** DO NOT READ UNTIL YOU’VE SEEN THE MR. ROBOT SEASON 2 FINALE! **
If you were hoping for a happy ending in the Mr. Robot Season 2 finale, I would think you probably weren’t watching the show.
During the first season of Mr. Robot I was very clueless to one of the big reveals, even though I could tell that there was something that was off. I tell you this so that you know that I am probably one of the least observant viewers of Mr. Robot. I don’t notice the bread crumbs. This may be the reason why I love this show. The viewer has no idea where it is going at any given moment. Even the premise of the show was lost to me. I was watching a show about a person with a severe mental disorder / split personality that just happens to be a hacker.
This season I did pick up on the fact that our main character, Elliot Anderson (Rami Malek, who just three days ago won an Emmy for his role in Mr. Robot) was more than likely in prison. I noticed in last week’s episode that all of the music heard on radios was from the original Back to the Future soundtrack. When it comes to the things that I was able to notice in Mr. Robot this season, that’s about it.
From The Inside Looking Out
Writer/Director/Producer Sam Esmail once again was able to do something very simple yet amazing with the Mr. Robot Season 2 Finale much in the same way he was able to do in the Season 1. When we the viewer find out that Elliot has been working and plotting with himself, because Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) is a split personality that manifests in the visage of Elliot’s dead father, we experience the reveal exactly as Elliot does. In the Mr. Robot Season 2 finale Sam Esmail is able to replicate that experience in a new way.
We as the viewer are carefully and craftily conditioned through the mid-season reveal that Elliot was in jail to question everything that we see, to doubt reality. The viewer once again is inside of Elliot’s head as he questions what is real around him. Is Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström) really here with him, or is Tyrell a product of his mind the same way Mr. Robot is? Thankfully, this question is answered and we get to be just as shocked as Elliot at the outcome.
There are far better writers that will tell you the ins and outs of the Mr. Robot finale, so let me just say that I loved the way that Stage 2 was revealed. Somehow in the wee hours of the 5/9 hack Elliot (as Mr. Robot) and Tyrell figure out that the company can rebuild if it gets all of the paper documents it has together to rebuild their encrypted database. Records of ownership and transactions are the corporations life’s blood, this is something that they have to do. In the three days following the 5/9 hack Tyrell and Elliot figure out what they need to do, and it goes well beyond just encrypting databases and over-heating backup tapes.
Sam Esmail should get a lot of credit for telling us the end game of Stage 2 before we were even aware of it. During a dream sequence in the fourth episode of Season 2 we see a big dinner table with everyone in Elliot’s life and behind them a massive Evil Corp (Ecorp) building implodes. This easily could have been interpreted that in Elliot’s dream world Evil Corp is gone, instead it is foreshadowing.
Stage 2 of the Evil Corp hack is to exploit vulnerabilities in the backup power supplies in the building. By exploiting the firmware of each device they can put them into charging cycles that won’t stop. Eventually a chemical reaction will cause the batteries to explode, blowing up the building where the paper documents are stored, as well as anyone in and around them. A big building will implode and come crashing down. Well played, Mr. Esmail.
The good news is that a lot of questions from this and last season were answered, and we’ve still got questions going on into season 3. They’ve dangled just enough bait in front of us to get us to bite the hook again in 2017.
My Nagging Questions
- So the FBI knows a lot more about fsociety than we knew. Just how screwed is Angela, Elliot’s sister, now that she’s in custody and has seen the big flow chart of doom?
- What did Whiterose say to Angela to make her such a believer in her cause?
- Tyrell’s wife plays a mean, mean game.
- All of these Back to the Future references make me worry that the end game in all of this is Elliot holding a snow globe of the Ecorp headquarters building as we fade to black (for the millennials, that’s a St. Elsewhere reference).
- Does the appearance of Elliot’s former jail friend (and Dark Army member) Leon mean a not-so-happy ending for Mobley and Trenton in their self-implied witness relocation plan?
- We still don’t know why Elliot was in required therapy in the beginning of Season 1. Why?
- Really, please, when this show is finally over please do not make this all something that just played out in Elliot’s head.