Mr. Robot:
October 26, 2017 8:15 AM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Official synopsis: "The former interim CTO of E Corp returns." My summary: it's an in-fill eposide, focused on Tyrell Wellick and what he saw and experienced following the 5/9 hack until almost the present, with a cameo from Wallace Shawn, and a brief return for Joey Bada$$.

‘Mr. Robot’ Season 3, Episode 3: What About Wellick? (New York Times)
On Wednesday “Mr. Robot” finally filled in some of the gaps surrounding the 5/9 hack, including what happened to the popcorn gun and how Elliot ended up in Tyrell Wellick’s SUV at the end of Season 1. The episode also suggested that Irving, the Thermos enthusiast and aspiring pulp novelist, has been involved with this story for a while, and revealed why Agent Santiago has often seemed to be working against the investigators who are trying to find Wellick. (The short answer: Because he is.)
Mr. Robot recap: '' (Entertainment Weekly)
For all of its aesthetic, tonal, and thematic similarities to the first two seasons, season 3 of Mr. Robot isn’t operating in quite the same way. The biggest change is the fact that there isn’t the looming presence of some sort of twist, and there’s a more coherent story being told. It feels like there’s more information out in the open — Elliot remains largely in the dark, but we see a lot of what he doesn’t — and that’s leading to a show that’s more noir thriller than some sort of paranoid, Fight Club-esque mystery.

What that means is that Mr. Robot can use all of these previously unknown details — about Elliot, about Mr. Robot, about Angela’s involvement with the Dark Army, about Whiterose’s role in all of this — to generate more tension. It’s a much more satisfying way of creating that nerve-wracking feeling; when we’re given a better understanding of how everything ties together, from the FBI’s use of Darlene to the fraught relationship between Elliot and Tyrell, our anxiety is allowed to flourish. We see just enough of the connecting threads to make us worry about what’s to come, but not enough to ruin any potential reveals down the road.
Watch the third episode of the Mr. Robot After Show (The Verge, with co-producer and writer Kor Adana, who talks about what they had planned out early on and what was figured out after the [initial] fact)
posted by filthy light thief (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
And if you're wondering how much Trump will play into this season, here's what Sam Esmail sent to The Verge:
Trump's election was undoubtedly a tragic day for the world. The feelings it conjured coincided so perfectly with Elliot's disillusionment at the start of season 3 that it would have been criminally negligent to ignore it.

Embracing it felt like the only honest way to tell the story of this season.
And FWIW, this is Sam's favorite episode of the season.

Final link: music from this episode, listed on Tunefind.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:22 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Wallace Shawn on cocaine is inconceivable!

I loved this episode. I'm totally down with this show where ever it goes.
posted by Catblack at 8:29 AM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]

Joey Bada$$ returns? 😍 I'm in.
posted by minsies at 8:51 AM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

It's pretty brief, but he talks about killing neo-Nazis (he believes life is precious, but to be honest, killing neo Nazis was actually fun).

Also, there's some (fake?!) intestines shown for a while, as a warning to the possibly queasy.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:57 AM on October 26, 2017

Also a pretty nasty self-administered thumb dislocation!

I liked this episode a lot. Tyrell's happiness about the sunglasses made the episode for me. Also Irving's Thermos collection.
posted by minsies at 5:07 PM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

Tyrell's happiness about the sunglasses made the episode for me.

I guess he wanted them as part of his escape disguise.
posted by roolya_boolya at 4:57 AM on October 27, 2017

Oh, probably. I like to think that he's also still excited by small things.

Irving's no dummy, though. Seems like he wouldn't have supplied Tyrell with any disguise materials unless he knew he was going to be caught.
posted by minsies at 5:08 AM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

This episode was immensely satisfying. I find it reassuring the show can go back to events from the past season and fill in details and have it all make sense. The worst thing about a show like this is the extent to which the showrunners are making it up as they go along, so that things don't come together coherently. For instance I felt certain the popcorn gun was just forgotten. I like that they went back to Tyrell's story.

I'm still very confused about the show though. And about Tyrell. Are we supposed to be clear he's a separate human being, not a third aspect of Eliot/Mr Robot? Is the show intending that to remain ambiguous? A lot of the Tyrell-in-the-cabin scenes had the same feeling as Eliot-in-the-house, a sort of constructed mental reality.

Also an interesting ambiguity about the gun that didn't go off. Irving tells Tyrell later it's a "squib round" and that the next shot would have killed him. But is that because the next bullet would fire normally and Mr. Robot would kill Tyrell? Or because the gun was jammed by the squib and firing it again would cause it to explode in the shooter's hand?

Cannavale is great as Irving. I love they've just dropped him in the show with no explaination. Also I think it's hilarious the interrogator looks like the not-Guy-Fawkes masks the fsociety people wear. Down to the curled moustachio.
posted by Nelson at 6:33 AM on October 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

Was I the only one who thought that there was some kind of drug in the tea that Tyrell was inhaling via the steam from the kettle, and Wallace Shawn was snorting a counteragent?
posted by prefpara at 12:44 PM on October 28, 2017 [4 favorites]

Are we supposed to be clear he's a separate human being, not a third aspect of Eliot/Mr Robot?

I think we're definitely supposed to be clear about that at this point, yes - I thought when the show went back to the scene where Eliot meets Tyrell in the SUV and thinks he's just a figment of his imagination, but showed it from Tyrell's point of view, that was a pretty clear indicator. (I supposed you never can tell with this show, though.)

I like that they're going back to tie up loose ends here, and I always like a "broken down by intense interrogation" scene. I think I agree with the AV Club that the Trump stuff was a little misguided, though. Like, it would be nice in some ways to imagine that Trump was elected thanks to some kind of evil genius pulling the strings behind the scenes, and not because of a profoundly broken political system in the US, but sadly that's not the case.

We got a few details on Whiterose's larger plans here, but I still have only the faintest grasp on it. Also, I still don't understand who killed Tyrell's wife and why - if it was Whiterose, I don't get the motivation, and if not, I... uh, don't get the motivation.
posted by whir at 10:00 PM on October 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

I still don't understand who killed Tyrell's wife

It was her lover. She started an affair with the bar man from the party where Tyrell killed Scott Knowles wife and persuaded him to frame Knowles for the murder. Then she went on TV and declared her undying love and faithfulness to Tyrell, which seemingly tipped the devoted and somewhat obsessed boyfriend over the edge.
posted by roolya_boolya at 2:38 AM on November 1, 2017

I’m starting to wonder if Angela and Tyrell are the same person. That would mean that we saw Tyrell all last season and the post surgery scenes and love overtones in this latest episode make a lot more sense.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:45 AM on November 1, 2017

I personally believe Whiterose needs a big covert space to house a supercollider that will power a literal time machine.

That is how he convinced Angela they could “erase everything, like it never actually happened.”
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 5:51 PM on November 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

Also I think it's hilarious the interrogator looks like the not-Guy-Fawkes masks the fsociety people wear. Down to the curled moustachio.

I noticed that too!
posted by liet at 2:25 PM on November 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I loved the referenced to movies about dual personalities. The two that I caught:
- the opening credits looked a lot like Lost Highway
- Richard Gere was great in Primal Fear

And I don’t know for sure because I haven’t read his work but I’m guessing the Gore Vidal audiobook probably also includes dual personalities.

Also loved the Gordon Lightfoot song.

(Sidenote: if anyone else is catching up in April 2018, shoot me a message so we can geek out here together.)
posted by CMcG at 1:36 PM on April 22, 2018

Also I think it's hilarious the interrogator looks like the not-Guy-Fawkes masks the fsociety people wear. Down to the curled moustachio.
I noticed that too!
Or the Monopoly man.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 8:11 PM on June 23, 2019

"How's that Pontiac treatin' ya?"
"Can't complain"

Bobby Cannevale coming to a show is always a good thing.

Irving said the barrel was jammed, and that the "next shot would've taken your hand clean off," not that it would kill him. That next shot would've been Elliot/Mr. Robot shooting Tyrell on 5/9 when he was on his knees and claiming that Elliot couldn't kill him. Turns out he was right.
posted by mabelstreet at 9:41 PM on October 19, 2019

At this point, on my nth rewatch of this series, I'm starting to wonder what a full chronological re-edit of the series, putting all the flashback scenes in order and everything, would maybe reveal about the story. Is it really only effective because of its chosen order of revealing events? It's hard to say.
posted by hippybear at 9:31 AM on July 4, 2020

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