Warning: there are obviously spoilers ahead. Don’t proceed if you haven’t finished season 1 yet.
Well…that was one hell of a first season. I don’t think I’ve been this floored by a show since Hannibal (RIP Hannibal…maybe?). Creator Sam Esmail has been explicit that the whole show was planned as a feature film, and “the ending of Season 1 is really what would have been the ending of Act 1,” so if this is just the start, we’re in for one hell of a journey when the main plot begins in season 2.
Here are the unanswered questions I’m most looking forward to in the coming season, and my own musing on the answers.
1. What are Whiterose’s true intentions?
Leader of the Chinese hacker group Dark Army, Whiterose was a real scene-stealer back in episode 7. Played by the always excellent BD Wong, Whiterose is introduced as a transgendered woman who doesn’t have much time to give Elliot when he pleads his case for the Dark Army to re-establish their support of fsociety’s grand plan. Then, in a post-credits scene in the finale, we see Evil Corp CEO Phillip Price meeting with Whiterose, dressed as a man at a lavish house party. What’s up with that? Is Evil Corp in league with the Dark Army?
We know thanks to a very detailed interview with Wong that Whiterose is being played to be in disguise as a man, and as her true self as a woman. So Elliot has met the real Whiterose, while Price may have not. So, what is the true relationship between Evil Corp, the Dark Army, and fsociety? Who’s pulling the strings? Right now, Whiterose seems to be the puppeteer. But if she’s a free agent or taking orders from the Chinese government, we’ll find out in due time.
2. So, was everything Mr Robot did really just Elliot’s actions?
In the finale, the cafe scene makes it clear that Elliot and Mr Robot inhabit the same body. Was it Elliot threatening Ron Cephas Jones’ character Romero with a gun? So then was it really Elliot behind the mask in this ultimatum to Evil Corp?
3. What’s in store for Allsafe?
Allsafe is shut down, which can be expected after such a critical security breach of their main client. But I’m not convinced they’re out of the picture, or at least we haven’t seen the last of CEO Gideon Goddard, Elliot’s boss. He seems to care about Elliot, and also harbors a suspicion of Elliot’s extracurricular activities with fsociety. Will he be the brother-in-law Hank to Elliot’s Walter White? Or will the show put him in a newer, unpredictable role?
4. How does Wellick know Mr Robot?
So if Elliot and Mr Robot are one and the same, what about that scene in episode 8 where Wellick meets with him in a van? Mr Robot was in charge, and Wellick wasn’t acting like he was looking into Elliot’s face. Either he has an understanding of Elliot’s fractured personality, or there’s more to Mr Robot than just “he’s Elliot’s invisible ghost dad that nobody else can see.”
5. What’s the deal with Joanna Wellick?
Stephanie Corneliussen had one tense scene in the finale, confronting a paranoid Elliot at her front door when he is looking for her husband. She really gets under his skin, causing him to wonder if she can hear his inner monologue with his imaginary friend — us, the audience.
Corneliussen’s character has been praised by fans of the show, who’ve been comparing her to a Lady Macbeth character manipulating her husband in the background. And it’s also been said that her presence will increase in the next season.
6. Has Angela gone to the dark side?
Angela has taken a job at Evil Corp, and at her first day of work, she watches Evil Corp’s EVP of Technology commit suicide during a live news broadcast (hey, I warned you about spoilers — anyway, this is why the finale was delayed a week). Given money to go shopping for new shoes (not covered in blood), she has a surprising encounter with a shoe clerk. The clerk first realizes where the blood comes from, and wonders how she could work for such an evil corporation.
Angela, the woman who had an axe to grind with Evil Corp, who stood up to former CTO Terry Colby, rather than defend her actions or let him in on her secret plan to bring the company down from the inside, instead says “I don’t know who you think you’re taking to, but I’ll try the Pradas next.” Is she still in shock, is she numbed, and how will she recover next season?
7. What will happen to fsociety?
The hack has been carried out, even if Elliot doesn’t remember, and fsociety is famous. They’ve always felt like a stand-in for Anonymous, at least through their use of masks and dramatic video declarations. Now, they may evolve into something much closer to Anonymous, in which anyone can put on a mask and join in. And it’s likely that the fsociety crew we’ve come to know (and suspect of being imaginary) is going to lose control of the beast they’ve created.
8. What are the effects this hack will have on the world?
Debts have been wiped out, and the public is mobilizing in the streets. Just how much will this change the world? Esmail has been upfront about how the Arab Spring helped inspire components of the show, so are we going to see an American Spring in Mr Robot’s world? Considering this is a world where Obama is president and the Ashley Madison hack happened, where does it diverge from our own reality? Or will the final reveal be that Elliot is real, and we’re the fictional creation monitoring his inner thoughts?
9. Who’s at Elliot’s door?
Right before the credits, there’s a knock at Elliot’s door. I feel like we’ve seen more than a couple episodes end this way, but this time the visitor isn’t revealed. The most obvious answers: Mr Robot (he did that a couple episodes ago) or Wellick (he did that last episode), either who could give a lot of exposition about what’s happened. I doubt Darlene would bother to knock, so who is it going to be, and why do we have to wait until next summer to find out?