S3 episode 8
Warning: Recap Contains Spoilers
To delete or not delete, that is the question Elliot is asking himself three weeks after the “71” attacks. The answer ultimately comes from a very surprising source -- and a green lollipop -- so let’s go “Back to the Future” and see how he got there.
Bad Night at the Movies
In a flashback, young Elliot is with his dad at the local movie theater for their usual movie night, but Elliot knows that the situation is anything but usual: his dad is sick, but won’t admit it. Edward Alderson acknowledges that he’s made some mistakes and asks for Elliot’s forgiveness before collapsing on the lobby floor. As an indifferent Elliot picks up his dad’s now infamous jacket and walks down the hall into the movie theater, we see that he’s wearing a sling on his arm, likely a nod to when his father pushed him out the window.
Choose to Delete
Back to present day, Elliot is home, looking at the latest news on Trenton and Mobley online, knowing that everything being reported is a lie. He switches over to a folder where he has five subfolders for Shama Biswas (Trenton’s real name) and for Sunil Markesh (Mobley’s real name), seemingly the contents of their dossiers. He copies their information to CDs before deleting their files from his computer and starting a full wipe-down. Darlene arrives and tells him Angela’s having a full-on breakdown ever since the attacks. But Elliot couldn’t give two hooties about Angela after what she did to him. It becomes clear that he’s still feeling mighty guilty for his part in the attacks, even if it was technically Mr. Robot’s doing, as well as the deaths of two “good people.” After she leaves, Elliot shoves the fried computer hardware and Mr. Robot’s jacket into a garbage bag and dumps it outside. He seems intent on deleting Mr. Robot and by extension, himself.
With All Due Respect
After purchasing an entire pouch of morphine from what seems to be a new drug dealer for Elliot, Hard Andy, Elliot goes to see Sandesh, Mobley’s brother, in the ‘burbs. Elliot is there to pay his respects but Sandesh is irate: thanks to his brother, he’s about to be fired from his law firm. Elliot tells him not to believe the lies about Mobley. Unconvinced, Sandesh says there’s no way he’s going to pay for a “terrorist’s funeral.” Elliot’s next stop is Trenton’s family’s house, outside of which her father is nervously packing up their belongings. Claiming that he went to school with Trenton, Elliot tells her father that she was a good person and that she’s innocent. He thanks Elliot for saying nice things about her but he and his family are still leaving.
Adventures in Babysitting, The Sequel
On the beach at Coney Island, Elliot takes out the pouch of “Miss Emma” pills when Mohammed, Trenton’s younger brother, who followed Elliot there, comes up beside him. Mohammed, with his incessant questions, seems to sense something is up with Elliot and won’t leave him be. So the two embark on an odyssey of sorts, with Elliot eventually agreeing to take him to the movies until Mohammed’s parents return from Connecticut. As it happens, it’s October 21, 2015, also known as Back to the Future Day, so the theater is having special screenings of the trilogy while fans watch, cosplaying as their favorite characters. Mohammed would rather see The Martian, but Elliot convinces him that Back to the Future is a much better choice for, like, obvious reasons, especially since the kid has never seen it. Despite his annoyance at being deterred from his plan, Elliot starts getting into it, even re-enacting the same movie snack ritual as he used to do with his dad -- pouring M&Ms into a bucket of popcorn. But Mohammed takes off when Elliot turns away for one second. Elliot eventually tracks him down at the mosque. They have a somewhat intense exchange, with Elliot admitting that he wishes he were dead, and Mohammed sharing that he feels like his sister left because of him and her death is now his fault. Elliot consoles him by explaining that it wasn’t Mohammed’s or Trenton’s fault. “It was mine.” When Elliot drops him off at his house before curfew, Mohammed asks if he can see another movie with Elliot sometime. After some thought, Elliot agrees -- to the movie and by extension, to not hitting “delete” on himself.
Second Time’s the Charm
Afterwards, Elliot returns to Sandesh’s house and mentions some shady memos he dug up in Sandesh’s work email account. If Sandesh doesn’t want those exposed, he better hold a funeral for Mobley and invite Elliot while he’s at it. Then he hands Sandesh the pouch of morphine he bought from Hard Andy, who as Elliot knew from the beginning, was one of Sandesh’s shady clients. Elliot suggests that Sandesh sell it back to Hard Andy in order to pay for Mobley’s funeral.
Elliot goes to Angela’s apartment, but she won’t open her door. Worried about her, he tries to figure out what to say to snap her out of her despair. While she listens from the other side of the door, he reminiscences about the wishing game they used to play, when they’d close their eyes and wish for their heart’s desires. Since their wishes never came true, he didn’t get the point of the game at first, but she always said something before they opened their eyes to make it all better. Does she remember what it was? She sadly responds, “No matter what happens, we’ll be okay.”
‘Don’t Delete Me’
As Elliot approaches his building, a van pulls up and dumps garbage on the sidewalk, coincidentally (or not) including the Mr. Robot jacket and the computer hardware he ditched earlier in the day, which he takes as another sign that deleted data can sometimes be recovered. He finally installs a new bathroom mirror to replace one he punched towards the end of the first season. After setting up a new laptop, he goes into his encrypted mailbox. There’s an email from Trenton with the subject, “Don’t Delete Me.” When he opens it, the first line reads: “I may have found a way to undo the hack.” Elliot then realizes that maybe there are still things left for him to do.