Mr. Robot Finale Recap: Use Your Illusion — Plus, Grade It!

Throughout this whole crazy season of Mr. Robot, we weren’t quite sure what was a dream and what was reality. Well, Wednesday’s Season 2 finale served as a big, bloody wake-up call.

The first blood drawn this week is the blood splashed all over Darlene’s jacket. Yay, Darlene’s alive! But Cisco’s dead (that’s his blood) following that Dark Army ambush a couple weeks back, and Dom and her boss have Darlene holed up in an interrogation room. Darlene pleads the fifth, but Dom’s boss coldly tells her that doesn’t apply: “This isn’t Burn Notice… Characters like you are not welcome here.” Oooh, USA Network burn!

Dom tries playing good cop with Darlene, saying they’re both just a couple of “Jersey girls,” but Darlene sees right through it; in fact, she invites Dom to “suck a dick.” Dom pulls out evidence like the masks and video equipment used to make the fsociety videos, but Darlene shrugs it off as just kinky sex games between her and Cisco. Nothing’s working, so Dom decides to show the FBI’s hand.

She takes Darlene to a room where the feds have mapped out fsociety’s entire web in a massive Carrie Mathison-style chart. Dom says the FBI is utilizing what they call “the python approach,” where they “lie in wait for the right moment to strike.” Darlene’s on the chart, and Cisco, and Angela… and right in the middle are Tyrell and Elliot. Darlene’s response? “You’ve gotta be f—king kidding me.” (So Darlene didn’t know Tyrell was involved? How could she, if Elliot didn’t know?)

Speaking of Tyrell… actually, let’s deal with his wife Joanna first. The ice queen pays a visit to Scott Knowles, the E Corp CTO whose wife Tyrell strangled in Season 1. Joanna knows Scott’s the one who’s been calling her and sending her gifts as Tyrell. (His address is the one Elliot tracked Tyrell’s cell phone to a couple weeks ago.) And Scott admits it. Clutching a bottle of booze, he tearfully recalls how his wife was pregnant when she died, and says he wanted Joanna to feel the kind of pain he felt: “I wanted to give you hope that I could step on.”

He apologizes, but Joanna’s not willing to kiss and make up. Actually, she calls Scott a “pussy” and a “piece of shit” and taunts him with the fact that his wife cheated on him with Tyrell. She even says, “That child’s lucky to be dead” (ouch), and Scott flies into a rage, pummeling her face to a pulp. But that all may be a part of Joanna’s master plan. Because later, when her boy-toy Derek tends to her wounds, he vows to get revenge on Scott. And Joanna lets him know how he can: by telling the cops he saw Scott looking out-of-sorts the night his wife died, pinning her death on him. The lesson, as always: Don’t mess with Joanna Wellick.

mr-robot-season-2-episode-12-finale-tyrellAnd what about her better half? Tyrell — who is definitely, probably alive — leads a bewildered Elliot into a dingy warehouse filled with high-powered servers. Tyrell reminds Elliot that the Dark Army set this up for them: “You really don’t remember this, do you?” Elliot mentions Joanna, and the fact that she thinks Tyrell is dead. Tyrell can only sigh: “I’m doing what’s necessary.” Then he directs Elliot’s attention to a computer monitor: “Ready to look at what we accomplished?”

That’s when we finally get a look at the much-vaunted Stage 2. It’s a set of blueprints for an E Corp building and a power supply grid. Elliot’s as confused as we are, so Tyrell fills him in: E Corp is shipping all of their paper documents (the backups for all the financial information lost in the hack) to a single building, right next to Tyrell’s warehouse. The plan is to flood the room holding the documents with hydrogen gas and ignite it, destroying the documents and erasing all that data for good. And yeah, blowing up an entire building in the process.

Elliot rejects the idea of endangering lives like that, but Mr. Robot pops in to assure him this is the logical next step: “We had to go all the way.” Elliot starts deleting the code that’ll lead to the explosion, but he stops when Tyrell points a pistol at him. Tyrell is furious: “We were supposed to be gods together, and yet you want to destroy our destiny.” Elliot isn’t scared, though; he’s convinced Tyrell is just a figment of his twisted mind, like Mr. Robot. Remember when Mr. Robot shot Elliot in the Season 2 premiere? Well, Elliot challenges Tyrell to do the same. And BANG! He does.

Except this time, Elliot looks down… and sees blood. That bullet was real, and so is Tyrell. Elliot slumps to the ground and sees Mr. Robot flickering and glitching, but Tyrell remains solid. Tyrell even says Elliot gave him the gun, as a last resort. “We couldn’t let anyone stop us… including us,” Mr. Robot says. Then Elliot’s vision fades to black.

But wait! There’s more! We know Elliot survived that gunshot, because the episode ends with Angela — there she is! — receiving a phone call from Tyrell. A phone call she was expecting (??). She tells him, “You did what needed to be done.” (???) A sobbing Tyrell says, “I love him.” Angela replies, “I do, too.” So whoa: Was Angela the Keyser Söze of this whole operation? Yes, she struck up that alliance with Whiterose last week… but was she part of the whole Dark Army/fsociety crew even longer than we knew about?

But wait! There’s even more! Just like last season’s finale, that scamp Sam Esmail tacked on a post-credits scene here. We find Trenton and Mobley — er, “Frederick” — in what looks like California, working at an electronics store and seemingly in witness protection. Trenton pushes Mobley to help her undo the hack, to “put everything back the way it was.” But they may have trouble doing that: Elliot’s Seinfeld-loving prison buddy Leon approaches the two of them to ask, “Do you have the time?”

So Leon’s there to kill them, right? (He’s killed for Elliot before.) Did Stage 2 go off without a hitch? We never saw anything after Elliot’s gunshot besides the phone call to Angela. Will Darlene give any information to Dom and the feds? (Yeah, right.) Will Tyrell — who is definitely alive! — reunite with Joanna and revive TV’s most terrifying power couple? And what’s next for Elliot and fsociety? Many, many questions… and we’ve got a year or so till Season 3 gets here to contemplate them.

Bits and Bytes:

* In the opening flashback with Tyrell and Elliot on the boardwalk, Tyrell recites “The Red Wheelbarrow” by poet William Carlos Williams. Remember what was written on the front of Elliot’s prison journal? “Red Wheelbarrow.” And which restaurant menu had the number clues on it two episodes ago? Red Wheelbarrow BBQ.

* Tonight’s musical selections: Kraftwerk’s “Hall of Mirrors,” as Tyrell and Elliot entered the warehouse; a cover of Aimee Mann’s “The Moth,” as Dom led Darlene through the FBI office; and the 1983 Kenny Rogers-Sheena Easton duet “We’ve Got Tonight,” blaring from Leon’s car in the post-credits scene. (That guy just loves retro pop culture, doesn’t he?)

* No Whiterose this week? And no Phillip Price, either? BD Wong and Michael Cristofer, you were missed.

* Loved Tyrell’s out-of-control God complex. As he’s showing Elliot their Dark Army hideout: “This is Mount Olympus. We are prime!” Here’s hoping whatever happens in Season 3, Tyrell Wellick is a huge part of it.

Did Season 2 end on a high note? Grade the finale via our poll below, then hit the comments to start talking Season 3.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. CJ says:

    I have so many questions!!! Loved the call between Angela and Tyrell at the end and I can’t believe we have to wait until (presumably) next summer for answers.

    One of my favorite little things they threw in is the fact that Cisco’s name is Francis Shaw – such a nice nod to Frankie Shaw, who played Shayla.

  2. Will says:

    What the heck? Angela? Whoa…can’t wait for Season 3!

  3. peterwdawson says:

    Well, that Angela twist is going to bug me, as I absolutely cannot fathom how she’s tied into this without it not making sense. Then again they’ve done a decent job explaining bizarre twists before so they can probably pull it off, but just, ‘bwuh?’

  4. Jim says:

    I think it’s by no means settled that Tyrell isn’t in Elliot’s head.

  5. Al says:

    I hated this session, I stuck with it until the end, but I think I’m done.

    • MrRoBackwards says:

      I’m with you. It just tried to be too smart with fluffy BS scenes that lead to nothing..not the mention all the heavily borrowed matrix rubbish in the previous episode – that is going nowhere and is going to look like a hopeless attempt at plot building. I just start skipping episodes in the end. The first season rocked. This season blows.

    • christopher bee says:

      That´s xactly my POV. Hey, let´s do it cryptic and call it art.
      Sorry gents and mam´s, as some episodes were brilliant and gluey, some others made no sense at all and feeld like mayor fillers.

      Yes i like the show and it´s premise from the IT and powerhungry world in our real economy reality, but c´mmon Sam, get your plotpoints together.

    • Don says:

      We’re ready For 3 ! Aren’t you ? Where you from ??

  6. Drew says:

    The first half of this episode was very trying, but it made up for it in the end. There are so many questions left unanswered, but I’m not sure I’m that interested in the answers. At least, I mean I’m not hanging on the edge of my seat.
    On a side note, anyone else notice that the store where Mobley and Trenton worked had a giant python wrapped around the store sign? Does this signify these two are super-important because they are lying in wait?

  7. Brian Callan says:

    I honestly thought elliot was gonna go all narrator(fight club and shot himself in the head/cheek.

  8. Joey Padron says:

    Season 2 finale was good and surprising. Glad Darlene is alive! Surprised Angela is working with Tyrell! Hope Elliot will be ok. Post credits scene was good. Surprised Leon is out of jail now. Can’t wait for season 3 next summer!

  9. TheloNaGrapso says:

    Not bad, but I was expecting more.

  10. TraciWallz says:

    It takes a lot of effort to watch this show. Probably a better binge watch. You have to pay attention to everything in the past and present episode while watching. Some of the extra “doing things just to be different” aspects of the show fall flat. But we need more shows like this. Please no more boring procedurals. Falling Water was pretty good also.

  11. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!!! How the hell did Angela get in contact with TYRELL?!!!! That was insane……Darlene is a beast she’s not say sh*t to the FBI. Trenton and Mobley in Cali I feel like they should go back to NYC……..and LEON? I’m still trippin’ on this dude Is he part of the Dark Army group or knows someone from it?
    So many questions can’t wait for S3!!! I don’t believe that the stage 2 of the hack didn’t go through.

  12. Max says:

    The last episode was great, but it doesn’t make up for a lackluster season 2. I got as far as I could go with this series, I’m out.

  13. B says:

    Frustrating but great episode. Incredible scene with Elliot questioning himself in such dangerous fashion. I’m not afraid we’ll lose our main character, but geeze. Harsh way to test reality.

    Joanna is absolutely crazy. Did she already know that Scott was the one calling? Her earlier scene asking Derek to punch her looks now like it could have been “preparation,” trying to toughen up in anticipation that Scott would beat her since she provoked him so deliberately.

    Whiterose is apparently pulling various strings: working with Tyrell all along, recruiting Angela who knows how (I don’t see Angela behind all this simply because of Whiterose), and sending Leon after Trenton and Mobley. –Interesting take that those two might be in witness protection rather than having adopted aliases on their own. It could explain how the FBI put so much together if they talked. Quite a twist if they can undo everything — the possibility of which could explain Leon’s presence.

    I’m intrigued by the FBI still having Tyrell at the middle of everything though. If Trenton and Mobley talked, did they just try to direct some heat away from Elliot? Tyrell has seemed too outside, previously too focused on his E-Corp career, and subsequently too “dependent” on Elliot to be the one actually behind everything. –The scene on the boardwalk was so out of context, I wasn’t sure if it was in the past or not. Definitely need to rewatch the episode and the season. I think this show benefits from binge watching and a second (at least) view to pick up clues. I’m absolutely still on board.

  14. HA says:

    The series wont be the same without elliot!

  15. Hurley says:




    • B says:

      Hurley — I mentioned some of these in my comment above but here are my theories:

      1 and 4) The night of the hack, Mr. Robot let Tyrell in on the plan and gave him the gun out of the popcorn machine to protect himself, even from Elliot if necessary, so that they could carry out the plan. Tyrell then went into seclusion to work on phase 2 with help from the Dark Army re: the hardware setup. He continued communicating with Mr. Robot without Elliot’s knowledge, and he was likely in communication with Whiterose in some fashion as well. No idea whether Tyrell knows about Mr. Robot or only that Elliot seems glitchy.

      2) Based on the previous episode, I believe that Whiterose somehow recruited Angela to work with her to further the plans since Angela kept turning up at the center of things. Rather than fight it or kill her, Whiterose turned her into an asset and used her instead. Angela then connected with Tyrell on behalf of Whiterose.

      3) Theory here, too, that Trenton and Mobley may have talked to the FBI in return for protection (based on the article author’s theory about witness protection). If not them, then someone else the FBI captured in connection with the D.C. actions most likely talked.

      Hope that helps.

      • B says:

        P.S. Communications between Mr. Robot and Tyrell obviously only when Elliot wasn’t in jail.

        • Eni says:

          Tyrell was surely communicate with Mr Robot but he did when Elliot was in jail. If you recall that scene when Elliot picks up the landline and freaks out on Tyrells’ voice. That was the first proof of Tyrell being alive I reckon.

  16. Dr. M says:

    Whole season was one big yawn fest. Between that and the ratings and I can’t believe it was renewed.

    • slayme says:

      And I can’t believe you come here to leave a comment so utterly pointless and self-centered, but yet you did. You don’t deserve to understand or appreciate a show as great as Mr. Robot. Go back to watching CSI Whocares or something your tiny brain can handle. You’ll never get Mr. Robot – not on the level the rest of us do. I’d feel bad for you but you seem pretty jerky so – sorry not sorry.

    • MrMank says:

      You are the reason God made procedurals. Stick to those, and try to avoid any heavy lifting.

  17. Hanno says:

    Actually the ‘mount Olympus/ prime’ line from Tyrell isn’t a god complex.
    It’s a reference to him and Elliot as an outsider team overcoming their nominal supervisors. See ‘Red Rising’, when Sevro and Darrow capture Mount Olympus.

  18. Mark says:

    Left way too much confusion! !!

  19. MrMank says:

    Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks Trenton and Mobley are absolute toast. That whole post credits scene was so effing tense, and so brilliant. From the ominous, slow-moving car to the fact that they were dressed in white, as were the wall and the table. I swore the Dark Army was gonna those walls with their blood. When the camera was panning around them, I literally was cringing. But Sam Esmail was much more subtle, having Leon simply ask for the time. But yeah…unless I’m missing something, they are a-goner.

  20. Sam mr robot fan #1 says:

    Is there a book ?? I need answers now !! Wow wow wow I think of all these writing ideas but they’re all in my head would love to be part of this, although It already feels like I am :)

  21. dolarhyde says:

    In the article there’s the question if Darlene knew about Tyrell working with fsociety, and is obvious she does. I mean, he’s in ALL the news and is being searched by the FBI for being involved in the 9/11 hacking. Her “you gotta be kidding me” must be mainly because the FBI already had them all, and they believed they had been so sneaky. I also think Tyrell and Angela got in contact due to Whiterose’s intervention. After the interview they had together, Angela surely is working with them —though I wouldn’t say she’s happy about it.
    And about Trenton and Mobley, I’ve two bets: either Leon killed them following the “cleaning” the Dark Army was doing with their loose ends or they’ll work alongside them with whatever Trenton was implying she could undo.

  22. I was shocked by Angela and Tyrell’s conversation at the end also and can’t wait for next season. I can’t imagine anyone watching Mr. Robot and not liking it……if you don’t, just stop watching, because you never will get it or like it. It is beyond you. It is a great show. Of course, you have to WATCH it and really pay attention.

  23. JOE says:

    The whole finale was such a shock to me personally , i found that all my theories and thoughts regarding the end of the season being nothing like i expected to be . This whole season has been really fun and intreguing where me and my friends have been trying to guess each episode what could happen and i found that the whole thing was a fun ride . Can’t wait for season 3 which will definitely be filled with all the answers we didn’t get to know on the finale’s cliffhangers.

  24. Jian says:

    You guys missed the part that at the end of season 1 was Elliot pulling a hidden gun on Tyrell but this time the reverse happened.

  25. Kaz says:

    The monitor they’re using in the hideway room is the same model as my own. A samsung xD

  26. Richie says:

    By the way, that’s 1 of 2 Fry’s Electronics in AZ. That particular one is in Phoenix it’s actually an awesome store