"Shutdown" was such an exciting, satisfying, and well-executed finale that I hardly know how I'll wait the many months until Mr. Robot's return for its recently-ordered Season 4.
Mr. Robot Season 3 Episode 10 had plenty of major moments, serious revelations, and plot twists that all leave the audience hungry for me. I'm also wondering how the writers will treat this "reboot" of sorts.
I'm referring, of course, to the singular most major event of the finale: Elliot seemingly undoing the Five Nine Hack.
By doing so, Elliot is essentially taking us back to square one, where we were in the earlier days of the first season (minus a few now-dead faces).
But at the same time, his rage and the focus of his vengeance has narrowed.
They won't win. Because one good thing came out of all this. They showed themselves. The top 1% of the 1%. The ones in control. The ones who play god without permission. And now I'm gonna take them down. All of them.Elliot
It's been a crazy road to get to this point, but Elliot "undoing" the hack is probably the best way to go.
Seeing the fallout from the hack has given us plenty of story, but there really wasn't anywhere else to go with it from here.
It'll be far more interesting to see the writers trying to untangle the mess that the hack made of the world, all while Elliot is plotting his larger revenge against "the top 1% of the 1%" – which we now know includes Angela's real dad, Philip Price.
I honestly didn't see this reveal coming. As soapy and somewhat contrived as it is, I sort of love it.
The entire show is really about the characters' various "daddy issues."
Tyrell struggled against being like his ordinary, "Red Wheelbarrow"-loving father. Elliot had a complex relationship with Ed before he died – so much so that he now hallucinates the man as his unhinged alter ego.
Why shouldn't Angela also get complex parental issues of her own?
I'm also very interested to go back and re-watch the show, hopefully to see just how many hints and teases there were about this reveal.
Knowing what we now know about Angela and Price's connection, this also put the flashback at the beginning of Mr. Robot Season 3 Episode 9 into better focus.
We saw the moment where Price decided, against all recommendations, to choose All Safe as E Corp's cybersecurity firm. He looked at Angela with interest when visiting the company, and now we know exactly why he's always been so interested in her – and how Elliot and Angela wound up tangled in this Dark Army mess in the first place.
It's all because Angela's biological dad wanted an excuse to see her.
I had a feeling at the end of the last installment that when those mystery men picked up Angela, they weren't on Whiterose's payroll after all. As it turns out, they were Price's men.
The scenes between Angela and Price were extremely well-acted, particularly on Portia Doubleday's end.
I especially appreciated that Price didn't get emotional – he remained extremely matter-of-fact about the whole sordid situation.
Had he gotten teary instead of remaining stoic, it would have felt bizarre. That's obviously not the Price we've come to know over the past three seasons.
In the end, Price's reveal didn't feel as if it was timed for maximum drama. There was an actual reason why he chose to tell Angela now, finally, about her true paternity: Because she was losing her mind.
Angela has spent the past few episodes being a complete basketcase after her participation in the E Corp bombings. It was absolutely devastating to see Price break it to her that she'd been manipulated, solely for the reason of Whiterose getting back at Price.
Price firmly told Angela that Whiterose's stories of reversing time and fixing what had happened were simply delusions. It seemed as if that broke through to her, finally, and snapped her out of her denial.
That was a totally crushing moment, when Angela realized there was no taking back what she did, that those people were dead and would remain that way.
Find a way to live with what you did.Philip Price [to Angela]
Price's suggestion was basically to get over it. But Angela is set on revenge, and honestly, I can easily see her recruiting her newfound daddy in her "retribution" quest next season.
That said, I'm wondering if Angela will confide in Elliot about her true paternity, and if that will in any way change who is on Elliot's 1% list of targets.
As much as I did enjoy the Price/Angela scene, it felt slightly weird being juxtaposed and intercut with the extremely tense barn scene.
While Angela was having some uncomfortable family revelations, virtually everyone else was waiting to be murdered way across town, at the same barn where Tyrell toiled away on Stage 2 (and grew that fetching lumberjack beard) earlier this season.
Tonally, the mix just didn't work for me. But what happened at the compound was just as exciting and an incredible sequence.
So much went down there. For starters, Irving unleashed his brutal and unhinged side.
First, he took Dom out to Tyrell's ax, apparently with the intention of killing her so she wouldn't talk. Instead, he absolutely butchered Santiago, using every bloody ax swing as a threat against Dom's family – with the intention of forcing her into servitude as the new Dark Army FBI mole.
You work for the Dark Army now.Irving [to Dom]
I won't exactly mourn Santiago, but man, what a way to go.
This is a hideous and heartbreaking situation for Dom, who is now being forced to go against everything she believes in to keep her loved ones alive. She's in a broken, devastated place right now.
At the same time, I'm excited to see how she'll contend with this game-changer in Mr. Robot Season 4.
It's certainly a new and exciting storyline for her to contend with, and much more complex/interesting than what she's had to do so far, playing detective.
And I'm sure she's not done with Darlene, as brutal as that farewell was.
My life is ruined because of you.Dom [to Darlene]
Dom blaming Darlene wasn't technically fair – they were all manipulated by the Dark Army to wind up in this situation. But it was understandable. And I'm sure Darlene will spend much of Season 4 trying to make amends.
Elsewhere, Elliot saved the day (or at least survived to fight on) by successfully working with Mr. Robot and convincing Whiterose that he could be of use to her still.
By clearing the way for Whiterose to move her plant to the Congo after its annexation – something she'd stressed over earlier in the season and something Grant had failed to make happen – Elliot allowed the maybe-delusional mastermind to take another step towards her mysterious time-altering "project."
Sadly, Grant won't be coming along for the ride.
Know that I will find you as soon as our project is complete. But for the here and now, our time has come to an end. [in Mandarin] I love you.Whiterose
What a spectacular goodbye. Grant killed himself at Whiterose's behest, after Leon unexpectedly took out the other Dark Army foot soldiers instead of allowing them to murder Elliot and Darlene.
This suggested that, whatever Whiterose's plan is, Grant believes it will work too. I can't imagine he'd willingly kill himself if he didn't truly believe she'd somehow bring him back.
I was really scared that Darlene would die for a minute there. So while it's not exactly great that Elliot gave Whiterose an assist with a major part of her maniacal plan, I'm relieved that his bid to her worked and saved them all.
As a bonus, Elliot was able to get access to Sentinel, via Dom, to undo the Five Nine Hack (which he seemingly did, in the final seconds of the finale).
I can't imagine Whiterose will love that, given her desire to punish Price, but taking down E Corp was never what the plan was all about in the first place – so maybe she won't get angry after all?
The other important discovery was that Mr. Robot, not Romero, was the one who saved the keylogs the night of the hack, leaving open a way to undo it all. This proved that Mr. Robot and Elliot aren't really so distinct – the same thing that Dom's revelation about Elliot jumping out the window as a kid (not beng pushed) did.
While this seems like a relatively minor reveal, it actually speaks volumes about Elliot. For one, he was already experiencing disassociation as a child. For another, a formative event of his youth was misremembered and tainted his relationship with his dad – who actually was not such a bad guy at all, in retrospect.
Maybe now the two sides of Elliot will finally be reconciled enough to take on his real targets: Whiterose and the rest of the 1%. I'm looking forward to seeing how Season 4 unfolds.
- There was absolutely no Tyrell whatsoever in the finale. What was he up to? Just laying low after his and Elliot's confrontation with Price on Mr. Robot Season 3 Episode 9?
- I can't tell if that was it for Bobby Cannavale's last appearance. It sure felt like a goodbye for Irving, now having completely his gruesome years of service for Whiterose – and he definitely went out with a bang. Regardless, I'll miss him and his mustache.
- I'll never stop being awed at just how beautiful BD Wong looks as a woman. His mannerism and facial expressions are just spot on. He's a tremendous actor.
- Price insisted that Whiterose's belief in a time-changing (or reversing, or altering) device were simply delusions – but are we sure about that? Seems as if Whiterose truly believes so, given that she killed Grant.
- On that note, at this point, I can't imagine the show ending any way other than with an ambiguous sequence suggesting that time may indeed have been reversed or the past altered – whether truly or in someone's mind being anyone's guess.
- Anybody know what Grant's final words to Elliot were? They were spoken in Mandarin but purposely (I imagine) not subtitled.
- The midcredits scene saw the return of Fernando Vera, the "Brave Traveler" and drug dealer who murdered Shayla before forcing Elliot to break him out of prison back in Mr. Robot Season 1. As soon as he stepped out of the car, I knew it was him. I practically screamed. I have no idea where he'll fit into this mess, but what a badass entrance.
What did you think of the season finale?
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.