are. Elliot has no idea Mr. Robot is even around anymore, and in fact thinks he’s disappeared after Wellick shot him, but that’s just what Mr. Robot wants Elliot to think. At night when Elliot thinks he’s asleep, Mr. Robot continues the plan to make the second phase of the hack a reality. Mr. Robot feels threatened, and he becomes like a cornered animal when Elliot’s therapist asks Elliot to let her speak to Mr. Robot. Elliot’s gone back to her to try and figure out why his crippling loneliness has come back, but her interaction with Mr. Robot frightens her. He tells the therapist Darlene has been compromised, and that everything was perfect before people got in the way of his and Elliot’s working relationship. Everything is off track now, and Mr. Robot promises her she’ll never hear another word from him again. Elliot has no idea after the incident that Mr. Robot even showed up.
Joanna Wellick goes on a popular television program to proclaim her husband’s innocence after the murder charges against him are dropped, and at the same time confess her undying love of Tyrell. It’s all a ploy to throw attention away from herself and appear like a victim, but it backfires on horribly. The bartender she used to help get Tyrell off of the murder charges believed Joanna loved him, and he follows her car after the interview to confront her. Joanna’s bodyguard beats the man up, and believes the confrontation is over, but the bartender shoots the bodyguard, and then kills Joanna. Her blood covers her child as she lays dead next to him. The bodyguard gets one last shot off, and wounds the bartender, but Joanna can’t be saved. Will her death flush Tyrell out of hiding?
China is the only other country in the G20 that won’t back E-Coin, and instead backs Bitcoin, much to Philip Price’s chagrin. He gives a fiery speech, basically calling out China. Philip accuses China of starting a currency war. The speech was meant to put the screws to the White Rose to get what Philip wants, world dominance of E-Coin as the new global currency. These two have made a deal: If Philip can get a vote in the UN to allow China to take over The Congo, White Rose will make sure China adopts E-Coin. Philip angers the White Rose, and the two exchange threats, the most awkward involving the White Rose’s threat to kill Angela, a person Philip has a soft spot for. The White Rose decides to go through with phase two on the day of the UN vote no matter the outcome, as a screw you to Philip Price. Will Elliot be able to stop phase two even though Mr. Robot is working in secret to undo every gain Elliot makes? If he isn’t able to stop it, what will happen?
Season 3, Episode 2 (S03E02)
Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 9PM on USA
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For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates.
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Jeff Iblings | Contributor