“409 Conflict” – Recap and Review

Y’all, I’m lovin’ the hell out of this season.  It just gets juicier and juicier, and we still have four more episodes left!  Let’s do this thing!

The Boardroom of Elliot’s Mind

Mr. Robot in Elliot's Hallway (Alt)

The episode opens with Mr. Robot walking down a long hallway and going through a door with a green entrance sign.  The room he enters is the boardroom—the same boardroom that Little Elliot and his mother met in on “402 Payment Required” when we first learned Elliot had a third personality.  Little Elliot and imaginary Mrs. Alderson are still waiting, and Mr. Robot lets them know that “he’s” not coming.  We’re not 100% sure who “he” is:  Elliot or the mystery guest.

Little Elliot suggests that they “tell Elliot everything” and he’ll be okay.  Tell him what?

Mr. Robot rejects that idea.  Instead, he’s going to show Elliot what he did.  What did Elliot do!?  Mrs. Alderson then says, “That poor boy.  He might not ever wake up again.  He hasn’t been awake since—”  Mr. Robot cuts her off and says that “he” woke up for Darlene.  She may be the key to bringing him out.

Mr. Robot in Elliot's Boardroom (Alt)

What?

Okay…judging from this conversation, my Elliot is not the true Elliot.  That’s not cool.

Back Together Again

Darlene and Mr. Robot (Alt)

Darlene, who’s washed all the blood out of her hair from being pistol whipped, is waiting for Elliot at the hotel across the street from The Brentano, where the Deus Group meeting is being held.  Mr. Robot shows up, and no one’s shocked, despite his narration saying the contrary.  It’s surprising Elliot can function at all with the day he’s had.  Speaking of which, when Darlene sees “Elliot,” she’s pissed and asks what the hell happened to him, automatically assuming he was just out shootin’ the breeze.  Mr. Robot simply tells her he got held up, but Darlene isn’t satisfied with that answer and snarkily asks him if he wants to know what kind of night she had.  Darlene baby, I know you’ve been through hell and back, but your brother has, too.  Cut him a bit of slack.

Mr. Robot whips around and hisses, “This isn’t a pissing contest, sweetheart.”  The change in demeanor and the very line itself is a dead giveaway.  Darlene asks why Mr. Robot is here, and he says that Elliot needed him.  Darlene continues to ask what happened, as she doesn’t trust Mr. Robot, but he says that Elliot has to be the one to speak to her…when he’s ready.

There’s a knock on the door.  When Mr. Robot answers it, it’s none other than Phillip Muthafuckin’ Price, baby!

Price with Mr. Robot and Darlene

Darlene is shocked to see Price there, but Mr. Robot is a bit agitated.  He starts berating Price for showing up, saying that his presence there could put all of them in jeopardy.  Price says that he’s there to ask a favor, and he hands Mr. Robot a flash drive.  He wants Elliot/Mr. Robot to destroy Whiterose’s machine.  Everything about the project is on the drive.  Mr. Robot asks why it’s so important to Price when Whiterose is going down that very night.  Price replies that it was important to Angela.  This shocks Darlene even further.  That’s all Mr. Robot needs to hear, and he agrees.

Price Gives Mr. Robot the Drive (Alt)

When Price leaves, Darlene asks Mr. Robot what Price has to do with Angela and what the hell is going on.   Mr. Robot tells her that he’ll fill her in later, but right now, they have to get to work.

During Mr. Robot’s narration, he explains how they’re going to rob the Deus Group.  Here’s how I deciphered it.  Please bear with me, because although I’m good at using a computer, I’m an idiot when it comes to all the hacker/tech lingo and mumbo jumbo.

In order for the hack to work, Elliot/Mr. Robot and Darlene have to gain access to the Cypress National Bank accounts by obtaining all the Deus Group’s members phone numbers, since the phone numbers are directly connected to the members’ accounts.  Darlene will then use the phone numbers to initiate a bank transfer.  When the transfer is initiated, a text with a security code will be sent to every member’s phone.  That’s when Darlene will run a script to get the codes and transfer the money before the members even know what hit them.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Mr. Robot is worried.  He has a feeling that something’s about to go down, but what that something is, he’s not sure.

The Plan Finally Commences…and God’s Laughing

Whiterose at Meeting (Alt)

Mr. Robot watches across the street as Price enters The Brentano.  Offscreen, Mr. Robot spilled the tea to Darlene about Angela’s true parentage, and she’s still surprised.  She wonders aloud why Angela never told her that Price was her father and Mr. Robot correctly assumes that she didn’t know.  Darlene mentions that she misses Angela.  Mr. Robot is about to speak further on the subject, but Darlene stops him, not wanting to talk about it.  I believe she’d rather discuss it with Elliot as opposed to Mr. Robot.

Price walks into The Brentano, but the only ones there are Whiterose and masked Dark Army operatives guarding all the entrances and exits.  Price asks what’s going on, and Whiterose offers him a drink instead.  That’s when Price utters the first of many epic lines this episode, “I’m an old man, Zhang.  I gave up on foreplay long ago.  Let’s just skip ahead to the part where you try to fuck me.”

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Back at the hotel, Mr. Robot knows something’s up.  No one else has entered the building except Price and it’s too heavily guarded.  Whiterose has to be onto him and Elliot.  Mr. Robot starts doing what Elliot would in this situation:  look for anything out of the ordinary.  He hacks into Tyrell’s phone to see if Whiterose left any messages signaling a change in venue.  Darlene takes the laptop when Mr. Robot doesn’t find anything and locates a message in Tyrell’s itinerary stating the meeting’s been changed to Cipriani on Broadway.

Darlene and Mr. Robot 2 (Alt)

Mr. Robot deduces that The Brentano is chock full of Dark Army soldiers not to kill Price, but to protect someone important.  That important person has to be Whiterose.  Mr. Robot opts to stay at the hotel while Darlene goes to Cipriani.  Darlene doesn’t agree with splitting up again, but Mr. Robot lets her know that the plan is useless if they don’t get Whiterose along with the rest of them.

Across the way, Whiterose divulges that she put two and two together about Price and Elliot working together after the former’s impromptu resignation and the latter’s disappearance.  She demands to know what Elliot’s plan is, and announces that once Price gives up the info, the operatives will take him home and inject him with mitotoxin, which will kill him in his sleep, making it look like heart failure.  Either that, or they can take Price out the other way.  Damn.

Price tells Whiterose that cancelling the meeting behind this “half-cocked theory” won’t sit well with the other members.  Whiterose informs that the meeting is taking place that very moment and Tyrell should be there now, accepting his new position as CEO.  Price grins and tells Whiterose that Tyrell ain’t comin’, succeeding in wiping the smirk off her face.  Price then remarks that he and Whiterose never got drunk together and proceeds to pour himself a glass of champagne.

Price Gets Drunk (Alt)

At that precise moment, Price figures that if he’s going out, he’s going out three sheets to the wind and shady.

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Whiterose’s assistant shows up, informing that Tyrell is no where to be found in the Tri-State area.  Whiterose orders her to tell everyone to stop searching for him and asks Price what happened to Tyrell.  Price continues downing his champagne and makes it known that he has no idea where Tyrell is; he might be dead.  Then Price hollers out, “Now that I think about it, he mentioned something about traveling the great Southwest in a ’65 El Camino convertible…wind in his hair.”   OMG.  😂😂

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By the way, did anyone else get this image in their head when he said that?

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Ms. Thang Jr. tells Whiterose in Mandarin that Price is making a fool out of her, and they need to get to the real Deus Group meeting to warn everyone.  For the umpeenth time, Whiterose refuses to listen to reason.  Ms. Thang Jr. switches to English and says that Elliot has beaten Whiterose today, but they can still fight tomorrow as long as they can get to the meeting.  Whiterose still refuses to budge.   Ms. Thang Jr. has had it.  She slams her tablet in Whiterose’s chest and quits on the spot!

Price’s reaction is, well…priceless!

Philip Price - Whoa

Then he rubs salt in the wound by saying, “It’s bad management…when your best employees either walk off the job or blow their brains out.”  BWAHAHAHAHA!  😂😂

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Cipriani

Cipriani (Alt).jpg

Darlene makes her way to Cipriani, but the building is guarded like doggone Fort Knox.  The doors are locked, and even the employees can’t use certain entrances and exits.  Inside, the men (one of whom is Donald Trump) are eating hors d’oeuvres (dag gum plastic looking hamburger sliders) and whining because they had to go to this last minute meeting on Christmas Day.  One fool is in his feelings because his wife and his girlfriend are mad at him.  Lord, have mercy.

Donald Trump at Cipriani (Alt)

Meanwhile, Darlene is trying to figure out how she’s going to obtain all these men’s phone numbers when she can’t even get inside the building.  She sees an ad for the new fsociety based TV show, Shift + Control and that gives her an idea.  Shift control.

She goes to a costume shop (or is it the actual set of Shift + Control?  To be honest, I’m not really sure) and starts grabbing some items, one of which is an fsociety mask.  Hmm…

fsociety mask (Alt)

Empty Promises

Mr. Robot on Phone (Alt)

Back at the hotel, Mr. Robot decides to give Price a phone call to see what’s what.  Little does he know that the Dark Army confiscated Price’s phone when he arrived at The Brentano.  Whiterose answers it, and asks if she can see Elliot in person.  Mr. Robot ain’t interested.  Besides, wasn’t she the one that said Elliot wasn’t “important enough” to meet with twice?  Whiterose insists that she’s changed her mind about that.  Besides, she’s willing to make a deal.  If he stops his plan, she’ll provide valuable information to him…information about Angela.

This gives Mr. Robot pause.  Whiterose goes on to say that Angela isn’t dead!  Now she has Price’s full attention as well.

Price Listens to Whiterose (Alt)

Mr. Robot reminds Whiterose that she sent him a picture of Angela with her brains blown out.  Whiterose chids Mr. Robot for blindly believing what was in front of him.  Angela is alive, and she can take him to her.  She then goes on to ask if he’d like to see Angela again…to hear her voice…to hold her hand.

This causes Elliot to come back.

Elliot Returns (Alt)

Whiterose goes on to tell Elliot that she can offer him a new world:  a world without any regrets or pain.  A single tear streams down Elliot’s face as he listens to Whiterose.

Elliot Cries (Alt)

Whiterose pleads with Elliot to show him the world she once showed his closest friend.  Elliot remembers Angela’s state of mind before Whiterose killed her.  She wasn’t the same Angela anymore; Whiterose destroyed her.  Whiterose doesn’t give up trying to convince Elliot.  She damn near begs him to put away all the hatred and anger he has against her so she can help him.

At that moment, Elliot gets a message from Darlene that reads, “Turn on the TV.”  Once Elliot turns it on, he says to Whiterose, “Here’s the thing…I don’t need help right now.  You do,” and hangs up.  I love that man.

Elliot Turns On the TV (Alt)

It turns out Darlene made an fsociety video and sent it to the major news stations.  In it, she outs the Deus Group, and even sends a link to download a private file that uncovers all their dirty deeds!  She also makes sure to alert the public that all those no good bastards are at Cipriani wining and dining if anyone wants a peek at them.  The Deus Group members all see the video on their phones, and they’re freaking out.  Whiterose sees the video as well, and she’s none too happy about it.

fsociety Is Back (Alt)

Darlene calls Elliot and asks if he saw the video and if he was able to get Whiterose’s phone number.  He says that he saw it, and although he didn’t get Whiterose’s number, he spoke with her.  Darlene freaks out a bit, saying he was supposed to hack her phone, not call it, but Elliot assures her that it was just for a few minutes, and it was actually Price’s phone he dialed.  Darlene pauses and then asks Elliot if he’s okay.  Elliot answers honestly that he’s not sure.

Darlene tells him that she’s glad he’s back.  Elliot doesn’t say anything, but looks out the window and notices a cell tower outside.

Elliot Looks Out the Window (Alt)Cell Tower (Alt)

He realizes that he can intercept the info from the tower and try to get Whiterose’s phone number that way.  Darlene continues trying to talk to Elliot to find out what happened with him and if he’s alright, but Elliot’s only focused on business.  He tells Darlene he’ll call her back once he appropriates the traffic from the cell tower.  The plan will only work if they can get all the Deus Group accounts at the same time, including Whiterose’s.  Darlene has to make sure the other members are in her line of sight.  He hangs up and gets to work.

The Dynamic Duo Strikes Again!

Whiterose Panics (Alt)

We now see Whiterose doing something out of the ordinary…panicking.  She’s on the phone with Sergey, one of the Deus Group members, practically begging him to have the others stay at Ciprani and wait for her to arrive.  Price continues to pour his champagne and sip slow.  At the hotel, Elliot gets all the traffic from the cell tower.

Sergey hangs up in Whiterose’s face and she angrily asks Price if this was his big plan.  Does he think she can’t afford being doxxed (that’s a new term I learned during this episode, by the way)?  Price answers, “I have no idea.  I’m as curious as you.”  Oh, the shade!

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Darlene is across the street from the Cipriani parking garage, as the Deus Group members’ drivers are chillin’, having some drinky-drinks and playin’ poker. I guess they assumed it’s gonna be a long night.  Darlene notes that a bridge has to be lowered for anyone to enter or exit the garage, and she runs a script on her phone.  In the meantime, the Deus Group members call their drivers and tell them that they’re ready to go, now.  However, when the drivers get in their SUV’s to get their clients, the bridge won’t lower, and they’re all stuck in the garage.

The Parking Garage Bridge (Alt)

All the Deus Group Members pile outside and frantically call their drivers, but to no avail.  Darlene starts running her other script and obtains their phone numbers…as well as their bank accounts.  To add insult to injury, the members can’t even find an alternate way to leave the club, because a crowd of people has gathered, trying to see who’s a part of the group.  Of course, they’re taking photos and videos.  Even the news media has shown up.

Darlene Runs Her Script (Alt)

Darlene continues to run her script and lets Elliot know she’s getting matches.  He’ll have to get Whiterose’s number soon.  As Elliot’s searching, the parking garage attendant manually fixes the bridge and the drivers come flying out.

Whiterose is panicking even more at this point.  Price is amused.  “All this over a little pipsqueak in a hoodie,” he remarks.

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Price goes on to say that although he never liked Elliot (boo), the skinny guy does bring something to the table.  He’s probably the only person that can actually hurt Whiterose…and she must know it, too.  Whiterose can’t even argue that point.  At the hotel, Elliot sends Darlene all the phone numbers he was able to obtain from the cell tower and asks her to match them to the Deus Group accounts.  The drivers are pulling up to the building, but Darlene’s script is still running!  “Why do we have to cut these things so damn close?” Mr. Robot thinks aloud, echoing Elliot’s same sentiment from season three.

Elliot Concentrates (Alt)

Execute!

Whiterose Being Stalled (Alt)

The Dark Army operatives escort Whiterose and Price outside.  Price stops midway down the stairs and takes a look around, taking in the peace of the night and the cold winter air.

He’s stalling.

Whiterose asks if he really wants her and her men to force him into the car.   Price responds by saying that he almost let himself believe Whiterose when she said Angela was still alive.  Even though he saw the operatives drag her dead body away, he still felt the power of Whiterose’s promise when she spoke to Elliot.  Price assumes that how she conned Angela into doing what she wanted.  Whiterose vowed to take away Angela’s hurt and regret and instead, destroyed her…but it didn’t work.  Angela lives on in the people that love her, and that love gives those people an unwavering resolve to destroy Whiterose.

Now, while Price is giving Whiterose this epic monologue, Darlene matches Whiterose’s number to the Deus Group accounts!

Accounts Matched (Alt)

She sends a message to Elliot, who instructs her to start the bank transfer immediately.  Darlene does, and once the transfer goes through, the members get a code on their phones.  Elliot sends the codes to Darlene, and she completes the transfer.  BOOM!

Transfer Complete (Alt)

By the way, at least $140 billion got transferred.  That’s billion with a doggone B.

140B (Alt)

Once the transfer is complete, Price tells Whiterose to remember that she did all this to herself.  Whiterose smiles and tells Price to take his own advice and accept his truth.  It’s over.  Price hears his phone vibrate and smiles himself.  “Yes,” he says, laughing.  “I believe it is.”  Whiterose’s phone also goes off, and she checks it.

“Something wrong, old sport?” Price asks.  Oooh, I love Shady Price!

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Whiterose asks what’s going on, and Price answers, “If it’s what I think it is…we’re all broke!”  Whiterose doesn’t want to accept her truth, but she can’t deny all those notifications popping up stating that the accounts are all overdrawn.

Over at the hotel, Elliot walks up with Mr. Robot, smiling.  They did it; the plan worked.  Mr. Robot doesn’t seem all that happy, though.

Elliot and Mr. Robot (Alt)

Now we see another side of Whiterose that we haven’t seen before:  the defeated side.  As she tries to make sense of what happened, Price mocks her and lets her know her dream is as good as dead.  He warned her long ago that he was a mercenary, and he would rather see her lose than himself win.  Price decides to throw in one more bit of shade and says, “Think of it this way, Zhang.  You didn’t lose the game.  You just ran out of time.”  BURRRRRRRNNNNNNNNNNN!

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This is the last straw for Whiterose, who grabs a nearby operative’s gun and shoots Price down like a dog in the street!

Whiterose Shoots Price (Alt)Price Dead (Alt)

This is witnessed by everyone in the doggone area, including Elliot and Mr. Robot, who were leaving the hotel the exact moment Whiterose shot Price.  As the operatives take Whiterose to the car, she sees Elliot walking away.

Elliot Walks Away (Alt)

I’d like to think what went through her mind at that moment is how that little pipsqueak in a hoodie ever got the best of her.  A hug and kiss to whomever can guess what movie I stole that line from. 😀💋

The Deus Group members leave Ciprani, broke and disgraced, as the crowd of onlookers contunue to snap photos and take videos.  One of the Deus members looks up and sees Darlene in the crowd, smiling.

Deus Group Member (Alt)Darlene Smiles (Alt)

We hear Mr. Robot narrating, “And like that, Rome falls.  No more Deus Group.  No more top 1% of the top 1%.  No more controlling every piece of our lives.  No more playing God without permission.  We took them down…all of them.”

Down, but Not Out

Whiterose Gets Ready (Alt)

Later that night, the FBI is banging Whiterose’s door down.  We’re not made aware if it’s for murdering Price, her Deus Group involvement, or both.  Either way, Whiterose is upstairs in her bedroom—in her true form—calmly applying her makeup.  It’s worth noting that she’s wearing her mother’s dress—the same dress she declared she’d wear when her project launches.

We hear the FBI break down the door downstairs, and a gun battle ensues.  Whiterose sits at her vanity and looks in the mirror, completely unbothered.

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The gun fight continues as the credits roll, ending our story.

What can I say?  “409 Conflict” was all that and a bag of chips (don’t judge me for still using that phrase).  Our heroes finally had a victory, and not a victory that was followed by an immediate defeat, but a real doggone victory.  Point blank, period.

Needless to say, my favorite scenes were the ones with Phillip Muthafuckin’ Price.  That man threw so much shade at Whiterose, he put the contestants of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta to shame.

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I’m gonna miss Price.  For the second time this season, a character’s death affected me more than I figured it would.  I always liked Price, but he was on my “neutral” list when it came to the characters I wanted to live, die, or meet either fate.  I hate he was killed, although we all saw it coming, as did he, hence the reason he went out like a certified boss.  Rest in power, Mr. Price.

Not only was Price in charge of the girls this episode, but my homegirl Darlene was, too!  That child’s genius is matched only by her brother’s.  Filming that impromptu fsociety video was quick thinking and it did the trick in scaring those fools out of hiding.  She proved she was the woman once again when she hijacked the bridge in the parking garage.  Darlene truly is invaluable to Elliot.  He needs her and she needs him.

It was nice to see Whiterose sweat for a change, and when she lost all her money, I doggone it cheered.  Unfortunately, that’s where the satisfaction is going to end.  If any of you watched the teaser trailer, you’ve seen Whiterose descending the staircase of her house, still wearing her mother’s dress, walking past a dozen dead FBI agents.

Whiterose Prevails

My sweet Elliot…when he reappeared at the idea of Angela being alive, it made my heart flutter.  He still loves her.  I found myself wishing that what Whiterose was saying was true, but I’m glad Elliot saw through the (possible) bullshit and didn’t back down.  I hope that he and Darlene can eventually take the time to have a conversation about what really happened with his father, and I hope in turn, she can tell him what she’s gone through.  They need to sit down and talk to each other—and I mean really talk.  Once again, they need each other.

Let’s move on to the biggest reveal of the night…the third personality.  It seems that Mr. Robot is still keeping things from Elliot, doggone his time.  He’s going to “show Elliot what he did?”  That makes me nervous.  What did Elliot do?  Kill someone?  Cause a terrorist attack?  What!?  Also, there’s a possibility that Elliot may not be the original host, but the third mystery guest is.  I don’t like that, either.  We’ve come to know and love Elliot over these past few years.  Like he said in “408 Request Timeout,” if things didn’t happen the way they did, he wouldn’t be him.   I love Elliot the way he is, and I don’t want him to be “put to sleep” or have this other personality take over permanently or whatever.   And how will Darlene cause the other personality to come out?

Also, I couldn’t help but notice that the boardroom has four chairs.  Mr. Robot is in one, Little Elliot and Mrs. Alderson are in the others.  Apparently, there’s two Elliots.  One is the one we know, and the other is the “poor boy that hasn’t woken up.”  But there’s only one seat left, not two.  Will the other personality be annihilated? 😶😶😶

Elliot's Boardroom (Alt)

Again, this was a fantastic episode.  “409 Conflict” currently has a 9.9 rating on IMDB.com, and it’s well deserved.  My boy Sam is showing D&D and Lee Daniels how a final season should be done, and I’m lovin’ it.  No shade, but SHADE.

On the next episode, the Christmas from hell is finally over.  Elliot returns to Washington Township and Darlene meets up with Dom again.  A lot of folks believe the two ladies are going to perish in a plane crash, but I rebuke that theory in the name of Jesus.

—Written by Nadiya

So what did you think about “409 Conflict?”  Did you love Price’s epic shade?  Did seeing Whiterose panic put you in the Christmas spirit?  Did you tear up when Elliot came back after hearing that Angela may still be alive?  Do you think there’s a possibility that Whiterose’s machine works?  Were you happy that Darlene and Elliot finally took a W instead of an L?  Do you want Elliot to be the main personality or are you cool with him not being the original host?  Are curious as to who the third personality is or how Darlene will “wake him up?”  Also, what do you think Elliot did?  Let me know in the comments section! 

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