Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3 Recap – why did Xander kill himself?

By Marc Miller
Published: April 2, 2023 (Last updated: 4 weeks ago)
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Rabbit Hole uses flashbacks to build suspense and surprise in its storytelling.

We recap the Paramount+ series Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3, “The Algorithms of Control,” which contains spoilers.

This is an exciting episode because it is a race against time for John (Kiefer Sutherland) to gain the upper hand to see who is behind the conspiracy. We also learn more about Dr. Ben Wilson’s (Charles Dance) backstory. The script contains surprising and effective flashbacks that keep the viewer guessing.

Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3 Recap

The episode opens with John Weir’s father, known as Dr. Ben Wilson, giving a speech about how dangerous the game he is about to play is. How this requires absolute commitment, and eyes will be all over them.

It will require trust in one another, him, and the plan while doubting everyone else. If they cannot do that, they should not go any further. The camera then reveals John Weir is agreeing. Then it pans out, and we see Valence behind him. He also agrees.

In flashbacks, we discover that John and Valence once owned a company together, one that pits rich people or companies against each other.

After a job that consists of sabotaging a new brand of cheese puffs, Valence wants to go bigger and better. How? By taking user data from social media sites, which is 150% more accurate than wives knowing their own husband’s behaviors.

Valence wants to process the data to sell to businesses, agencies, governments, departments, and foreign countries. This is just like their own business, but large and more profitable. John agrees to go all in with Valence.

How does Ben introduce himself to John?

When John goes home for the night, his apartment door is wide open. When he enters, his father is there. Except John doesn’t recognize him. Ben reveals that it is indeed his father.

John is understandably shocked and traumatized. Ben tells him he has nowhere else to go and needs his help. When he goes to Valence’s home to tell him what happened, he reveals what Ben told him.

There is a man named Crowley planning on creating a new world order to hijack governments. To accomplish this, Valence and John pretend to break up their company and go their separate ways.

What do John and Valence find in the safe?

John and Valence meet at school and find Ben’s manifesto, “The Algorithms of Control,” in the safe.

John’s mother couldn’t handle him anymore, so she sent him to boarding school. There, he met Valence, who is an expert in mathematics. John, as a child, is trying to decipher a message he felt his father left him by circling numbers and letters in papers and magazines. Valence cracked the cipher and opened the safe.

John hacks into Valence’s company database. Xander has IT specialists seeing that John is trying to hack into Valence’s data. They are confident he can’t break in because, after five attempts, they lock him out for good, and Xander is tracing him to find his location.

Valence left him a cipher to find in some notes, and the password is “safety,” with the authenticator key, he can download all the data he needs. In a flashback, we see, as children, Valence and John break into their father’s safe using the world’s oldest and basic cipher, numerology.

Valence figured it out because Ben used his son’s name to set the cipher in the first place, proving to John his father loved him.

Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3 Ending Explained

Why did Xander kill himself?

We don’t know exactly, but we are guessing Xander was told to kill himself because he allowed John to hack into Valence’s account and steal the data.

John does this by tricking Madi into going to Arda Analytics headquarters. John uses this as a distraction by getting Xander out of the room while he pulls Valence’s data.

When Xander returns to the room, he sees that John stole it all, and he must tell his boss. When Xander delivers the news by phone, he looks sick.

A few moments later, Madi is on the phone outside the building, talking to her boss. She hears a “splat” behind her and sees someone has fallen to their death.

What did you think of Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3? Comment below.

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