“This only works if you let go, too.”
First off, let me start by wishing all of you a Merry belated Christmas and a Happy New Year! 🎄🎅🎉🎊
Secondly, those of y’all that’ve been rockin’ with me from jump know that my recaps/reviews are pretty lengthy, and these Mr. Robot reviews are even longer than usual, considering the episodes have so much ground I want to cover. However, since I’m doing two shows at once and I’m 100% certain the review portion is going to be wordy as all hell, the recap portions will be a tad bit shorter and less detailed than usual. Sorry for that y’all, but there’s A LOT to unpack with these bad boys. Let’s get this party started!
“412 Precondition Failed/whoami” – Part 1
The episode starts with our Elliot waking up in this new world. On a good note, he’s talking to us again. On a bad note, he doesn’t have any idea what the hell’s going on, either. The power plant is completely gone, and when he walks through town again, it’s no longer the ratchet cesspool he entered. The hobos are no more, the graffiti is gone from the welcome sign, the cops are nicer, and overall, everything’s more happy and sunshiny (and shown to the tune of “Mr. Roboto,” to nearly everyone’s glee).
The internet got the Elliot-was-the-mystery-customer theory correct. Sure enough, while walking through town, Elliot spots the Mr. Robot repair shop.
He goes inside, and when he lays eyes on his father—alive and well and talking to the other Elliot on the phone (unbeknownst to our Elliot)—he panics and hurries out the store, dropping his dad’s cell phone on the way out, which explains why Mr. Alderson found the phone cracked and lying on the floor. The internet wins.
What no one suspected though, was that Elliot would follow his father home to get a better grasp on what’s happening.
Elliot’s dad doesn’t notice him, but his mother does after Mr. Alderson leaves. In this universe, Mrs. Alderson is a sweet and loving mother that thinks the world of her baby boy. After she hugs Elliot and invites him in for lunch, Elliot tells us, “This doesn’t sound like my mom. This sounds like someone that loves her son.” Ouch.
Things get even more confusing when Elliot sees that Darlene is non-existent in this world and that Elliot’s room isn’t in the same location of the house that it was when he was a child. He asks his mother if he ever had an accident where he broke his arm and if she and his father ever hurt him. Mrs. Alderson says he’s never broken a bone in his body, and they’d never harm him.
She wonders if all this is all because of his big day with Angela. It’s natural to have pre-wedding jitters. Elliot’s shocked. Not only is Angela still alive, he’s marrying her! Of course, this is all Elliot needs to hear to literally take the first train smokin’.
When Elliot gets back to NYC, he makes a beeline for Angela’s apartment. He doesn’t find his true love there, but the door is answered by none other than the late Mrs. Moss, and Philip Muthafuckin’ Price!
This freaks Elliot out just a tad. After all, he did watch Price get gunned down the day before and Mrs. Moss has been gone for almost 20 years.
Apparently Price has been in Angela’s life from jump in this world, despite the fact that Angela’s last name is still Moss and not Price (that’s kind of a giveaway). Price—who is somewhat intimidating, but kind at heart in this reality—makes everyone a drink while Mrs. Moss makes small talk. While they’re talking, Elliot accidentally spots his wedding gift from Angela: a collage of all the photos from their life together. Awwww…
Elliot couldn’t be happier. As he and his future in-laws toast to the future, our Elliot’s smiling, and I’m talking about a smile with teeth. However, we know the second our Elliot is happy, shit goes sideways.
Mrs. Moss gets a phone call on her cell, and you guessed it! It’s the other Elliot, calling to make sure Angela’s not home so he can drop off his present. Elliot insists on answering the phone and once he hears the other Elliot’s voice, he disconnects the call, the earth shakes and he drops his glass. Mrs. Moss picks up the broken pieces and she slices her hand open, just like the folks online predicted. The internet wins again.
Elliot hurries home, wondering what world he’s in and how the hell there’s two Elliots in this universe. The second he walks into the posh, well-furnished studio apartment, he knows something’s up. “This guy is definitely not me…and I am definitely not him,” he says. That line cracked me up.
Elliot looks around the apartment, but doesn’t find anything. He decides to get info on the other Elliot the best way he can…he hacks him.
Turns out that although the other Elliot’s weapon of choice is a Mac, he knows how to encrypt that bad boy and it’s nightfall before our Elliot can even get in the system.
Once he accesses the desktop, he sees from the other Elliot’s social media pages and saved pics that he’s a complete 180º from our Elliot. He’s outgoing, fun, and happy. Elliot keeps looking, while telling us, “Haven’t you been paying attention? No one is this happy. Everyone has a secret. Everyone has a monster.” My question is, hasn’t Elliot been paying attention? Each post is dated May 9, and all the timestamps read 11:16.
I also noticed while editing this blog post that Elliot’s Sam Sepiol pic is in the other Elliot’s photo album. Another dead giveaway.
Eventually, our Elliot finds the other Elliot’s secret: he has a hidden partition of files that can only be accessed with a password. Of course, Elliot runs a script to locate the password and gains access. When he opens them, he sees they’re pictures…of him. All the images are sketches of Elliot, Darlene, fsociety, the arcade, everything.
And that’s when the other Elliot walks in.
Elliot #2’s reaction is priceless. “Who are you? And why do you look like me?” 😂😂 Long story short, our Elliot gets the other one to calm down and asks him why he has those sketches on his computer. The other Elliot reveals that he sketches when he’s bored and he created those characters because he fantasizes about being an anarchist hacker that saves the world. Our Elliot is surprised his other half wants to be him, but the other Elliot says that’s not the case. The man he sketched is angry, has no life and is overall abnormal. This hits our Elliot like a punch in the gut. The other Elliot quickly apologizes, but our Elliot tells us he’s right. He’s not normal, not in this world or any other—
“Did you hear that?” the other Elliot asks. “It sounded like you were talking to someone.”
Yeah…that makes our Elliot panic, and to be honest, I was trippin’ off that myself. Sure enough, our Elliot internally says, “Shit, he can hear us,” and the other Elliot hears that, too! Our Elliot can’t stand anymore of this and goes to leave, but the other Elliot stops him. Once they touch, there’s another earthquake and the other Elliot falls and hits his head on the radiator!
Our Elliot is about to get help, but Angela calls the other Elliot’s cell phone. Our Elliot picks up, and once he hears Angela’s voice on the other end, telling him she loves him and that he should make the choice to be happy and share his life with her, that’s all she wrote.
Once he hangs up the phone, the other Elliot wakes up, pleading for our Elliot to call an ambulance. Unfortunately, our Elliot has snapped. He lost Angela once, and he refuses to lose her again.
So with that, our Elliot smothers the other Elliot to death (and has the audacity to tell us to look away! I actually did when I first watched this)!
After Elliot commits the most dubious act he’s ever committed on the history of this show, he says it was inevitable as both of them can’t survive in this world, and he had no choice. Boy, bye.
“413 Payload Too Large/Hello Elliot” – Part 2
Okay…so now, here’s when things really go left. We all know Elliot’s not a killer, not only because we know his true heart, but as it turns out, he sucks at it. This man actually believes he can get rid of the other Elliot’s body and make it to the wedding at the same time. Oh yeah, and his idea of getting rid of the body is stuffing it in a cardboard storage box and stashing it somewhere in broad daylight. Lord…
It’s also worth noting that all the cars in this universe are white…except the other Elliot’s. When our Elliot retrieves the car to get rid of the body, not only is the vehicle parked in the same lot Elliot left Tyrell’s SUV after the 5/9 hack, it’s the same damn SUV.
We can see that Elliot finds that strange, but he shakes it off and drives the car back to his apartment. While he’s getting ready for the wedding, Mr. Robot shows up. Uh, where you been, bruh?
Elliot tells Mr. Robot that Whiterose’s machine worked and they’re in a better world. Mr. Robot tries to talk some sense into Elliot, telling him he can’t just take the other Elliot’s place because he’s not him. Our Elliot ain’t tryin’ to hear it. He’s late for his wedding. And besides, why can’t he take the other Elliot’s place? He looks exactly like him.
Elliot leaves wearing a damn tux with the body in tow, and he’s stopped by none other than Dom.
Dom, who’s a beat cop in this reality, is about to give Elliot a ticket for being parked in a fire zone and asks for his ID. When Elliot hands the ID to her, she’s suspicious, saying the Elliot Alderson on the card “is nothing like [him].” She asks what’s in the box, and once she notices a blood stain on Elliot’s shirt sleeve and blood leaking out of the box (although the other Elliot’s head wound would’ve stopped bleeding long before now. Plus, Elliot packed the body away before he put on the tux), she has Elliot get down on his knees.
Another earthquake erupts, and Elliot sees his chance to run. And we all know that man can run.
Elliot makes it to the subway (which is completely empty), and Mr. Robot pops up again, trying to convince Elliot that this wedding isn’t going to take place, and Angela isn’t really alive. Again, Elliot’s not trying to hear that. His happiness is due, and he’s gonna marry Angela. He demands that Mr. Robot leave him alone and he goes to another subway car.
When Elliot gets to Coney Island, he sees the wedding party at the beach, waiting for him. However, when he stands at the alter, he sees that all the guests in attendance are wearing fsociety masks.
Tell me that shit ain’t freaky.
Mr. Robot shows up again, putting Elliot’s hoodie over him. Elliot asks what the hell is going on, and that’s when Mr. Robot drops the bomb on all of us. This isn’t Whiterose’s parallel world; Elliot dismantled her machine when he played the game at the power plant. This world is a prison our Elliot built to occupy the other Elliot…the real Elliot.
*Sigh* I was dreading this ending.
Our Elliot insists that he is Elliot Alderson, but Mr. Robot tells him that he’s only a part of Elliot; he’s just had control of him for the last year or so. Now our Elliot has to relinquish control so the real Elliot can live his life again. Our Elliot reminds Mr. Robot that he killed the other Elliot, but it turns out the other Elliot can’t be killed no matter how hard he tries. Just then, Elliot sees Angela in her wedding dress, but the moment she spots him, she runs off.
Elliot chases her to the fsociety arcade, and in a callback to season one (where Elliot meets Angela before their “wedding” during his fever dream), Angela lets him know that the wedding’s not happening. Elliot asks why, and Angela answers, “Isn’t it obvious? You’re not Elliot. You’re the Mastermind.”
Elliot is ejected from the arcade, and from that moment on, he has a series of nightmarish images, from seeing everyone on the boardwalk with Mr. Robot’s face, a la Being John Malkovich…
…to being shot in the stomach by Tyrell, who then proceeds to drag Elliot’s body in an empty grave.
While lying in the grave, Elliot hears Darlene’s voice, begging him to wake up.
Elliot then shows up in Krista’s office. He knows it’s not really her, but she tells him the others felt it was necessary for her to try to talk to him, since he listened to the real Krista before.
She proceeds to break down Elliot’s DID in an attempt to make him understand: Mr. Robot came first, as the protective personality. Elliot’s mom came second, as the personality that blames him for his abuse. Elliot’s younger self came next, as someone who could help Elliot through his trauma. We’re the voyeurs that watch everything. Then our Elliot came: The Mastermind. He was created to not only help Elliot with his past, but with his future. That’s the reason why Elliot always went out of his way to take down evil. He wanted to make the world better for Elliot Prime.
Krista also mentions that our Elliot took Darlene out of this world to make sure the real Elliot stayed in it. Elliot and Darlene’s connection is so strong that she’s the only person that can cause the real Elliot to wake up. Now it’s time for our Elliot to let go and let the real Elliot live his life. Our Elliot refuses and another earthquake erupts. Krista says that this is his rage, and our Elliot decides to use it, causing the ceiling collapse on him, which subsequently wakes him up.
Our Elliot wakes up in the real world, lying in a hospital bed. Darlene’s there (thank God), and it turns out the cops found Whiterose’s body in the power plant, which had an explosion (but not a meltdown), but Elliot miraculously survived thanks to the room having some advanced shielding. I seriously doubt Qwerty lived through that, though. Rest in peace, poor little fish.
Darlene tells Elliot that he saved the world, and our Elliot realizes he can’t knowingly take control of the real Elliot again. He tells Darlene he’s not really Elliot. Darlene takes his hand and tries to tell him that he’s in the real world and not some dream, but Elliot reiterates…he’s just a part of Elliot, but he’s not really him. Turns out Darlene knew that.
She realized that Elliot wasn’t the same when they started fsociety, but when he forgot who she was (y’all know, that time Elliot kissed her), she was certain that he was a different person. Darlene cries and says that not a day goes by that she doesn’t think about the real Elliot and wants to know if he’s okay. Elliot tells her that he is, and that he has everything he wanted…except one thing. He never blatantly says what the one thing is, but we know. Darlene leaves to get the nurse and Elliot tells her that although he’s only a part of the real Elliot, he loves her. Darlene walks away without saying anything. Yeah, I didn’t like that part.
Elliot closes his eyes, the picture fades, and…
…he’s in the boardroom with the other alters.
It turns out the other seat in the boardroom of Elliot’s mind was for him. Our Elliot apologizes for never giving us a name, but he muses on the fact that he himself never had one. He was just a guy playing God without permission. Boooooooo. He asks Mr. Robot if he’ll be stuck in a void of absolute nothingness, but Mr. Robot says that he’ll always be a part of the real Elliot. As all the alters leave our Elliot to his thoughts, he says to us:
“This whole time, I thought changing the world was something you did. An act you perform. Something you fought for. I don’t know if that’s true anymore. What if changing the world is just about being here? By showing up, no matter how many times we get told we don’t belong? By staying true even when we’re shamed into being false? By believing in ourselves even when we’re told we’re too different? And if we all held onto that, if we refuse to budge and fall in line, if we stood our ground for long enough, just maybe…the world can’t help but change around us. Even though we’ll be gone, it’s like Mr. Robot said, we’ll always be a part of Elliot Alderson. And we’ll be the best part. Because we’re the part that always showed up. We’re the part that stayed. We’re the part that changed him. And who wouldn’t be proud of that?”
Our Elliot then leaves the boardroom and walks down the hallway to the door on the opposite end. Before he goes in, he says, “Come on. This only works if you let go, too.” *Sigh* He walks through and enters a movie theatre. Our Elliot sits down with the other alters and cries as he watches the film of Elliot Prime’s life.
The camera pans up to the projector lens and we move past images of Elliot’s life from the past year.
The bright light from the projector morphs into Elliot Prime’s eye, which also has a tear falling out of it.
Darlene stands over him, realizing her brother is back. “Hello, Elliot,” she says.
And that my friends, is the end of Mr. Robot.
Let me just say…I loved this series and I loved this season. It was phenomenal. Season four wasn’t my favorite season in the entire show’s run (those awards go to seasons one and three), and it had a few slight missteps, but it was still tremendous. Why Mr. Robot never achieved the popularity of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Mad Men or Breaking Bad is beyond me. At least Mr. Robot and Elliot were the trending topics on Twitter for the third week in a row after the finale aired.
I’ll start with my critique of the series finale. I loved the first part, namely seeing all the Elliot and Angela pics (Angelliot fan forever, baby!).
At first I thought that the use of “Mr. Roboto” for the finale was too on the nose (truthfully, I was glad Sam never used it before. I saw it as a cliche). However, one of my fellow Redditors pointed out that the track’s lyrics perfectly outline the show. It’s almost as if Sam based the series on the song itself. Now I love that he used it.
One of my other favorite scenes is the one where Elliot hacks himself. The music and cinematography really brought out the tension. Plus, as I pointed out on Reddit, Elliot’s social media page mentions his favorite movies are Taxi Driver, Groundhog Day and Temple of Doom (which is my favorite in the Indiana Jones series, too!) Taxi Driver is centered around a man that’s mentally ill and wants to save humanity, Groundhog Day is self explanatory, and in Temple of Doom, Indy is forced to drink some cursed blood and becomes a different person. Hmm… Elliot also mentions on his page that one of his favorite films is The Martian. Guess it wasn’t shit after all. 😂😂😂
Seeing the two Elliots meet up was a trip as well, especially when Elliot Prime could hear our Elliot speaking to us. By the way, this scene was another testament to the greatness of Mr. Rami Malek. As the two of them are talking, you can see that Elliot Prime looks neat and well rested, and our Elliot is slightly disheveled and has bags under his eyes. The two of them look alike, but they’re different in every way.
I didn’t like that Elliot killed himself, though. Y’all know what I mean. Even when he was trying to get rid of the body and telling Mr. Robot that he was getting ready for his wedding, it screamed insanity. That villainous turn didn’t sit well with me. However, it does prove once and for all that Elliot really was in love with Angela, for all those that doubted it. Elliot loved Angela so doggone much it fueled the capacity for him to kill. For the umpeenth time this season, Elliot showed his natural ass, and once he committed an act there was no coming back from, I started hoping it was all a dream. Thankfully it was, but Lord, I had no idea what was in store for me.
The second half of the finale was not my favorite. Sure, the Being John Malkovich nod was cool, and the ending sequence was absolutely beautiful, but the big reveal about Elliot not being Elliot irked me, and again, I hated Elliot becoming a villain of sorts in his own story. I mentioned in my recap/review for “409 Conflict” as well as a Reddit post I wrote a few weeks ago that I did not want our Elliot to be just another alter, but the real Elliot Alderson. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the second big twist was this season. For me, even though Darlene and Elliot survived (yay!), our Elliot being another alter and confining himself to Elliot Prime’s boardroom/movie theatre is like a small death. Yeah, he’ll always be a part of Elliot, but it’s not the same. This is a character that we’ve come to know and love over the last few years, and to learn that he’s an entity like Mr. Robot is disheartening for me.
It’s true, I’m having trouble letting go, and my opinion on the ending is pretty biased. However, when I take Price’s advice and remove all emotion, the ending still doesn’t work for me. It leaves more questions than it answers. Don’t worry, I’m going to get into this on a separate post.
Now, does this mean that just because I disliked the way our Elliot’s character arc ended that season four was a complete dumpster fire like Game of Thrones? No. Hell, no. Quite the opposite, actually. Again, the ending was beautifully done, which makes up (somewhat) for the subject matter that I disagreed with. Plus, the overall magnificence of season four far overshadows the last thirty minutes of the series finale.
Nearly every episode this season was enthralling and mindboggling. The majority of them kept me up on Sunday nights, going over what happened, and what could possibly happen next. That feeling carried over into the next day, and I’d find myself going over the episode over and over again at work. My favorite episode of season four was “407 Proxy Authentication Required.” It was executed perfectly, and a month later, I still watch the hell out of it. That one can easily be considered as one of the top 10 best episodes of the series, period. My second favorite episode was “405 Method Not Allowed.” That installment had me glued to the television, and that’s saying a lot, considering that only two lines of dialog were uttered the entire near 50 min. run. Again, that’s due to everything coming together: the music, the breathtaking cinematography, the direction, the script and the all the players’ performances.
The only episodes that didn’t move me that much during season four were “404 Not Found” and “410 Gone,” which brings me to the missteps this season had, which were few, but they were still there. First, the question that’s on everyone’s mind: What the hell was that blue light Tyrell encountered in the woods (some folks say it’s a blue light of death…I guess that’s acceptable)? Not only that, but if Tyrell did die (which is what Martin Wallstrom and Sam both claim, according to The Hollywood Reporter), why couldn’t anyone find a body? And what was that screeching noise?
Also, if Whiterose’s machine was actually a red herring (and I’m glad it was), what exactly made Angela jump ship to the Dark Army? What did Whiterose show her?
Also, if Elliot’s father abused him, why did Mr. Robot push Elliot off the boardwalk for not “honoring the sacred pact [he and his father] formed?”
When you throw in the ending of Elliot being the Mastermind, there’s even more things that don’t add up. However, these aren’t plot holes big enough to drive trucks through, they’re inconsistencies small enough to stick a needle in, so I can forgive that. Again, I’m going to speak more about my thoughts on Elliot being the Mastermind on a different post.
Also, I didn’t like that Angela was killed off, but I can’t really call it a misstep. If I take my personal feelings out of the equation, her death actually helped the storyline. It not only heightened Elliot’s rage and desire to take Whiterose down, but the pain of losing Angela and having the chance to have her in his life forever pushed him to kill the main alter. True, I didn’t like that Elliot killed Elliot Prime, but in all honesty, the insidious act cranked up the intensity to 100. I still wish we could’ve seen more from Angela and that she could’ve worked with Elliot and Darlene to take Whiterose down. Not only that, but she never had the opportunity to repair her friendship with Elliot. Even if the two of them never pursued a romance, it still would’ve been nice to see her redeem herself for betraying her best friend, especially considering the fact that she ended up double crossing him behind a delusion.
I loved Mr. Robot so much, and I will truly miss this show and Elliot (he’ll always be my Elliot). I know this site has basically become a Mr. Robot blog in the past few weeks, but with all that this season had to offer, doing the recaps and reviews have taken up all my time. However, I’ve had a blast giving my two cents on these episodes. They’ve truly been amazing, and Sam Esmail is an inspiration to me. Thank you Sam, for not disappointing me.
By the way, I made a way for Elliot and Angela to be together forever…Pop Funko dolls.
—Written by Nadiya
What did you think about the series finale of Mr. Robot? Will you miss the show? Did you like the ending? Does everything fall into place with you now, or are there still some questions that remain unanswered? Was it hard for you to watch our Elliot kill Elliot Prime? What did you think about the Elliot that we know being an alter and not the host? Was there anything about this season that you didn’t like? Do you agree that we could’ve used more scenes with Angela? Let me know in the comments section!