Launched in 2015, Mr. Robot has come to an end after 4 seasons. The last episodes of the series, available on Amazon Prime Video, brought an end in apotheosis to the sublime and complex character played by Rami Malek. Balance sheet, with spoilers.
Warning, spoilers. The following paragraphs contain plot elements from Season 4 of Mr. Robot, now available on Amazon Prime Video. It is advisable to have seen the episodes before continuing to read this article.
Bye, friend. After four seasons, Mr. Robot bowed out with an intense double final episode that brought to a close the psychological maze formed in Elliot Alderson’s head. The tortured genius, the intrepid hacker, the associable being that is the character played by an incredible Rami Malek has finally found the way out. After a first violent episode where Angela (Portia Doubleday) is killed, season 4 of Mr. Robot continues to slowly lose the protagonists who gravitated around Elliot. But his losses and his fight against Whiterose (BD Wong) and the Dark Army allowed our hero to reconnect with his past and finally discover who he is.
Except Elliot is not Elliot. The character that we have followed for four seasons is actually one of the personalities that the real Elliot created to protect himself and hide the pain of childhood. As well as“imaginary friend” Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) is an improved version of his father, who is revealed to be an executioner, a sexual predator who abused and assaulted Elliot as a child in real life. Elliot also created a better version of his mother and a younger version of him to protect himself from memories of his years of abuse. The truth is then revealed in its purest form and breaks the heart in a perfect episode where emotion reigns supreme.
Endgame for Elliot
In this season 4, the revelations follow one another in sequences whose staging is breathtaking. Sam Esmail is driven by an attention to precise detail and a sensitive perfectionism that offer a result that is more than sublime. Nothing is left to chance and each fragment of acting, setting or light provides valuable clues. Sam Esmail disturbs us by mixing emotional moments and psychedelic scenes. He plays with our fears, our fantasies and our disillusions crystallized in the disturbed being that is Eliott. And this, until the last episodes where he still manages to make us doubt and lean towards the fantastic side before bringing us back down to earth. Elliot “The Brain” that we followed for 4 seasons was in the spotlight to protect the real Elliot who was in a comfortable world: loving parents, a non-existent sister and a marriage to Angela.
But it is undeniable that this fictitious universe is not the ideal solution and it is essential, even vital, to move forward. The final double episode of Mr. Robot is also a delightful homage to the cinema of David Fincher with the famous line “What’s in the box?” of Seven when in the soft and reassuring world created for the real Eliott, he is confronted with Dom (Grace Gummer) as a municipal police officer. But also especially in this shot of Eliott the Brain contemplating the buildings in front of the large windows which recalls the same feeling of sad and fatal plenitude of Tyler (Edward Norton) in Fight Club. Except that Eliott the Brain invites us to let go and finally get out of the torpor.
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We, his “friends”, who spied on him for four seasons, who tried to understand this incredible story told by an unreliable narrator, entangled in his singular personalities but inseparable from each other as the real Eliott suffered. Because his family fell short, Eliott created a new one to survive. And he invited us to be part of it. After finally realizing that the cocoon invented to escape its real existence could not last and that the hacker vigilante personality was only a way to save time, Eliott comes back to the surface and finally takes possession of his body on his hospital bed by reuniting with Darlene (Carly Chaikin), the only remaining family member and a pillar that connects him to reality.
After protecting his secret for four seasons by embarking on world-class hacking missions against a declining capitalist society, our friend is finally breaking down barriers and cracking the codes. The season 4 episode titles alone, very different from the coded names given to the chapters of previous seasons, set the tone for this final burst of episodes: no more scrambled tracks, no more cat and mouse play, more deciphering, no more pretense. The raw truth finally comes to light thanks to two strong twists recounted by Elliot’s therapist.
Mr. Robot was more than a series about a computer genius suffering from social anxiety who slipped in among the anonymous to explode our society. Sam Esmail’s serial jewel was primarily about mental illness, dissociative identity disorder, trauma from sexual and family violence, rebuilding a broken human being. As a spectator and “friend”, we have been an indispensable tool in Elliot’s healing and acceptance process. Sam Esmail gave us a royal place in the construction of his story, often complicated but so fascinating, and just for this timeless television experience, we can say thank you.