The name of the game on Mr. Robot Season 3 Episode 7 is hopelessness.
From the deaths of two formerly-major characters to the ancillary killings of thousands in the Evil Corp terrorists attacks, "Fredrick + Tanya" is, at the end of the day, an unrelentingly dark hour of the series.
While Mr. Robot Season 3 Episode 5 and Mr. Robot Season 3 Episode 6 were two of the more creative, challenging, and jaw-dropping installments the series has ever had, "Fredrick + Tanya" was far more utilitarian. It was an hour of moving the chess pieces around the board and getting things into position, after the far more focused and abstract past several installments.
To that end, we got a glimpse of ever major character (something the show relatively rarely does), checking in with each of them and moving each of their individual plots (as well as the larger plot) forward.
Let's start with Angela, who did the least.
See? They all came back. They're all fine. Here, I'll show you again. Told you. Everyone's okay again. Everyone's gonna be okay. Everyone's gonna be okay.Angela
Basically, Angela's mind has totally broken in the aftermath of the attacks. She couldn't handle the realization that she was largely responsible for helping a terrorist organization orchestrate the shocking, brutal deaths of thousands of people.
The look on Angela's face was absolutely brutal throughout the hour. She looked, in turn, nauseous, dazed, shocked, and stricken. But most importantly, she has fully convinced herself that Whiterose's plan will involve "undoing" all of these deaths. And she's attempting to convince a hesitant Darlene of the same.
Portia Doubleday didn't have material as interesting to work with as she did for the past two installments, but she did a fine job with Angela's limited screentime on "Fredrick + Tanya."
Unfortunately, things are set to get really bad for her, if we can take Whiterose's confession to Philip Price at her word.
I was honestly a bit confused about the specifics of Whiterose and Philip Price's argument – I could do with another rewatch, but I got the gist of it. The gist being: the two are now enemies, Whiterose has accomplished her punishment for Price's unwillingness to just follow her orders, and Price demanded to understand why.
Whiterose confessed that Price's inability to keep Angela in check was a large part of the reason she turned against him – and why she needed to manipulate and control Angela instead.
Now, she didn't come right out and say that she insinuated time travel/alternate realities were possible and lied about it. But given the flashes to the Whiterose/Angela meeting from Mr. Robot Season 2 and Whiterose's explanation that she controls Angela, I'm not sure what else to believe at this point.
So while my current guess is that the show won't end up going down a sci-fi road, that remains to be seen. What also remains to be seen is an explanation about what Whiterose's true gameplan is in orchestrating all of this chaos, if not time travel/alternate realities/the resurrection of the dead.
As bad as this installment was for Angela and Philip Price, it was so much worse for the title characters, Fredrick and Tanya – also known as Mobley and Trenton.
When we last saw the two former fsociety hackers back in Mr. Robot Season 2, they were hiding out in Arizona with new identities but being approached by Leon, Elliot's former prison friend/Dark Army contact. Within an hour of their reintroduction, they were dead, in a particularly gruesome and tense manner.
While Mr. Robot Season 3 Episode 6 confusingly ended with Tyrell turning himself into the authorities (after the Dark Army lured the FBI to a fake hideout for him), this hour revealed exactly why that happened and confirmed that Tyrell hadn't gone rogue after all.
This ended up being a pivotal moment, because it led to a few things all in a chain reaction.
Character-wise, the most important result was Tyrell being taken into custody and finally learning of Joanna's death.
Martin Wallström did a phenomenal job during the scene with Tyrell and Santiago, where the crooked agent finally revealed the true fate of Tyrell's family. Each emotional beat Wallström hit was picture-perfect.
Like most of the scenes in the installment, the scene was quite short but it managed to be quite emotionally effective and plot-driving at the same time.
Santiago, meanwhile, is quickly rising through the ranks as being one of my least-favorite Mr. Robot characters of all time. The good news is that it appears, after the events of this hour, his comeuppance is just about due.
We still have no idea why Santiago is embroiled with the Dark Army, but it doesn't appear to be because he truly believes in their cause. That said, his behind-the-scenes maneuvering to help the plan go off without a hitch has started to make him seem suspicious to Dom.
It was pretty clear that Dom now thinks Santiago is crooked – she just doesn't know why. Her suspicions have been growing week by week, but Santiago wanting to take the deal with Tyrell (who, as per the plan, was claiming that he was a kidnap victim and forced to help the Dark Army) was the straw that broke the camel's back.
If you veer from the plan at all, I promise, you won't live to place a flower on your wife's grave.Santiago
As far as tells go, this one was pretty lame. It couldn't have been more obvious that Santiago was trying to help along Tyrell's release. But of course, Dom couldn't do anything about that except comply. For now, at least.
The closing moments of the hour indicated that Dom may be about to go rogue.
You're actually gonna get away with this.Dom
While the Dark Army's plan to frame Mobley and Trenton went off without a hitch and would appear to have convinced everyone that they masterminded the hack and terrorist attacks, it just had Dom thinking that Whiterose was a slyer enemy than she'd predicted. Personally, I can't wait to see Dom tear it all done.
Finally, I have to give a shout out to the installment's three returned characters.
Leon was, as per usual, an eccentric joy. His ranting about Fraisier was hilarious, especially sine it took place just feet from a dead body. And it is sort of unrealistic in exactly the way he said, to be honest.
The Mobley and Trenton parts of the hour were heartbreaking to watch. The show did a great job of taking us along with them on their futile journey, where at first they believed they were doomed, then that they could potentially be recruited, and finally to the last, terror-filled moments.
For Elliot and Darlene's former fsociety compatriots, it was the worst of all imaginable ends.
It was a clever trick of time to make the audience believe that the SWAT team raid was happening concurrently. But in reality, Mobley and Trenton were long dead (in a staged suicide) before the FBI ever got there.
It was a dark, tragic twist which made things seem hopeless for the good guys, but will hopefully help the truth come to light once Dom investigates further.
- Santiago mentioned his mother's treatments. This automatically made me think she has cancer. I'm wondering now whether his connection to the Dark Army/Whiterose is forced and if Santiago's mom is somehow a victim of one of Whiterose's plants, just like Elliot's dad and Angela's mom were.
- Trenton mentioned that she'd set up an automatic email to send to "someone she trusts" in case something happens to her. Who is that someone? And will this email wind up being the key that blows a hole in the entire operation?
- The silent screaming of Tyrell after Santiago revealed Joanna's death was very well done.
- The hour hardly featured any Elliot, but I loved the effect where his voice glitched out when he visited Krista, right before Mr. Robot took over.
What did you think of "Fredrick + Tanya"?
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Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.