This episode of Mr. Robot serves as a moment for both the viewer and for Elliot to pause a moment, take a breather, and prepare for what’s about to happen in the final two episodes. Nothing has gone according to Elliot or Mr. Robot’s original plan, and with the two not on speaking terms anymore, there seems to be no plan at all for how to move forward. It’s been three weeks since Stage 2 took down 71 Evil Corp buildings, and the landscape of New York has gone from dystopian to hellish.
In the aftermath of the attacks, things have devolved into a police state with checkpoints set up and mandatory curfews. Everything is being blamed on Trenton and Mobley, as if they were the real masterminds behind all of the fsociety attacks. Besides being a scapegoat to take attention off of the Dark Army, things have also been set up to appear they were both radical Muslims connected to Iran. Darlene is worried about Elliot since he hasn’t left his house in three days, and tries to console him by telling him it isn’t his fault. He won’t hear any of it, because even if it wasn’t him and it was Mr. Robot, or Mr. Robot being used by White Rose, it’s still him. He needs time to process what to do next, and what he should delete forever out of both his computer, and the world.
He decides he’s going to rid the world of Mr. Robot. Elliot’s first stop is to see a drug dealer to buy a bunch of morphine, his former drug of choice. He doesn’t just buy a little bit, he buys the dealer’s entire supply. The Mr. Robot jacket gets donated to charity. Elliot parts with the only true piece of his father he has left before he takes a journey of forgiveness in order to try and make things right for the people left behind to pick up the pieces of the mess Elliot has made. The morphine is for himself to delete himself from the world, just like he deleted everything from his computer before he took this journey.
In a way this episode is a trip through the nightmare Elliot is responsible for. In his attempt to free everyone from the shackles of debt and big business slavery, he’s made the world into a place where no one wants to live. Elliot knows Trenton and Mobley had nothing to do with any of this, and as a way to make peace with the situation he goes to visit both of their families. Mobley’s brother answers the door with a baseball bat, and is aggressive and upset. Even though Elliot tells him Mobley was a great guy and not capable of doing anything like this, his brother sounds off on how Mobley has ruined his life. He hasn’t even gone to claim his brother’s body, because there’s no way he’s going to spring for a funeral for him. The man basically slams the door in Elliot’s face.
He finds Trenton’s family to be more receptive to his assurances that Trenton was a nice person who would never do anything like this. Trenton’s father even thanks Elliot for stopping by to say nice things about his daughter. The family is packing up and moving out of New York after the notoriety their daughter has brought on them. Her little brother watches Elliot the entire time. Once Elliot has left and went to Coney Island, where he’s about to take the morphine and kill himself, her brother shows up and won’t leave Elliot alone. This kid pesters and bothers Elliot long enough to keep him from killing himself. Their interaction reminds Elliot of his time with his father, especially since he takes the kid to go see Back to the Future 2 at a movie theater. This moment is a callback to the opening scene flashback of Elliot and his father at the theater. Elliot’s interaction with the kid allows him to see the bigger picture, and to change his mind about how things are supposed to end.
When Elliot heads back home, he sees someone dump garbage on the street and drive off, and in the pile of garbage is the Mr. Robot jacket he tried to rid himself of. Things have come full circle, and there’s no escaping Mr. Robot. Angela has been in a terrible state since she was used by White Rose, and there is a beautiful shot of Elliot visiting her. They are both on opposite sides of the door in a single shot, reminiscing about when they were younger and the things they wished for. Will Elliot be able to help Angela back out of this darkness? Elliot still has time to do something about the hacks, but what that something is isn’t clear until Elliot opens up an email sent to him from Trenton. Right before she and Mobley were killed, she told him her computer was set up to send an email to someone she trusts if she doesn’t return and log into her computer within a certain time. That someone was Elliot, and the email details how Elliot can reverse all of the damage the hack created. She’s reached beyond the grave to give Elliot the key to how to stop the monster he created. Will it work, or is it already too late?
Season 3, Episode 8 (S03E08)
Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 9PM on USA
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