USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 4, Episode 13: “Series Finale Part 2”
Directed & Written
by Sam Esmail
* For a recap & review of Part 1, click here.
The real Elliot has put other Elliot out of his misery. A whole new brand of existential angst. Elliot’s decided he wants to live this new life, and e’s going to take it for himself, one way or another. “Please, don‘t judge me,” he tells us. He’s convinced himself this is fine, even if he just murdered himself. He prepares to wipe the place down and take control of this existence. He gets into his other self’s vehicle, then receives a call from Phillip, urging him to get to the beach at Coney Island. He first cleans the apartment, packs his other dead self in a large box, and gets ready for wedding party pictures before the ceremony.
This is the moment Mr. Robot reappears, questioning what Elliot is up to and whether it’s a moral decision. He wants the hacker to begin to question the morality himself, rather than be told how to act. He urges it isn’t as easy as just taking over this other Elliot’s life. And this Elliot’s insistent on leaving behind his damaged life for one that’s never been damaged in the slightest. He’s been sucked into this existence, and nothing Mr. Robot says can change his mind.
While Elliot’s putting his other dead body into the vehicle he’s given a ticket by a cop: Dom DiPierro. She writes him up, asking for identification, and gives him a ticket for being parked there for too long. He gives over his ID, but she questions why the person on the card looks “nothing like” him. She suddenly begins questioning what he’s got in the box. It doesn’t help he has a blood stain on his shirt cuff, or that blood’s leaking out of the box. Dom opens it up and sees the corpse.
Convenient time for another quake.
And Elliot uses that as a distraction, though Dom’s not far behind, and cop cars are already out looking for their suspect. He manages to get to the subway, where Mr. Robot’s waiting to say I told you so. Mr. Robot attempts to speak reason and truth to the hacker, who’s so lost in this delusion that he’s literally lost in a whole other reality. Elliot only wants to be alone in his head now.
He gets to Coney Island, where the wedding’s ready to start. People are in attendance wearing their fsociety masks. Mr. Robot’s already there with a jacket for Elliot, and the hacker’s more confused than ever. He reveals that Angela isn’t coming. The wedding was never going to happen, because none of it’s real, at all. In actual reality, Elliot used Whiterose’s game to shut down the process at the power plant. This is a reality the hacker’s created on his own, to “take control” of his actual self.
This Elliot’s “only a part” of the real one, another element of his dissociative identity.
Angela appears on the boardwalk, but she runs away. Elliot chases after her, finally ending up at the old fsociety arcade HQ. He catches up with her, and she tells him he is, indeed, not the real Elliot. “You‘re the mastermind,” she says, and he stumbles out of there, backward into memories. He sees his father’s face everywhere, like a horrific homage to Being John Malkovich. He chases his dad and finds it’s Wellick, who shoots him.
Soundtrack: “Queen” by Perfume Genius plays in the old arcade
“This is some kind of dream?”
When Elliot comes to he’s dragged into a hole dug for his grave. He hears the voice of Darlene, asking him to wake up. He does, and he’s in therapy with Krista. He’s confused, though he knows this isn’t real. “The others” in his head have chosen the therapist to speak with him. Krista explains Darlene is out in “the real world,” that the sister is his only connection to reality anymore, and it’s “by design” she wasn’t made part of the fantasy that trapped the real Elliot.
He can’t deal with that, neither can he escape this delusion. So he sits down to hear about his own disorder and the “protector personality” of Mr. Robot. Later, “the persecutor” personality in mom was created. The younger self filled in the family. Then there was another personality created a while ago— the Elliot we thought we knew this entire series. This was a personality to carry “all the rage” the actual Elliot felt inside. Now he has to give control back to his real self.
But he refuses, not willing to believe this isn’t his real self.
Elliot wakes up in a hospital. He’s survived the attempted terror attack Zhang had set in motion, preventing a major disaster. He sees his sister sitting by the window waiting for him to come back to consciousness. He grabs her by the hand, holding onto her tightly as if reality could suddenly slip away again. She tells him “This isn‘t a dream.” He doesn’t want to know any existence without her, real or otherwise.
Doubts about himself linger. He’s convinced his identity “isn‘t real.” Darlene recounts everything that’s happened in their lives throughout the Five/Nine hack, Angela’s death, Romero’s death, and the others, as well as everything else they experienced. He remains convinced he’s not himself, only a fraction of his real self. And Darlene admits that she knew this ever since they began fsociety, seeing the change in him. She didn’t say anything because they were getting close for the first time, after she’d given up on him and left. Elliot assures he’s made a “safe place” for his real self. This doesn’t change the love between them, even if this Elliot’s merely a part of the real one.
Elliot closes his eyes and pictures himself there with his family, all together again in his mind. He’s finally come to a realisation about “changing the world.” It isn’t always an act or an event. Sometimes it’s simply existing, being ourselves “even when we‘re told we‘re too different.” Perhaps this acceptance of our own realities can change the world around us. This Elliot helped do that for the world around the real one. So, whether our identity reflects what the world around us sees or not, our identity, or identities, are what matter above all else because they help define us and the world itself.
And, realising this, Elliot can be himself now— whatever, and whoever, that means.
What a way to close out this series.
Soundtrack: “Outro” by M83 plays during the final sequence
An absolutely beautiful, heartbreaking, and liberating finale. This series has consistently treated mental illness with gravitas and respect, which is only further reflected by this gorgeous series finale. Father Gore’s favourite TV show of the decade and probably ever.