Season 2 of Mr. Robot ended with a New York City blackout, and with Rami Malek‘s Elliot lying on a warehouse floor with a bullet hole in his stomach.

MR. ROBOT SEASON 3 PREMIERE RECAP

The start of Season 3 skips past Elliot bleeding out and takes us to a BBQ joint grand opening. A new character, playing by Bobby Cannavale, pops up and argues with a restaurant server, only to use his Bluetooth earpiece to ask, “Is he dead?” He then rushes out to meet Tyrell and Elliot. He finds Elliot on the floor bleeding out and calls for help, not seeming too worried.

Next we cut to a nuclear power plant with backup generators making everything run smoothly. “How many copies of ourselves exist?” says a nearby scientist, reminding us of the question that has driven Elliot crazy for the past two seasons. Then Whiterose walks by and speaks with an aide about continuing with Phase 2. “Time presented us Mr. Alderson when we needed him,” she responds. “We need his unadulterated, focused rage.”

And we’re back with Elliot, who is waking up, a week after the blackout began. Angela is with him – she seemingly lies about what she knows, as we saw her talking with Tyrell at the end of last season. But Elliot runs off in an attempt to stop Phase 2. He returns to the warehouse, but nothing is there, having been wiped clean by Tyrell and company.

He finds his sister Darlene who takes him to an underground hacker club called 1984. He focuses and joins the hack, beating the others in a competition, but that’s not why he’s there. The scene is epic, all in one long take. The camera follows Darlene into the bathroom who succumbs to a fit of rage after seeing Dark Army guys follow them there. They find her and Elliot and bring them outside. They are led into a car with none other than Cannavale’s character.

They end up back at Red Wheelbarrow BBQ, which is clearly a front for the Dark Army. Elliot tries to take control and says he’s “calling this operation off,” but the men resist. Cannavale leaves, but not without warning Elliot that they could shoot him again at any time, but it’s just an intimidation tactic – they need him alive for Phase 2.

Elliot contemplates his role in all this, and flashes of Donald Trump‘s and Theresa May‘s rhetoric to divide the country appear. In this universe, Barack Obama is still president, and Trump is planning his campaign. “I’m the one to blame,” Elliot says to himself. He tells Angela the only way to fix the country is to get a job with the enemy, but Angela isn’t convinced. She teases Elliot with a question of what if she could make it like this all never happened. He asks how and she says, “never mind.”

The show has been teasing time travel since the beginning, and season 3 may be the time for it. But now we can’t trust Angela, as it appears she’s been working for the Dark Army for some time. She brings Mr. Robot back to Cannavale and reveals that Phrase 2 is still underway, even after Elliot blocked it. She says she’s doing this because EvilCorp killed her mother, but regardless, she is using Elliot’s trust against him.

At the end of the episode, power is restored in the city. Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m.