Hello friends. Are you seeing the whole picture? Do you see what's above you, as well as what's ahead? Have you made out the fuzzy picture? Can you see the true reflection in the hall of mirrors?
Yes, finally Sam Esmail has invoked Kraftwerk's "Hall of Mirrors" as the finale of season two opens. May I point your attention to these particularly relevant lyrics:
"A young man steps into the hall of mirrors,
Where he discovered a reflection of himself.
Even the greatest stars, discover themselves in the looking glass…
Sometimes he saw his real face,
And sometimes a stranger at his place…
He made up the person he wanted to be,
And change into a new personality."
Darlene is in custody, and alive, after the shooting last week. Dom is also alive and somehow doing the questioning, which is unorthodox for an officer on the site. Sick burn to Burn Notice, also on the USA network, and thanks to the Patriot Act characters are not welcome. So Dom tries to invoke the Jersey girl pact to get her to talk instead, playing good cop.
Turns out the person who has been sending all of those gifts to Joanna wasn’t Tyrell but Scott Knowles, the Evil Corp CTO who burned the money on society’s command and burned the Wellick family. He was tormenting Joanna because it wasn’t just his wife that Tyrell killed, but their unborn baby. They sonogram he sent her wasn’t an abstract gift or the framed photo of Joanna’s own baby, but his own. “I wanted to give you hope that I could step on,” explains the man whose depth of nothingness was unknown to us before this moment. Joanna shows no sympathy for this, spewing a string of vile insults to provoke him and, given her history of enjoying a particular type of sex, it’s hard to separate the violence of the scene from her sex life as we know it, disturbingly.
After Dom’s “hey girl” tactics fail with Darlene, she presents the evidence she’s got: the fsociety mask, the equipment used to shoot their videos, and the bullet casing from the gun Darlene stole from her Harvard hook-up in season one, Xander Jones. What she’s making is a convincing case for Darlene to stop pleading the 5th.
Tyrell shows Elliot the schematic of a plan he doesn’t understand. While this play is in motion, Elliot is still debating if Tyrell is even real or if this is yet another character he’s constructing. Shortly after he has a breakthrough and realizes that the plan is to use the new paper records that Evil Corp is creating to literally blow up their buildings, Mr. Robot reappears. How many faces in the hall of mirrors does it take to bring down a corporation?
Joanna, whose face is beaten and bruised, plants a revisionist history story with her boy toy (who was bartending the party where Tyrell killed Scott’s wife) aimed at framing Scott. Her ruthlessness knows no bounds.
I’m not the only one who thinks Dom questioning Darlene alone, after being the first officer on scene at a violent crime, is unusual. She has to fight to stay in there, before she goes back in to try another tactic. Rather than hold back, Dom shows Darlene everything; the whole organizational chart of the attack that the FBI has put together. It connects people, although not always correctly as they have no link between Darlene and Angela for starters, and puts Tyrell, not Elliot, at the center of the attacks. Darlene’s response? “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” while a chill version of Aimee Mann’s “The Moth” plays.
Elliot finally comes to the real question: why. Why does Mr. Robot keep coming back, keep making plans, keep trying to destroy the world? Why is his agenda so different than Elliot’s? Why, Elliot wants to know, does Mr. Robot keep tormenting him? Which is really just asking why he’s tormenting himself. Mr. Robot says, when Elliot asks what “all the way” means with this plan, “you’re meant to know only what you can handle.” Elliot realizes it’s a distraction. He jumps on Tyrell’s computer, shutting down the malware. Tyrell gets his gun and Elliot decides to bet on him not being real, being a hallucination like Mr. Robot. He bets on himself, saying, “I’m the only one that exists. It’s time to finally take back control. Real control.” Tyrell shoots and it seems that what you get when you can’t distinguish reality from fiction is a serious stomach wound. Mr. Robot planned for this. All the way meant killing Elliot -- and himself -- in favor of pushing this plan to end Evil Corp forward.
It seems that what you get when you can’t distinguish reality from fiction is a serious stomach wound.
Just before the lights finally, truly go off, Tyrell calls Angela. She seems to know the entire plan. She assures him he did what he had to do, and tells him to stay there so the when he awakes he’s the first person “he” (unclear if that’s Elliot or Mr. Robot) sees. “I love him,” Tyrell says. “So do I,” replies Angela. The FBI weren’t the only ones with no idea who the mastermind of this crime was. We still have no idea who is at the center, pulling these strings.
As the show closes, Bob Seger's "We've Got Tonight" plays and we slowly close in on Trenton and Mosley discussing how to undo the fsociety hack. They're interrupted by Leon, inexplicably, as the season ends.
As we walk away from this season, we somehow have even less idea what is going on. Welcome to the hall of mirrors.