‘Mr. Robot’: Unlocking the Truth About Elliot

Mr. Robot - Pilot

First of all, spoiler alert for those not caught up to the series to date…okay? Let’s get things going!

As hardcore fans know, there were two main theories going around as to what was going on with Elliot (Rami Malek) this season. The first, which was the one I adhered to, had him locked in an mental institution, with Ray (Craig Robinson) one of the guards who recruited Elliot into his scheme, knowing he was good with computers.

As for his going outside, we saw him watching basketball games, which is conceivable at a city mental hospital, and at least one of the other times was a hallucination- the one in which he was abducted and had concrete poured down his throat, obviously. As for Leon (Joey Bada$$), he could have been a hallucination as well, if not a fellow inmate.

This option would have also explained the group therapy sessions, and the visit with his psychiatrist Krista Gordon (Gloria Reuben), as well as the visits from his sister, Darlene (Carly Chaikin). However, as we now all know, it proved not to be the case.

Mr. Robot - Season 2

Instead, it was theory number two that prevailed, which had Elliot in jail, for some unknown crime. My problem with this one was that, if Elliot was found responsible for the massive hack that ended last season, no way was he ever getting out. Likewise, if it was for the murder of Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström), there was no way he was getting out for that, either.

However, a recent theory about that makes more sense, in light of what we now know- what if the guy Elliot blackmailed in Season 1, the one who was dating his therapist, Krista, was the one who turned Elliott in for hacking?

That would carry a much lesser sentence, and it would make much more sense that Whiterose (BD Wong) would be able to get him out of prison in spite of, it being a relatively minor offense compared to the other potential crimes.

As to what Whiterose wants him for, that’s anyone’s guess, but we already know that he’s involved with the Dark Army and is the Minister of Security in China, so chances are, it’s something to do with one or both of those things.

One gets the feeling that Whiterose was on board with the big hack that went down, so it seems likely that Whiterose would want Elliot to continue in that vein and pick up where he left off, though exactly what will come next, one can only take an educated crack at.

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I think that Whiterose senses that Price is failing to keep a lid on things on his end, so I think Whiterose might seek to take him and/or ECorp down altogether, or at least start the process of doing so.

I’m guessing that, if America’s economy continued to free fall, that would result in us having to seek out China’s financial help in order to not go under completely, thus making America dependent on China in the process, which could be Whiterose’s endgame.

Or, another possibility could be that Whiterose wants to take down America and China’s economy alike and cause complete chaos and anarchy. It would be the difference between being a genius and a mad genius, I suppose you could say. As to why he would want to do the latter, do crazy people need a reason, really?

Either way, the big twist of Elliot being in jail is certainly an interesting one, and with him set to be released soon, it will be interesting to see where all this heads next! On the plus side, it should also take us outside of Elliot’s head and more into the real world moving forward, which is a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I just loved the slasher movie spoof (see the uncut, NSFW version here, if you haven’t already) and the superlative sitcom version of the show was an excellent way of both putting us into Elliot’s mindset and transporting us to another time, specifically the 90’s-era USA Network, complete with faux-commercials (and at least one real one), the old USA logo and an ad for the much-missed “Up All Night” showcase, not to mention the creepiest laugh track this side of that scene in “Natural Born Killers” with Rodney Dangerfield.

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But that said, we’ve spent a substantial portion of the season dealing with all of this, so now it’s time to get down to the real nitty gritty and get on with things. I suspect all of what came before this will play better on the rewatch, much as the last season did once you knew what was really going on.

But in spending all this time in Elliot’s head, it has slowed down the main plot considerably, and left the lead character disconnected in the process, not just with himself, but with viewers. In other words, everything that’s been going on outside of what’s up with Elliot was independent of him, and not having the main character being part of it has hurt the show, as it has had the adverse side effect of leaving the rest of the show somewhat rudderless.

Put another way: it’s hard to care about the other stuff going on in the show when your main character isn’t involved. Don’t get me wrong, the “heist”-like scene with Darlene and Angela (Portia Doubleday) was gripping and a lot of fun, and new character Dom (Grace Gummer) is quite the enigma and vaguely fascinating, if not on the level of, say, Whiterose.

But this is mainly Elliot’s story and by excluding him from all the other action, it’s often felt like we’re watching two shows: the one in Elliot’s head and the rest of it. Both are intriguing, but not as much as they would be if Elliot was involved with both of them.

Thankfully, that seems to be where this is headed, and on the plus side, creator Sam Esmail didn’t wait until practically the end of the season to reveal what was really going on, as he did last season, so we still have a good half a season left to go, which is a good thing.

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As such, like I said, perhaps the season to date and the accompanying twist will play better the second time around, with us knowing it won’t last the entire season this time, which wasn’t a foregone conclusion this time, by any means. Of course, a lot depends on where we go from here as well.

I guess we’ll find out starting tonight, what with Elliot’s imminent release from jail looming, which should open up the plot for a new direction, this time with Elliot’s direct involvement, which should be good. Or one can hope.

What did you think about the big twist? Were you on board with it, or are you glad it’s over? Are you happy that Elliot will be rejoining the show in earnest as of tonight’s episode moving forward? What do you think will happen next? What is Whiterose up to? How about Price? Or Angela, for that matter? Let’s not forget Tyrell’s wife, either.

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Sound off with your predictions and insights below and see you next month!