Mr. Robot:
November 16, 2017 7:31 AM - Season 3, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Elliot faces off with Mr. Robot; Dom gets tired of the red tape; Tyrell has a new plan. Elliot has a talk with with Angela; Darlene has a talk with Angela. "Will you believe with me?"

‘Mr. Robot’ Season 3, Episode 6: Elliot Gets Played (Jeremy Egner for New York Times)
Season 3 has been largely about denial, as Elliot and Mr. Robot have each thought he could function independently from, or even thwart, the other. Wednesday brought lots of anger in the form of self-abuse, before moving on to bargaining. Help me, Elliot wrote in a message to Mr. Robot. “You’re being played.”

Of course at that point Elliot didn’t realize that he had been played, too. Or rather in addition to the way he had already been played, but as his other half. (Yeah I agree — this is confusing.)
Mr. Robot recap: '' (Kyle Fowle for Entertainment Weekly)
“” is tricky because it doesn’t immediately transport us back to last week’s cliffhanger, with Elliot confronting Angela outside her office. Instead, we go back in time, like Huey Lewis said we would. A young Angela, perhaps 9 years old or so, sits in front of a TV watching the Back to the Future cartoon, placing us in the early 1990s. She’s alone, isolated from the rather muted party that’s taking place behind her. Isn’t it always that way when you’re a kid? When the adults have a party, you feel like you’re outside of it, like you’re missing a bunch of information about what’s happening around you.
Mr. Robot Season 3 Episode 6 Review: Kill Process -- Mr. Robot keeps the action going in the thrilling, unexpectedly climactic “Kill Process” (Alec Bojalad for Den of Geek)
Elliot once told Tyrell he was only paying attention to what was in front of him, not what was above him. Elliot and the rest of us did the same. Stage 2 was in front of us. White Rose was above us.
Watch this week’s Mr. Robot Digital After Show with actor Martin Wallström -- And Producer Kor Adana is back! (40 minute YouTube video embedded)
- Martin answers questions, and wants to pitch a story to the writers' room for Season 4;
- Martin asks Kor if they have any unused jokes about Sweden, and Kor says they pretty much used them all, which makes him feel bad;
- Kor dodges other more pointed questions, but clarifies that this was the end of Phase 2.
posted by filthy light thief (19 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This was a pretty great episode. Is Whiterose a transhumanist? Is he building a giant virtual world on mainframes in the Congo? I'm not sure how else to interpret Angela's apparent belief that he can bring her mom back from the dead.

One potential anachronism: I don't remember exactly when Signal added voice calling, but their video-calling was released in March 2017, well after the Obama administration.
posted by whir at 8:37 AM on November 16, 2017

I'm not sure how else to interpret Angela's apparent belief that he can bring her mom back from the dead.

The show sure does make references to Back to the Future a whole lot. Hmmm....
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:08 AM on November 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is Whiterose a transhumanist? Is he building a giant virtual world on mainframes in the Congo?

China's interest in Africa is real, and more basic than that: China’s Increasing Interest in Africa: Benign but Hardly Altruistic (Yun Sun for Brookings Institute, Friday, April 5, 2013)
China’s new leader President Xi Jinping has completed his foreign debut tour as the head of state after visiting Russia and three African countries: Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo. As the Chinese media hailed his “tremendous victory” and the “successful practice of great power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics”, the issue of China’s role and activities in Africa were once again put under the spotlight. Right before Xi embarked on his trip, Nigerian Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi criticized China’s engagement in Africa publicly in the Financial Times. His most quoted charge says “China takes from us primary goods and sells us manufactured ones. This was also the essence of colonialism.
Helping Africa is important, but China would not do so if it had nothing to gain. Indeed, China emphasizes that any bilateral relationship has to be mutually beneficial. And China’s investment in Africa does pay itself back in multiple ways economically: development and exploitation of Africa’s natural resources, access to local market, employment opportunities for Chinese labors and service contracts for Chinese companies on infrastructure projects that China funds. When Chinese officials emphasize that China also invests substantially in countries that are not rich in natural resources to defuse international criticisms, they often forget to mention that China also has its eyes on other things that these countries can deliver, such as their support of Beijing’s “one China” policy, of China’s agenda at multilateral forums and of China as a “responsible stakeholder”. While there is nothing wrong with not being altruistic in one’s motives, it should be noted that China is not helping Africa in exchange for nothing.
See also: China's 'infrastructure for minerals' deal gets reality-check in Congo (Aaron Ross for Reuters, July 9, 2015)
When it was signed in 2007, China’s $6 billion ‘minerals for infrastructure’ deal in Congo stirred fears among Western countries that Beijing’s hunger for resources would erode their influence and saddle the vast central African country with unmanageable debt.
Unmanageable debt sounds like what's playing out now for White Rose, as a high-ranking Chinese official who can profit from China's increased role in the world, particularly if their BitCoin alternative is the international currency. A tiny fraction of each transaction would make certain parties very rich, and given how White Rose also mines data, I can see a lot of new data to mine from these transactions.

Then again, the transhuman element (which is the frickin' show title, which I am now kicking myself for not considering ;)) is more interesting (or at least likely to be less depressing) than resource colonialism.

One potential anachronism: I don't remember exactly when Signal added voice calling, but their video-calling was released in March 2017, well after the Obama administration.

Encrypted chat app Signal tests “next generation” voice and video calling (TechCrunch, Feb 8, 2017)
A new beta version of the app, now in testing, has enabled “next generation voice and video calling” features, according to the app’s changelog. Beta users are able to try the new features with others who also have the setting enabled.
I think you're right that this isn't accurately portrayed in the show. I can give them a pass on this one anachronism, given how much attention to detail they display elsewhere. In this episode's Verge aftershow, Kor Adana said that they talk with economists to understand how the 5/9 hack might work, in terms of impacting national and international economies.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:15 AM on November 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I love it how literally every computer in the world has PuTTY preinstalled on it.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:21 AM on November 16, 2017 [9 favorites]

I like how after a continuous flow of time given to us last week, this week was all about time being broken and not being able to know what happened during the lost minutes and hours. Nice juxtaposition.
posted by hippybear at 5:56 PM on November 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

Oof. This show has got its hooks deep into me again.

What was the deal with the fish on the green-walled room? It didn't have an eye when Elliot first walked into the room, and then when he goes back after the first Mr. Robot caesura, it has an eye (a camera?). It didn't come up in the episode, but it seemed significant.
posted by minsies at 6:00 PM on November 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

When Darlene is confronting Angela, that scene ends with a glitch, and Elliot's not there, so what are we supposed to make of that?

Another odd thing, the first time Eliot tries to start the kill process, his gpg key ID is NBOGOVITCH. The third time, it's 9C2FA3D1. The former is not a valid gpg key ID; the latter is.

(ECorp's IT dept's gpg key ID is 4CA9CAE6 both times. And none of these gpg keys are on the keyservers, although since they're spoofable short IDs, some enterprising hacker might just change that sometime..)
posted by joeyh at 6:45 PM on November 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

There was a second shout out to Matt Mitchell, organizer of Crypto Harlem and motherboard mr robot discussion panel member. You might also remember him from Ms Robot on Samantha Bee.
posted by autopilot at 11:15 PM on November 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

Now I'm thinking that Angela has her own Ms. Robot that has been guiding her to seek revenge at all costs

That's an interesting thought, and it might explain some of her odder choices, like deciding to go full-on dark side and join up with E Corp. I'm having trouble thinking of more concrete evidence in the show to support it though. Presumably at some point we'll be let in to what it was in her conversation with Whiterose that guided her actions in the time afterwards.
posted by whir at 9:36 AM on November 18, 2017

Still putting all my money on WhiteRose building a literal time machine.

Elliot's ongoing self-assault scenes this ep were incredible. Rami Malek deserves another Best Actor Emmy nod for this season!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:06 PM on November 18, 2017 [8 favorites]

*clap* CUT! No sorry, we have to do that again.

*clap* CUT! No that still wasn't right.

*clap* CUT! Once more, with feeling!
posted by hippybear at 3:20 PM on November 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

this episode blew me away. One of the best of the series, in my opinion. This season has been phenomenal
posted by FirstMateKate at 5:36 PM on November 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Pretty solid episode but it didn't quite grab me like last week's tour de force. I like hippybear's comment about the clock-skipping vs. last week's continuous take.

I did appreciate the plot is finally moving forward. I agree with Burhanistan, etc that they're setting up Angela to have her own voice in her head telling her what to do. But it sure seems clumsy. TBH Angela is my least favorite part of this show, she's never been well written. I feel like we never see anything from her POV but the show is starting to hinge more and more on her and it's not working.
posted by Nelson at 9:58 AM on November 21, 2017

Aw man, I really like Angela. I find her mixture of naivete and calculation kind of fascinating. Her motivations are kind of opaque right now, it's true, but Elliot's would be too if we weren't inside his head.

I'm kind of struggling to articulate this but there's something about Mr. Robot that seems like it's a metaphor for trauma? At the beginning you think Elliot is just an extreme form of a kind of techy "type", but the dissociation, the fury that comes out of nowhere and feels out of control, the discomfort with physical touch and closeness, the paranoia about the wrong people finding out something essential about you... it starts to point to something else, and then gradually it all makes much more sense once you find out about the physical abuse and complicated grief visited on him in his childhood. What's interesting is that Angela doesn't seem to share that complication, that we've seen, anyway, yet the way she acts is not dissimilar to Elliot. So I guess my interpretation kind of hinges on whether there's more to Angela that we just haven't learned yet.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:57 PM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

At 22:26, that song by the Plugz from the Repo Man Soundtrack ("Reel Ten") is perfect.
posted by mabelstreet at 10:54 AM on October 20, 2019

Still putting all my money on WhiteRose building a literal time machine.

Hello from the future where I'm just now watching the show.

A few episodes ago when Darlene was watching Elliot in his apartment I noticed that she was downloading Shazaam staring Sinbad. Another little hint that they're not entirely in our reality and I'm curious if there's going to be any payoff there.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:34 PM on January 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Aw man, I really like Angela. I find her mixture of naivete and calculation kind of fascinating. Her motivations are kind of opaque right now

I'm on my third re-watch right now, but I don't retain a lot between other than a general sense... so, I'm positing that Angela is a character showing us what a Mr Robot split looks like from the outside, without the inside information we gain from being Eliot's imaginary friend. I'll keep this idea in my head while I continue this rewatch. Might be a good thread to follow.
posted by hippybear at 10:33 PM on March 6, 2020

Rewatching again right now... was about to copy that and respond with exactly what I wrote before. Angela is having her own split from reality, one planted in her by Whiterose.
posted by hippybear at 9:10 PM on July 4, 2020

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