*Editor’s Note: This post includes spoilers for USA’s Mr. Robot. Like all of them. Read at your own risk if you haven’t watched yet! (And don’t say we didn’t warn you, OK?)
Leading up to tonight’s finale of Mr. Robot, I spent a considerable amount of time mulling over everything that took place in season two to come up with a theory about the big a-ha moment Sam Esmail had planned for the episode. With Tyrell back, my mind went to him first: Are he and Elliot the same person? Is he another one of Mr. Robot’s mind tricks? Is he Elliot’s son from the future? Of course, considering Tyrell’s absence from the season, all of these theories are akin to throwing a dart at a target with a blindfold on. There’s a feeling of familiarity between them that extends beyond their team up last season.
After watching the final episode, “Python Pt. 2,” I can tell you that we won’t get a definite answer to any of those questions, but rather the sensation that the two being personally related has intensified. There is also a striking connection between Dom and Darlene, with a particular theory (regarding a romantic relationship) teased the whole time with no payoff. (Like every episode.) there is a lot to dissect, so let’s get right to it.
The episode kicked off with a familiar scene from season one, featuring Tyrell and Elliot. After Tyrell threatened to reveal Elliot’s “dirty little secret” to his loved ones, Elliot shut him down and told him it wouldn’t do anyone any good. Tyrell followed that up with an emotional reaction: he is sure that there is a reason they met, which Elliot responded to with, “You are only seeing what is in front of you, not above”—a line Tyrell said to Joanna last season. The odd connection came full circle when Tyrell recited William Carlos William’s poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow.”
Here it is in full:
“so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
For those who don’t remember, the name on Elliot’s composition notebooks was “Red Wheelbarrow.” It also happens to be the name of the show’s tie-in book, set to release on November 1. After a light bit of digging, I found a number of theories about what Williams was getting at with the poem. While they were all different, the main thread consistent throughout has to do with perception. The only question now is how this connects to the show.
Tyrell admitted that it was the only phrase his father knew in English, and that he repeated it as a reminder of what he never wanted to become. Amidst the Mr. Robot theories, the only one that seems to be connected to this is the one that Tyrell and Elliot are in fact related, and that Tyrell has somehow travelled back in time to change events. Whiterose’s obsession with time jives with that theory as well. Time is always of the essence for her, so maybe she and the Dark Army are from the future as well. They’re aware of E Corp’s plans regarding E Coin and set the plan in motion via Elliot to stop the conglomerate from rebuilding.
Regarding the poem, the word “glazed” is definitely tied to time. Rain will come and go, and leaves physical evidence of its presence on its surface (a.k.a. weathering). In Mr. Robot, everything depends on Elliot and how the events affect him. When he and Tyrell headed to their base, Elliot’s inner monologue centered on perception of the world around him. As he pointed out, trusting his own mind is one thing, but what if he can’t trust his own eyes and ears? Is he really seeing what he is seeing? Is he in something like The Matrix?
Tyrell also revealed that the Dark Army’s mysterious “Phase 2” involves blowing up a nearby building which will soon hold all of E Corp’s documents. The corporation plans on rebuilding the database, and Whiterose’s group of hackers are prepared to bring it down in a violent way (Oh, so that’s what the femtocell Elliot coded for Darlene was really for.)
When he realized innocent lives were going to be at stake, Elliot threatened to stop the plan, but Tyrell wasn’t going to let him do that. Tyrell told Elliot that if he didn’t step away from the computer, he would shoot him. Under the impression that the situation was all in his head, Elliot told Tyrell he wasn’t real, meaning Tyrell could not shoot him—but he did. While lying in a puddle of his own blood, Mr. Robot told Elliot that before they set out to bring down the company, Elliot made it clear that they had to go all the way for them to be successful, which includes not letting himself get in the way.
Esmail had every opportunity to reveal the duo’s connection, and whether what Elliot was experiencing was even real, but didn’t. Though it left me yearning for more—and disappointed that the importance wasn’t explained like Elliot’s connection with Mr. Robot last season—it matched the feeling of the poem and added to the mystery.
Of course, Elliot wasn’t killed in the process. Following the attack, Tyrell reached out to Angela who knew he would be calling. She wanted to be the first one he saw when Elliot woke up. Though her connection to Tyrell was surprising, the shocking part of the conversation was when Tyrell tearfully admitted to loving Elliot. What sort of love—romantic or familial—remains to be seen. (Angela also admitted to loving him before heading out of her apartment. GASP!)
Speaking of love, there was a strange vibe between Dom and Darlene this episode, no? Which, oh yes: Darlene is alive, but unfortunately the same can’t be said of Cisco (R.I.P. Cisco). While she was interrogating her fellow survivor, Dom kept using terms of endearment like “hun,” “dear,” and “sweetheart.” It’s hard to tell whether they’re merely attempts to play the sympathy card to get information or have emotional weight behind them. Darlene remained closed off to her—until Dom took her into another room.
It turns out Darlene’s resistance to reveal information that could potentially incriminate her was for naught. When Dom ushered her through the office and into another room, Darlene realized the FBI knows a lot about fsociety, and has known it for quite some time. Like something straight out of a crime show, the connections between Darlene, Gideon, Mobley, Cisco, and Elliot were laid out, with the man at the intersection of it all being Tyrell. As Dom mentioned before, the main reason behind their mission was to locate Tyrell Wellick. She likened the approach to a python, which lies in wait patiently for its prey. They’ve been tracking them for a while and there’s nothing to hide, and no reason to deny her connection.
Still, the only person who knows about Tyrell’s fate is Elliot. Even Joanna—who seemed to be on the right track—was led on a wild goose chase. The address Elliot located a few episodes back led to the home of Scott Knowles. Apparently he was the one responsible for sending her all of the gifts throughout the season. (He wanted to mess with her, but felt sorry.) He lashed out as a result of his grief over losing his wife and Joanna, being the cold-hearted snake that she is, added her two cents and got beat to a pulp as a result.
But like Elliot, she, too, did not die. When her lover was comforting her later on, she made him promise to go to the cops and insinuate that Knowles had something to do with Tyrell’s disappearance. She wants him to be punished for the way he messed with her.
The biggest surprise of all, however, came in the after credits scene. In it, Mobley and Trenton are seen in their new hometown in the middle of nowhere, discussing something Trenton discovered. If she is right about whatever it is, it means they could potentially undo everything and put it all back the way it was. Which: if that isn’t a reference to time travel, I don’t know what is! Before they are able to discuss the matter further, Leon showed up and asked if they had the time. He explicitly referenced Whiterose before, so we’re 100% certain now that he is a member of the Dark Army. So now we have more questions than ever.
What did you think of the finale? How is everyone connected? What do you think is going to happen next season? Leave your theories below, join the conversation on Facebook, or start one with me on Twitter: @Samantha_Sofka.