S3 episode 10

shutdown -r

Aired on December 13, 2017

Warning: Recap Contains Spoilers

Things are far from bucolic down on the ol’ Dark Army farm in the final episode of season_3.0. Not only do Elliot (Rami Malek) and Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) bury the hatchet (so to speak) to fight the good fight against the Dark Army, but also they address a long-held misunderstanding after Darlene (Carly Chaikin) clarifies a key detail about their past for Elliot. When Santiago makes a fatally bad (and fatal) mistake, Dom (Grace Gummer) is forced to go against her every belief. And that’s not even the half of it so let’s get chopping.

Hide and Seek

Whiterose’s assistant and his operatives kick in Elliot’s apartment door but Elliot and Flipper are hiding out in Shayla’s apartment. After they leave, Elliot proceeds to freak out. Even though he has infiltrated the Dark Army’s network, he doesn’t know what he’s looking for and there’s too much to comb through. Plus, he hasn’t heard from Darlene and -- with the Dark Army on his tail -- it probably means they’re on hers, too.

“Dom” Move

Over at the FBI, Dom starts to smell trouble when she can’t find Santiago or Darlene. She tracks them down in the parking garage. Santiago gives her some BS story about having to transfer Darlene to holding but Dom’s not buying it. Knowing he’s been caught, he chokes and punches Dom in the face, knocking her out. She comes to with her wrists zip-tied in the back of Santiago’s car, next to a freaked Darlene. Dom has now put it all together: all the ways Santiago screwed her and their colleagues, Cisco, Trenton, and Mobley – not to mention the country -- were because he’s working for the Dark Army. He claims she would do the same thing in his shoes but she says she would never betray everything she stands for. (Never say ‘never,’ Dom….) 

“Wondering What If, Denying What Is”

Irving (Bobby Cannavale)  goes to see Tyrell (Martin Wallström)  at his townhouse. Before Irving can tell him why’s he there, Tyrell airs his feelings of hurt and betrayal by Irving. After artfully assuaging him, Irving asks where Elliot is -- him finding Elliot first is probably Elliot’s best option for survival given “all the scenarios in play.” All Tyrell will say is that he gave Elliot sensitive information that he’s “probably acting on.”

Summoning Ali Baba

At a loss for what to do next, Elliot goes up in the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island so he can talk to Mr. Robot face to face, as it were. After having a heart-to-heart about whether or not Mr. Robot knew about the 71 buildings (he didn’t) and if he did, would he have gone through with it (he would’ve found another way), Elliot asks Mr. Robot what he meant by the note on his mirror. The FBI has a mole and his name is Santiago. While they root around Santiago’s apartment, Irving shows up. Irving says that whatever scheme Elliot is trying to come up with won’t change the inevitable so he strongly recommends Elliot go with him now.

“Some Hillbilly Sh*t”

Irving takes Elliot/Robot to the farmhouse where Tyrell famously chopped wood, cyber-stalked his wife and baby, and began executing Stage 2. They’re the last to arrive at the party: Darlene, Dom, Santiago, Leon (Joey Bada$$), and the requisite masked operatives are already inside the barn having a Dark Army hoedown on bales of hay. In full-on CYA mode, Santiago nervously says to a visibly pissed-off Irving that he knows he messed up by bringing Dom, but he thinks the situation is salvageable. “Uh-hunh,” Irving says in typical fashion before directing Dom and Santiago outside with him to Tyrell’s wood-chopping stump. As Irving removes his shirt and picks up the axe, Santiago, overcome by a too-little-too-late twinge of compassion, tries to convince Irving that they can flip Dom, despite her protestation to the contrary. But Irving knows she ain’t flipping. Besides, it’s not her head on the chopping block today. Irving heaves the axe into the air and lands it right in Santiago’s chest (which Irving explains to Dom he did as a “favor” he owed a “friend,” possibly his farmhouse buddy-slash-hostage Tyrell?). Ipso facto, Dom now has to step up as the new mole. Despite the high likelihood of death by axe, she refuses the job offer. Ever the convincing salesman, Irving deftly erodes her resolve by naming her family members and telling her to imagine that the additional swings of the axe he takes to finish off Santiago are for each of her loved ones. Terrified and broken, she weakly agrees to her deal with the devil.

Bait and Switch

Meanwhile, Angela’s (Portia Doubleday) anxiously waiting for her audience with whiterose in a large country estate, which she believes to be whiterose’s. But no. It’s Phillip Price’s (Michael Cristofer) manse. When Price arrives, he explains that she’s there because he was worried about her. Angela insists that she needs to be with whiterose to help her carry out her plan. Ah, whiterose’s plan… Of course Price has known about it for years but dashes Angela’s hopes by telling her it’s a delusional fantasy. Oh, and by the way, Price tells her the only reason she was involved in any of this was so that she would drop the contingency from her suit. So why did Price bother protecting Angela? Because…that’s what you do for your daughter.

I Will Be Your Father Figure

That’s right, friends: Phillip Price is Angela’s bio-dad. He met Angela’s mother years ago when they both worked at E Corp. He loved Emily but was exceedingly cruel to her. When she got pregnant, she would not let Price have anything to do with the child and soon after, she met and married the man Angela has known to be her father. Price never planned on telling Angela until he learned what whiterose had done to her. Whiterose’s project stems from some obsessive psychotic denial of reality, for which she has murdered countless people. But Angela won’t give up the belief that there was a higher purpose to all the death as a result of the cyber bombing, which she’s convinced are her fault. Yeah, no. That one also wasn’t about you either, kid. “It was a dig at me,” he says. But no matter what her new daddy says, Angela is going to hang in there, just like the kitten on the branch, so she can see her mother again, because, you know, whiterose promised.

Barn Storming

When a blood-splattered Dom re-enters the barn like a zombie, Leon says it looks like she just got her initiation. Now what? Elliot thinks that they should chill because it feels like they’re waiting for someone “important” to come. Cue: the arrival of whiterose’s assistant, who first meets with Irving outside the barn. Wiping the blood from his hands, Irving reports that he took care of everything as instructed but bad news: he had to kill the FBI mole. But the good news is they got a better one. And now, he’s off on his much-deserved sabbatical in Barbados, which he earned after being whiterose’s “assistant” just like “Doll Face,” who now has to fly without the safety net that is Irving.

Remote Viewing

Doll Face enters the barn and before he can say anything, Elliot, playing to the surveillance camera that he knows whiterose must be monitoring, immediately admits that there is no Stage 3. However, Elliot does own every single system that the Dark Army has ever compromised. So, if they hurt Darlene or him, the entire Dark Army history will get leaked. To prove he’s not bluffing, Elliot starts rattling off their various operations, including using Price to annex the Congo from China. He suggests that now they have an opportunity to leave with what they both want. The assistant says he knows Elliot wants to reverse Five/Nine but the Dark Army couldn’t care less about that as it has already served its purpose. As has Elliot.

“I Think That’s You, Bruh”

Just as the assistant gives the nod to Leon to take aim at Darlene, Elliot shouts that he has a plan to help them move their project in the Washington Township plant to the Congo. But the assistant doesn't like being one-upped by Elliot and the operatives grab him. However, instead of shooting Elliot, Leon shoots the operatives after receiving what must’ve been revised orders from whiterose via text during this exchange. Just then, the assistant’s phone vibrates. It’s whiterose calling from the bathtub! She chides him for letting his jealousy continue to blind him to “Mr. Alderson’s value” and gently informs him that their time has come to an end. Grant drops the phone, tells Elliot to take care of her, and then shoots himself in the head. 

“Don’t Pull the Ripcord Now”

Leon hands Elliot a laptop and tells him it’s time to make good on his offer, which, in this case, he wasn’t bluffing about having. Now it’s time to undo the hack. Dom logs into Sentinel to give Elliot access to Romero’s files. But to be clear, she’s only doing it because if her life as she knows it is over, she wants at least one good thing to come out of it. But Romero didn’t export the keys. Mr. Robot did, because it’s what Elliot would’ve done in case their plan failed. And just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Elliot learns he has always had the power to go back.

The unmarked CD in his collection contains the necessary seed data and algorithm to regenerate the keys! This news, combined with Darlene’s revelatory clarification that their dad didn’t push Elliot out the window on the snowman day when they were kids (Elliot jumped after some kind of fit of rage), helps Elliot see Mr. Robot in a whole new light. So when Robot says he wants them to be a team and keep talking no matter what happens, Elliot is down with that plan. As soon as Elliot gets home and finds the photo that contains the data, he copies it into an email addressed to the recovery team at E Corp and hits send.

He’s Baaack

But wait! There’s a bonus scene after the credits, because of course something wicked must this way come. As Darlene arrives at Elliot’s door, four guys approach her. One of them speaks to her, cryptically identifying himself only as “a brave traveler who’s finally come home.” And who might that be, pray tell? None other than Fernando Vera. Cut. To. Black.