Saying goodbye to Mr. Robot was not going to be easy.
For four seasons, we’ve witnessed several hacks and moments that have shaped the hero at the wheel of the story for better or worse.
Using the character’s dissociative Identity Disorder to explain the truth to not only the audience, but to the mastermind was a stroke of genius. As a result, it will go down as one of the most harrowing scenes in TV history.
Many shows wrap up with terrible finales with actions that don’t feel warranted, but everything about this series finale was perfect.
Elliot sending the real Elliot to the dream-like setting we first traveled to on Mr. Robot Season 4 Episode 11 was his way of protecting him. He knew Elliot grew up without a stable family, and the horrors he endured.
He had the control to send Elliot to a safe place, and he didn’t want to give up having control of the body. It was a stunning realization, but Sam Esmail, the show’s creator, has been subverting expectations since Mr. Robot Season 1 Episode 1.
Elliot: I’m not Elliot. I’m a part of him.
Darlene: I know. No, you’re not him. Not the Elliot I grew up with, at least. I’ve known since we started fSociety. You don’t act like him. At first I thought, maybe it was you, but different. Then when you forgot who I was again, it wasn’t hard to figure it out from there.
Elliot: How come you never said anything?
Darlene: I don’t know. We were hanging out, we were spending time together. It felt like we were finally getting close. I guess I didn’t want that to stop.
Many shows become predictable as they go on, but Mr. Robot has consistently delivered moments that have catapulted the narrative into different directions.
It’s the sign of excellent writing that the show kept us guessing about what was going on right up until the end of the series finale. If Whiterose got her happy ending in a new world, it would not have been satisfying.
Now we know that world was created in Elliot’s imagination, it allowed us to get the answers to some of the most burning questions, and boy, it was quite the information dump.
Elliot wanted the real one to have a happy life, and that’s why the safe place was created in the first place. The most daring thing about the plot was that our Elliot had no clue he created it.
Angela: The people out there, there’s no reason for them to be here.
Elliot: Why not?
Angela: Isn’t it obvious? He tried to tell you. You are not Elliot. You are the mastermind.
It was a world he wanted to live in, even if it meant he would be living in without Darlene. It could have worked, but then what would have become of the vessel?
Elliot murdering the real Elliot was a pivotal moment. That was not something we’ve come to expect from him, and it was quite the turn of events. But it further solidified the fact that Elliot would do anything to live a happy life, well away from the sins of the past.
One of the most prominent themes throughout the series has been control. We witnessed the way E Corp had its grip on the world, and the personality that was created was all about taking power back from the 1 percent. .
The personalities that have endured Elliot’s body, pushing the real one to somewhere else have been to shield our hero, but now he’s back in the real world and ready to proceed with his life.
Mr. Robot: Here. You should put this on, it’s cold outside today.
Elliot: Now you want to help?
Mr. Robot: That’s the only reason I’m here, kiddo.
Elliot: Who are all these people?
Mr. Robot: Only you know that.
Elliot: Only I know? What the fuck is going on? Where’s Angela?
Mr. Robot: She’s not coming.
Elliot: Why not?
Mr. Robot: There was never going to be a wedding, Elliot. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.
Elliot: I don’t understand. Whiterose’s machine created this. That’s why we’re here.
Mr. Robot: No, it didn’t. You were right about her game. It deactivated the machine just like you thought it would. This is a world you created.
Elliot: I created?
Mr. Robot: I tried to bring you back here a while ago.
Elliot: I’ve lived here before?
Mr. Robot: You accidentally slipped into it once when you went through a morphine withdrawal.
Elliot: So, this is some kind of dream?
Mr. Robot: No, not a dream. A prison. A recursive loop that you constructed about a year ago to keep him occupied, so you could take control.
Mr. Robot: The real Elliot.
Elliot: The real Elliot? What the fuck are you talking about? You think the Elliot back at my apartment was the real Elliot?
Mr. Robot: As real as you can be in this deluded fantasy that yous stuck him in.
Elliot: I’m the real Elliot Alderson.
Mr. Robot: You’re no more Elliot Alderson than I am you. You’re just like me, only a part of him, and if you don’t let go, he’ll never get back to living his own life.
Elliot: What life? I killed him, remember.
Mr. Robot: You can’t kill him, no matter how hard you try.
Elliot: This doesn’t make any fucking sense. If I’m not Elliot, who the fuck am I?
Mr. Robot: You already know that.
To many, he will live as a hero because a nuclear meltdown was averted thanks to one of his personalities preventing it, but he will also live a life that includes his sister.
Darlene has been the one true constant in Elliot’s life, but her having to run away because the burden of everything that happened to them growing up was not surprising.
She was worried sick that her brother could be dying, and it helped her realize she needed to confront the elephant in the room. Despite knowing this personality was not the real Elliot, she didn’t care because she felt a connection to her brother she hadn’t had in years.
Ending the series on an ambiguous note with the real Elliot returning to control his body was the best way to do it. There was only so much these personalities could help him before they brought him back.
Dom: Unfortunately, I can’t let you get away with this. You’ve been parked in this fire lane for quite a while and I’m going to have to give you a ticket.
Elliot: I’m moving it right now.
Dom: I’m going to have to see some I.D. first. Is this your vehicle?
Dom: Then I’m going to need that I.D.
[Elliot passes over I.D.]
Dom: Sir, what this is this? I asked for your I.D.
Elliot: It’s my I.D.
Dom: Sir, this I.D. belongs to Elliot Alderson.
Elliot: Yeah, that’s me.
Dom: This person is nothing like you.
Whether the real Elliot will forgive Darlene is anyone’s guess. Still, I would like to think he understood the immense pressure that was on her growing up with abusive parents, and a brother with multiple personalities.
The emotional breakthrough at the hospital seemed like the tip of the iceberg, leading me to believe Darlene will be able to get through to her brother.
Whether the other personalities will ever come out to play again, we will never know, but knowing the four are sitting in a cinema in Elliot’s mind watching his life through is very satisfying.
They will probably watch for any major changes in his life, and act accordingly. They’re looking out for him, from the confines of his mind, and there’s something beautiful about that.
Knowing the truth means there is a lot of value in rewatching it all again because now we can pick up on which personality is doing what, and why.
Elliot: I’m on the way out.
Mr. Robot: On the way to what, exactly?
Elliot: My wedding. I didn’t think it was possible, but Whiterose’s machine, somehow, it worked. She was right. We’re in a world where everything is better.
Mr. Robot: Not for him.
Elliot: If you’re here to tell me what I did was wrong.
Mr. Robot: Not anymore. You need to start seeing that for yourself.
Elliot: Understand, I had.
Mr. Robot: Had to what?
Elliot: This is the only strategy for us.
Mr. Robot: Strategy? So, what, you’re just going to take his place. Is that what this is? It’s not that easy.
Elliot: Why not? I look exactly like him.
Mr. Robot: Trust me when I tell you this, you are not him.
Elliot: I don’t have time to explain this to you.
Mr. Robot: You need to stop.
Elliot: No. I’m not letting you steal this from me.
Mr. Robot: Just who exactly do you think the thief is here?
Elliot: I’m running late. I’ve got to get going.
Mr. Robot: You know this can’t happen.
Elliot: If you don’t want to help me, then get the fuck out of my way.
There will never be a show on TV quite like Mr. Robot. It’s unique, socially aware, and subverted every single expectation, and that’s why it will be remembered for years to come.
What did you think of the conclusion? Are you shocked about the Elliot we’ve followed for years not being the real Elliot Alderson?
Hit the comments below.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.