“Rabbit Hole” Episode 2 ended at a crucial moment. We found out that John’s Weir father isn’t actually dead. Moreover, Edward Homm is also alive and at John’s place. Miles Valence is dead, and John has to log into Valence’s communications data. Maybe it will reveal why he killed himself. Episode 3 jumps to and fro among different stages in John’s life and reveals a lot about him and his relationship with Miles and his father, Ben. It also throws light on the thrilling ride that John is in for, and it would be an understatement to say that the ride’s going to be dangerous.
John has had a troubled childhood thanks to a dead father and a drunk mother. The pain often comes out in the form of rage that he takes out on other kids at school. One day, he returns to the house, where his father shot himself in the face, to look for something, anything, that might help him get to know more about his father. He finds a safe but doesn’t know its combination. He comes across pages of newspapers in which particular digits and alphabets have been circled, along with other notes that he cannot make sense of. He finally tries to blow it up and almost burns down the house. The cops arrive and save him. His mother then sends him to a boarding school, unable to cope with his mischief. That’s where he meets Miles Valence, a guy who is great at mathematics and numbers in general. John shows Miles the pieces of newspaper with the circled numbers and alphabets. Miles believes that it is a cipher. Both the kids sneak out of school and return to John’s house. Their partnership has already begun taking shape.
2013: A New Business
John and Miles, heads of DBA Advisors, successfully cracked a deal with the owner of the fastest-growing snack food brand in the world by pitching to him the idea of infiltrating his competitor’s test groups and using hysteria to manipulate the testers to the point of inducing in them a negative reaction that would slow down the production of their latest snack, which can bring down his profits big time, by at least a year. They guarantee that it works which proves just how brilliant John and Miles are at mind games and shows their prowess in human psychology. Later, as they share a drink to celebrate the deal, Miles shows John a metric based on the study of the data used by Facebook. It shows if a computer model is able to know a person’s preferences and, by extension, behavior based only on his or her likes. The model was more accurate than not just a coworker or parent but even a spouse. If they can take such huge amounts of raw data, simulate it, and sell it to an organization or the government that would want to know the behavior of the people for their own purposes, they can make a lot of money. John agrees to the new business idea. Thus, Arda Analytics is born.
2017: Return From The Dead
The Indian government called off the search for the AeroDelhi flight that vanished without any trace the previous year. John returns to his apartment and finds his father [Ben] standing in front of him almost 35 years after he was supposed to have died. Ben tells him that his mother knew that he was alive but didn’t tell him, apparently out of concern for his own safety. John is completely freaked out. Ben keeps talking about how they have to stop someone before it’s too late, but John isn’t willing to listen at all and tells Ben to leave immediately.
The next day, John tells Miles about how Ben was blabbering about a guy named Crowley who wants to establish a new world order, an impending terrorist attack on Panama and the Suez Canal by the Russians so that they can claim the only trade route to do oil business in North America and Europe, and that Crowley blew up the AeroDelhi flight that had the guy who was bringing Ben some kind of evidence, among other unthinkable stuff. Miles tells John to forget Ben and all that he said.
2018: Algorithms Of Control
The Panama and Suez Canals are up in flames as a result of explosions in what is being considered a terrorist attack. This proves that Ben was right. Also, he was speaking the truth when he said that Crowley was responsible for the disappearance of the AeroDelhi flight. John and Miles are at a Chinese restaurant with Ben, who tells them about how his agency makes use of techniques to control and manipulate entire populations according to their benefit. But while they did what they did for the country’s interest, Crowley decided to use the techniques to his advantage, selling such psy-ops to foreign governments. The guy has made deals with the worst of dictators.
Ben mentions how he “almost” prevented a genocide. Crowley now wants power, and he intends to establish it in the US. Ben suspects that by the next elections, Crowley will have achieved what he aims to. So, they have less than a year to stop him. Crowley is looking for infrastructure with which to execute his plan—infrastructure that they will provide him with. This will bring him to them. Ben advises John and Miles to stage a breakup of Arda Analytics. John will then work with Ben, while Miles will make it public that his company can provide data for elections based on the psychology of the voters. This will certainly bring Crowley, who doesn’t know that Ben is alive or that John is his son, to their door. Both Miles and John tell Ben that they do not have any family. But it seems that John is hiding something. Later, John tells Miles that he doesn’t want Ben to know about his personal life. This proves that he does have a family, or at least someone he loves. Finally, Miles and John split.
Present-Day: Standard Procedure
John, Ben, and Hailey are at their undisclosed house. Ben doubts Hailey’s intentions, but John assures him that she has nothing on her and can be trusted. As they are eating, John writes a letter asking someone to meet him at a particular time. After he’s done, he shows Ben the key fob as the only way to find out what Miles knew and believes that the communications data will reveal what Crowley is after, although Ben thinks that it is Edward Homm who knows all about Crowley. Ben believes that Crowley got to Miles. If we think about it, the last message on Miles’s laptop [“Do it. Now.”] might have been an instruction to kill John. Miles couldn’t bring himself to do it, so he killed himself. John knows that the message was sent by Crowley, and access to Miles’s communications data will allow him to trace the message to its source and, thus, to Crowley. But Ben is stuck on interrogating Homm. Ben sits down on his machine and tries to log into Miles’s communications data on the Arda server. Before he can type in the code, he needs the password. He clicks on the “hint.” It shows the phrase “Safety in Numbers,” which has been Miles’s favorite phrase since they were kids.
Back at Arda Analytics, Xander Arnaz’s team is tracking John’s every click as well as his location. It’s tough as John is using a cluster of VPNs to hide his real address, but they will have ample time once John’s password attempts run out and he is locked out of the server forever. John has 15 minutes before he can be traced. Xander informs his boss [presumably Crowley] that they will soon have John’s exact location. While thinking about the password, John gets into a conversation with Hailey and tells her that rather than going to the nearest store to have something vegan, she can head to the backyard, where there is an apple tree. She smiles and, on the way, quietly picks up one of the many phones lying on the table.
Upstairs, Ben is trying to fish information out of Edward Homm, who is now completely untied. There is a reason why Crowley (or whoever it is) wanted him dead. Unfortunately, Homm doesn’t say a single word. Ben then notices Hailey in the backyard through the window and heads there. Hailey is checking her emails when Ben surprises her from behind and respectfully asks her who she really works for. Hailey hides the phone behind her back, and, as expected, she tells him that she works for The Homeless Aid Network. Ben then asks her to show him what’s in her hand. It’s empty. Hailey dropped the phone. Now, we do not know if Ben saw this or not, but he then politely asks her to join him inside so that they can have apples. On the phone, we see a cryptocurrency app running. Only one attempt is left for John. Xander’s team has almost traced him too. Now it is a race. Will John be able to guess the right password, or will Xander find out where he is hiding before that?
1983: Safety In Numbers
John and Miles have all of the former’s father’s notes spread out in front of them. In them is the code that can open the safe. They have found four numbers [8, 10, 14, and 15], which is their number one clue. Their second clue is the letters. Miles then shows John an old cipher where every letter has a corresponding number. Based on it, Miles shows him a combination, i.e., 10-15-8-14. But John has already tried all the sequences possible with these four numbers. Then Miles breaks the sequence into a group of three, not four. This brings up the combination 101-58-14. This is probably the combination for the safe. Miles turns the lock accordingly, and to their surprise, the safe unlocks.
Xander’s team has traced John to somewhere in Duchess County, New York. Xander gives the order to gather a team to send in that direction and keep them updated on the trace. He then finds out that Special Agent Madi has come to see him. As utterly frustrated as he gets, he knows he has to see her to show his concern for the death of his boss, Miles Valence. Madi tells him that it was he who mailed her regarding an urgent rendezvous to talk about John Weir. Xander realizes that it was a distraction by John himself. [Madi’s email is the very one that John was typing on his phone while eating with Ben and Hailey. He sent it to Madi from Xander’s email address to distract and delay him when the time comes.] Xander rushes back.
‘Rabbit Hole’ Episode 3: Ending Explained – What Was The Password Of Miles’s Comms Data?
Presently, John types in the password and presses enter. He is in. He types in the code from the key fob and accesses the communications data, copying it all to a hard drive. Xander returns and finds that John has already accessed the communications data. Before they could cut him off, he was done. John unplugs the hard drive and destroys the laptop. Then he, Ben, Hailey, and Edward evacuated the place.
1983—John is angry as there is nothing but notes on “Algorithms of Control” inside the safe. That’s all that mattered to his father. That’s when Miles tells him that the numbers in the numeric combination to the safe [10-15-8-14], when replaced with the letter of the alphabet corresponding to their position, become the letter J-O-H-N, i.e., John. The combination of John’s father’s safe is John himself.
Inside the house, on the table, is a notepad with the correct password: 19-1-6-5-20-25. When replaced with their corresponding letters, they become S-A-F-E-T-Y. This is exactly what Miles left as the hint for the password: “safety” in numbers. Madi is talking to someone on the phone outside Arda Analytics when she hears a loud thud behind her. She turns to find that Xander Arnaz has jumped to his death and now lies on the ground with his head smashed.
Xander’s death is just like Miles’. This means that the order came from Crowley again. We need to find out what’s in the communications data and why it is so crucial for Crowley to recover it or even trace John. It is also clear that Ben and Crowley go way back. “Rabbit Hole Episode 4 will reveal what the data contains and hopefully Crowley’s identity as well.