So my wife and I took a bit of a break and then over the last few days managed to get caught back up. As such, this will discuss prior episodes as well.
Such as eps3.4_runtime-err0r.r00, which Birdman's its way into being one of my favorite of the series. We watched in on DVR, and I don't remember there being any commercials (which, would obviously have broken the flow), so I'm wondering if it aired commercial free. As soon as I realized there weren't going to be any camera cuts, I just let myself enjoy the episode, and its my favorite episode of tv since "Rhinoceros" (The W) in Fargo season 2, where I just let Nick Offerman's performance wash over me as soon as I realized how awesome it was.
I should have seen that rather than rush to get all the paperwork moved to the New York office, that Tyrell had realized the Dark Army just needed to blow up all the field offices. Eliot, in trying to jam them up, instead contributed to the massive loss of life that day.
And speaking of loss of life, poor Trenton and Mobley. They were enjoyable supporting characters, and up until Leon showed up for them at the very end of last season, it seemed like they might make it out okay. At this point, between them and Romero, only Eliot and Darlene are all that's left of the original F-Society.
And while he's not always the most sympathetic character, poor Tyrell as well. Watching the dirty FBI agent threaten him with his child was brutal. Tyrell probably needs to die before all this is done, but it would be nice if he got to meet his son at least once.
So I know that the obvious parallel for Mr. Robot has been Fight Club, what with a split personality controlling an anarchist cult. They even had to fight each other in the same body as Eliot tried to stop Stage II from going off. But watching White Rose control the Dark Army AND the economy through ECorp, I think the better comparison is Star Wars. White Rose is prequel Palpatine, working the senate on one side, and then controlling the renegade Trade Federation as Darth Sidious at the same time. And just as the white storm troopers were lead by Dark leaders (Vader and Sidious, garbed in black), we have the Dark Amry lead by White Rose.
This would make Mr. Robot the Vader comparison (Vader being a Mr. Robot of his own), with Eliot as Luke and Darlene as Leia. (They even share an awkward, near-kiss until we discover they are actually brother and sister.)
Overall, it seems the series is coming into focus. For as long as we thought it was Eliot and co. against ECorp, with Mr. Robot mostly aligned with them and really only differing in how far he was willing to go for the cause, we now see that White Rose has been the true enemy the whole time, and her command over the Dark Army and ECorp left everyone to be played for suckers. Now that the lines have been drawn, its just a matter of time before Dom quits and goes to Darlene to join the rebellion (they need a new name since F-Society has been co-opted.) Dom's dismay when she realized that White Rose is going to get away with all this was heartbreaking, although not nearly as heartbreaking as finding out why Trenton chose that handle.
The episode with Eliot going on a journey at first to "delete" himself only to be redeemed by Trenton's younger brother was perhaps a little saccharine, but it was a nice palate cleanser after all the defeat in the prior two episodes (as sad as the loss of life at 71 ECorp facilities would be, sadder still was to see Trenton and Mobley caught by the wrong side. If only she hadn't crashed into that rock. Literally, she could have driven the car in any other direction. As much as they were George and Elaine, their final fate left them more of a Rosencrantz & Guildenstern.)
Twice in the last few episodes there were direct Back to the Future references. It was clever to stage an episode on Back to the Future Day (the little sub-headlines referencing events in 2015, like NASA finding water on Mars, or the bloodmoon, have been fun to spot). We know that White Rose is obsessed with Time, and we know that *something* is going on with the Washington plant that is going to be moved to the Congo. I wonder if we're going to get a few episodes of Eliot in the Congo at some point, but before that, I wonder if these obvious time travel references play into what White Rose is capable of. Angela seemed to believe that everyone would be okay in the explosions, which she did by manipulating time in her own way (although pressing rewind ultimately does nothing,) but I'll be disappointed if White Rose doesn't have some sort of tangible technology that can affect time. Maybe, when all this is done, we find out that the dystopian America we are watching emerge is the result of Mr. Robot playing with time travel in the past, which allowed White Rose to create a future she controls, and they have to go back to stop her from giving her younger self the ability to control the world.
I think we're seeing Eliot finally forgive his father for being imperfect, and sick, and then gone. The opening credit revelation that he used an imaginary friend to avoid dealing with his feelings for his dad was good, and then we see him try to help another child deal with a family death, also via the movies.
I love this episode. I loved the end scene with Eliot and Angela scrapping away the world to remind them what they really wanted before the premature deaths of their parents messed them up.
And yes I do think time will be rebooted as well.
This series is borrowing a lot from Grant Morrison's Invisibles with its weaponized alter-egos, Gnosticism, and, seemingly, rewriting time/personal history.
I would not be surprised to see Eliot give up his life after his dad's death and use whatever time gadget to go back to childhood with a dad no longer poisoned by ECorp. And if that happens, I will be an emotional puddle.
I cannot believe this show is on USA. It's amazing.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
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I guess it felt like a series finale because, in an interview with the New York Times, Vince Gilligan said at the time they were filming the final episode of season four, they weren't sure if they'd be back for a fifth season.