Mr. Robot, 1x08: White Rose
So, my (and many others') theory about Elliot and Mr. Robot being one and the same may not be the case after all. They've been foreshadowing it hard, especially in the final moments of this episode... Which is what makes me wonder if it's all a misdirect, and he actually is just Elliot's very-much-alive father.
In an unexpected twist, we learned that Darlene is Elliot's sister, and that Elliot's mental problems are so severe he'd forgotten this. I love this for three reasons: First of all, up until about 10 seconds before Elliot remembers, I never would have suspected. Second, and possibly most important to the overarching plot, it ramps up the level of Elliot's explicit disconnection from reality to a whole new level. Third – and this may be the part I find most interesting – it completely transforms our understanding of Darlene's character. Up until now, she's seemed a little bit psycho. I mean, shortly after they "first met", she's showing up unannounced at his apartment and using his shower. What the hell, right? Who does that?
Family. That's who does that.
We also finally got the "pictures of Elliot's dad that look just like Mr. Robot" reveal that many of us have been waiting for, accompanied by Elliot's cliched, mirror-smashing identity crisis where he sees himself briefly as Mr. Robot. All of this could be leading up to the (obvious) "big reveal" that Mr. Robot is all in Elliot's head. But we also learned something else interesting... Elliot Alderson doesn't exist.
Now that could mean – it seemed like maybe they wanted us to think it meant – that Elliot, paranoid hacker that he is, had deleted all traces of himself from the Internet. Or it could mean that Elliot Alderson is a cover identity created – perhaps by his dad, Mr. Robot – to get him into Allsafe, where the team needed him positioned in order to pull off their mission. But due to his mental issues, Elliot (or whatever he's actually called) has forgotten that it's only a cover, and gone so deep he thinks he really is Elliot.
Right now, there seem to be two major problems with this theory: First, considering they have a team of half a dozen people, why would they make the crazy guy the deep cover linchpin of their whole operation? Well, there are a few possible explanations for that (maybe Elliot is the only one with some specific skills they need), but I think the best one is this: Elliot wasn't crazy when they started the operation. We know something serious happened a little over a year ago, because he just finished one year of court appointed therapy. My guess is that was when his psychiatric break occurred, and that he went undercover as Elliot at Allsafe before that.
The second issue is Angela, Elliot's co-worker and childhood friend. She's interacted too much with other characters, often far away from Elliot, to explain her away as one of Elliot's delusions, and she doesn't seem
to be in on any of what fsociety's been up to. If Elliot isn't who he claims, she would surely know. Still, in a show that relies so heavily on an unreliable narrator to provide twists and turns, it's not a stretch that they'll come up with some explanation for this.
Then again... We might find out next episode that the "big twist" is just that Mr. Robot doesn't exist. I might be giving the writers too much credit. It's been known to happen before, even when I should have known better (coughmoffatcough
(I'm actually halfway expecting a double fake-out at this point... Next episode, Mr. Robot tells him the story above. Much of the audience accepts, okay, this is the big twist we've all been waiting for... Then, in the season finale Elliot makes a comment to Darlene about Mr. Robot being their dad, and she's confused – because of course their dad died years ago.) #tv #mrrobot #wildfantheory