The Dark Army
At first believed to be a significantly organized hacker group who happen to share a common goal with fsociety, the Dark Army turn out to be a much larger criminal syndicate operating as an enclave within the one percent. Rooted in China, the Dark Army are capable of manipulating world events through the seemingly limitless resources that they possess, such as the payrolls from police chiefs, mayors, senators, and presidents. In the greater scheme of things, the Dark Army appear to be seeking global economic control through the implementation of 5/9 as well as a mysterious project housed in the Chinese-annexed Congo. This project appears to be of great technological importance, as the Dark Army encourage martyrdom in the name of "the cause" and claim it to be the best gift you can provide. With unfathomable reach and influence, the Dark Army is everywhere, and they are nowhere.
- Big Bad: Collectively.
- Break Them by Talking: From what we have seen with Tyrell and Angela, the Dark Army's favored method of recruitment is through systematic psychological breakdowns of prospective members via invasive interrogation, gaslighting, and outright brainwashing.
- Chaotic Evil: Shares traits with both the Intelligent Monster and Terrorist Freedom Fighter flavors. The Dark Army have clear aspirations for societal change, but seem to enjoy hanging a lot of people in the process, even when it isn't entirely necessary or pragmatic. They wantonly kill and even sacrifice their own, but do so in the name of their mission.
- The Cracker: The Dark Army are paid by the highest bidders to carry out cyber-attacks ranging from simple election rigging to economic destabilization.
- Dark Is Evil: It is quite literally in their moniker. Even from the beginning, the Dark Army are portrayed as suspicious and very dangerous people with a lot of pull.
- Dissonant Serenity: A singular trait for most of the upper echelon members, such as Irving and Leon.
- Enlightened Antagonist: They collectively fancy themselves as such, in accordance with Whiterose's master plan... and all that that implies.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: While Chinese in origin, the Dark Army employs members from numerous ethnic and economic backgrounds.
- Evil Counterpart: To fsociety. By season three, fsociety has been either mostly or totally co-opted by the Dark Army following their fragmentation.
- Evil Running Good: The Dark Army have members quite literally everywhere. Yes, even the FBI. According to Whiterose, not even attorneys and presidents are safe from their influence.
- Five-Man Band:
- Forced into Evil: Even when you have no desire to help them, the Dark Army can and will make you their pawn until your "usefulness" is spent.
- Hacker Collective: A much darker example than fsociety.
- Hope Crusher: They own a lot of people. Some of these people are actually supposed to be fighting against the Dark Army, but don't, as they are put into those positions on purpose. No one is sacred.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: When they actually start murdering people in season two, the Dark Army demonstrate jaw-dropping lethality and organization.
- Malevolent Masked Men: Dark Army foot-soldiers wear different masks that indicate their roles within the organization. Members who wear oni masks serve as muscle-men while those in ski masks carry out coordinated assassinations.
- N.G.O. Superpower: By season three, it is made apparent that they are way, way more than just an amoral group of hackers. They have their fingers in pots ranging from the underground hacking community to the Chinese government and the FBI, and have access to military grade weapons, hit-men, and are capable of executing a terrorist attack on 71 different locations throughout the United States, simultaneously.
- Only in It for the Money: This is the reputation that they cultivate, but they clearly have much wider aspirations.
- The Spook: Time is critical in their activities, which often means that they rarely allow themselves to be out in the open for too long. This is ultimately subverted when their continued meddling in the efforts to stop 5/9 ultimately expose them, as Elliot points out.
- Undying Loyalty: The Dark Army's single creed is that sacrificing yourself is the greatest gift you can give to their "cause". Any hint of betrayal or disloyalty marks you for death.
A fixer employed by the Dark Army. At first inconspicuous, Irving's old-school approach and looks hide a dangerously efficient businessman whom the Dark Army relies upon for hands-on dirty work, mostly involving cleaning up hairy situations that could endanger the Dark Army, its operatives, or their plans.
- An Axe to Grind: Uses an axe to brutally murder Santiago.
- Ax-Crazy: His affable charm is just a front for a bloodthirsty psychopath who relishes in intimidating and killing people.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: His quirks and aloof nature do not account for his expertise as the Dark Army's go-to fixer.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Despite appearing first in season three, Irving is responsible for a lot of the more mysterious goings-on happening behind the scenes throughout season two.
- Con Man: Spins a sob story about his wife leaving him and taking the kids to Tyrell, only to immediately reveal to someone else that he was making it all up to sell Tyrell on the plan. It's heretofore ambiguous how much of his behavior is just an act.
- Convenient Replacement Character: While totally different in style and attitude, Irving seems to substitute for Cisco as the main characters' link to the Dark Army in season three.
- Crazy-Prepared: He has all of the materials in his cab to effortlessly disrupt an FBI pursuit and clean up a death by overdose at a lavish party thrown by New York socialites. Even without these tools, Irving displays unparalleled competence and intelligence that aids him in his endeavors.
- The Dragon: Appears to be this for White Rose, as he handles all of the important business she doesn't need to be personally involved in and has been responsible for organizing much of Stage 2. "Stage 3" shows that he shares this position with Grant, who seems to be slightly higher than him on the ladder, while "Shutdown" complicates it when he reveals that he was once in Grant's place many years ago and is somewhat bitter toward White Rose.
- Establishing Character Moment: He's introduced ordering food from a fast food joint and poking holes in the clerk's logic that he has to wait until his next visit to get a free milkshake even though he has a full reward card. He then takes a Bluetooth call from Tyrell and casually asks if Elliot is dead right in front of the clerk.
- Faux Affably Evil: He has a calm, avuncular personality but is a murderous fixer for a malevolent organization.
- The Fixer: His job. He can solve any problem the Dark Army runs into, acquire anything they need, and accomplish whatever must be done, all by whatever means necessary.
- Foil: Can be seen as one to Elliot and Mr. Robot. Like them, he's a ruthlessly intelligent, highly skilled Bunny-Ears Lawyer who got involved in a higher cause — Elliot with Fsociety, and Mr. Robot with the Dark Army — hoping to change the way things worked. Like Robot taking his name from Edward's tech store, his apparent name is also emblazoned on his place of business, and it's currently ambiguous whether it's his real name. The difference is that he's not at all delusional, and "Frederick & Tanya" reveals that he simply gave up hope of the system ever changing, but continues to work for White Rose's cause despite this.
- From a Certain Point of View: His assurances to Angela about the evacuation of the recovery building before Stage 2, which initially seem like outright Blatant Lies. As it turns out, "it's been taken care of" just means the casualties will be in other buildings — the recovery building stopped being the target thanks to Elliot.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Employed by the Dark Army but watches reality TV and writes gay self-insert erotica in his free time.
- Psycho for Hire: While not originally, as the season goes by, Irving goes from a nice guy that only does his job to a sadistic psychopath who totally enjoys what he does.
- Remember the New Guy?: A justified example. He's been heavily involved in the plot since at least late Season 1, but the only characters to have interacted with him until Season 3 are Mr. Robot, Tyrell and Dark Army guys like Cisco and Leon.
Francis "Cisco" Shaw
A hacker associated with the Dark Army, and Darlene's on-and-off boyfriend. He serves as fsociety's link to the Dark Army.
- Ambiguously Evil: Whether or not he's actually interested in helping fsociety is kept ambiguous. On one hand, he acts as a link between them and the Dark Army, informs them of the FBI surveillance program targeting them, and helps Darlene dispose of a body. On the other, he's a member of a society who are clearly more interested in using fsociety as pawns than they are allying with them, and, when Darlene hacks into his computer, she finds that he has secretly informed the Dark Army of her location and sent them a photo of herself sleeping. Ultimately however, he seemed to be genuinely interested in helping Darlene and stayed by her side up until his death.
- Boom, Headshot!: The Dark Army finish him off this way.
- Deadpan Snarker: On occasion.
- Fingore: Angry at his insubordination, his Dark Army superiors inject a needle into his index finger then snap it off, leaving the metal inside.
- He Knows Too Much: Why the Dark Army have him killed. They won't risk him being arrested and revealing what he knows of the Dark Army's plans to the police.
- Meaningful Name: Cisco Systems, a tech company most known for making wireless networking devices, is a fitting name for the link between fsociety and the Dark Army.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He pretends to be an average, slightly obnoxious musician hawking his music out on the street. He's actually a skilled hacker who uses spyware embedded on the disks to hack into his targets' computers and blackmail them.
- Only Known By His Nickname: Most people only know him as Cisco. His library employee card reveals his real name to be Francis Shaw.
- Only Sane Man: Interestingly enough, he seems to be this between Darlene and himself; as he will express his discomfort in a situation as well as point out how jaded she seems to be becoming over time.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: In one second, he's happily dining with Darlene in a random restaurant. In the next, a Dark Army assassin sprays bullets through the window, ventilating his head.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gives one to Darlene after she contemplates letting a wounded Fsociety member die to keep herself safe. His words get through to her and she agrees to take him to hospital.
- Affably Evil: He's a stoner who constantly rambles on about 90s TV shows, gives Elliot life advice, and is generally a good friend to him. He's also a ruthless murderer who will kill anyone his bosses tell him without a second thought.
- Ass Shove: Finishes off the skinhead prisoner who tried to rape Elliot by curb-stomping a knife up his ass. When he threatens Trenton and Mobley with the same knife later, he tells them they don't want to know where it's been.
- The Anti-Nihilist: His quote above gives off this vibe.
- Badass Bookworm: He's a serious Cloudcuckoolander, but he's almost a One-Man Army in combat, first taking on four Neo-Nazis singlehandedly, then kidnapping Trenton and Mobley by himself after killing their roommate, and later killing several of Grant's goons before they have a chance to fire. The same episode as the last incident reveals that he can take personal calls from White Rose, implying that he's much higher up on the chain of command than was initially thought.
- Big Damn Villains: Saves Elliot from getting raped by Neo-Nazis just before it's revealed that he's a Dark Army operative. Later stops Grant from executing Elliot and Darlene by taking out all of Grant's men single-handedly.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's quite strange and it's ambiguous how intelligent he actually is, but he's more than competent enough that Irving still pays him.
- Cloudcuckoolander: His rambling obsession with classic TV like Seinfeld makes him seem like a bit of one. He also rambles to Irving about getting to kill Neo-Nazis before realizing he was being asked about Elliot, indicating that it's not an act.
- Foreshadowing: If you look closely at his arm, you'll see he has a tattoo in Chinese meaning 'Year of the Dragon'. The Dark Army are a hacker group operating out of China, who use dragon masks as disguises.
- Friend in the Black Market: Offers to hook Elliot up with anything he needs in prison.Leon: I'm here to provide you with anything you may need. I can pretty much find anything, and I mean anything. Smokes, pills, hard shit, porn, grandma porn. Some of these guys like that shit. Gay porn. I don't judge, man. Whatever you need.
- Hero Killer: He may not kill them directly, but he is responsible for the murders of Mobley and Trenton, kidnapping them and holding them hostage until his masked allies arrive to finish the job.
- Hidden Depths: Gives a surprisingly inspirational speech to Elliot about the beauty of existence.
- The Sociopath: Ambiguous. He seems genuinely warm toward Elliot and treats him like a friend, even though he's merely an operative assigned to keep him alive. However, he affects the same casual demeanor to the point of impassive coldness when he's the hostile party in a situation, as seen when he responds to Mobley's pleas to let him and Trenton go by monologuing about Knight Rider and throwing in a few brief acknowledgements that he overhears what's being said about him.
- The Stinger: In the post-credits scene of the second season finale, he meets with a disguised Trenton and Mobley for unknown reasons. "Frederick & Tanya" reveals that he kidnapped them and ultimately condemned them to their deaths.
A close assistant to White Rose, both in her true nature and when she presents as Minister Zhang.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Admit it, you felt bad for him when he nervously commits suicide because Whiterose ordered him to do it for not being worthy of seeing the final results of their project.
- Ascended Extra: Initially just an assistant to White Rose, before "Stage 3" shows that he's not only Co-Dragons with Irving, but also White Rose's lover and the only Dark Army member shown so far allowed to speak out of turn or call her out on being wrong.
- Bilingual Bonus: Before he kills himself, Grant pleads for Elliot to "take care of" White Rose.
- Co-Dragons: With Irving, though he's more personally close to White Rose than Irving seems to be. However, "Shutdown" reveals that Irving was in his position once, and since he kills himself in the same episode, Irving is back on top.
- The Danza: Shares his actor's name.
- Driven to Suicide: After White Rose tells him not to execute Elliot and Darlene and breaks off their relationship, he shoots himself in the head. Whether this was out of grief or the same unknown reasons the rest of the Dark Army tend to kill themselves is left ambiguous.
- Mook Lieutenant: He appears to have a lot of control over the Dark Army's rank-and-file, always being personally followed by a squad of them and presiding over operations where many of them are needed.
- The Stoic: Rarely visibly emotes, giving a constant stern glower to intimidate those he meets with.
An enigmatic Dark Army interrogator.
- Affably Evil: Nothing but quiet and polite.
- Breaking Speech: Gives this to Tyrell in "Legacy", asking him a series of personal questions to unravel his mind and prove his loyalty.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He's basically a cameo for Wallace Shawn, but his sequence of questioning drives Tyrell even further into his Sanity Slippage and officially makes him part of the Dark Army.
- Affably Evil: He doesn't speak, but his body language gives off the vibe that he's a rather chill fella despite whom he's working for.
- The Spook: Nothing is ever stated about who he is, what his position is, or why he refuses to speak. However, he's strongly implied to be a high-ranking operative, being put in charge of such important tasks as managing the initial Stage 2 site and serving as the pickup for Angela's data during Stage 2 itself.
- The Voiceless: He never speaks a word.