If Mr. Robot isn't one of the best shows on tv, it is at least the most cinematic. The shot of White Rose in the nuclear plant at the beginning, and later the cinematography of Eliot (in black) in Angela's white apartment, with her in white, was gorgeous. And then Eliot kisses her and Angela's face turns black, like he corrupted her. I love that scene.
So this felt like a rather standard introductory episode for the season. Hi Bobby Cannavale with your peccadilloes about punch cards. Lets get to the nitty gritty of getting Eliot off the floor bleeding because we all know he's not dying for a while. Wellick disappears for most of the episode and Dom is benched while Eliot and Darlene finally catch up after the shit they've gone through. (Eliot needed to shut down Darlene's "Cisco's dead and I almost died" pity party by pointing out he almost died too and showing his gunshot wound, but maybe its better that he didn't.) Even Mr. Robot himself doesn't make his appearance until near the end. Angela is Eliot's handler and it seems our game this season is she's supposed to keep Eliot from messing up Stage 2 for the Dark Army while at the same time secretly helping Eliot mess up Stage 2 by getting him a job at Evil Corp. That's going to be fun.
That all said, this may be the episode where we're getting hints at the end game. This episode felt a lot like early LOST in that regard. Specifically, in episode 2x13 (The W), Hurley and Sayid hear Moonlight Serenade on a radio (youtube.com) and Hurley suggests that the radio waves could be coming from another time. That comment introduced the concept of time travel into the show, which would later pay off in season 5 when the Island started skipping through time. I think we've had something similar happen here.
Angela asks Eliot if he would be willing to save his father and her mother, and he tells her that its impossible, and she says it may not be, but doesn't elaborate. White Rose told her something during their meeting that has her acting as though events can be undone. Before we jump to time travel, I'm thinking its something else we were already primed for. When White Rose was in the nuclear plant at the beginning, they pass a tour group, and the tour instructor talks about alternate universes. What if that's the ultimate point of what they were doing in Washington Township was trying to reach out to alternate universes? And more importantly, what if they were already successful?
My wife asked me a question at the end of the episode, and it astounded me and now I feel like I need to go back and rewatch the first two seasons, because while I initially disagreed with her, I couldn't recall any specific evidence that would allow me to. She asked if White Rose is having the same split personality problem that Eliot is having with Mr. Robot. Up until now, I've assumed that White Rose is trans but needs to be publicly closeted. But what if that's not the case? What if there's his male persona, and her female persona, as two separate identities sharing the same body, just like Mr. Robot and Eliot? I'm starting to think that's the case, and its not just coincidence.
In Bioshock: Infinite, there are two characters called the Lutice Twins. They are purported to be siblings, until you find out that only one of the Lutice twins is native to our universe, and that they were both studying alternate-dimension technology in their respective universes when they managed to open a portal to each other. One came over from the other universe, and they pretended to be siblings ever since as cover. I've already speculated that the Washtington Township incident created Eliot (although I had him developing powers to absorb dead people as a way of adding Tyrell into his already crowded head.) I still think that's the case, but I think the incident ALSO created White Rose.
Whatever they are doing in Washington Township, they are opening portals to parallel universes. In one of those universes, White Rose is female. In ours, she is male. The incident pulls the female White Rose from her dimension into ours, but the process is flawed, and does not bring her body. Instead, she is shoved into the head of the White Rose from our universe. Similarly, after EvilCorp is done with the elder Alderson and ready to dispose of him with cancer (or maybe they weren't done with him but he got cancer anyway), they knew that he was a valuable engineer and they needed him back. So they pulled him from the alternate universe, except they needed a body to hold his consciousness, so they grabbed Alderson's son as a host. Just like assuming Whiterose is closeted trans, I've also assumed that Mr. Robot is just an extreme manifestation of Eliot having a psychological break. But what if its not? What if all of this is about bridging two realities, and Eliot is both victim and ultimate savior of these efforts. So far Mr. Robot has been fairly grounded in reality, but just like LOST invoking time travel, I think they are preparing us to start going to places we did not expect, and probably sooner rather than later.
I enjoyed it even though I thought it lacked the impact the RTD finale and even last year's finale. The Brigadier's death was a nice gesture on their part. I am not sure of the Doctor being hidden is a good idea.