“eps3.3_metadata.par2” sets a deadline for Phase 2 and gives us a look into the mind of Darlene. The following article contains spoilers, so read no further if that sort of thing bothers you.
The episode starts with a great scene where Darlene (Carly Chaikin) wakes on the subway to find that her wallet has been stolen and quickly deduces the culprit. She confronts the girl, but in a Jules Winnfield moment, says she doesn’t care about the cash, she just wants something sentimental, a photo of her family on a trip to the beach. But why doesn’t she care about the money? Because she stole it in the first place; from the pickpocket, from everyone. Her guilt over the 5/9 hack is started to overwhelm her, and she confesses to this thief all her sins, including when she killed a woman (E-Corp lawyer Susan Jacobs) with a stun gun. After this, she gets off the subway casually, leaving the thief stunned. The scene subtly uses Elliott Smith’s “Everything Means Nothing To Me”, which also closes the episode and gives us an idea of what Darlene is going through.
As we saw at the end of last week’s episode, Elliot used the bug Darlene placed on his computer to trace a path back to her apartment, which was set up by the FBI. Darlene has always shown a cynical, IDGAF facade, but everyone has to care about something and Darlene cares about her brother, really the only person she has left in her life. Unfortunately, she can no longer be sure whether she’s dealing with Elliot or the sinister side of his mind, Mr. Robot.
Once he convinces her of who he is, Elliot tells her about his plans to stop Phase 2. Since he wants to be the one to stop it, don’t include giving his information to the FBI. He also confides in her that he’s been spending nights in Shayla’s apartment since she was killed in season one and asks Darlene to keep an eye on him at night, when Mr. Robot takes over. As he leaves, he tells her “Whatever he does, it’s not me.”
“Red Wheelbarrow Understands”
Irving meets with Angela for an update meeting in Red Wheelbarrow and gives a disquisition on BBQ ribs. But Angela isn’t interested in ribs. She confirms to Irving (with more than a trace of doubt) that her team is on schedule for Phase 2, which now has a hard deadline of 9/29, or ten days hence. She wants reassurance that the building will be evacuated and no one will be hurt, which he gives her, but in a manner not at all reassuring. Then she asks him “Did Whiterose ever show you?”, presumably talking about the giant device from the season premiere, which may or may not be a time machine. Whatever it is, Irving believes it can work, and Angela is obviously counting on it.
The FBI makes an arrest related to the new fsociety video in the form of Sasan Nouri (Nuah Ozryel). When they burst into his apartment, they find a camcorder and he puts on the mustache mask. Dom (Grace Gummer) and Norm (Rizwan Manji) interrogate him, but he remains stone-faced and doesn’t react to any of their questions until Dom mentions Whiterose. It looks like the Dark Army has set up this fake fsociety video in order to distract attention from themselves, but Dom is going to have trouble getting the rest of the FBI to believe her.
“I Should Have Believed You”
Elliot and Darlene go for a walk and Darlene is clearly worried that the Dark Army is planning to kill her. She proposes a vengeance pact, and Elliot agrees. He apologizes to her for the way he’s treated her since the 5/9 hack and these two siblings share a touching embrace.
The family bonding doesn’t last, though. When Darlene sees Elliot leave his apartment at 1:48 am, she knows its really Mr. Robot. She tails him and spies him talking with Angela, but they give her the slip before returning to the bunker.
A depressed Darlene meets up with Dom at a bar and they talk about childhoods in New Jersey and relationship status before moving on to the business of the Dark Army. Darlene lets Dom know what she’s giving up by informing to the FBI, “It’s game over for me. I’m losing my brother.”
“Never Appeal To A Man’s Better Nature. He May Not Have One.”
Tyrell Wellick doesn’t take the news of the deadline and Elliot sabotaging the shipment of paper records well. He smashes a computer and threatens Mr. Robot that he is going to take over. Mr. Robot, after quoting Robert Heinlein, slams Wellick up against the wall and that’s when things get glitchy. The Elliot personality emerges and he sees Wellick and Angela, who uses a syringe to knock Elliot out before he can figure out what’s going on.
Tyrell talks to Irving about the new deadline, which Irving informs him is non-negotiable. Tyrell says he can’t work with Elliot/Mr. Robot anymore, since he can’t count on one showing up over the other. Irving strokes Tyrell’s ego in order to manipulate him into continuing with Phase 2. Tyrell says he wants to go to the Ukraine with his wife, of whose death he is still unaware. Irving hedges, saying he will look into it.
Angela calls Phillip Price and asks that Elliot be fired, refusing to give him any reason for it. He assents, but it’s clear that this favor will not come without a price. Angela sits down with Mr. Robot and tells him what happened in the bunker. She is rattled when she gets a text from Irving saying they’ll be ready to go on Monday.
“Everything Means Nothing To Me”
Darlene has decided to leave, running away to Budapest to escape from the FBI and the Dark Army. Before she goes, she leaves the family photo for Elliot as the chorus plays into the credits.
Will Darlene make good her escape?
How will Angela explain to Elliot what happened in the bunker and will she have to explain why she was with Tyrell Wellick?
What is going on with Mobley and Trenton, and (more importantly) Leon? We still don’t know their status since the teaser at the end of season two (the scene from last episode with Leon was part of a flashback).
What’s going to happen when Tyrell finds out about Joanna? We’ve seen that he doesn’t handle bad news well, and what worse news can one receive than that your wife is dead and your child is in the custody of a government that wants you imprisoned or worse?