MR. ROBOT reveals what phase two of Elliot and The Dark Army’s plans are, and even though Elliot is the one who came up with idea for it, he may be unable to stop what he already started. There are a lot of revelations in the season finale, but the episode feels more like a segway to something else than a completion of a chapter.
I’m sure there’s a lot of people who are going to be a little upset after the finale because it wasn’t what they were hoping it would be. There were a lot of answers, but also a lot of loose ends that haven’t been tied up. The entire second season can be seen as a mere introduction or preliminary to season three. Sure this season lacked the tight, satisfying quality of last season, but if you look at Mr. Robot as one big narrative over the course of the entire series it will make more sense. Season two is just a set up for the big payoff in season three. I can get behind that as long as the next season really does pay off in a way that doesn’t leave too much still up in the air.
The nice thing is that we’d been groomed this entire season to think that Tyrell was another one of Elliot’s hallucinations. The entire prison/Ray fantasy was meant to get us to distrust Elliot’s perception and reinforce him as an unreliable narrator. Because this was so ingrained in our thinking about what he saw and whether it was real or not, the whole Tyrell revelation defied our expectations. Sam Esmail got us believing one thing, and then pulled the rug out from those expectations. I’m glad Tyrell wasn’t just another of Elliot’s imaginary friends, in fact, I would have been disappointed if he was. I’m sure the Internet would have exploded with hate if that had been the case.
The way it was revealed as to whether Tyrell was fact or fiction felt satisfying. Elliot was finally going to take back control of what he believed were his own delusions. He was going to be in charge after believing Tyrell was just another Mr. Robot in his mind. Elliot was going to stop phase two before it started. The bullet in his stomach, a tangible pain and serious problem, was the only way to get him to understand what’s been going on, and to keep him from sabotaging the plan he came up with. The Dark Army and even himself as his alter ego Mr. Robot were not going to allow anyone to get in the way of the plan. Elliot even gave Tyrell the gun to stop anyone from sabotaging phase two. Tyrell just didn’t believe it was going to be Elliot that needed to be stopped.
After two episodes it’s finally revealed what happened to Darlene and Cisco. In the attack on the restaurant, Darlene survived, but Cisco did not. We find this out because Dom is interrogating Darlene at the FBI headquarters. Darlene sits in an interrogation room, covered in blood, and unwilling to speak to Dom or her superior in any way. She continuously invokes her Fifth Amendment rights, but is told by Dom’s boss those rights don’t pertain to her anymore. She’s now considered an enemy combatant. They have a lot on Darlene. Dom shows her the fsociety mask, the camera used to make the videos, and other things taken from Cisco’s apartment. Darlene still won’t budge, so Dom takes Darlene into the FBI workroom and shows her how much they know. Instead of arresting everyone all at once, they’ve been doing what Dom refers to as the “python approach”. The FBI has decided to sit back and watch, slowly digesting it all, until the person they believe to be the head and center of the entire hack reveals themselve. They believe this person to be Tyrell Wellick. The problem was Romero’s death threw everything in a tizzy possibly ruining their strategy, but Dom reveals to Darlene that Romero died from a stray bullet, and was not killed purposefully.
Phase two of Elliot’s plan has been in place since the very first season when he wrote a malware script for Darlene. Tucked inside of it is the ability to control batteries and the airflow system of the E-Corp headquarters. The batteries will be made to produce hydrogen, the fans will be cut off from circulating the air, and the malware will create a spark to ignite the hydrogen and blow up the E-Corp building. Why would they want to do this? All of the paperwork that’s supposed to help E-Corp rebuild their files on their customers is being sent from all over the country, with the downtown headquarters acting as a storage hub to help recatologue all of the debts people owe to E-Corp. If it’s destroyed, any chance of E-Corp getting back on its feet is also destroyed.
Joanna finds out Tyrell has not been sending her all of those gifts; it has been Scott, the CFO of E-Corp. The day Tyrell killed his wife, Scott had found out she was pregnant with his baby as well as being announced as the new CFO of E-Corp. It was the happiest and saddest day of his life. He had gotten everything he ever wanted and had it all taken away from him in one fell swoop. Scott wanted Joanna to feel just a little of his pain. When she confronts him, Joanna says some terrible things about his wife until Scott snaps and beats Joanna to within an inch of dying. He’s fallen for her trick and did exactly what she wanted. Has all of the sadomasochist things she’s had her lovers do to her just been training for this one brutal encounter all along? It seems Scott has fallen for her plan, and now she’ll use her sexual relationship with a bartender from the night of that fateful party to pin the murder of Scott’s wife off of Tyrell and squarely on Scott.
After Elliot has been shot, we find out Tyrell, The White Rose, and Angela are all working together now. She’s going to be the first person Elliot sees when he wakes up. Tyrell calls her in a panic, and they both exclaim that they love Elliot. Did Elliot set the whole thing up? Was it his plan to include Angela? The FBI knows everyone involved in the hack including Angela, will it stop them from engaging phase two? Just like last season, there’s a teaser at the end of the credits of the finale. We see Mobley and Trenton living somewhere out west working some crap job with fake names. Trenton has found a way to possibly reverse everything the hack has done, and she wants Mobley to help her do it. They go back and forth over it, but are interrupted by Leon. Is he there to kill them so they don’t get in the way of phase two? We won’t know until next season.
Season 2, Episode 12 (S02E12)
Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 9PM on USA
For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates.
Jeff Iblings | Contributor