Mr. Robot pulled another trick on the audience: we learn Elliot’s daily routine this season has been taking place in a prison and not his weird, oddly detached mother’s house.
But putting Elliot in jail wasn’t merely a gimmicky hook. There are real questions Mr. Robot left the audience with as it rolled the credits and previewed next week’s episode. Here are some red-hot ones we want answered.
1. What is Elliot in jail for?
The biggest question anyone should be asking: Why Elliot is doing any time at all? Elliot isn’t a saint — he’s guilty for every cyber crime under the sun including the 5/9 hack against E Corp — but that can’t be why he’s imprisoned. So what is it? Personally, I think Elliot is in for the murder of his therapist’s boyfriend, but I don’t want to put my money on that just yet.
As the perpetrator of 5/9, Elliot wouldn’t be sentenced to a low-security facility, exposed to every other criminal they’re housing (Elliot was nearly raped by white supremacists this week, for instance). Elliot also can’t be in for the supposed murder of Tyrell Wellick either, since the show has scattered expository news reports about Tyrell’s disappearance.
2. Where IS Tyrell, anyway?
Elliot definitely did something to Tyrell at the end of Season 1. Whether or not he killed him is something else, but the Word Up Wednesday sitcom alludes to something sinister. Perhaps Tyrell is alive, bloodied and beaten somewhere. A tire iron was likely involved, because holy shit this was blatant:
Of course, Tyrell’s wife might know something no one else does. Her filing for divorce was a shady movie: Is she giving up hope that Tyrell is alive, or is she ready to move on instead of waiting for him?
3. Was Ray real?
Of course Ray was real. The better question is: What was Ray’s purpose in the prison?
Elliot has been in jail detoxing from technology, but to hack the FBI he needed to be in front of a computer. I’m ready to bet my student loans that Ray was a guard or some desk dude at the prison who had the only working computer in the facility, meaning Elliot had no choice but to get wrangled in Ray’s dark web enterprises.
It’s not really important to know what Ray does specifically, but the dude was real and his plot purpose was to give Elliot his vigilante purpose back, so it’d be nice to have some context. Also, when the FBI came in and didn’t arrest Elliot, it’s because he was already in prison, in case you were wondering.
4. Who is Leon and what does he want?
Leon’s connections to Whiterose run deep. He’s a soldier, but where does he sit on the totem pole? With the abilities Leon showed against Elliot’s attackers, he’s clearly trained and putting on a chill facade to throw people off. But just what is Leon looking for out of Elliot and everyone else?
Also, how is he watching Seinfeld so much?
5. Where is Elliot’s mother?
Elliot fooled the audience, making us believe he’s been at his mother’s spartan home all season long. But given his complicated family history, she was weirdly distant, as if she wasn’t actually there. Turns out, she actually wasn’t! But where is she?
It’s probably irrelevant, but given Elliot’s attachment to his father, it’s curious what his relationship with his mother would be if she were around. It might not be pleasant, based on Word Up Wednesday, but still worth pondering.
6. What is Elliot’s relationship with the audience going forward?
Elliot did a lot of apologizing in this week’s episode, as he should have: He’s lost the trust of the audience. It’s now hard to watch Mr. Robot knowing what’s in front of Elliot may not be what we think it is. That’s nearly the same twist from last season. It’s fine if Elliot is an untrustworthy narrator — How I Met Your Mother did pretty okay for nine seasons — but it’s difficult to keep pace with a show that has every intention to fuck with its audience at each juncture.
Refusing to reveal that his place wasn’t what he said it was at first is an interesting twist, but after mulling it over a little more, I don’t think it changes anything. Elliot isn’t free to do what he wants? Wow, what a shocker.
7. Is Ray’s dog okay?
Please tell me the dog is okay.