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(Kernel Panic)
Season 2
Episode 3
Airdate July 20, 2016
Written by Sam Esmail
Directed by Sam Esmail
U.S. viewers 0.8M (Live + same day)
Episode guide
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eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd is the third episode of Season 2 of Mr. Robot. It was broadcast on July 20, 2016.



<@mrrobot> elliot vows to beat mr. robot but it aint easy, smh. angela sees behind the scenes at evil corp. sh*t hits fan with fsociety.

Origin of the Title[]

  • A "kernel panic" occurs when a UNIX operating system detects a fatal error from which it cannot recover. It is roughly the same as a "blue screen of death" (stop error) in Windows. The panic sends highly technical information to administrators and developers designed to help the identify the problem.
  • The extension: The .ksd extension denotes a file encoded by Keep Safe, an app providing military-grade encryption of devices and back-ups for video and photos.


A flashback reveals Romero wanted to rent the arcade to Mobley, who recruited Romero into fsociety instead. After a confusing conversation with Tyrell on the phone, Elliot tries to completely get rid of Mr. Robot. The news reports Gideon's death, shocking Elliot. Later, Mobley finds Romero dead at home. Mobley and Trenton fear the Dark Army are hunting them, and grow suspicious of Darlene and Elliot. Dominique DiPierro takes snapshots of a list of FBI agents found on the computer table at the crime scene. Ray is on the hunt for a cyber engineer for his own purposes, and manages to convince Elliot to open up about Mr. Robot. Phillip invites Angela to dinner and tries to make her take matters less personally. Dominique decides to pursue the matter of Romero and his computer; while visiting Romero's mother, she finds a poster of the "End of the World Party", which leads her to fsociety's arcade.

Episode Notes[]

  • Based on Romero's criminal record, the conversation with Mobley where he was recruited takes place at Christmas, 2014.
  • Elliot takes adderall to get rid of Mr. Robot. Adderall is a stimulant generally prescribed to treat ADHD. It improves attention and wakefulness, but in larger doses, side effects include euphoria, insomnia, hallucinations and paranoia. Elliot takes up to 200mg; the maximum therapeutic dose for adults is 40mg.
  • The print on Phillip Price's wall is the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Yugoslav nationalist at Sarajevo, which triggered World War I.


  • In the flashback, Mobley tried to recruit Romero due to his skills in phreaking. Phreaking was the skill of emulating audio frequencies to access and manipulate telephone systems before phones became digital.
  • Romero's PC was likely ignited by thermite trap that triggered when FBI agents tried to access his computer. Thermite is a pyrotechnic that burns at high temperatures to melt the metal plates or silicon chips in hard drives.
  • Ray and his associates use Bitcoin for their unspecified business. Bitcoin is an open-source cryptocurrency using an open ledger with public and private keys. Transactions in it are anonymous to others with access to the network, so it has become popular with criminals.


  • "Holly, Jolly Christmas". Recorded by Burl Ives (1964). Plays as Romero take Mobley to see the Fun Society arcade for the first time.
  • "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me". Recorded by Dusty Springfield (1966). Plays as Romero locks up the arcade after being recruited by Mobley.
  • "Opening", from the soundtrack of Mishima. Composed by Phillip Glass, performed by the Phillip Glass Ensemble (1985). Plays when Elliot imagines himself being kidnapped and forced to drink fluid concrete.
  • "The Highwayman". Recorded by The Highwaymen (Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, 1985). Plays as Agent DiPierro gets ready for work.
  • "Lovely Allen". Recorded by Holy Fuck (2007). Plays in the montage where Elliot realizes the adderall has worked and Mr. Robot is gone.
  • "Just Say the Word". Recorded by Jerry Townes (2011). Plays as Angela arrives for her dinner with Phillip Price.


  • Romero's first name was revealed to be Leslie.
  • Dom talks to Alexa, developed by Amazon for its Echo device. This accompanies's exclusive streaming rights for Season 1 of Mr. Robot.
  • During cybersex, Dom's username is "Deeeepsteep" and her partner is happyhardonhenry806, a reference to Christian Slater's character in the movie Pump up the Volume.

Easter Eggs[]

  • In Dom's apartment, a digital clock can be seen blinking at 12:00 indicating that it has suffered power outage. This is a reference to the frequent blackouts which plague the world of the show.

Deleted Scenes[]

  • Dom is seen arriving at the FBI office when a coworker, Jesse, approaches her and complains that he has lost his vacation. He also complains about a timeshare presentation he and his wife endured in Mexico.
  • At Fidelio's, after they toast, a man and woman dressed well in fsociety masks enter and sit at a nearby table. They pretend to eat food from McDonalds, causing visible irritation at the E-Corp table. The concierge returns and threatens to call the police again. The man puts a bag with a giant dollar bill sign on the table. The concierge reiterates that they need to leave and they do with mock annoyance. She apologizes to Price, who asks for the fries and get a laugh from the table.



Guest Starring


  • Bernadette Quigley as the Chaplain
  • Tom Knutson as the Creepy Man
  • Sean Allan Krill as Kevin
  • Brittany Lee McDonald as RT's Wife
  • Ethan Halper as RT's Son
  • Katie Lemark as a Hostess
  • Danny Garcia as a Homicide Detective


  • Brandy Gardener as a Pedestrian


Season 2 Episodes
eps2.0, Pt.1eps2.0, Pt.2eps2.1eps2.2eps2.3eps2.4eps2.5eps2.6eps2.7eps2.8eps2.9, Pt.1eps2.9, Pt.2