“The whiterose Chronicles” Predicting Robot (Mr. Robot Season 3)
Predicting Robot (Mr. Robot Season 3)
Predicting Robot is my series where I am sharing my predictions for Mr. Robot Season 3 (USA Network).
My goal isn't to create spoilers or to solve Mr. Robot as much as it is to engage in discussions about my perspective of what has happened so far and how things could play out from that perspective. I have long believed that one of the coolest things about Mr. Robot is that it is an "open universe" where multiple theories can be correct at the same time.
I will be as surprised as anyone if I am occasionally right
As always, if you haven't watched all of Season One and Season Two of Mr. Robot already *Spoiler Alert*
Part One: The Lowercase Leader
When I first started writing about Mr. Robot I used to always leave “whiterose” lower case because I had seen it that way either in a transcript or in some official discussion.
Several months later, I started to capitalize it as Whiterose because every press outlet and recap that I saw capitalized the W.
I was clearly too easily cowed.
I should have been more courageous about sticking to my guns on leaving “whiterose” with a lowercase w (you can actually go back and look at my early recaps where whiterose is always lowercase and look at my later recaps and see that my whiterose shifted to Whiterose).Because (drumroll please) it turns out:
“Whiterose” is actually “whiterose.” It is actually supposed to be a lowercase “w.”
How am I so sure? I had a conversation with whiterose herself.
Let me rephrase, I had a Twitter conversation with the Emmy nominated actor B.D. Wong who plays the leader of the Dark Army who is also referred to sometimes as “whiterose.”
Here is that conversation, I saw B.D. Wong had typed "whiterose" in lowercase, so I asked if that was purposefull:
Okay, so now we now know that “Whiteose” is actually “whiterose” but why? Well, that is because “whiterose” is NOT a name, it is a password:
At this point in the conversation, someone else chimed in with something that really helped my understanding of why lowercase mattered:
I’m pretty sure it’s a reverie of when coders used lower-case for everything, & passwords were usually “god” or none at all. Old-School ‘80s— Huey Nym (@hueynym) July 24, 2017
But, just to make 100% sure, I asked the stories creator himself. Luckily, he graciously responded to my query:
yes!— Sam Esmail (@samesmail) July 28, 2017
Mystery solved! “Whiterose,” is actually “whiterose: and it is not a name, it is a password.
Thanks to B.D. Wong and, as usual, the very kind Sam Esmail for clarification. I will be rooting about as hard as anyone in the world for an Emmy win for B.D. Wong.
Part Two: Does China Know About the Existence of the Transgender Zhang
I believe that China does not know that Minister Zhang is actually a Transgender woman who runs the Dark Army.
Many of the most vociferous debates I have had with folks on Reddit have been because they are convinced that China and the Dark Army are aligned and united in Minister Zhang.
So, why do I believe China only knows of the male Defense Minister Zhang and not the Transgendered woman known by the password whiterose?
Well, because I read a TON of interviews with the show’s creator and stars.
For instance, in this Vulture interview with B.D. Wong (apparently Vulture wasn’t hip to the capitalization issues):
"You very rarely see a transgender actor playing the part of a grocery-store clerk without having to say, “Oh, look at that trans person.” They aren’t ready for that yet. They don’t think the nation is ready for that yet. Sam said, “She is transgender, but her transness has nothing to do with anything.” Sam then told me the irony really is that Whiterose is in disguise when Whiterose is a man, and not when Whiterose is a woman. At the end of Wednesday night’s episode, when Whiterose meets with [Evil Corp CEO] Philip Price, Whiterose may or may not be suppressing all of the femaleness of her to have these conversations with Price. That is a very radical concept, which I don’t know if we have ever seen before. I made it clear to Sam that I am not comfortable with the idea of masquerading. He said, “If there is any masquerading at all, it is Whiterose masquerading as the businessman working with Philip Price, not the reverse.” That, to me, was interesting. I don’t yet know what he means by that, and I hope the show goes a bit further with it."
Who knows if whiterose is also closeted from Phillip Price, even if we are pretty sure that Price knows that Zhang is whiterose., why would whiterose have to be in disguise as a man at all? Why would he be closeted from Price (who knows the history of the DA) but not from China?
Not convinced yet? How about this Entertainment Weekly interview with Sam Esmail about one of my favorite scenes in the history of Mr. Robot:
"You’re right. There is a sadness, and I equate that with passion. She’s going through this inner struggle with her identity. She feels so much like one person, and she doesn’t feel like she can be that person. That’s part of her passion. She wishes she could. I think what she sees in Dom is that same notion. We haven’t gone down Dom’s path yet, but there is something about Dom that has that same sadness, the same hiding behind the mask. Is she the person she wants to be? Does she feel like she can be the person she identifies with? What I love about it is that Whiterose always goes to the background for people. She doesn’t talk to Santiago, who is the head figure. She goes to the person that she sees is a little more cunning, a little smarter and more on her game, but just doesn’t fit into her identity as well as she could. I think that’s the connection Whiterose feels with Dom."
Why in the world would whiterose feel like she couldn’t be whiterose unless she was closeted by her role as a Chinese defense official? Why in the world would she identify with Dom’s identity struggles if she weren’t closeted?
Minister Zhang is the outfit whiterose wears because she feels that she has to.
I am pretty sure that I have read a few other interviews that suggest this too, but I must not be on my research game tonight. I will add new ones in later once I locate them again.
Anyway, it is my prediction that the person represented by the password whiterose is a chaos agent using her authentic power as Zhang the Defense Minister of China to help her sub-national group known as the Dark Army.
Sometimes the interests of the Dark Army and the Chinese government align and sometimes they do not.
Sometimes the interest of the Dark Army and E-Corp align and sometimes they do not.
Sometimes the interests of the Dark Army and Elliot, Tyrell, and Angela align and sometimes they do not.
The only thing that I am 100% sure of is that the Dark Army is playing all of the principles off of each other in pursuit of their own self-interest.
Part Three: Why is a Person a Password?
Usually, I have a well-developed theory for most of the things I write about Mr. Robot. The show is meticulously plotted and extremely detailed so I try to follow suit.
I will freely admit, I am not sure I have a great theory on this, but here goes nothing (and if you have a theory, please leave it as a comment).
A password allows a person access to a person, place, interface, or thing.
Knowing the password “whiterose” allows you access to the person we have been calling “whiterose.”
In other words, we do not know the name of the person that we have been calling “whiterose.” Using the password can get you access to the person, but that does not mean that you know the person.
Using a password instead of a name creates another level of operational security protecting the Dark Army and its leader and more importantly leaves her secret identity unnamed.
If you have read the first two books of Patrick Rothfuss’ “Kingkiller Trilogy” (or have read Jewish religious texts) you know that there can be a great deal of power in the ability to name someone. By knowing a name, it creates a relationship, a record, and an ability to claim that you know who someone is.
So, that is my working theory, we don’t know the name of the person accessed using the passcode “whiterose” and that represents an extra layer of security between the world and the person whose secret identity is represented by that password.
Anyway, from now on, to prevent confusion, I will refer to the person represented by password “whiterose” as “whiterose.” But, we should all remember that the Transgender character played by B.D. Wong has never actually been named.
Even if it is not yet functionally important to us that she remains unnamed, it is clearly very important to her.
Okay, that’s it for this week. Thanks again to B.D. Wong and Sam Esmail who are incredibly gracious. I also want to thank Sam Esmail and USA Network for providing 20 usable E-Coin to everyone who wanted them. For those who were in San Diego, they could actually spend those E-Coins to buy goods all over the city.
My understanding is that the remainder of this summer is the “Summer of ECoin” and that all of us who do not live in San Diego will have opportunities to spend our E-Coins too. That is pretty cool (even though it is a bit strange that we are enthusiastically participating in E-Corp schemes).
Again, if you have a theory for why the person we know as "whiterose" is represented by a password, please share it as a comment or add it on the Reddit thread (I am still contemplating the implications myself).
Anyway, see you next week, same bat time same bat channel.