From the very first episode I knew Mr. Robot was a high quality series but because of the inherent strangeness of the lead character I was emotionally distant from the narrative. Around the time that beautiful, sweet Shayla was killed that emotional distance began to shorten more and more and with “wh1ter0se.” Mr. Robot became one of my favorite shows of 2015.
In this penultimate episode of season one, “m1rr0r1ng,” that opinion was even more cemented and after what I expect to be a stellar finale, I don’t foresee any other show replacing Mr. Robot as my favorite of the year. This episode answered most, if not all, the burning questions of the entire season and set the stage for an amazing season finale.
Father and Son Road Trip
In a flashback to the mid 1990’s, it is revealed that the name Mr. Robot comes from a small computer repair and sale store that Elliot’s father worked and owned. Elliot’s father is also shown as a far more compassionate and kind man than the present-day Mr. Robot.
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In present day, Elliot is currently screaming at that man, after discovering he’s been hiding and faking his death for twenty years. Mr. Robot tells him that the drugs Elliot has been on has left him in a haze and “they” are trying control him. Mr. Robot didn’t tell Elliot anything before because their work is too important. Elliot tells him that’s not good enough explanation so Mr. Robot tells Elliot to come with him if he wants answers.
Angela’s New Hobby: Elliot Hunting
Having just quit her job at the crumbling Allsafe, Angela goes to her lawyer looking for a job. She is not so politely told “thanks but no thanks” since you know, she has no legal experience and the lawyer is in the midst of her biggest case of her life. The lawyer even suggests that Angela take up jewelry making as a hobby and I don’t think she meant it as an insult.
Darlene calls Angela and tells her that Elliot is missing. Darlene thinks that he has really lost it this time and Angela is her only hope. Angela meets Darlene at the same spot she used to meet Elliot when they ran away as kids. Angela tells Darlene that she can’t help her because Elliot doesn’t talk to her. Angela then accuses Darlene of making Elliot worse because ever since she moved back to the city and started spending more time with her brother, Elliot has been getting weirder. Darlene avoids the question and Angela gets frustrated at the lack of answers from another Alderson and storms out.
Tyrell and his terrifying wife, who is finally named as Joanna, have had their baby. Joanna shares a “touching” story, (and please notice those quotes), about how she had a teenage pregnancy once before and how she gave her baby girl up for adoption. Then, if that wasn’t disturbing enough, she tells Tyrell that if he wants to still be a part of their family, he better fix his crap soon.
Tyrell’s situation becomes worse when he goes into work. His boss fires him for his suspected connection in Sharon’s murder. Tyrell tries everything to keep his job, angry yelling, desperate persuasion and even whiny, baby pleading. None of it works. He storms out of Evil Corp and runs into the detectives and barks at them to talk to his lawyer.
Memory Lane, Horrifying Memory Lane
Elliot gets on a train with Mr. Robot, as the latter promises to show his son where he’s been hiding all these years. Sadly, it is not some cryogenic chamber that explains why Mr. Robot has hardly aged in twenty years. Instead, Mr. Robot takes them to their old family house. They go up to Elliot’s room and he sees the window that his father accidentally pushed him out of as a child.
Elliot pushes his dad up against the window, breaking it, and tells Mr. Robot that it is all his fault, the accident and everything. Mr. Robot tells Elliot no that it is Elliot’s fault for not being able to let go and hating himself. Elliot realizes that his father is right he needs to let go, literally. He drops his father out the window.
Angela hears from her father that Darlene is in the neighborhood. Angela goes to the old Alderson house to find Darlene there. She’s looking for Elliot. Apparently she didn’t look in his old room because when they have to leave the house they see the broken window outside.
Elliot is found in a cemetery with a limping Mr. Robot. They stop in front of one tombstone when Angela and Darlene appear over the hill. Mr. Robot tells Elliot to not let Angela and Darlene take him away and that he will always be with him. Yup, that’s right All my theories have been wrong. Mr. Robot is super dead or more accurately, he doesn’t exists. As Angela and Darlene catch up to Elliot, Mr. Robot disappears. The tombstone is revealed to be that of Edward Alderson’s, Elliot’s father. Elliot speaks to the audience and finally comes clean to himself and us, Elliot is Mr. Robot.
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New Job Offers
Colby tells Angela that the lawsuit against Evil Corp will probably be settled at some point in the future but the 75 million they’ll spend on the settlement is nothing for the company. Angela is smart, driven and ambitious. She is the perfect Evil Corp employee. Angela is disgusted and tells Colby she won’t work for the company that killed her mother and tells him to leave. Once she’s alone though she looks more than a little conflicted.
Darlene tries to give Elliot a pep talk to not give up on their dream of anarchy. When she steps out of the apartment to get his meds, Tyrell walks in and locks the door. He asks Elliot to tell him the whole plan. Then just for insurance, Tyrell tells Elliot that he just killed a woman and he loved it. So under the threat of Swedish strangulation, Elliot takes Tyrell to the FSociety HQ. Tyrell asks Elliot if he did all this alone. Elliot lies and tells him it was just him and Tyrell replies that now it is just them. He then asks Elliot why he did it, why did he want to take down Evil Corp. Elliot tells Tyrell he was trying to save the world.
Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 10pm on USA
(image courtesy of USA)