Mr. Robot recap: Rise up
It’s here. It’s finally time. Everything Elliot, Darlene, and Mr. Robot planned for is suddenly happening. Price is ready to meet with the Deus Group, and that means Elliot and Darlene are ready to hack into everyone’s phones, confirm those numbers with the Cyrpus bank accounts, and then rob them all blind. It’s a glorious day, but we have to begin in a different place.
“Conflict” starts out with a mysterious scenario. We’re back in that boardroom where Elliot’s mother and younger self hang out. This time Mr. Robot is there too. He has a conversation with them, but it’s rather vague. They want to introduce the “other one” to Elliot, but Mr. Robot insists Elliot isn’t ready, not after what he went through. Young Elliot suggests “telling him everything” in order to make him better. Mr. Robot denies that suggestion too. He wants to wait. He wants to get the hack done first, then he’ll show Elliot “what he did.” Sounds ominous.
Elliot isn’t even around right now. Mr. Robot is giving him a break to deal with his trauma, taking over so that the hack can get done. Darlene isn’t too happy about it, but there’s no other option at this point. Phillip shows up at the hotel across from the Deus Group meeting place with one final request: he hands Mr. Robot a thumb drive and tells him to destroy Whiterose’s special project because it’s what Angela would have wanted. We’re still not totally sure what that project is, but the hints from previous seasons coupled with the ideas presented in this episode suggest it’s some sort of time-altering device that could create a new world. Or perhaps that’s too literal, and it’s simply something that allows someone to erase their memories and create new ones, therefore creating a “new world.” We’ll have to wait and see.
Everything is ready to go, but Mr. Robot is uneasy. He can feel that something is wrong. As Phillip heads over to the meeting, he sees that there’s only a table set for him and Whiterose. The rest of the Deus Group is absent. The camera positions us in Phillip’s POV. We hesitantly enter the room with him. “Whatever it is, it’s coming,” says Mr. Robot, and the episode cuts to commercial. Perfectly unsettling visual storytelling.
Whiterose threatens Price with death. He can either tell her where Elliot is and accept death in his sleep, or they can do things “the hard way.” “You are aware of our methods,” she says. But Price isn’t done just yet. He still has a card to play. He tells her that the Deus Group might not be so thrilled to see Whiterose absent from their new meeting location when everyone discovers that Tyrell Wellick will not be showing up. This throws her for a loop. Shades of panic start to set in, and her assistant, who tries to reason with her, walks out because she sees that Whiterose is going to blow up the whole plan due to her singular focus on snagging Elliot Alderson.
Because Mr. Robot thinks something fishy is going on, he decides to stay behind and keep an eye on the building where Price and Whiterose are meeting, sending Darlene to the new Deus Group meeting location on her own. The camera pans through the crowd gathered at Cipriani; the rich, the powerful, and one obvious Trump lookalike, thinning hair and all. Everyone and everything is in the right place, but Darlene doesn’t see any way to get into the building. It’s completely secure. She needs to come up with a new plan. She finds a costume shop and begins recording a new fsociety video.
Meanwhile, Mr. Robot decides it’s time to speed things up. They need Whiterose’s phone number to have any chance of completing the hack, so Mr. Robot takes matters into his own hands. He calls Price’s phone. Whiterose, flustered at this point, picks it up and hears Elliot’s voice. She tries to manipulate him into calling off his plan. She tells him that Angela is still alive, that he shouldn’t believe everything he sees. She says that he can “reset everything,” just like Angela did, and live in a new world, free from the pain of the past. It’s alluring, especially after what Elliot just went through, and there’s even a moment where it seems like Elliot, now back in control instead of Mr. Robot, seems to consider it.
But then Darlene sends him a message and tells him to turn on the news. He does, and he sees the familiar fsociety mask. It’s Darlene’s video, and she’s exposing the Deus Group, releasing their private files, and calling on people to come down to Cipriani and let these rulers know how they feel. It’s the final call in a long-planned revolution, and this time it works. This time it’s for real. The Deus Group, now frustrated by being doxxed, try to leave the building. They all head outside, calling their drivers. But Darlene’s hacked the parking garage, and the drivers can’t leave. That allows her to hack their phones. Then Elliot gets into a cell tower, snags Whiterose’s number, and every piece of the puzzle is finally in place. It all comes together. Darlene runs the phone numbers against the bank accounts, and then makes all of their money disappear.
Whiterose paces back and forth. It’s a startling sight, something we’ve never seen before. She’s truly panicking, and she doesn’t even know about the money yet. Price is reveling in all of this. “All this over a little pipsqueak in a hoodie,” he says. And it’s true. Elliot and Darlene have truly done it. “It actually happened,” says Elliot in disbelief.
But this story is far from over. The hack may have worked, but there’s bound to be fallout. Whiterose shoots and kills Price in public, no longer able to contain his rage after learning that all of his money has disappeared. At the end of the episode, she’s putting on her makeup, making sure she looks perfect, as the police storm the home of the person known publicly as Minister Zhang. It looks like this is the end for Whiterose, but where does fsociety go from here? What about that “other one” that’s apparently in Elliot’s head? What does Mr. Robot have to show Elliot? Will they follow through with destroying Whiterose’s project? One massive goal may have been achieved here, but there’s still a very uncertain future unraveling before them.