8:30am PT by Josh Wigler
'Mr. Robot': 10 Burning Questions for Season 2
"You're going to make me say it: I am Mr. Robot."
Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) finally puts two and two together, confirming what some viewers suspected, and blindsiding those who didn't see it coming: He and Mr. Robot (Christian Slater), the leader of a rebel hacker group called fsociety, are the same person. The discovery completely changed the game for not just everything moving forward, but everything that previously occurred, calling the narrative reliability of the entire show into question.
With the show's biggest secret out of the way, the path is clear for Mr. Robot to start answering some of the other major mysteries surrounding the USA Network drama series. Here are 10 of the most burning questions as the show embarks upon its second season on July 13.
1. When was Mr. Robot born?
Elliot and Mr. Robot are the same person. How long has that been the case? As in, when did the Mr. Robot side of Elliot Alderson first emerge? The existence of fsociety clearly pre-dates Elliot's awareness of the cause, so Mr. Robot dates back before the series begins. But how deep is the "Robot Hole," ultimately? Has this anarchic side of Elliot existed since childhood, or is he a recent development? With the secret about Mr. Robot's identity now out in the open, the show is free to pull the curtain back further on his true origin.
2. Who knows Mr. Robot?
Which really means, "Who knows Elliot?" Midway into season one, the viewer started seeing scenes with Mr. Robot seemingly acting independently of Elliot: getting drinks with Darlene (Carly Chaikin), pointing a gun in Romero's face, and intimidating Tyrell (Martin Wallstrom). Now, we know that was Elliot all along, and the people in his life were seeing the more militant side of Elliot's personality. Who else has seen that side of Elliot? Who else knows that this socially troubled, emotionally introverted hacker has a dark, powerful, extroverted side? Has Angela (Portia Doubleday) seen him this way? Has Tyrell known about Elliot for longer than we realize? Has Elliot interacted with big-wigs at E Corp, like Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer)?
3. Where is his mind?
There's more to mine with Elliot's mind, beyond the Robot of it all. For instance, Elliot's broken memory. He worked alongside Darlene for the better part of a full season before realizing she's his sister. He didn't recognize Mr. Robot as the spitting image of his father until a few moments after the Darlene reveal. Then there's whatever incidents drove Elliot into court-ordered therapy sessions with Krista (Gloria Reuben), too. There's so much backstory still to explore with how Elliot created his "perfect little maze," without even thinking about the Robot factor.
4. Did fsociety really win?
The hacktivist group pulled off their assault on E Corp, thanks to Elliot's design and the Dark Army's compliance. The season one finale depicts a brave new world where E Corp has been brought to its knees, so much so that a high-level executive commits suicide on television due to the desperate situation. But is it as simple as a slam-dunk victory? Phillip Price, CEO of the corporation, doesn't seem terribly worried throughout the finale. And it's worth noting that while fsociety made E Corp's data nearly impossible to decrypt, they didn't actually destroy the company's data. It all still exists, waiting to be unlocked, assuming someone finds the key.
5. What happened to Tyrell Wellick?
The Swedish man with the ice blue eyes and the blue latex murder hands was last seen standing alongside Elliot at fsociety headquarters, awestruck over the scale of the operation. Where is he now? Only your alternate personality knows for sure. Throughout the season one finale, Elliot frantically searched for Tyrell, likely terrified that he did something horrible to the wannabe CTO … and knowing what Mr. Robot is capable of, it's entirely possible that he's right.
6. What does E Corp want with Angela?
After spending most of season one trying to dismantle the conglomerate responsible for her mother's death, Angela ultimately accepted a position within the company — but only after an aggressive recruitment campaign from E Corp themselves. Angela's as curious about this as anyone, pressing Price about the motive behind her hiring, yielding a useless answer in response. Smart money says E Corp knows about Elliot and wants to use Angela to get closer to him — then again, this show loves to zig just when you think it's about to zag.
7. When will Fernando Vera return?
Maybe a minor question in the grand scheme of things, but don't tell that to the "Savage Traveler," last seen escaping from prison with Elliot's help. Vera (Elliot Villar) didn't leave Elliot empty-handed, either, only fleeing after leaving Elliot behind with girlfriend Shayla's dead body in the trunk of a car. Fernando Vera is a big, bad loose end that needs tying up at some point down the line, and now that we know about Elliot's darker persona, a reunion between these characters could be one of the deadly series' deadliest moments in the making.
8. Who's at the door?
Heisenberg is the one who knocks, but not on this show. In the season finale's penultimate scene, Elliot sits at his computer monitor, observing the fallout of the 5/9 Hack, when a booming knock comes at the door. Who's on the other side? We still don't know, as the episode cuts to credits as soon as Elliot opens the door. Is it Krista's con man of an ex-boyfriend seeking vengeance? Is it Vera, finally about to fulfill his promise of a hug? Is it Tyrell, here to answer the mystery of his whereabouts? Is it Mr. Robot, ready to lure Elliot back into the fsociety fold? Is it someone else completely? It's one of the show's big question marks right now, with no easily discernible answer.
9. What's with White Rose?
When we first meet BD Wong's Dark Army leader, she's presented as a middle-aged woman with a proclivity for punctuality. ("You hack computers, I hack time," she tells Elliot.) But when she returns in the final scene of season one, she's dressed as a man, dressed to the nines, sitting by the fireplace alongside Phillip Price and the other top one percent of the one percent. Instantly, White Rose becomes the most enigmatic character on the show, and that's saying something, given the show's protagonist. White Rose's true identity and true goals are quite likely some of the most important driving forces behind Mr. Robot's overall arc.
10. What aren't we asking?
Whatever happened to Joanna Wellick's first child? Whatever happened to Elliot's mother? Why did Darlene leave town years ago, only to return at the start of fsociety's creation? What happened in the month between Shayla's death and Elliot resuming fsociety's mission? What happened in the months before Mr. Robot even began? There are countless questions worth asking, and at least 12 new episodes to explore the answers, with season two mere moments away.
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