In the ‘Mr. Robot’ recap for the season 2 finale, Elliot comes face to face with Stage 2, the FBI is closer to FSociety than anyone could imagine and Joanna finds her mysterious gift giver…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
When last we spoke, Elliot was trying to rationalize how he just shared a cab with Tyrell Wellick — who his alter ego Mr. Robot assured him was dead — all while discussion this mysterious “Stage 2” that’s been hanging over the series all season long.
Meanwhile, Agent Dom DiPierro seemingly kept running into brick wall after brick wall while trying to put together the case that would bring FSociety to its knees and solve the Five/Nine hack that nearly brought E-Corp down to rubble.
As it turns out, Dom may have been playing dumb this entire time because by the end of the ‘Mr. Robot’ season 2 finale, it doesn’t seem like she’s been chasing anybody. She’s been winning the race the entire time.
And Joanna Wellick’s long hunt to find the person responsible for sending her all those gifts came full circle to a murder from season one that remained unsolved until now. Sadly, Tyrell wasn’t sending his wife little trinkets to let her know he was alive, but instead it was a twisted and mourning widower seeking vengance for his dead wife.
And then there’s sweet Angela — self-help tape listening, corporate climber — and new member of the Dark Army. Yes, you read that right.
With that said, let’s recap the ‘Mr. Robot’ season 2 finale titled ‘eps2.9_pyth0n-pt2.p7z’….
The Gift of Vengeance
All season long, Joanna Wellick has been receiving anonymous gifts with everything from a cell phone to a music box to a photo of a sonogram that she desperately wanted to believe was coming from her missing husband, Tyrell. For all the ways that relationship was twisted and contorted, Joanna truly loved Tyrell and she just wanted him back.
Sadly as it turns out, the address that Elliot tracked down a couple of episodes back actually led to a much different answer than the one she had been searching for. It seems Scott Knowles — the CTO from Evil Corp who was going to be Tyrell’s superior — was the one sending all those gifts to Mrs. Wellick. When she finally found out, Joanna paid him a visit.
“Of all the gifts you’ve been sending me — I’ve got to say — this one got me the wettest”
~ Joanna Wellick
She drops the photo of the sonogram on the table and looking around the room it’s clear that Scott isn’t quite right in the head these days. Wine bottles — remember how much he loved a good wine — were littered throughout the room along with a single, solitary picture of his wife — you know, the one Tyrell strangled to death last season? It seems her murder and Tyrell’s subsequent disappearance left Scott wanting revenge against the only person left whom he could target — Joanna Wellick.
So he started sending her gifts and hints that her husband was still alive and still cared about her only with the grand plan to yank out the carpet from underneath her so she would feel the same pain and anguish that he did after his wife died. It seems his wife was actually pregnant at the time of her death and Scott has been severely distraught ever since.
Just when it seems that Joanna is going to offer Scott a sympathetic ear — considering she’s essentially lost her husband in a similarly painful manner that he lost his wife — she instead taunts the E-Corp executive as tears run down his face after confessing.
“You pussy. You piece of shit. I hope you rot in hell like your wife. Your horny woman, who after she found out she was pregnant, was going to fuck my husband’s brains out. I’m glad she’s dead. Fuck her and her fetus corpse.”
~ Joanna Wellick
That turns Scott’s sadness into rage and he attacks Joanna, pummeling her in the face and nearly strangling her to death until he realizes what he’s just done. He quickly jumps off her fallen body and calls 911 for help.
Flash forward and Joanna is back to full health minus the cuts, scrapes and bruises decorating her beautiful face as she speaks with her new lover, Derek. He’s tearing through his favorite Tom Cruise poster while promising to get revenge on this asshole who dared to put his hands on Joanna. She has a different plan — one that will hurt Scott Knowles far more than any physical beat down.
She tells Derek to change his story from the night when Scott’s wife was murdered — the night he was tending bar at an E-Corp party. She instructs him to tell the police that he saw Scott coming down from the roof, out of breath and disheveled but he didn’t tell them before out of fear of reprisal from the powerful executive.
In other words, Joanna’s revenge will see Scott Knowles arrested, tried and convicted for the murder of his wife and unborn baby. That’s vengeance.
The Python Approach
The mystery surrounding the diner shooting from a couple of episodes ago has finally been solved after we find Darlene in custody, locked up and in an interrogation room as she answers questions from Agent Dom DiPierro and the FBI. It turns out Cisco was shot dead by the Dark Army hitman, who came gunning for them after the hacker couple knew a little bit too much and risked exposing their involvement with the Five/Nine hack.
Now in custody, Darlene is the center of the investigation but she’s doing her best to play dumb and even claims her fifth amendment privilege whenever the FBI agents ask her questions.
The interrogation quickly shifts from threatening her with the Patriot Act and saying that she will be treated as an enemy of the state to Dom coming back and explaining how she and Darlene aren’t all that different. They’re both lonely girls just looking for a way to belong. Of course, Darlene quickly rebuffs that advance with an even snarkier response than before.
“Babe, I know how this works. You get close to me, play the sympathy card, relate to me — we’re just two crazy, wacky Jersey girls. Take advantage that I did lose what probably was the love of my life and you act like you care. But that’s just it. An act. Which is sick and twisted. I’d rather you arrest me and throw me into jail. But let’s get something straight — you will not get anything out of me. So why don’t you go read your manual and find the chapter on conniving cunts that don’t give a fuck about you or your feelings and then get back to me with some real tactics. Otherwise, get me a lawyer. As far as I’m concerned, my only statement to you is that I saw my boyfriend go brainless last night at dinner. I ordered the breakfast combo and he stole some of my bacon. If you want any other details, the answer is suck a dick.”
So when that plan fails, Dom turns to evidence — including the video camera and equipment left at Cisco’s apartment that she believes filmed all the FSociety clips that have been released to the public. She also has Vincent — the guy who dropped the bull’s balls into Congress and then showed up beaten to a pump — and his cohorts naming Darlene as the leader of FSociety. Of course that’s all just he said, she said and Darlene is still confident that none of this will stick.
At that point, Dom has no choice but to roll out the big guns so she drags Darlene through FBI headquarters and leads her into a room. Inside, Darlene’s eyes go wide as saucers as she gapes at the wall in front of her. Dom finally unveils the smoking gun in her case and explains to Darlene that this investigation has been going much better than anyone ever realized.
“So we sat back and waited. They call it the python approach. They will lie and wait for the right moment to strike. You know some can go up to a year without eating? The patient predator.”
The wall is littered with photos — Darlene, Mobley, Trenton, Gideon Goddard, Angela, Ollie and even Elliot — and lines connecting all of them as well as how they related back to the Five/Nine hack. At the center of it all sits a photo of Tyrell Wellick, the man the FBI has pegged as the ring leader behind FSociety and this entire mess the country has been dealing with the for the past few months.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me”
Her reaction pretty much sums up this entire scene. It looked like all season long as if Dom DiPierro was always one step behind FSociety and the people organizing the Five/Nine hack. Instead, she’s just been quietly mounting her case and waiting for the right moment to strike. Now she’s got one of the key conspirators in custody with a mountain of evidence that will either convict her or convince her to turn state’s evidence.
Either way, Darlene is fucked. There’s no polite way to put that.
After his impromptu meeting with Tyrell a week ago, Elliot follows his “friend” into a building where he finds out where exactly the former Evil Corp executive has been hiding out for these past few months. It seems the Dark Army set up a place where Tyrell could hide out and operate, far from the prying eyes of law enforcement and this is where he’s been this entire season.
Well he hasn’t just been sitting around and eating Cheetos.
No, Tyrell has been orchestrating Stage 2 from behind the scenes and now that it’s time to finally enact the plan, he needs his partner to watch as they set the world on fire for the second time.
See after the Five/Nine hack, Evil Corp has been forced to rely on paper records to back up the digital records that were lost. All season long, Evil Corp CEO Phillip Price has been itching to turn the monetary system over to E-Coin while Whiterose and the Dark Army have been working against him to make sure he was forced to go back to the paper records to restore his system.
Now it’s all coming together because Evil Corp got the bailout they so desperately needed and it gives them time to put the pieces of the puzzle back together again rather than move to the E-Coin system that they thought would save them. Little do they know that as Evil Corp transfers and moves paper records from 17 sites around the company to one building in Manhattan that FSociety sits directly across the street just waiting.
Stage 2 involves a hack that will short circuit the UPS batteries — back up batteries that ensure the power in the building never goes out — which will then ignite a flame and an explosion so massive that it will bring the entire structure down. The people inside will die but more importantly, all of Evil Corps records will be destroyed.
Elliot is so confused by this entire plan because he helped organize it all when Mr. Robot was the one in control. When he realizes that the ultimate payoff will also cost a number of people their lives when the building comes tumbling down, Elliot can’t go through with it. Despite Mr. Robot begging him to stop, Elliot decides that he’s going to erase the code and eliminate the malware that will root through the system and bring the building to the ground.
But Tyrell can’t let him do that so he pulls out a gun and points it at his best friend. He tells him time and again to step away from the computer as Mr. Robot stands next to him and says the same. As their words start to echo, Elliot looks at Tyrell and thinks back to that forever loop he was stuck in at the beginning of the season when Mr. Robot would question him and then shoot him in the head before he woke up just fine the next morning.
Elliot believes this is all a figment of his imagination. Another elaborate rouse orchestrated by Mr. Robot to make Elliot see what he wants him to see. It’s a popular theory that I floated earlier this season that perhaps Tyrell is dead and now he’s just living inside Elliot’s head.
Well, I was wrong.
Tyrell pulls the trigger and a moment later, Elliot looks down and sees his hands full of blood. Tyrell is very real and very much alive and the bullet he just plugged into Elliot’s stomach is also very real. As Elliot lays on the floor while Mr. Robot starts to flicker in and out of consciousness, he reminds the master hacker that this plan was always going to be executed no matter what or nobody was going to get in the way.
Not even Elliot Alderson.
“You asked earlier what all the way is. This is it. Sorry, kiddo. I couldn’t let anyone stop us. Including us.”
~ Mr. Robot
Following the shooting, a phone rings and Angela picks up to a sobbing Tyrell on the other end. She tells him that when Elliot wakes up, he should look at her first thing. Tyrell agrees and they hang up. It seems Angela’s mysterious 28-minute meeting with Whiterose had a rather profound effect and now she’s been looped into the Dark Army and FSociety. Angela is helping to make sure Stage 2 goes off without a hitch and she’s making sure Elliot is still protected, even if they had to shoot him to do it.
Angela has always had a darker side and now she’s embracing it.
A very nice and unexpected twist to end season 2.
After the credits roll, we find Mobley and Trenton working at a Fry’s Electronic store in the middle of nowhere after they escaped New York while running from the FBI. It’s there where Trenton floats the idea about a master fix she’s come up with that would restore all of Evil Corps’ systems and essentially erase what FSociety did with the Five/Nine hack. Mobley agrees to think about it but before their lunch break is over, a man approaches and asks them for the time.
That man is Leon — the Dark Army hitman who protected Elliot in prison and now it seems he’s come after the loose ends that were still flying around from the splintered FSociety. I wonder if he quoted “Seinfeld” just before killing them? Or did he kill them at all?
We will all have to wait until ‘Mr. Robot’ season 3 returns on USA in 2017.
“The Hall of Mirrors” by Kraftwerk
“We’ve Got Tonight” by Kenny Rogers
“The Moth and the Flame” by Les Deux Love Orchestra