Creator Sam Esmail's computer hacker thriller concludes with a revelation that redefines the entire series. Here's how it played out.
[The following story contains major spoilers for the series finale of USA Network's Mr. Robot.]
Written and directed by creator Sam Esmail, the Mr. Robot series finale ends with an answer to the penultimate installment's final question: 'Who are you?' True to the USA Network thriller's form, the answer is a complicated one — but in one of the final scenes of the finale, Rami Malek's troubled computer hacker does his best to articulate the answer: 'I'm not Elliot. I'm only a part of him.'
In one final twist of the series as well as a twist of the knife, the central character and the audience alike learn the truth: Elliot Alderson is not who he believes he is — at least, not the Elliot viewers have watched over the course of four seasons of tense technological exploits. The two-part series finale dives deeper into Elliot's psyche than ever before, as it becomes clear the 'alternate universe' posited in the penultimate episode was nothing more than an illusory world, designed to keep 'the real Elliot' safe from harm. Much like the titular Mr. Robot Christian Slater himself, the Elliot we have known all this time turns out to be yet another personality created by Elliot: a hooded vigilante raging against the powers that be, fighting for a better future out of love for himself. Put another way: the Elliot we know is 'the other one.'
Heading into the final act of the finale, an illusory form of Elliot's therapist Krista Gordon Gloria Reuben sits down with her patient, to let him in on the truth of his many personalities —including the one who has been at the forefront of the entire series.
'In order for you to fully hear the truth, first we need to discuss Elliot's dissociative identity disorder,' she says. 'The first personality was created the day Elliot jumped out the window — the protector personality, the one Elliot created to replace his father, to protect him from intolerable situations: Mr. Robot. Later in life, Elliot created the mother personality, the persecutor, blaming Elliot for the abuse, insisting that he needed to pay for it. Not long after her came Elliot's younger self, who he merged to handle the abuse he couldn't tolerate. With that, he created his own family of sorts.'
'I guess she doesn't know about you,' Elliot then says via inner monologue, looking directly into the camera at the viewer — us, his 'friend.' Krista then stares right into the camera and acknowledges 'our' presence, labeling us as 'the voyeurs who think they aren't a part of this, despite being here for all of it.'
'For a while, we thought we had identified all of Elliot's personalities, but there's another one who came about not too long ago,' she continues, addressing Malek's hooded vigilante directly. 'I know why you did it. Your heart...