(POST-VIEWING UPDATE: I guess 2 out of 5 ain’t bad? But I’m sticking to my high-concept guns for next season — this simply can’t just be a Fight Club reimagining…can it??)
What do you get when you combine:
- an acclaimed psychological cyber-thriller?
- a (deserved) Emmy win for a relative unknown?
- a finale that is hyped to out-Peaks Lynch himself?
You get 5 powerhouse predictions for tonight’s season ender of Mr. Robot!
1. DARLENE TAKES A (DR.) HORRIBLE TURN
Someone died in the diner hit on Cisco, Darlene, and Dom. That wasn’t just ketchup on our Alexa-loving FBI agent’s blouse, son. And Darlene is simply too important — like a mirror image, or a sharp-toothed shadow — to our man, Elliot.
So I’m calling it right now — our little hip-hop Cisco has joined the choir invisible.
It feels like good TV logic. In the last ep, he kinda redeemed himself. He showed sensitivity, and earnestness, and even some glimmers of capital-E empathy in the hospital scene. If anything, he almost feels the most human of the cast. So, just like Elliot found his fragile connection to humanity stuffed in the trunk of a car last season? Darlene’s going to have her big moment of ‘growth’ in a tragic ‘awakening’ tonight…
…and I think it’s going to send her on a villainous turn for Season 3.
2. PHASE 2 = ONE COIN TO RULE THEM ALL
There’ve been too many mentions of (real-world) Chinese BitCoin mining and E(vil)-Corp’s counter currency this season for it not to culminate in a big move, for one side or the other. I’m not going to even attempt to guess whether we’ll learn more about the Congo, or tour the innards of a Shanghai coin farm, or watch stock markets tumble in real-time.
But the fact remains that the 5/9 hack — the seeming narrative epicentre of the show — toppled the first dominoes in a foreshadowed global economic collapse. And someone has to be there to pick up the fiscal pieces. The levers of multi-national control. The reins of POWER.
Because in the world of Mr Robot..?
God is dead. And there’s nothing left to pray to.
3. PARTITION YOUR (PERSONALITY) DRIVE
Mr. Robot is not real. Sure, he might be nested in Elliot’s broken psyche as the coder’s dead father. And yes, it seems like he’s been pulling a Tyler Durden more and more throughout this season. Esmail hasn’t exactly been shy on that front. But I don’t they’re the only ones driving.
We’re still not clear on Elliot’s three days of missing time. We still don’t know why he woke up in Wellick’s SUV. We still don’t know where Joanna is getting her gifts and calls from. And we definitely have no fucking clue why she seemed to know Elliot in the Season 1 finale — speaking to him in Swedish, no less.
Tyrell is dead? Screw that.
Long live Tyrell Wellick. And Elliot Alderson. AND Mr Robot.
The trailer for tonight’s ep teases as much with a shot of them together.
Id, Ego, and Super Ego.
The three programs running in our unreliable narrator’s head.
4. WHITE ROSE — ‘TIMELORD’ OR ARCHITECT?
1’s and 0’s.
Dual identities. Cryptic countdowns. Monochromatic decor. A room jammed with so many clocks it looked like an angry mouth with too many teeth. The cancer-causing, tragedy-inducing, possibly reality-altering ‘Washington Township NUCLEAR Plant’ that seems directly tied to statewide brownouts…
Pulses of darkness. Doors opening. Characters disappearing. Blank stares. Pregnant pauses. Rewinding television newscasts.
This theory was interesting when I first read it. As was this full-on sci-fi one. The Stage 2 Cancer analogy also has merit. But instead of some omniscient inter-dimensional deity, a rogue Timelord, or Mr Robot’s equivalent to Frank the Bunny from Donny Darko…? I think White Rose is more akin to this fella:
Something is happening outside the world of Mr Robot — we’re living proof of that, as Elliot’s oft-referenced ‘friend’. I think White Rose exists beyond the show’s matrix, too — pun intended, as creator Sam Esmail loves his flicks from ’99, right? Even with all those pesky references to Back to the Future 2.
And about that…
5. PATTERNS WITHIN PATTERNS — PLANS WITHIN PLANS
We’re either headed for a quantum timeline, Doctor Who meets Neo on heroin, schizophrenic mindfuck of a revelation in a few hours…
Or a virtual one. An artificial one. An intelligent one.
If you were a program, what kind of code would you be running?
How would you act if your design was to hack people?
Or to hack time?
To protect the system in place?
To move goods and information?
To control the flow of money?
To be the firewall.
The doe-eyed glitch in a multi-level, non-linear, game-like simulation?
Doesn’t matter whether I’m right or wrong. What I know or what I don’t.
Makes me feel a little like Elliot.
We’re in for something special tonight.