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Recap / Mr Robot S 03 E 10

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Carry on, carry on, carry on
And after us the flood
Carry on, carry on, carry on
Our silver horn, it leads the way...
M83, "Intro"
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Dark Army assassins storm Elliot's apartment, turning over the place. In apartment 4D, Elliot waits with Flipper as they leave. Returning to his apartment, Elliot tries to contact Darlene, worried about her safety as the Dark Army could potentially be targeting her as well. Still being held by the FBI, Darlene is handcuffed and taken by Santiago to the parking garage. Dominique catches up with him after discovering his lie about the agent assigned to Darlene's case, but Santiago knocks Dominique out and takes her as well. At the arcade, Elliot scrambles for a way to save Darlene, knowing full well that she is danger. Getting on the Ferris wheel, Elliot pumps Mr. Robot for information, learning that he was not behind the cyber bombings, and that the FBI has a mole.

Santiago drives Dominique and Darlene to the cabin where Tyrell was previously held. Dominique chastises Santiago for his treachery, but he explains that the Dark Army's hold over him has forced his hand. Elliot and Mr. Robot break into Santiago's home to find a lead, but are found by Irving shortly after. Meanwhile, Angela has been staying at Phillip Price's estate after being collected the previous night by his men, demanding a meet with Whiterose. She is told that Price is wanting to speak with her instead. At the cabin, Irving arrives with Elliot and Mr. Robot, and the three meet in the barn where Darlene and Dominique are being held hostage by Leon, Santiago, and other Dark Army operatives. Irving and Santiago escort Dominique outside where Irving prepares to murder her presumably with an axe. Santiago objects, stating that Dom could be useful to the Dark Army, but Dominique immediately rejects. Irving surmises that she will never flip, and proceeds to hack Santiago to death for his missteps instead as a message. Dominique is reluctant, but agrees to be a Dark Army informant after Irving threatens her family. Dominique returns to the barn, where Elliot learns that Whiterose is watching them through a hidden camera.

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Price and Angela meet. Angela is confused by Price's hospitality and his expressions of concern for her well being. At the cabin, Grant arrives. Irving informs him of Santiago's fate, and that the others are in the barn waiting. Irving departs, leaving Grant and the other Dark Army operatives to finish the job. Despite revealing that he owns the Dark Army's operations, including the transferring of the Washington Township plant to the Congo, Elliot and Darlene are forced to their knees with guns to their heads. Price reveals a shocking truth to Angela: he is her true father, and has been secretly protecting her from Whiterose's wrath all this time. At the barn, Leon receives a text message, and shoots the other Dark Army operatives dead sans Grant. Whiterose contacts him to reveal that unfortunately, Elliot's usefulness (in regards to moving the Dark Army's illusive Congo operation forward) surpasses his own. Grant tells Elliot to take care of Whiterose before turning his gun on himself.

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Angela, heartbroken about being deceived by Whiterose, asks Price on how to seek retribution against her. Price suggests that Angela merely accept her failure before leaving. Leon instructs Elliot to make good on his promise to Whiterose. Afterwards, Dominique provides Elliot access to Sentinel and tells Darlene to live and die with the fact that she has ruined her life before leaving. Elliot retrieves the encrypted keys, and learns that Romero was not the one behind their creation. While riding the subway home, Darlene asks Elliot about his mentioning of Kevin McCallister the snowman in their previous conversation on Coney Island. Elliot explains that it was on the same day as when their father pushed him out of the window. Darlene is confused, saying that Elliot wasn't pushed, and that he jumped after seemingly going through a psychotic break and destroying everything in sight with a baseball bat. Elliot claims that he doesn't remember, to which Darlene replies that that is why she is there: to help him remember. Elliot elects to stay on the train as Darlene leaves.

Mr. Robot and Elliot talk. Mr. Robot admits to being the one who created the encrypted keys, stating that they were a failsafe for their revolution. Mr. Robot still suggests that Elliot not go through with undoing the hack and that it will not help anyone, but Elliot states that he is doing this for him and him alone. Elliot goes on to add that "the top one percent of the one percent" (a.k.a. the Dark Army) will not win, given that they have just exposed themselves, and swears to take them all down. At home, Elliot finds the keys in the blank disk that he created long ago, and that Mr. Robot hid them in a certain picture of Elliot and his father. Elliot copies the keys to an e-mail, which he sends to E Corp.

In a post-credits scene, Darlene and a new friend arrive at Elliot's apartment. A car pulls up as her friend leaves, and its occupants approach Darlene. She asks them for their present business, and it is revealed to be none other than Vera and his cronies, with him saying that he is just a "brave traveler" who has come home.

Tropes:

  • Abuse Mistake: One of the major twists, which reveals that Elliot's father had nothing to do with the window accident and that Elliot voluntarily leaped out during a psychotic breakdown.
  • Action Prologue: The episode begins with Dark Army assassins busting into Elliot's apartment and ransacking it.
  • Action Survivor: Through pure wit and determination, Elliot manages to save himself and Darlene from being executed by the Dark Army.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Whiterose is visibly shaken when she downsizes Grant, knowing what he must do.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Santiago of all people. His reason for screwing over Dominique is that his mother would be a potential target of the Dark Army should he deviate from their agenda whatsoever. Santiago later tries to convince Irving to spare Dominique's life, not knowing that he himself is the actual target for inadvertently stalling Whiterose's plan. Irving butchers Santiago to death, and the scene is appropriately gruesome.
    • Grant. Being told by your lover that you no longer serve a purpose to them and that you have to sacrifice yourself for being second best to another person must be gut-wrenching. Grant can barely hold himself together as he pleads for Elliot take care of Whiterose before blowing his own brains out.
  • As Long as There is One Man: The point of Elliot's new objective upon reversing the 5/9 hack:
    Elliot: "They've exposed themselves, and I'm going to take them down."
  • Ax-Crazy: Irving, quite literally.
  • Badass Boast: A rare example from Elliot, just as he and Darlene are about to face summary execution.
    Elliot: I did something in one night that you've been trying to do for months!
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Whiterose ultimately achieves her goal to move her project to the newly annexed Congo.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Dominique wanted to catch and expose the Dark Army. She does... and is forced to ''work'' for them.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Irving.
  • Bittersweet Ending: By far, the sweetest possible outcome to ever happen in this show, with mostly everybody living, Elliot and Mr. Robot finally coming together, and 5/9 being undone. However, Dominique has been blackmailed into serving the Dark Army, Whiterose's project is moved to the Congo, Angela is still on bad terms with both Elliot and Darlene and Vera comes back to confront Elliot after all is said and done.
  • Black Comedy: This gem of a scene as Irving enacts a Blofeld Ploy (see below) against Dominique and threatens her family:
    Irving: (reading off names of family members) "Or your older brother, Jerry, as he's watching swings axe Wheel! swings axe Of! swings axe Fortune!"
  • Bloodier and Gorier: This is arguably the most violent episode of the series with the most on-screen casualties.
  • Bloody Horror: Santiago's murder.
  • Blofeld Ploy: Irving uses this to intimidate Dominique into joining the Dark Army. It seems to work.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The episode ends with Darlene being approached by Vera as he is about to enter Elliot's apartment.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Dominique. Angela doesn't fare much better either.
  • Break the Haughty: For Dominique, her obsession with arresting Whiterose leads to her being involuntarily recruited by the Dark Army to replace Santiago as the FBI's mole. Her last appearance is that of a broken shell of a woman, with no tears left to cry or strength left to resist.
  • Cliffhanger: Vera returns and confronts Darlene as he and other goons approach Elliot's apartment.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Elliot, Darlene, and Dominique are allowed to live based solely on their potentials as tools for the Dark Army.
  • Cooperation Gambit: Elliot offers his technical expertise to help Whiterose in moving her project to the Congo, which saves both him and Darlene. Doubles as an Indy Ploy.
  • Determinator: Dominique, despite being threatened with an axe, makes it clear to Irving that she will not comply with the Dark Army's orders. She buckles once the prospect of her family being in danger is laid bare.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Very narrowly subverted by Dominique.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Just as Elliot finally undoes 5/9, Vera unexpectedly returns to muddy the waters once again.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Elliot goes to confront Mr. Robot on the Ferris wheel, the attendant asks for the number of tickets to exchange. Elliot replies, "one."
  • Double-Meaning Title: "shutdown-r" is an external computer command that reboots the system. By undoing the 5/9 hack, Elliot "reboots" the show.
  • Drama Bomb: This episode is just harrowing, with even more deaths, character revelations, and defiance of Status Quo Is God than shown before.
  • Dramatic Pause: Once Leon dispatches Grant's reinforcements and Angela learns that Price is her father, you can hear the veritable pin drop.
  • Driven to Suicide: Grant turns his gun on himself after Whiterose deems him a liability in her plan.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title means Elliot "shutting" down 5/9. It also means the series being shut down for a while and not rebooting until 2019.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Dominique wears a glassy-eyed, dazed expression following Santiago's horrific murder.
  • The End of the Beginning: Elliot views the release of the encryption keys as closure rather than an objective victory. He instead proclaims that the Dark Army is the actual problem, now that they have "shown themselves".
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Grant is made redundant by Whiterose after Elliot's proposition to assist in her plans for the Congo.
  • Friendly Enemy: Leon, natch. Even after holding Elliot's sister hostage, Leon expresses his admiration for him, and shares a rather charitable warning against failing Whiterose.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Irving's initial ax swing at Santiago is explicit, but the rest is either out of focus or not seen at all.
  • Hourglass Plot: After enduring severe psychological torture from the Dark Army, Dom ends up becoming a mole and loses all of her will to take them down while Elliot becomes more stronger and decides to not let himself become their victim and takes matters into his own hands.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Leon takes down four Dark Army thugs in the span of two seconds, with one bullet for each.
  • The Informant: Dominique is forced to become one for the Dark Army.
  • Justified Criminal: Santiago excuses his treachery as being motivated by his mother's safety from the Dark Army.
  • Karma Houdini: Whiterose, once again.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Price confesses this to Angela.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Or, rather, a meaningful lack of one. When Elliot begins challenging Grant and Whiterose, Mr. Robot is nowhere to be found. This is interpreted to be the result of the two personalities reaching equilibrium.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Grant and a cadre of Dark Army assassins bust into Elliot's apartment to kill him, not realizing that he is hiding in Shayla's former apartment next door.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: The Dark Army are at their most personal when it comes to their murderous protocols in this episode. However, Elliot, Darlene, Angela, and Dominique all narrowly avoid their wrath once more.
  • Must Let Them Get Away: Elliot and company have no choice but to surrender to Whiterose's whims in order to live. This is later subverted when Elliot swears vengeance against the Dark Army, knowing the full scale of their power.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The full weight of Angela's role in the cyber-bombings finally dawns on her once she learns it was all for naught.
  • Must Make Amends: Elliot reverses the 5/9 hack, albeit with little more than self-absolution as a reward.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Irving taking an ax to Santiago and proceeding to dice him like a slab of meat. Luckily, we don't see the whole thing.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Upon giving Elliot access to the Sentinel database, Dominique makes it clear that she is not doing it for him.
  • Not So Above It All: Discussed. Mr. Robot admits to Elliot that he would have found another way to implement stage two without sacrificing innocent lives, but Elliot posits that this is just a result of the duo's codependency rather than a conscious rumination.
  • Only Sane Man: By the end of the episode, Elliot is the only one who maintains his composure.
  • Percussive Therapy: Lamenting over Darlene's safety, Elliot engages in some at the arcade by punching out the glass of the popcorn maker and knocking over one of the cabinets.
  • Please, I Will Do Anything!: Elliot begs for Whiterose to spare him and Darlene, offering to help the Dark Army in any capacity. Whiterose is intrigued enough to let them live.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Santiago is killed, but Dominique is forced to replace him as the Dark Army's FBI mole. Meanwhile, Elliot is forced to move Whiterose's plan forward in order for him and Darlene to survive, and Angela realizes too late that she was a pawn of Whiterose for the entirety of the season. Elliot later undoes 5/9, but it ultimately changes nothing. As if that wasn't enough, Fernando Vera returns to stir the pot.
  • Rape as Backstory: A brief exchange between Irving and Grant heavily implies that Whiterose forces her lieutenants into sexual submission as a test of loyalty.
  • Sherlock Scan: While being held in the barn by the Dark Army, Elliot quickly spots a hidden camera and deduces that Whiterose is monitoring the encounter. He later uses this to save himself and Darlene.
  • Tap on the Head: Santiago cold cocks Dominique, leaving her unconscious long enough for him to kidnap her along with Darlene.
  • Tearjerker: Angela realizing that Whiterose lied to her, and that her role in stage two was in vain. She's just so absolutely crushed that you cannot help but feel her sorrow.
    Angela: "It's not over, it can't be! She was gonna bring my mom back...
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Fed up with being constantly manipulated, Dominique delivers a blistering one to Darlene.
  • Split-Personality Merge: Pretty much the gist of the episode, with Mr. Robot and Elliot finally working together after two seasons of internal warfare.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Irving continues to butcher Santiago even though it is quite apparent that he is dead.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: The return of Fernando Vera spells nothing but trouble for Elliot and Darlene.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Elliot jumped out of the window, and was not pushed by Edward as he (and by extension we) previously believed.
  • Urban Hellscape: By the end of the episode, New York City looks unmistakably broken and diseased, with more vagrants, theft, prostitution, street merchants, and vandalism than ever seen before. Elliot has to walk through it to return to his apartment. It only gets worse once Fernando Vera and a squad of henchmen arrive to cause more problems in the aftermath.
  • Villainous Rescue: Several characters in this episode would have been utterly doomed if not for this trope:
    • Whiterose pardons Elliot and Darlene by ordering Leon to shoot down Grant's reinforcements.
    • Price meeting Angela culminates in a plea for her to see reason and reject Whiterose's continued exploitation of her emotional problems, as he has been struggling to keep her safe from the Dark Army since the beginning.
    • Subverted with Fernando Vera's return. While he is a villain, he breaks this trope's pattern to undoubtedly make things worse for Elliot.
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