LAST EPISODE, ALL OUR FAVORITE CHARACTERS, AND THE WORLD IN
Throughout this episode, we see armed soldiers patrol the streets of New York City as sirens are heard screaming in the distance. At one point, a military vehicle filled with soldiers rolls past in the street as an announcement of a
Things are not going well, but can humanity persevere regardless? This, by the way, is the theme of the episode.
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Little Elliot is Cold as Ice
This episode begins with another flashback. Little 8-year-old Elliot and his father, Edward, are at a movie theater with the intent of seeing Shallow Grave (1994) together.
Okay, so maybe Edward isn’t the greatest dad after all. He’s taking his 8-year-old son to see an R-rated movie, and I don’t want to be too judgemental, but that doesn’t seem like the best parenting choice.
Anyway, little Elliot has his arm in a sling, apparently from Edward pushing him out a window. Elliot, for obvious reasons, is clearly mad at his father, and doesn’t want to be attending a movie night with him. Elliot, as you likely remember, got pushed out a window for telling his mom that Edward, his father, was sick. I don’t think that’s actually what happened, but that’s what we’ve been told thus far.
Edward is sorry. Maybe not as sorry as a father who pushed his son out a window should be, but still, sorry:
“You’re right. I made some mistakes.
I wish I could have been a better father to you.
All I’m asking is that you forgive me. Do you think you’ll ever be able to do that?”
To which Elliot simply, and coldly, responds:
Throughout this exchange, Edward is coughing, a lot. After Elliot denies him forgiveness, Edward’s coughing gets worse, causing him to stop breathing and pass out on the floor of the movie theater. Bystanders immediately call for help and mill around.
In stark contrast, Elliot doesn’t react at all, except to take his dad’s “Mr. Robot” jacket, put it on, and go into the movie alone, leaving his father collapsed on the floor.
Once Elliot is in the movie, he turns to the empty seat next to him and says to no one:
“Shh, the movie’s about to start.”
Looks like Mr. Robot was already around at this point. Remember, Elliot said he “created” Mr. Robot to help him deal with stressful situations. I’m not sure that’s an entirely accurate version of the creation of Mr. Robot, but Elliot seeing his father collapse on the floor is pretty stressful.
I suspect there was no Mr. Robot prior to the defenestration incident, and that his creation was not simply one of stress-deferment or brain injury. I think Mr. Robot may be something not made by Elliot at all, but attached to him, either physically in his brain as some kind of tech, or even digitally if this is all taking place in some kind of a Matrix-like computer environment.
After Elliot sits down in the movie theater, we see the “Enjoy the show” pre-roll before the movie he’s there to see. After a moment, the Mr. Robot title screen comes up as part of the movie itself, and with it, the aspect ratio adjusts to a more cinematic one, adding black bars to the top and bottom of the screen. They stay for the remainder of the episode, echoing the surreality Elliot feels throughout his day.
Back to Present Day: Elliot Wipes Down
Elliot stares at his smashed bathroom mirror, a replacement for which sits on the floor, unopened and unused.
Elliot then reads the news of Trenton and Mobley’s deaths on his computer, and begins to internally wax eloquent about the concept of deletion:
“When you delete something, you’re making a choice to destroy it. To never see it again.
You choose to delete because you need to free up space. Because you don’t want it anymore. Because it no longer holds value.
Is that what happened to Mobley and Trenton? Were they unwanted? Taking up too much space?”
Elliot then begins an old familiar process we haven’t seen in a while: Backing up hard copies of the data he’s acquired of individuals he’s hacked onto CDs, one per person, labeled as music albums. Elliot does this when a person he’s hacked, dies. the process taking the form of a sort of memorial for the deceased.
He first deletes Trenton, (labeled as Bruce Springsteen’s Magic), then Mobley (labeled as Mobley’s own stage name, DJ Mobley). Elliot then takes a look at the data he has on Mobley’s brother, Sandesh. During this process, we can see that Elliot has hacked the entire families of both Trenton and Mobley. Very thorough.
Elliot then “wipes down”, pulling all the components that retain any data out of his computer. He breaks parts in half, pulls specific components out of boards with pliers, microwaves some of them, drills through his hard drive, destroys his phone’s SIM card. You know, the usual.
Darlene bangs on the door, and, upon entering, asks Elliot why he wiped down. Elliot says “routine”.
Darlene demands that Elliot speak to Angela, who, she says, is “going through a full-on breakdown.”. Elliot doesn’t care, and says that Angela deserves it. Darlene brings up something that I thought about during the previous episode, that Angela was there for Elliot while he was having severe mental issues. Elliot still doesn’t care.
Elliot is having his own breakdown in this scene. He’s being kind of a baby, but honestly, who can blame him?
Elliot says that the difference between him and Mr. Robot doesn’t matter. He believes both he and Darlene are responsible for everything that has happened with the 5/9 Hack and Stage 2. Darlene says that Elliot can still “get rid” of Mr. Robot, but Elliot says he’s tried everything to make that happen:
“You don’t get it. I tried everything.
The medication, therapy… ####, I even put myself in jail. He won’t leave. He won’t leave because I wanted this.”
Elliot then gets closer to Darlene, and finally admits softly, shaking:
“I liked it.“
This freaks Darlene out, and she tells Elliot that he is scaring her. Elliot, now sorry, says that was not his intention and suggests that she come over the following night so they can “smoke out” and watch The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie (1984, not an IRL film, though) together.
Careful Massacre, if you remember, was a favorite film of the Alderson children, who also shared it with Angela. The face of a character in the film, Uncle Conrad, is the origin of the
Darlene isn’t getting a good feeling from all of this, and says so to Elliot, asking to stay with him. Darlene (correctly) believes that Elliot may be giving up and on the verge of suicide. She agrees to Elliot’s invitation, for the following night, however, and eventually leaves.
Elliot Drops Flipper Off
Elliot then drops Flipper, his storied little dog, off with his friendly landlord. As Elliot stares at Flipper, he continues to internally monologue:
When you make that decision, there’s always that moment of hesitation.
That annoying, “Are you sure?” dialogue box. And then you have to make a call. Yes or no.
Yes means ridding myself and the world of Mr. Robot forever.
That includes you.”
Okay, so if Elliot dies, so do “we”. I guess we can’t be backed up into the cloud, at least not as far as Elliot is concerned.
Elliot goes to his closet and removes… The Mr. Robot jacket?! What?
Elliot, as a symbolic gesture, throws the jacket on a trash pile and heads to his next destination.
Elliot Visits Hard Andy
Elliot visits a creepy drug dealer calling himself Hard Andy (played convincingly by Christopher Halladay) and requests to buy his entire stash of morphine pills.
Hard Andy, very suspicious of this request, forces Elliot to strip off most of his clothing under the pretext of checking for a wire. Finding Elliot wire-less, Hard Andy correctly ascertains that Elliot has planned to commit suicide by swallowing the large bag of morphine.
In response, Hard Andy makes a less-than-romantic advance on Elliot, declaring it a shame that Elliot die when they could have (what Hard Andy imagines would be) a good time together. Elliot, not in the mood for Hard Andy’s shenanigans, takes his bag of pills and leaves. I’m not sure why he bought so much. That bag of pills is seriously big.
Elliot Visits Mobley’s Brother, Sandesh
Elliot walks up to a large, expensive looking house, its lawn covered in garbage, and knocks on the door.
An enraged Sandesh (played by Dileep Rao), Mobley’s brother who we saw earlier in the episode on Elliot’s computer screen, answers the door wielding a baseball bat. Clearly, due to his relation to the supposed terrorist Mobley, Sandesh has been enduring some harassment at his home, and is a little prickly as a result. Actually, I get the impression that Sandesh is a little prickly all the time.
Sandesh demands to know what Elliot wants. Elliot introduces himself as a friend of Sandesh’s brother, Mobley, and explains that he merely wants to know the details of Mobley’s funeral or the location of his grave, in order to visit and say a few words.
Sandesh reveals that he hates his Mobley, believing his brother guilty of everything he has been accused of. Elliot tells Sandesh not to believe everything he hears about Mobley:
“But don’t believe the lies you read about him. They’re not true.”
Sandesh isn’t having it, and tells Elliot he has no idea where Mobley’s body is, further explaining that “There’s no way” he was going to “pay for a terrorist’s funeral.” With that, he slams the door in Elliot’s face, and Elliot heads to his next destination.
Elliot Visits Trenton’s Family
Elliot walks up to the Biswas residence, the beleaguered home of Trenton’s parents and younger brother. It’s clear that the family is moving out in a hurry. Their probably-smashed windows are covered with wood, and their belongings are in front of their house.
The Biswas family is immediately suspicious of Elliot, but he quickly allays the fears of Trenton’s father by saying he “went to school” with Trenton, that she was a good person, and that he knows she is innocent of the crimes she’s been accused of.
Mr. Biswas, no longer afraid and now curious, asks Elliot if he knows any more details about what happened to Trenton, or why she went to Arizona. Elliot says he knows nothing, and Mr. Biswas agrees that Trenton was a victim, explaining that he believes she was murdered and that “This country now blames Muslims for everything.” Mr. Biswas then thanks Elliot for “saying nice things about” his daughter, and Elliot goes to his would-be final destination.
Elliot Goes to Coney Island Beach
Elliot now sits on the beach, close the where the original
“That’s a lot of pills. Are you sick?”
Despite Elliot’s best efforts to get rid of Mohammed, he refuses to leave, First he says he doesn’t know how to get back, then he says that Elliot doesn’t “own the beach” and therefore cannot make him leave. Elliot is taken aback:
“Are you serious, man? Your parents are probably really worried about you.”
Mohammed is Mr. Robot’s version of the angel Clarence from It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), preventing the suicide of the protagonist at his most pivotal moment.
Elliot Tries to Take Mohammed Home
Elliot decides to take Mohammed back home himself, and they begin walking there together. Mohammed tries desperately to make conversation with Elliot, asking him if he prays and bragging that he, after prayer can put his shoes back on while standing up without tripping. Elliot has little patience for this interaction, and just wants to get the boy home so he can get back to his terrible task.
Upon arriving at the Biswas residence, Elliot and Mohammed find everyone
Elliot asks Mohammed if he has a phone. “I wish”, Mohammed scoffs. Elliot asks Mohammed if he knows his parents’ phone number. Nope. At a loss, Elliot tries to figure out what to do.
Mohammed starts asking Elliot some pressing questions:
(MOHAMMED) “Do you like TV?”
(MOHAMMED) “Do you like horses?”
(MOHAMMED) “Do you like Wii U?”
(MOHAMMED) “Do you like movies?”
(ELLIOT) “I used to.”
(MOHAMMED) “I’ve never been to the movies. My parents say it’s too expensive.”
(ELLIOT) “That sucks.”
Mohammed decides this is an opportunity to go to the movies for the first
Elliot and Mohammed Go to the Movies
Elliot and Mohammed arrive at the movie
To Elliot’s surprise, it’s October 21st, 2015, known as “Back to the Future Day”, due to that being the date that Marty and Doc Brown travel to in the film Back to the Future 2. You know, the one with the hoverboards,
Elliot is a big fan of Back to the Future, and is shocked when Mohammed reveals that he has never seen it. Mohammed isn’t interested in what looks like an “old movie”, instead wanting to see The Martian (2015). Elliot is very judgemental of The Martian, and convinces Mohammed to give his pick a shot.
Before they get in the ticket line, Elliot buys popcorn and M&Ms, just like in the opening scene with 8-year-old Elliot and his father. Elliot pours the M&Ms into the popcorn, which disturbs Mohammed until, at Elliot’s insistence, he tries them, and approves.
Now in the ticket line with some cosplayers, Elliot tries to explain to Mohammed what the movie is about:
“It’s about going into the future to change the past, then coming back into an alternate present day.”
This explanation meets with some resistance from a man dressed as Marty who stands behind them in line:
“No, you can’t go into the future to change the past. It’s way heavier than that. He goes into the future to change the future. But that allows Biff to change the past, which changes the future again.”
But another cosplayer in front of them in line takes issue with this, saying:
“No, no, it’s much simpler than that. It’s about how one mistake can change the world.”
Elliot gives up on explaining the movie, and Mohammed, a bit put off by the bickering cosplayers, asks again to see The Martian, explaining that it “has 92% on Rotten Tomatoes!”. Elliot assures Mohammed that he’s going to love his movie pick, and that “most critics” have bad taste.
Here we see some elements of Mr. Robot’s own storyline being discussed. Angela actually seems to believe that she can change the past by changing the future with Stage 2. Elliot, interestingly, seems to agree that this is possible with his Back to the Future 2 plot explanation, but does not share Angela’s Whiterose-induced worldview when it comes to his real life.
Elliot and Mohammed are finally in the theater watching the movie when a cosplaying man next to Elliot asks him to “hold his flux capacitor” prop while he cleans his glasses. Elliot does so, but while he soaks in the surreality of his day, Mohammed disappears.
Elliot, panicked, asks the man at the ticket counter if he saw Mohammed leave, he did, so Elliot makes his way outside. On his way out, there is a strange moment where Elliot stares at a woman cosplaying as the character Lorraine from Back to the Future 2 taking off her uncomfortable heels. I confess that I don’t understand the significance of this, but Elliot seems affected by it.
Night has now fallen in New York City, and Elliot then leaves the theater to search for Mohammed.
Elliot Searches For Mohammed in an Ice-cream Truck
Elliot stands in front of the theater, in the middle of the street looking back and forth, trying to figure out where to do, when an ice-cream truck pulls up. Driving the truck is a Hasidic Jewish man, who, for some reason, is wearing a surgical face mask.
Elliot is taken aback, but the ice-cream man is very friendly. Elliot explains he’s looking for a mosque, revealing that he has figured out why Mohammed left: to pray. The man says he has “good friends” at both of the mosques that Mohammed may have gone to, and they begin their journey there together.
The ice-cream man is listening to the classic War of the Worlds (1938) radio show while he drives, and Elliot questions him
“Things get a little fakakta for a while, but at the end, humans actually persevere.”
This is the central theme of the episode. Things have gotten “a little fakakta for a while”, but humanity will persevere, and so can Elliot.
Elliot Goes to the Mosque
Elliot enters the mosque and finds Mohammed there, completely alone. This, I imagine, is very unusual at prayer-time, and is another example showing how bad things must be now in the world of Mr. Robot.
Elliot is upset with Mohammed, saying he would have come with him to the mosque if he had asked. Mohammed doesn’t believe him, stating that:
“You keep saying you have something you have to do.”
Elliot reiterates that he does indeed have something he has to do. It seems that Mohammed has somehow sensed Elliot’s dark intentions for the day and is trying to stall. I don’t think that’s actually what’s happening, but he couldn’t be doing a better job of preventing Elliot’s suicide if he tried. Either way, Elliot reveals his mindset to Mohammed almost immediately:
(MOHAMMED) “You’re a baby.”
(ELLIOT) “You’re annoying.”
(MOHAMMED) “You are!”
(ELLIOT) “This is a nightmare.”
(MOHAMMED) “You are!”
(ELLIOT) “So are you!”
(MOHAMMED) “I wish you were dead!”
(ELLIOT) “So do I!”
This takes the wind out of their sails, and Mohammed doesn’t address what Elliot’s confession, instead saying he feels that his sister leaving home may have been his fault. Elliot tells Mohammed:
“It wasn’t your fault. Or hers. It was mine. All of it. So don’t blame her or yourself. You can blame me.”
Mohammed seems to feel a little better, and tells Elliot he isn’t allowed to wear shoes in the mosque. Elliot removed his shoes, claiming he won’t trip when he puts them back on, and sits down next
Mohammed talks about how he, unlike everyone else in his family, could be President of the United States because he was born here. Mohammed thinks this is really cool, and goes on to describe what his presidency would look like:
“If I were President I would be able to stay here. In the house we live in.
I would find a way to bring back my sister.
I’d put the real bad guys in jail, and I’d make everyone eat Pop Tarts for dinner.
And then make everyone be nice to me.”
This, again, is basically the mindset of the members of
The show seems to be telling us: Life is not a fantasy or a movie. If you do something destructive, people are going to get hurt, and you won’t be able to control that. You can’t turn back time to fix your mistakes, you can’t make the dead rise, you can’t fix your childhood, and that’s not a legitimate reason to give up.
Mohammed’s life is clearly far from perfect, and he hasn’t given up.
Elliot says that he was born in New Jersey, and Mohammed says “Really? Me too.”. When Elliot asks where, Mohammed says “Trenton”, revealing where his sister got her handle.
Elliot Successfully Gets Mohammed Home
Elliot and Mohammed finally go back to the Biswas residence, where Mohammed reveals he had the keys to enter the locked house the entire time. At this point, though, Elliot isn’t even mad.
Mohammed asks Elliot is he can see him again, and Elliot pauses. This is the pivotal moment when Elliot decides whether he wants to die or not. Elliot picks the latter, promising Mohammed he will take him to see The Martian before he moves away. Mohammed is very excited, and saying he has something for Elliot, runs inside.
In the few moments before Mohammed returns, the enormity of Elliot’s decision to live hits him, and he begins to cry.
Mohammed comes back with a lollipop for Elliot, and hands it to him saying:
“Because you said you were sick.”
Aww. With that, Elliot pops the lollipop in his mouth and leaves for his next destination.
Elliot Visits Sandesh Again
Elliot is back at Sandesh’s house, and there’s still plenty of garbage on the lawn.
Sandesh is not happy to see Elliot, but this time, Elliot is in hacker mode, so he doesn’t care. Elliot orders Sandesh to have a funeral for Mobley, and explains how he has the leverage to force Sandesh to do what he says:
“…you should probably change your corporate email password.
Using your street address, even if it’s an old one, isn’t the smartest.
Don’t feel special. I hack everyone.
From the emails I found, you and your law firm swapped some shady memos that I don’t think the IRS would look too kindly on.”
Sandesh puts up a front at first, but Elliot continues, holding up the bag of morphine pills he acquired at the start of this episode:
“Got these from Hard Andy. One of your shady clients I was talking about.
I won’t be needing them anymore. The money you make selling them back to him will more than pay for a funeral.
Start writing a eulogy. A good one. I’ll be in the back, listening.”
Well, now we know how Elliot found Hard Andy.
With that, Elliot tosses the frightened Sandesh the bag of pills, puts up his hood, and walks away into the night.
Elliot Visits Angela
Elliot goes to Angela’s apartment building. The hallway leading to Angela’s door, by the way, is dimly lit and completely red, which is extremely odd, and no doubt something that Whiterose would approve of.
Elliot knocks on the door and announces himself, softly asking Angela to open the door so they can talk.
The camera pans over and we can now see that inside Angela’s apartment, she is on the other side of her door, listening wordlessly. Elliot continues:
“I’m worried about you. I wish I could say something that could snap you out of this.”
Still receiving no response, Elliot starts to walk away, but changes his mind. Robbi Robb’s In Time (from the Bill and Ted soundtrack) begins to play. Elliot returns to Angela’s door, and, sitting against the outside of the door, he continues:
“Remember when we used to do our wishing game? We’d close our eyes, and we’d wish for something. Whatever we wanted.
We both wished we could get bigger bedrooms. That was a big one.
You would always wish for more protractors, which was weird.
I would wish for a faster computer. Probably faster modem too.
You would wish for better clothes. I didn’t really care about that.
We both we both wished we could drive. I just wanted to drive away. We wanted to go on road trips. And eat lots of Sour Patch Kids that we would buy from gas stations.
After we made all our wishes, we’d close our eyes really hard, hoping that when we opened them, it’d all come true.
And we thought the harder we closed them, the stronger our wishes would be. And even though they never came true, we still liked doing it. Because the ending was never our favorite part, anyway.
It was the wishing. I didn’t get that at first.
You remember what you used to say to me right before we opened our eyes that would make it all better?”
Angela is crying on the other side of the door now, and finally answers:
“No matter what happens, we’ll be okay.”
The scene ends with the two sitting silently on either side of the door. From our view they are back to back, supporting each other.
Elliot Goes Back
Home, and Reads an Email
Elliot returns to his apartment
“That’s the thing about deletion: It’s not always permanent.”
Elliot then proceeds to unbox computer components. Samsepi0l is back! Elliot continues to describe the mental process leading to his decision to continue living:
“There are many reasons why you wanna recover a file you just deleted.
When you have that moment of panic, where it hits you, where that thing you thought had no value suddenly becomes important.
Where you suddenly find new purpose for it.”
Elliot boots up his new computer and logs into his encrypted email client of choice, ProtonMail, finding a single unread message, titled “Don’t delete me” from the sender “Tr3nton”. Ah, this episode title has a double meaning.
Remember how Trenton told Mobley that “the email” would automatically send to someone she trusted if she never made it back to her computer? Well, she never made it back to her computer, and the email sent. Apparently, Trenton trusts Elliot. That’s nice.
The email reads:
“I may have found a way to undo the hack. I’ve been investigating Romero. He installed hardware keyloggers on all the machines at the arcade some time before fine/nine. The NYPD imaged all of his data after he was murdered. I was able to get this chain of custody document from the NYPD when they prepared to transfer the evidence to the FBI. They couldn’t get into the encrypted keylogger containers. If Romero somehow got a hold of the keys, or even the seed data and source code for the encryption tools, the answer might be in those keylogger captures, but the FBI probably has those files now.”
At the bottom of the email, we see there is an attached PDF called “Romero NYPD chain of custody”.
After reading this, Elliot thinks to himself:
“Maybe there are still things left for me to do.”
This is really good. Something like this was previously discussed in a much earlier episode, but was abandoned as an option almost immediately due to the difficulty of decrypting the encrypted data without the keys. If Elliot can find the encryption keys, he can unlock all the data that was locked (remember, it was encrypted, not deleted) from the 5/9 Hack.
I’m excited. Elliot will likely need to stage an operation to retrieve hardware from wherever the FBI holds evidence. I love it when Elliot has to physically worm his way into a secure facility.
Angela, no longer rewinding a rewatching an exploding building over and over, is doing a little better.
Elliot is also doing better, his near-death experience and afternoon with Mohammed giving him a new perspective on life. I’m happy about these things.
Elliot has finally revealed his supposed love of terrorism to Darlene, so that’s taken care of as well.
What’s next? Elliot reversing the 5/9 Hack, of course! The powers that be, meaning Whiterose, do not want the hack reversed, so Elliot will meet with some opposition on that front.
I wonder what Mr. Robot will think about Elliot’s plan to reverse the 5/9 Hack. At this point, it’s possible that Mr. Robot could be convinced this is a good idea. Hard to imagine, I know, but Mr. Robot has been softening up lately, and he will likely want to hurt Whiterose for betraying him with the real Stage 2. We’ll see!