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Mr. Robot: eps3.0_power-saver-mode.h

"When we lose our principles, we invite chaos."

We are living in a state of disarray. Chaos is spreading, in fact as well as fiction.

If any TV show can properly address this moment in time, it's got to be Mr. Robot. They've done a lot in just this episode.

In Elliot's latest mad tirade, he not only addresses the ridiculousness that is the Trump administration and the flurry of controversies and upheavals that have followed, he points out that it was his own vengeful, disaffected plan to sow disorder and flip the chessboard that resulted in all of this. In other words, this is what we get when we collectively agree, one way or another, to "fuck society."

And this version of our society is most assuredly fucked, even more than the one we know. The good news is that we now know what sides there are. There is the side that wants to heal and reverse the damage that has been done, and the side that wants to escalate the situation for some greater (but inevitably malevolent) purpose. We know who is on which side now as well, but that doesn't make the dynamic any less gray with ambiguity.

After making a speedy recover from his gunshot wound, Elliot goes on a quest for an internet connection in the city of darkness, determined to finish what he started: putting an end to his/Mr. Robot's insane revolution. He is able to close the backdoor into Evil Corp's data network with Darlene's help, but is then forced into a meeting with Irving, a quirky new Dark Army operative played by Bobby Cannavale. Irving appears to be the middleman between Elliot/Mr. Robot and Zhang/Whiterose, since Whiterose is still making a point of never letting Elliot see her again.

After Irving deftly loses their FBI tail, Elliot tells him the deal between him and the Dark Army is off, thinking that'll be the end of it. It isn't, and he ends up alienating Darlene to boot. The Alderson kids aren't the best of teams right now. For one thing, they're lying to each other: Elliot tells Darlene that Tyrell Wellick isn't involved in the Dark Army plot, which he is, and Darlene is obviously working with the FBI in secret. I'm hoping their bond will be able to survive this series.

Elliot goes to Angela, feeling she's the only one he can fully trust. Angela is even less trustworthy than he is, as she is actively undermining Elliot in accordance with the Dark Army, Tyrell and even Elliot's alter ego, Mr. Robot. Poor Elliot believes Mr. Robot is gone and that he's started on the path to freeing the world from this self-inflicted nightmare. And we watch in horror as the woman he loves aids his dark side in rendering his efforts meaningless. She is able to mend fences between "Elliot" and the Dark Army, allowing Mr. Robot to continue working towards Evil Corp's destruction, feeding into Whiterose's ambitions.

Angela seems to have drank Whiterose's kool-aid. Her original desire for justice against the conglomerate that killed her mother has been perverted into a fanatical mission to change the world... which will clearly involve Evil Corp's Washington Township Power Plant, in some way that I'm sure will not be the least bit explosive or disastrous.

Ones & Zeroes:

* I was glad that Angela's headspace was actually addressed. We needed clarity, although I had already guessed it for the most part. She was out for herself pursuing her own crusade for awhile, but has now found purpose as a soldier in Whiterose's army. Of course, I'm sure her own motivations will always come first, no matter what side she is on. Although she betrays Elliot by working with his enemies, she also still intends to help him get a job at Evil Corp as part of his plan to fix things. How will she feel when she learns Whiterose intends for Elliot to die as soon as he has outlived his usefulness to her cause? Or does she already know? Time will tell if Elliot's faith in Angela is well-placed or not.

* To be fair to Angela, there doesn't seem to be a single character who isn't lying to, keeping secrets from, or using the people around them. We're inside the protagonist's head, and there are still things he is keeping from us all the time.

* The man giving the tour at the power plant was talking about his fascination with the idea of parallel universes as they passed Whiterose, who has also expressed a fascination with the concept. Could this be her endgame? Is creating a "new world" her method of bringing forth some type of alternate reality?

* No Price or Joanna in this episode. Nor Trenton and Mobley, though I wasn't expecting them or Leon to make an appearance yet. Dom didn't appear, but her presence was felt with Darlene.

* This show's got a love for unique little locations. Before we had Ron's Coffee shop, the F-Society Arcade on Coney Island or the Mr. Robot electronics store. Now we've got the 1984 club and Red-Wheelbarrow BBQ.


Zhang/Whiterose: He really is a crazy little goose, isn't he?

Elliot: (narrating) It's times like these I wish I had a mute button for life.
So do I, Elliot. So do I.

Elliot: I want confirmation. From her.
Irving: You know that bullet we took out of you? We can easily put that right back in.

Elliot: They packaged our fight into product. Turned our dissent into intellectual property. Televising our revolution with commercial breaks.

Elliot: And that's what I'm afraid of the most. This dark future that I set into motion. (close-up) Who knows what could come from this?
President Trump on TV: Thank you. Thank you very much.
Elliot: What if instead of fighting back, we cave? Give away our privacy for security. Exchange dignity for safety. Trade in revolution for repression. What if we choose weakness over strength?
Trump TV: These are not the people that made our country great! These are the people that are destroying our country!
Elliot: They'll even have us build our own prison. This is what they wanted all along. For us to buy in on our worst selves. And I just made it easier for them. I didn't start a revolution. I just made us docile enough for their slaughter. And I can stand here and I can blame Evil Corp and every other conglomerate out there for taking advantage of us. Blame the FBI, NSA, CIA for letting them get away with this. Blame all the world's leaders for aiding and abetting them. Blame Adam Smith for inventing modern day capitalism in the first fucking place. Blame money for dividing us, blame us for letting it. But none of that's true. The truth is... I'm the one to blame.

Angela: When we succeed, a whole new world will be born.

This premiere did a good job of thrusting us right back into the action. Everything was calibrated just right. Four out of four Property of Josh Groban shirts.

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