A little late, but better than never: Avast’s Mr. Robot Review eps3.5_kill-pr0cess.inc.
The episode starts with a flashback to Angela’s childhood, just before her mother’s passing. I'm not a psychologist, but I think this opening scene explains where Angela’s current issues stem from, why she is working with the Dark Army, and why she keeps bringing Mr. Robot out of Elliot.
Back to present day in the show, Elliot puts the pieces of the puzzle together and angrily questions Angela’s involvement in stage two and her cooperation with the Dark Army.
Elliot’s excellent memory reminds him of Tyrell muttering something about the Red Wheelbarrow in the past, leading him to (correctly) suspect that Tyrell is hiding at the fast food front. He tells Darlene to have the FBI go after Tyrell. Darlene informs Dom of the intel. Dom goes to her superior and Dark Army accomplice, Santiago. He, of course, doesn’t want to take immediate action, until they receive confirmation that Tyrell is where Dom says.
Elliot in the meantime, rushes to the recovery building to kill stage 2’s process. He receives some unwanted company to battle with during his mission: Mr. Robot.
I was right. Angela helped them get around my patch and sign their own malware with a cloned HSM. If I can roll it back, the clean version will override Tyrell and Mr. Robot’s malware and buy me some time to revoke the stolen keys.
Stefanie: What is a cloned HSM? I don’t think Elliot is referring to High School Musical, right?
Michal Salat, Director of Threat Intelligence at Avast: No, he is definitely not talking about High School Musical! HSM stands for Hardware Security Module and is hardware that keeps digital keys safe and manages them for authentication. Remember, in last week’s episode, Jakub explained that the Dark Army wanted to circumvent Elliot’s patch by using the HSM located on the 23rd floor of ECorp’s HQ by signing their malicious program with ECorp’s signature.
Elliot fights with himself to start the restore - questioning why he can’t do it. Jump to the next scene Elliot “wakes up” in a cab. Mr. Robot stopped him from hitting Enter and stole 15 minutes from him.
The scenes that follow jump back and forth from Elliot fighting Mr. Robot to stop stage 2 and to save the lives of everyone in the building, Dom tracking down Tyrell in the Red Wheelbarrow, Tyrell reading and burning whatever instructions Irving gave him, Darlene confronting Angela.
At the end, it appears as if good prevailed over evil. Elliot explains to Mr. Robot that people’s lives are at risk and that stage 2 isn’t worth it, since he stopped ECorp’s records from being sent to the building. Even Tyrell tries to stop stage 2 by running out in public, screaming about the attack. Ultimately, Mr. Robot helps Elliot prevent stage 2 from affecting the New York facility.
Elliot leaves asking himself some questions I am sure anyone who watched this episode also thought to themselves: So, what now? Will Elliot ever figure out what side he is really on? What about Mr. Robot? Does he have any fight left? If so, who is he going to fight? The Dark Army knew there were no paper records in the building, why did they still go forward with stage 2? What’s their real plan?
The only answer we get before the episode ends is that Whiterose definitely knew something Elliot didn’t know. The New York facility was not the only target. Buildings owned by ECorp around the country, containing paper records, were targeted with explosions and fires; 71 to be exact.
PS: Fun fact: parts of this episode were filmed at a place I used to roam myself, Hunter College's North Building in New York!