[Warning: This story contains spoilers through the penultimate episode of Mr. Robot season two.]
Time's running out for Mr. Robot. The second season of USA Network's tense techno-thriller, fresh off of an Emmy win for Rami Malek, comes to an end this week, and promises to tie up several loose ends in the process.
Well, "promises" might be pushing it.
Given its twisting-and-turning narrative all season long, Mr. Robot promises nothing, other than eye candy and enhanced anxiety. While several threads are bound to intertwine in their fully realized forms, others are likely to remain enigmatic, like the full scope of the meta match between global kingpins Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) and Whiterose (BD Wong). With that said, here are seven questions the finale must resolve, from the fates of several key characters to the hidden agendas on the cusp of bursting into the light.
1. What is Stage Two?
Elliot (Rami Malek) - or, more accurately, Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) - is the architect of the next phase of action against E Corp, the next movement meant to revolutionize the world. But what is it? Elliot has no idea, but it looks like he's about to find out, based on his reunion with Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallstrom). Here's one possibility: Consider that before they were kicked out of their taxi, Tyrell and Elliot were headed to Church and Chambers streets in Manhattan...an intersection that's unnervingly close to the Financial District, the epicenter of everything Elliot has rebelled against.
2. Is that really Tyrell?
It's not a question one enjoys asking, but still a question worth asking. Up until seeing the man with his own eyes, Elliot believed that he'd murdered Tyrell during one of his stints as Mr. Robot. That possibility very much remains on the table. If Elliot is hallucinating an ethereal Tyrell, it certainly wouldn't be the first time he suffered from delusions of grandeur. Expect the finale to elaborate on Tyrell's role in Elliot's life, including confirmation or denial of his continued corporeal state - but for what it's worth, Mr. Robot's apparent panic over Elliot becoming aware of Tyrell's possible survival strongly suggests the man is still alive.
3. Who's on the phone?
Throughout the season, someone has been sending gifts to Joanna Wellick (Stephanie Corneliussen) and calling her on a mystery phone, wordlessly breathing into the void. Joanna believes this person is her husband, Tyrell. But Elliot tracked the source of the calls to an Upper East Side apartment, and Joanna's bodyguard Sutherland (Jeremy Holm) effectively ruled out the possibility that Tyrell would be calling from this location. Prediction time: It's not Tyrell who has been calling, but his rival Scott Knowles (Brian Stokes Mitchell), wreaking psychological vengeance against House Wellick for Tyrell's killing Scott's wife.
4. What Happened to Darlene?
Elliot's sister Darlene (Carly Chaikin) and her boyfriend, Cisco (Michael Drayer), were last seen in a restaurant, on the other side of a Dark Army agent spraying bullets inside the establishment. One episode later, it remains unclear whether or not they survived, with the finale virtually guaranteed to provide an answer. For the impatient and the curious, slowing down the shoot-out scene indicates that Cisco did indeed die, while the blood spatter near Darlene is actually nothing more than a ketchup bottle exploding...but then again, the eye sees what it wants to see.
5. Who Killed Romero?
Another lingering mystery, dating back to almost the very beginning of the season. Did hacker Leslie Romero (Ron Cephas Jones) die simply because he was the unlucky owner of Fun Society in Coney Island? That's certainly part of the reason, but far from the full story. The party responsible for assassinating Romero remains unidentified, as do the whereabouts of Romero's surviving hacker companions Mobley (Azhar Khan) and Trenton (Sunita Mani). With any luck, the killer will be unmasked, and Mobley and Trenton will reappear unharmed, by the finale's conclusion.
6. Is there more to Dom than meets the eye?
Almost certainly. Speaking with THR, Grace Gummer said that the show will soon reveal more about Agent Dom DiPierro "and marry her personal life with her work." Earlier in the season, Dom revealed that she was once in a serious relationship and nearly engaged, notably referring to her almost fiance as a "they." Guess which Mr. Robot series regular has an established distaste for the institution of marriage? Darlene, who once raged against Cisco for proposing. Perhaps the wildest prediction of the bunch, but we're planting the flag regardless: Dom and Darlene have a romantic history, and it will be revealed in the finale.
7. Is the key in the room?
Simultaneously the most relevant and least intrusive of the Land of Ecodelia questions from the first portion of the finale, this puzzle tossed in Angela's (Portia Doubleday) direction is one viewers should contemplate as well. Do we already possess the keys to unlocking the most important mysteries on the show? If so, does the finale need to answer the season's biggest questions, or is it enough to leave them lingering in the air, inviting the audience to open the door to the answers in the off-season? However you land on the issue, best to heed the warning from writer and technology producer Kor Adana, who previously told THR about the finale: "You will receive a fair amount of closure." Whether or not that's enough should be the subject of debate in the weeks and months ahead.
Follow THR's Mr. Robot coverage all season long for interviews, news and theories.