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Mr. Robot - eps3.3_m3tadatapar2 - Review: "Clarity"

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The whole picture became much, much clearer in last night's episode of Mr. Robot, the fourth installment of its third season, and in my book the best episode of the season thus far. Kyle Bradstreet took over writing duties this week, while Sam Esmail directed "eps3.3_m3tadatapar2".

Last week's hour went back in time to tell the story of Tyrell's absence, but this week's episode picked up right where the season's second episode ended, with Dom and her FBI surveillance buddy realizing they had been hacked by Elliot, which put Darlene in danger now that he had her location.

I really enjoyed Elliot and Darlene's encounter here. Their sibling rivalry to a certain extent gave way to their unwritten sibling love and loyalty to each other. Though Elliot wasn't happy with her actions which fed intel to the FBI, the consensus was that they had to work together to stop Stage 2 from proceeding, but to do so they had to figure out what the hell Mr. Robot was up to.

You're my brother. I'm always here for you.

To do this, they followed the theory that Mr. Robot was more or less nocturnal, but because he couldn't eavesdrop on on Elliot's actions during the day - and vice versa, he wasn't aware of the plan Elliot and Darlene formed, which was for Darlene to hide in the apartment adjacent to his - and which once belonged to the deceased Shayla, wait for Mr. Robot to emerge during the night, and the follow him to see where he went.

What she saw shocked her. Mr. Robot met with Angela, and the pair took a cab to where Tyrell was located, where they discussed Elliot's disruption of the Stage 2 plan, which was his interference with the paper record shipping functions. Unfortunately for them, Mr. Robot seemed to malfunction, and Elliot got a glimpse of both Angela and Tyrell, with Angela having to sedate Elliot to bring back Mr. Robot, and hoping that Elliot didn't see enough of, or doesn't remember, seeing Tyrell and Angela together.

There's something inside me that can't let got of what we started.

I'm so relieved to have some answers about how Mr. Robot and Elliot function, even if nothing was addressed directly. We see that, for now, Mr. Robot and Elliot are two personalities that are independent of each other, yet inhabit the same being in the form of Elliot. Elliot knows Mr. Robot isn't gone, and that he is effectively a carrier or drone for Mr. Robot.

The main thing this confirmation does for me is bring clarity to the fact that Mr. Robot and Elliot are not random, and that there is something that controls the switch between the two, because that function failed when Angela had to sedate Elliot. Interestingly, Mr. Robot is not affected by said sedation, so what Elliot does to his body doesn't affect Mr. Robot, which reinforces to a degree what we saw when Elliot was shot.

Irving was prominent again in this episode, and we see him with Angela discussing Stage 2. While Irving simply doesn't care about collateral damage and innocent lives lost, Angela made Irving give her his word that a fire alarm would be sounded before the Evil Corp building housing the paper records was destroyed, which would spare the lives of hundreds, if not thousands. Irving was far from convincing, however, so we'll have to wait for the actual event to see what actually happens.

Before that can happen, all the paper records need to be correctly shipped to the Evil Corp building, a matter which Angela sought to have taken care of after she caught Elliot with his head down, deep in thought, at his desk with the shipping system open on his computer. Rookie mistake right there. Near the end of the hour, in addition to Elliot being sedated by Angela, she called up Phillip Price, and asked him in no simple terms to fire Elliot to ensure he couldn't disrupt Stage 2 in that way any further.

For now, the only active resistance against Stage 2 is Darlene, but her impact is rather insignificant. Darlene and the FBI, meanwhile, are sidetracked with an fsociety suspect they arrested, but said arrest was almost too good to be true according to Dom. The guy was Muslim as well, which confirmed that Whiterose's order to have fsociety framed as to have originated from the Middle East did indeed happen. Darlene is still playing hard-to-get as Dom's informant, even having the audacity to demand Dom's presence at a bar and face a range of irrelevant personal questions.

Darlene kept Dom hooked by saying she had a lead, being Mr. Robot's association with Angela, but Dom would have to wait a little longer as she chased it, and even then there's no guaranteeing Darlene would pass that intel onto Dom anyway. If she is serious about preventing Stage 2, then Darlene may find she has no choice, and given Stage 2 is mere days away, there's little the FBI could do. She is still at risk, however, and she made a pact with Elliot to seek vengeance should something happen to the other, which may come into play if Darlene comes to grief this season - something that has been hinted at by theory spinners since early on in the season.

As for Tyrell, he had a much smaller part to play this week, but his number one request of his handler, Irving, was to see his wife and child face to face, then have a flight arranged to the Ukraine, a non-extradition country to the USA, after Stage 2 was activated. Little does he know, however, that Joanna was killed by an ex-lover, so how he takes that news could potentially derail Stage 2, especially given relatively early point in the season we're at.

This is your moment. This is the moment you were born for.

This leaves Angela, Irving, and Whiterose as the three main players committed to the cause should Tyrell bail out in retaliation for Joanna's death. That's more than enough manpower and assets, but the technical abilities of the trio remain largely untested, so Tyrell defecting would leave the plan without a technical lead unless Mr. Robot steps up to the plate.

In summary, the clarity this episode gave me in terms of understanding the functions of Mr. Robot and Elliot made it my pick of the bunch for Season 3 thus far. The cinematography took a noticeable step back in terms of the number of advanced and technically demanding shots, which was rather surprising. That being said, the change in writer made no difference to the episode's quality, even if there were a few more swear words thrown in the mix. Not as much was demanded from the cast in this episode, but they still performed superbly, and the costume chosen for Angela was drop dead gorgeous.

Thanks as always for reading! See you right back here next week, but make sure you share your thoughts and theories on the episode in the comments down below.

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