Who Is Mr. Robot's Landlord? eps 2.9_pyth0n-pt2.p7z
Who Is Mr. Robot's Landlord?
Do you understand everything that happened in the season finale?
If not, hopefully, I will help you wrap it all up but my main goal with this recap is to set the game board up for season 3.
I am thrilled that my Occam's Razor theory of Mr. Robot appears to have won the day (that was a recent post but I have been writing about it much of the season)..
No Back to the future, no magic powers, no time-travel, just the season playing out the way it was mostly laid out.
I do want to thank Sam Esmail and his whole staff and crew for a truly enjoyable season (except for Hacking Robot which was embarrassingly bad).
Apologies for this being a day late, I was in the ER all day yesterday (I am supposedly okay now, we will see).
Anyway, if you have not seen eps 2.9_pyth0n-pt2.p7z yet, stop reading, * Spoiler Alert *
Where is E-Corps after Season 2?
Last week, I laid out, in pretty serious detail, the larger political importance of Phillip Price's E-Coin scheme.
This week we learned that Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) and E-Corp have been trying to stay alive by reconstituting all of its ledgers by using the paper copies. We learned that Stage 2 was actually Elliot's plan for stopping E-Corps from reconstitution. Basically, Elliot plans to use a backdoor and some hacking to make the facility where the paper records are being reconstituted into a bomb by forcing the facility to leak hydrogen gas and then igniting that gas.
So, E-Corps has a ton of Chinese money, a really insidious plan to make themselves immune to government intervention through E-Coin, and are trying to reconstitute their paper records.
Where is Whiterose and the Dark Army after Season 2
Whiterose is backing Stage 2.
Whiterose has essentially captured Angela from Phillip Price.
Whiterose (B.D. Wong) has full control of the Washington Township Plant and has plans to do something nasty with it. I have, of course, suggested that she plans to use it to make Cobalt Bombs (based on the Cobalt and Coltan that will be available to her after China annexes the Congo).
There is still some dispute over if the WTF is a nuclear or chemical facility.
I would say this is where Whiterose is:
* Whiterose qua Whiterose - wants to use fsociety to bring down E-Corps at the same time she is trying to protect her larger scale plan. Again, I suspect it has to with Cobalt bombs.
* Whiterose as Zhang - keeping China on board for Congo and E-Corps (only so that she can maintain control of the WTF).
Anyway, Whiterose seems determined to destroy E-Corps (while also seeming to help them as Zhang) and maybe do much more damage later too. Without question, in my opinion, Whiterose is the most powerful player on the board.
Where is Joanna Wellick After Season 2?
I was absolutely right, as I explained here and on Reddit, that the theory that posited Joanna (Stephanie Corniellusen) was simply setting her bartender boyfriend up to take the fall for the death of Sharon Knowles (Michelle Hicks) had way too many holes in it to be correct.
It turned out that what her actual plan was involved getting beaten up, on purpose, by Scott Knowles (Brian Stokes Mitchell) in order to convince her bartender boyfriend to set Scott up for the killing of Sharon Knowles (getting her and Tyrell off the hook and allowing her access to Tyrell's severance package).
We learned that the person who sent Joanna the packages and the secret phone was Scott Knowles (CTO of Evil-Corps). We found out that on the day she went to the party where she met the bartender and where Sharon was killed by Tyrell, Scott found out that Sharon was pregnant. We learned that the reason he has been "torturing" Joanna is so that he could get her hopes up and then stomp them out just like Tyrell did to him.
In order to get Scott to attack her, she calls him a pussy and mentions how sad it is that she just found out she was pregnant and she was still willing to have sex with Tyrell. She also said something awful about the dead Foetus and then he was beating her up. It was a truly awful and ugly scene to watch all the way around.
Mea Culpa, I believed that Tyrell was actually sending the gifts. I did present a goofy theory that Tyrell was "The Gentleman" (the killer from Careful Massacre) but I admitted at the time that the theory was likely nonsensical.
Anyway, Joanna has set the table for getting her severance money and for setting Scott Knowles up for murder. And her bartender boyfriend really gave a poster of Tom Cruise a working over. Good times?
An aside, two of the most disturbing scenes in Mr. Robot (IMO) involve Joanna and her being in control of her own choices to be beaten or "abused." I suspect this is the point, and I get that Joanna is almost always in "control" in a sense, but those scenes are very hard to watch.
Where Are Dom and Darlene After Season 2?
Not much to report here.
Darlene (Carly Chaikin) is in custody. She could be treated as an enemy combatant under the Patriot Act.
Dom (Grace Gummer) is trying to get her to turn on fsociety and help the FBI solve the 5/9 hack.
After Darlene asked for a lawyer, pled the 5th, told Dom to "suck a dick (no really, she did)," and made fun of the premise of the entire typical law enforcement interrogation process, Dom talks Santiago into letting her see all that they have.
Dom has gotten pretty close. They have most everything right and have Tyrell and Elliot right in the center of the pyramid. They don't seem to know about Whiterose but they know a lot. They even know that Elliot's screen name with Darlene is Sam Sepiol.
Darlene seemed to warm about 1 degree, so we really have no idea where the investigation is.
We do know that Dom has only gotten as far as she has because she "has no life."
Where are Elliot and Tyrell at the end of Season 2?
I feel a bit bad about being right on this one. I suggested here and on Reddit that Tyrell was real and that Esmail was playing it straight with Stage 2 (not Back to the Future etc.). I also have said throughout that Tyrell is real and not another Elliot Alter (too many times they were both talked to by other characters in the same conversations).
I feel bad because Esmail was doing his absolute best to make it seem like everything was possible here. He had Tyrell (Martin Wallstrom) do a Humphrey Bogart impersonation after the cab ride that made many people feel that his voice was off (lots of people might not have caught the Casablanca references throughout the scene). And even worse, one of the main promo shots in the marketing was of Elliot standing in front of an equidistant Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) and Tyrell (implying they were both Alters).
I love Sam E. But, the level of manipulation of those scenes was over the top (IMO).
So, anyway, Tyrell has been in hiding this entire time working for the Dark Army to carry out Stage 2. Stage 2 is literally the second stage in taking down E-Corps (as explained above).
Which leaves me only one more victory lap to take.
I was 100% right about how the show deals with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Mr. Robot explicitly verifies my season long explanations of DID when he says:
"You can't look at it like this. You're me. I'm you. You figured that out. We're the same guy. Everything you're blaming me for you're blaming yourself for."
"This is where we get into trouble. You're meant to know only as much as you can handle. When you wander outside of your realm is when we end up fighting"
A dissociative person is a fragmented whole, not separate personalities fighting for control of a single body.
As I have explained at length before., there is Elliot 1 (the fragmented whole), the dominant Alter aka Elliot 2 (the Elliot we all love and that can't see himself doing bad things that hurt people), and Mr. Robot (the part of E1 that takes over when the bad stuff needs to happen or when E1 is at physical risk).
Elliot (Rami Malek) came up with the plan, Elliot carried out 5/9, and Elliot has been carrying out Stage 2. Whenever the bad parts of Stage 2 come up, E2 dissociates and Mr. Robot takes over.
The reason this has become a problematic arrangement is that E2 negotiated a "handshake" with Mr. Robot that allows him to be present when the "bad stuff" (the stuff he used to dissociate from) happens.
So what happens when the good - sweet - and caring alter is present for the bad stuff? What happens with E2 can't dissociate? He has to face what E1 is capable of, feel like he is glitching, and often feel like he is lost.
So, he assumes what many of you assumed, that Tyrell is just another Alter (remember that he still believes, at some level, that Tyrell is dead). He assumes that the popcorn gun he holds is no more real than the gun Mr. Robot shot him with earlier in the season.
And, he assumes, incorrectly, that E1 had not considered this possibility before.
This is the fulfillment of the Fight Club narrative from S1 only instead of Tyler (good) shooting Tyler (bad), Tyrell shoots Elliot 2 (and Mr. Robot and Elliot 1 obviously).
So, where is Elliot heading into S3? He is recovering from a gunshot wound while Tyrell carries out Stage 2.
On the good side, this might finally clear up his confusion about his own relationship to his larger self. Also on the good side, Angela has promised to be there when he wakes up to help him understand what is happening.
On the bad side, he will have to understand that and come to grips with that he is part of a person who wants to destroy E-Corps even if people get hurt. That there are parts of his own personality that are angry and full of violent rage. He will have to accept that the face he wants so badly to show everyone is NOT the entire picture of who he really is.
As Esmail himself said (and if you read these recaps regularly you know I have said), what Elliot is having to confront is that he has done and is doing some stuff that bad guys do.
I have suggested since the Mr. Robot reveal that Esmail is not about simple binary characters.
I have suggested since the Mr. Robot reveal that this was not an homage to Fight Club but an exploration of the ethics of Fight Club.
This is a show about the ethics of Hacking, Revolution, Governments, Sub-State Actors, and of Corporations.
Nobody comes out entirely clean in this wash.
Everyone has blood on their hands. In fact, what is so amazing about the image of Elliot's hands covered in blood is that they are literally covered in blood because of him. Because of the decisions that he has made. Because he set a protocol that told Tyrell not to let E2 stop Stage 2.
Elliot is looking at his own blood covered hands because he is, and always has been, the one with blood on his hands.
Where is Angela Moss After Season 2
This season has been as much about Angela (Portia Doubleday) as it has been about any other character.
Ultimately, she has realized that she is trapped between forces much more powerful than she is. She tried, in many ways and over many years, to make E-Corp pay for what they did to her Mother but has been thwarted at every turn.
Probably my biggest misread this year was assuming that the end result of all this disappointment would cause her to "break bad" and try to take control of the evil. But, in a sense, this ended up happening after the meeting with Whiterose.
She seems to now be an accomplice of Whiterose and the DA. She certainly knows that the DA are attempting to destroy E-Corp too. It is unclear if she knows that the DA have been involved throughout the entire Washinton Township Plant disaster.
She has certainly finally decided that discretion is the better part of valor and that her only best case scenario at the moment is to keep her powder dry. She is just as idealistic and ethical as E2 but with none of the dissociation. So, it is my guess, that she will eventually be involved in bringing the DA and E-Corp down (Angela and Dom seem to be the most "true arrow" characters on the show).
So, she is, for the moment, hanging with the DA but I suspect she will continue to learn and become more effective at subverting the powers that surround her as time goes on.
This Is Not A Show About Nothing
Last week, I got into an argument with a prominent Redditor about the "nature of the show."
He was angry that I made a political post in a room that was about solving a puzzle (not explicitly about the politics of the show).
It remains my opinion that almost all content is political (at least exposing things about the writer or speaker or programmer) and that even the statement "this is not the place for politics" reveals a political agenda.
I do think Mr. Robot is a show about ethics and politics.
Much of the reason I am so resistant to the Science Fiction theories is because as wild as this show can be it is grounded in a particular real-world political agenda (Sam Esmail's). It would only distract from the grounded realities he has created to unmoor the show.
Anyway, the season is over and I am very glad it concluded the way that it did.
Oh, also, Mobley (Azhar Kahn) and Trenton (Sunita Mani) are alive working at some food store out in the middle of nowhere but have been found by Leon (Joey Bada$$, who we know is an enforcer for the Dark Army he also drives up in a black car...not a good sign symbolism wise).
The interesting thing is what Trenton said right before Leon showed up:
"If what I discovered is real, do you know what that means? Yeah, I know exactly what it means. Yeah. It means we could potentially undo this whole thing. Put everything back the way it was. I know. I know. Please. Just look at what I found."
So, both the Blue and Red pills (The Matrix) are still on the table for season 3. Season 3 probably will not start until next September, but I cannot wait.
What an incredible journey this season has been.
Next up for me, The Flash and Luke Cage. Of course, there are still a TON of Halt and Catch Fire recaps as well.
What did you notice that I might have missed?
What do you disagree with me about?
What will you take away from Season 2?
Do you have any question that I could help you answer?
Let me know, leave a comment!
Fyi, I use transcripts.foreverdreaming.org to get the direct quotes from the show.