If regular viewers of USA Network’s “Mr. Robot” were expecting answers in the first part of the season two finale, “eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z,” they didn’t get them. What they did get was the much-anticipated return of Martin Wallstrom as sinister Tyrell Wellick after an entire season missing in action, as well as an extended conversation between an FBI agent and her Amazon Echo. Daniel Montgomery, Riley Chow, David Buchanan, and I break down the episode, which was written and directed by series creator Sam Esmail.
In another strange development, Angela (Portia Doubleday) is captured and taken to a dark, empty room in a suburban home. In the room, a little girl quizzes Angela with what Montgomery calls “the weirdest Buzzfeed quiz ever,” including questions about whether she has fantasized about killing her father or cried during sex. The quiz leads Angela to a face-to-face meeting with Whiterose (B.D. Wong), who is both puzzled and threatened by Angela’s repeated presence in her ongoing machinations. After the meeting Angela arrives at the doorstep of Antara Nayar (Sakina Jaffrey), the attorney fighting E-Corp; Angela instructs her not to contact her anymore.
Elsewhere, Agent Dom DiPierro (Grace Gummer) is recovering from the shootout that concluded last week’s episode. After her boss Santiago (Omar Metwally) tries to convince her that they are in over their heads, she heads home to rest. In a scene that we agree features an outstanding performance by Gummer, Dom has a conversation with her Amazon Echo, nicknamed “Alexa,” that reveals Dom’s emotional fragility and loneliness. I jokingly refer to the scene as a darker, more depressed take on Spike Jonze’s Oscar-winning film “Her.”
The episode culminates with the return of Tyrell Wellick, who unexpectedly meets Elliot (Rami Malek) in a taxi cab and reveals that Elliot will be pleased when he sees “Stage Two.” But Elliot, still unsure of his own mental state, can’t tell if the Wellick in front of him is real or just another hallucination.
When discussing what questions still need answering in the show’s final installment the four of us agree that the whereabouts of Tyrell must be accounted for; Wallstrom has been credited in every episode this season but had appeared only in brief flashbacks and fantasy sequences. We also debate the merits of the season’s first half, during which Elliot’s whereabouts were a mystery until it was revealed he was in jail for hacking his therapist’s boyfriend; Montgomery argues that it could taint viewers’ opinion of the show as a whole despite the success of its most recent episodes. Buchanan agrees, arguing that the first half of the season felt more like a gimmick. Chow adds, “I feel that Elliot hasn’t been properly serviced this season,” and argues that he would like Elliot to be more in control of the plot rather than exist on the periphery.