The second season of Mr. Robot has been a slow boil. We spent a lot of time in “Elliot’s mom’s house,” and inside Elliot’s head, as the fallout from last season’s hack played out in his absence. For the most part, this fallout was depicted through the show’s female characters. Angela and Darlene both tried to assert themselves in their new roles, and Joanna did, well, lots of Joanna stuff — murder, violent bedroom things, being intense while wearing immaculate designer outfits — with her husband missing. But now with Elliot out and the FBI closing in on the fsociety operation, all of those things are starting to change, and everything came to a head in this week’s suspenseful episode, “Hidden Process,” which kind of served as the typical action-packed prestige television penultimate episode because the next two are being billed as a two-part season finale.
Despite the episode being the first one since the premiere to check in at a standard, non-extended 43 minutes (or maybe because of it), it was packed with big developments. A lot of things happened. This post is 1,500 words and I don’t even mention the thing at the beginning where Price compares himself to the Almighty Lord and insinuates that there are only two people on Earth more powerful than him. (My money is on Whiterose and Martha Stewart.) So let’s jump in before this gets out of hand.
Here are six questions I have about everything that took place.
Tyrell: Dead or nah?
This is the big question. One of the big questions. There are a lot of big questions.
The status of Tyrell Wellick has been an ongoing mystery this season, to the point that it’s becoming a bit of an issue. We thought he was dead, then maybe he was alive, then we were told he was dead and killed by Elliot, and now he might be alive, unless he isn’t, and we won’t find out until next week at the earliest. Which is fine. Mysteries are fun. The problem is that when you spend an entire season building one up, especially when it’s a pretty straightforward question like “Did he die?,” you put a lot of pressure on yourself to make the answer really interesting. Otherwise people will start to wonder, fairly, if the whole rigmarole was worth it.
And in either scenario, there are a bunch of other questions that need to get answered, too. If he’s alive, we need to know how he has remained hidden for this long considering he’s the most wanted man in the world, and why Mr. Robot has gone to such great lengths to hide it from Elliot. And if he’s dead, we need to know who has been calling that phone and sending items to Joanna, and who the hell is crazy enough to screw with Joanna and make her think her dead husband is alive. That last one, mostly. Because until she involved Elliot, she was the only one who knew about all this, which would mean someone has been doing it to troll her, personally. This is a bad idea. The only people I can think of who would be nuts enough to do this are the husband of the woman Tyrell killed in season one, or literally any teen on reddit.
Speaking of Joanna… still terrifying?
So terrifying. Even more so now that she’s flailing around recklessly looking for her husband. Think about this for a second: We know from seeing the cover of at least one tabloid that she’s being followed by the paparazzi, and she’s still running around New York meeting with people who end up murdered and/or were recently released from prison for hacking their therapist’s boyfriend and stealing his dog. That is not what one might call a careful, reasoned strategy. Joanna was terrifying when it seemed like she had everything under control. Now she’s a loose cannon. That’s even scarier.