What Mr Robot's twist could mean for the future of the show

David Bell
Photo credit: USA Network

From Digital Spy

Note: This article contains spoilers for Mr Robot season 4.

Just when you think you know where you are with Mr Robot, the show goes and pulls yet another rug from underneath us.

At the end of this week's episode, viewers were hit with the game-changing reveal that it's not just Mr Robot taking up space in Elliot's troubled psyche – he has a third side to his fractured personality, a side referred to as the Other One.

Well, when you're taking on an enemy as powerful as Whiterose, the more the merrier.

Photo credit: USA Network

Related: Mr Robot star responds to shock twist in season 4 premiere

The first hint of the existence of the Other One came when Darlene (Carly Chaikin) dropped the return of psychotic dealer Vera into conversation, insisting she'd already mentioned it to Elliot (Rami Malek). Adamant this was the first he'd heard of it, Elliot accused Mr Robot (Christian Slater) of keeping the news from him – that is his style, after all.

But for once, Mr Robot couldn't be blamed. "If it wasn’t you and it wasn’t me, who was it?" asked Elliot, looking as shocked as every Mr Robot fan the world over.

Inevitably, the final moments of the episode didn't clear things up. Instead, viewers were shown a flashback that appeared to show the young Elliot mucking about in the E Corp boardroom, before his mum warns him he shouldn't be there because they're still waiting for the arrival of someone else – not Elliot, not Mr Robot, but the "other one".

So who is this mysterious Other One? Let's look at the options…

Elliot's 'friend'

Photo credit: Amazon Prime

Mr Robot isn't the only imaginary figure Elliot talks to. From the very first episode of the show, he's also opened up to his 'friend', an invisible confidante that's always been thought to represent the viewer.

But what if that assumption is wrong? What if the friend is actually as much a part of Elliot as Mr Robot is and has been growing in influence over time? If so, just as Mr Robot has regularly taken over and pursued his own agenda without Elliot's knowledge, it's possible the friend has been doing the same.

Elliot's relationship with the friend has certainly been as uneasy as the one he has with Mr Robot. He kept his friend in the dark about being in prison for almost all of season two, and now, in season four, they've stopped talking altogether, leaving all the fourth-wall breaking to Mr Robot.

Is it now time for the friend to take over?

It is the viewers

Photo credit: USA Network

Okay, so this is where things get complicated.

If Elliot's imaginary friend is actually meant to be the audience, that doesn't necessarily mean viewers can't still be the Other One.

It's not beyond the realms of possibility that we're heading towards some sort of Bandersnatch-style situation where viewers will be required to hack into the show and help decide Elliot's fate.

Whether that would fit with Rami Malek's recent description of the show's ending as being "very fulfilling and cathartic" is another thing.

It's Elliot from the future

Photo credit: USA Network

While episode two filled in some of the gaps about Whiterose and the all-powerful Deus cabal, it didn't go as far as revealing what Whiterose's much-discussed pet project is.

One of the most popular theories is that it's some kind of time machine – check all those Back To The Future references in season three.

If that is the case, could a future version of Elliot have travelled back to secretly assist himself in the battle to take Whiterose down? Is that who Darlene spoke to about Vera? Was it Elliot dressed as a snowman and sat next to himself and Darlene in the subway, in a neat nod to Kevin McAllister, the snowman they built as kids?

At this stage of the game, anything goes.

Is it Tyrell?

Photo credit: USA Network

The theory that Tyrell (Martin Wallström) and Elliot are the same person, Fight Club-style, has been knocking about Mr Robot forums since the first series. And despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, it's a suggestion that won't go away.

The final scene of the latest episode certainly seemed to want to push Tyrell into the audience's mental picture, what with the E Corp boardroom-setting and a revolving chair that could easily have been occupied by the same bored and listless Tyrell seen in the season's opening episode.

Surely Tyrell still has a part to play in Mr Robot – but is this it?

Mr Robot airs on USA Network in the US. In the UK, the show streams on Amazon Prime.

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