TV Recap: Mr. Robot: Season 3, Episode 7
It wouldn’t be an easy task to one-up the previous pulse-pounding, explosive episode, which ended with the largest terrorist attack to ever happen on American soil, so this episode wisely decides to downshift. There’s one big set-piece moment at the end that settles the fate of some fan-favorite characters whose whereabouts have been a question mark throughout this season, but outside of that, the episode aims to do little more than tease the future.
The episode starts off in a bloody room. A mutilated body lays on the floor, and the chill hitman Leon (Joey Bada$$) is to blame. He’s sitting on the couch going on about ‘80s and ‘90s era TV to the terrified faces of Trenton (Sunita Mani) and Mobley (Azhar Khan). They have no interest in Leon’s ramblings about how it’s unfair that a prescient show like Knight Rider went unnoticed while the unrealistic Frasier raked in Emmys. They plead for him to spare their lives, and he makes it clear that if they were meant to be dead they would be. After the conversation, Leon drives the two out into the desert as the Knight Rider theme plays.
Elliot stands in front of the store window, watching the news with tears in his eyes. He immediately runs to his therapist to confess his sins. He’s having a tough time spitting it out, and glitches into Mr. Robot who seems more upset than usual. After learning about the Dark Army’s warping of his plan, Mr. Robot is angry, scared even, but he does have an easier time indicating to Krista that Elliot’s the root of these attacks and 5/9. Krista doesn’t believe him at first, dismissing them as the ramblings of a bona fide madman, but Mr. Robot goes into more detail and convinces her. Krista’s genuinely terrified now, and calls in her legal counsel to see if it would be possible to turn him in, but unless she has credible reason to believe he will do something again she would be illegally breaking her doctor-patient confidentiality agreement.
A new fsociety video emerges, touting the attacks. The FBI speak with Tyrell Wellick’s lawyer, who bargains for his client’s immunity by offering up the location of the real people behind the attack. Agents DiPierro and Santiago bicker in Santiago’s office. Once again, Santiago is trying to stall the investigation. As Dom argues to bring everybody that they have in, Santiago puts his foot down on stopping with Wellick. She stops short of correctly accusing him of collusion with the enemy, but the seed is there.
It’s nice to see Mobley and Trenton again, but this episode’s most fascinating moments come from Angela and Darlene’s few interactions in Angela’s apartment. Angela’s being swallowed by her belief that none of what’s happening will have any effect, that the clock will be turned back, and everything will be fine. She watches the news, which sees the death toll rising. “They’re going to be ok, right?” She asks over and over. Later on in the episode, when the death toll has passed four thousand, Angela is found sitting on the floor in front of the TV watching the buildings crumble. When they fall, she hits the rewind button and makes them whole again. The show is leaning hard into this time travel business.
Tyrell flips through a book of known fsociety members and accomplices and is asked to point out any that ring any bells. He flips by Mobley and Elliot and asks for reassurance that he will see his family as soon as he helps. Santiago comes in, turns off the cameras, and tells Wellick that his wife, Joanna, is dead, and that his son is in a foster home with a history of abusive behavior. “If you think about telling anyone here about me, if you veer from the plan at all, I promise you won’t live to place a flower at your wife’s grave. And your son, I’ll make it my personal mission to ensure that he becomes a statistic. Just another forgotten child lost to the system forever.” Tyrell breaks down and the cameras come back on.
Leon has stopped the car in the middle of the desert, grabs a shovel, and starts digging a hole. Inside the car, Trenton and Mobley bicker and fuss with their hand restraints. Trenton breaks hers off and climbs up front to drive the car off. She’s never driven a car before, and crashes it into a giant rock. Leon grabs the two and makes them dig the hole. They fight until it’s done, and Leon throws the dead body from the apartment in and drops the two off at a house with Dark Army goons. He wishes them luck and leaves.
Mr. Robot goes off to Irving’s car shop to have a heated word with Irving. Before he can get too far into the conversation, he is hit over the back of the head. He wakes up in the back of a car and is told to get out. Irving shows him a fancy rich people party, happening in spite of the terrorist attack. He explains, “Your revolution was only allowed to happen because it was bought and paid for by people like them. Face it. No matter how hard you try, that’s always the end result.” Irving heads in to clean up a mess and keep the party scandal-free. “You see what I mean? Literally nothing can stop these shindigs. Not thousands dead across the country, not a lifeless mistress in the guest bathroom.”
Trenton and Mobley are taken into a garage and set up at two computers. They read off what’s on the monitors, a setup for an even more serious attack that plants malware in air traffic control systems to take down airplanes. This isn’t actually in the Dark Army’s plans, though. This is just a scene. The men put guns in the two’s hands and force them to shoot themselves. The FBI discover the house too late and find two terrorists who killed themselves before they could follow through with their plans.
It’s sort of a relief to know what happened to Trenton and Mobley, but it’s a shame that it had to be this dark. All past mysteries are solved and fsociety’s only surviving original members are Elliot and Darlene, who are both dangling by a thread as it is. We have full-on confirmation that Angela was told about some sort of way to reset time, but is it a Whiterose lie to get what she wants or is it real? Time will tell, but thanks to a scene between Whiterose and Price in this episode, we do know that Angela is the key to whatever the ultimate plans are.