And here we are, almost at the end of the season. [The season finale comprises two episodes, the second part of which will air next week.] Last week, the tension and pressure were becoming overwhelming, so let’s get our first look at who cracks and who stands in a storm.
Since this is the first half of the finale, this episode probably didn’t reveal everything you were wondering about this season. In fact, it likely left you with more questions. However, some things were revealed. Or were they? It’s the nature of this show that we must not necessarily mistrust everything we’re told, but rather approach it with a wary eye.
This is most obvious with Elliot’s journey during the episode, as we’ll get to in a moment, but it holds true with Angela’s storyline. It turns out that last week, she wasn’t merely met on the train, she was picked up. It echoes Dom’s previous warning to her that the next person to come for Angela wouldn’t be friendly, but would snatch her off the street. The pickup doesn’t feel like the government, though, as Angela is put into the back of a van with a cage divider and no one identifies themselves as a government agent. It only gets weirder from there.
She’s taken to what seems like a residence, with family pictures on the wall, although the faces are covered. She’s put in a room with a large fish tank and a “Hang in there” kitty poster on the wall. Then the little girl comes in. She’s dressed much like Angela, in office chic, and takes a seat opposite her, in front of a Commodore 64. She begins interrogating Angela, taking her questions from a video game called Land of Ecodelia. Angela balks at playing along, but the girl tells her that “they” will beat the girl if Angela doesn’t answer, a story that is later revealed to be a lie.
I was on the lookout for clocks as soon as Angela was sent into the room and there aren’t any traditional ones, but there is a disturbing play on an hourglass. The aquarium is leaking, dooming the fish inside.
The questions she’s asked don’t seem relevant to what we know to be going on or to anything ever, actually. Sample: “Are you red or purple?” (Angela is purple.) It does seem clear that someone is trying to get a handle on Angela as a person, because the questions are all personality-type inquiries rather than factual-based. There is one question that could be both and it has to do with a key. “Is the key in the room?” Angela has no idea what that means.
The biggest question of all, of course, is who is behind the questioning. To my eternal satisfaction and delight, my suspicion was correct. Whiterose is in the house. Her conversation with Angela is a study in contrasts. Angela pretends at being a cold and hard person, but her reliance on self-help mantras tell a different story. Now she’s faced with Whiterose, who is tougher than anyone Angela has ever known.
WR says a number of interesting things to Angela, including that Angela should have died 90 days ago–so around the time of the 5/9 attack. Questions for discussion: Was she a target for the Dark Army? Did Elliot prevent that with Stage 2 and/or did he give Angela something that would protect her? Is that what the key refers to? Is it in Qwerty’s tank? (Hence the original timer being a fish.)
I don’t know! What I do know is that Whiterose is offering Angela something in exchange for her “belief.” Their conversation, like the questioning, seems less fact-based than hinting at something more. Does it have something to do with parallel universes? (Like I said, more questions than answers.) Whatever it is, Angela has the key.
Elliot discovers that he also has a key, in that while control may be an illusion, it can be regained after it’s lost. After putting himself to sleep with a lucid dreaming mantra, he follows Mr. Robot to see why he was so eager to return to the apartment. He was looking for a menu upon which is written a code. Mr. Robot cracks the code to find a corner he’s supposed to go to. While Elliot is following Mr. Robot, he realizes that that’s silly–he IS Mr. Robot–and he retakes control of his body. At the corner, a taxi is idling and the driver asks for Elliot. Elliot gets in, but doesn’t know where he’s going and neither does the driver. Then Tyrell gets in.
Like Angela, Elliot isn’t immediately willing to accept the situation at hand. He even gets them kicked out of the cab when he starts yelling at the driver to tell him if Tyrell is real. He doesn’t seem real. He doesn’t react realistically to Elliot, preferring instead to tell him that Stage 2 is about to begin and that Elliot will be proud.
Of what exactly, I can’t tell you. Again, I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even know if Darlene and Cisco are still with us, to say nothing of Trenton and Mobley, who weren’t even mentioned this episode. I’m not as lost as Dom, though, who curls up in bed after washing the blood off her face, and looks to her Alexa for answers. Like the show, Alexa can help with only a few things. The bigger answers are yet to come.
9/10 – This episode was one of the weirdest of Mr. Robot so far and I liked it a lot. Despite the bulk of it being a conversation, it was very compelling and the pace never lagged. Having half of that conversation be Whiterose doesn’t hurt, of course.