Goodbye, friend. Hello, Elliot

December 26, 2019 at 5:16 PM | Posted in Mental Health, TV | Leave a comment
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SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers of the series finale of Mr. Robot. Read at your own risk!

Will the real Elliot please stand up?

And damn right he did. That is, not until the penultimate episode of Mr. Robot’s series finale. After four incredible seasons, Mr. Robot aired its two-part series finale this week.

In the first part, Elliot Alderson seemed to have jumped back in time where he found himself in Washington Township – the place where he grew up in. Only this time, the town seemed oddly different. The town looked like it didn’t change at all after 20 years since Elliot was there. But some things did change: his father, a.k.a Mr. Robot, was alive and healthy. His mother was suddenly nice and loving towards him. And his sister Darlene didn’t exist. He’s supposedly an only child.

Then things got stranger as he soon found out that there was another Elliot Alderson living in the town who looked exactly like him – and engaged to be married to Angela who turned out to be alive. Who’s the other Elliot?

This second Elliot seemed to have the perfect life: he had a loving family, he’s the CEO of Allsafe – the anti-virus company that our Elliot (Elliot 1) used to work for, he had lots of friends and loved socializing with them, he’s engaged to be married to Angela who loved him, and his apartment looked so neat. It was all too perfect.

It felt disconcerting watching those scenes. I didn’t like this version of Elliot. And then came the shocker: Elliot 1 hacked Elliot 2’s computer and found sketches of himself, Darlene, and the rest of the original members of fsociety. What’s going on here? Who was this other Elliot? At first, I thought this was some kind of story similar to the movie Stranger Than Fiction where a fictional character written by a famous author became real. But then more was revealed in the second part of the show’s series finale.

In the second part, we finally found out that the Elliot Alderson we’ve seen in all seasons of the show and whom we have come to love wasn’t in fact real. Elliot 1 was apparently another persona that the real Elliot (Elliot 2) created in his mind. Elliot 2, who’s suffering from disassociative identity disorder (DID), had created five personas in his mind to cope with the harsh realities of his life: he created Mr. Robot, a different version of his mother, a much younger version of himself, Elliot 1 – the mastermind who was a hacker vigilante, and us viewers who he called “friend.” But Elliot 1 became such a dominant persona that it eventually took control of the real Elliot completely.

Honestly, I was kind of disappointed that Elliot 1 wasn’t the real Elliot. He was the one character in the show who I most relate with. He was an introvert like me. He had social anxiety just as I have and he was struggling with personal demons much like I am. He was just like me. But that character turned out to be just a figment of the real Elliot’s imagination.

But I loved the part where Elliot 1 and Darlene were in the hospital and he told her that he wasn’t the real Elliot. His last voice-over was so poignant and emotional that it almost sounded like a battle cry for people not to give up, to stay true to themselves. Then we saw the real Elliot emerged in the end with Darlene saying the final words in the show: “Hello, Elliot.”  I mean, that entire part brought tears to my eyes.

Overall, the series finale was a brilliant, mind-blowing one. I didn’t see the surprises coming. Everything fell into place in the finale – well, almost. It still left a few questions unanswered for me, such as:

  • Did Tyrell really die? What happened to him in the woods?
  • What exactly was whiterose’s machine capable of? There were hints of time travel but the finale didn’t make that clear.
  • Also, a news report stated that whiterose was killed by a terrorist attack. Was that really the case or was that just a coverup?
  • What happened to Dom?
  • What happened to the real Krista? Would she eventually know about the real Elliot?

A nice touch from the finale was the inclusion of the ‘80s classic song, “Mr. Roboto” in the penultimate episode, which most fans of the show were expecting (and hoping?) to hear. The show went through all three seasons without playing the song and now in season 4 they finally did. I chuckled when I heard the song being played in the background during the first few scenes of the episode. I never liked the song but hearing the lyrics now, I thought it was so fitting not only because of its resemblance to the title of the show but also because of the message in the song.

Season 4 of Mr. Robot came out a little weak and slow at the start of the season, but it picked up pace halfway through. The fifth episode, “Method Not Allowed,” was notable for not having much dialogue in it but it spoke volumes through fast-paced action, tense situations and creative display of text. Another episode that really stood out for me was “Conflict” where we saw Darlene doxed the Deus Group and whiterose, a.k.a Minister Zhang, shaken by fsociety’s hack on Cyprus National Bank. But one of my favorite episodes from the season apart from the finale was episode 7 titled “Proxy Authentication Required.” The scene between Elliot 1, Krista, Mr. Robot and Fernando Vera was powerful and intense and all the actors in it gave an astounding performance. Rami Malek, who plays Elliot, deserves another Emmy award from this scene alone.

I also want to note that this final season didn’t follow the usual format in naming the episodes. The previous three seasons had file names as episode titles, which I thought was really clever. I kind of miss that.

But I will surely miss this show. There wasn’t anything like it that I’ve ever seen. Its production values, unique story, brilliant writing and cinematography were what made the show one of the best in recent years.

Most Memorable & Surprising TV Moments of 2016

December 30, 2016 at 10:52 AM | Posted in TV | Leave a comment
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It’s that time of the year again when most entertainment news sites round up the best and worst shows on TV this year. As a self-confessed TV addict myself, I watch a lot of shows every year. And while I don’t watch some of the most popular and well-loved shows out there (yes, I have my own unique taste), I have compiled a list of TV series I regularly watch that made an impact on my viewing experience this year. Some made it on the list for the shocking, did-not-see-that-coming twists in the story while a few were notable for their delightful surprise.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen the latest episodes of any of these shows and don’t want to be spoiled, I suggest you look away now.

  1. Mr. Robot

While I have read a few fan theories about the second season of Mr. Robot, I was still surprised to find out that Elliot Alderson was in prison all along and not living with his mother. This was the first big reveal in season 2. I always suspected that he was in a mental institution because of his rigid daily routine but surprisingly, that was not the case. After watching the “h4ndshake” episode, it now made a lot of sense.


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The second big reveal came at the end of season 2 where viewers found out that Tyrell was alive after all and not a figment of Elliot’s imagination. It was a pretty intense season 2 finale as Elliot came to learn that his alter ego Mr. Robot and Tyrell were in cahoots with the Dark Army and planning something big. I cannot wait for season 3 to find out what happens next.

  1. Penny Dreadful

I have a bone to pick when it comes to Penny Dreadful. For me, this show pulled the most shocking reveal this year. This was one of my favorite shows to date and I had high expectations of its third season. Unfortunately, the show abruptly ended its run when it revealed after the season 3 finale that the show was over – as in, it will never come back for a fourth season. It has been cancelled. My initial reaction to this revelation was utter confusion. Surely, they could not end the show like that. There was no prior announcement of the show’s cancellation. There was no warning at all. The story arc of the third season felt like there was going to be another season. And yet, they pulled the plug. And all because the show creator John Logan wanted it that way.


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There was a lot of backlash after Penny Dreadful got cancelled. Many fans were outraged and felt betrayed as I was. In fact, I wrote an article about the series finale on this site where I expressed my utter disappointment with the show. To this day, I cannot bear to rewatch old episodes of the show because I still could not shake my disbelief of its cancellation. We were blindsided big time.

  1. 12 Monkeys

The second season of 12 Monkeys also pulled some surprising twists. For the most part of season 2, viewers were curious to know the real identity of The Witness. The Witness has always been a mysterious figure that wears a mask and a dark robe. Cole, Cassie and Ramse want to kill him because he, along with the Army of the 12 Monkeys, is hell-bent in destroying time.

In the season 2 finale, it was finally revealed that The Witness was the unborn child of Cole and Cassie. Apparently, he was conceived when Cole and Cassie were stuck in 1959. After this cliffhanger, I’m really curious to see what Cole and Cassie will do about this revelation. Will they attempt to travel back in time again to prevent his conception?


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I’m also hoping that Madeleine Stowe will return as a guest character for the third season. It’s a delight to see her play another character in the show contrary to the role she played in the original movie. I also wish to see Brad Pitt make an appearance in the show in the future.

  1. Orphan Black

One of the things I liked about season 4 of Orphan Black was the fact that it finally showed the back story of the last days of Beth Childs. It was gut-wrenching to see her struggles with work and her personal life, especially her deteriorating relationship with Paul. But one of the most memorable scenes for me was in “The Scandal of Altruism” episode when Evie Cho told Cosima that Delphine was dead. Tatiana Maslany, who plays the different clones in the show, was so fantastic as Cosima in this scene. You can just see and feel the pain and devastation on her face when she found out about Delphine. She displayed such raw emotions. And I’m just glad that Tatiana finally won an Emmy award this year for her performance in the show.


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Of course, Tatiana’s performance as Krystal was also one the best this season. Her scenes with Donnie at the fertility clinic and at Sarah and Felix’s hideout in the comic book store were really hilarious. The season had the perfect balance of drama and comedy which not many shows could effectively deliver.

  1. Stranger Things

This was the breakout show of 2016. Stranger Things came out of nowhere and it became so big and popular by word of mouth. It was because of the major buzz it made and through the recommendation of a friend of mine that I decided to check out this show. And it instantly became my favorite.

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There were so many memorable scenes in season 1. But perhaps one of the many that stood out for me was when Eleven disguised herself in a pink dress and a blond wig and went along with Mike, Dustin and Lucas to their school to help them locate Will. Another memorable moment for me was when Joyce Byers hung that now-famous Christmas lights on the wall of her living room and scrawled it with big letters of the alphabet in an attempt to communicate with her missing son Will. The scene where Nancy and Jonathan set up a trap for the monster was pretty intense, too.

  1. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

The last four words spoken in the final scene was the most surprising moment in the Gilmore Girls revival. Those words sort of summed up what became of Rory Gilmore’s life after college. Her poor choices when it comes to her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and current boyfriend as well as her career were surprising for me, not to mention disappointing.

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But I think most fans including myself were also surprised at how Emily Gilmore turned out in this revival. It was indeed a delightful surprise to see the softer and vulnerable side of Emily. She became more likeable in this revival.

  1. The X-Files

The mytharc episodes in The X-Files revival were a big disappointment for me. It’s a shame really since I’ve always wanted to see the return of Mulder and Scully for a long time and I was expecting so much in the revival. But show creator Chris Carter has lost his spark when it comes to writing gripping mytharc story lines.

For me, the only memorable episode in the revival that I truly loved was “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” which was written by Darin Morgan. This was a stand-alone, monster-of-the-week episode that was littered with Easter eggs for the hardcore X-philes. The dialogues were just witty and humorous. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were great in this episode as well with their usual banter and comedic timing, which was reminiscent of the old funny episodes of the show.

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If ever there would be season 11, I hope the mytharc episodes would improve. It’s also time to introduce new villains in the show. While fans love to hate the Cigarette Smoking Man, I think it’s time for him to be killed off for good.

  1. Suits

Most of season 6 of Suits was forgettable. The show’s writers stretched the prison story arc for too long that I got bored quickly. It was also a waste of time watching guest characters got more screen time instead of the six main characters, especially Donna (read my season 6 review here).

What saved the season for me was the midseason finale where it was more about Jessica and her back story, and of course that Donna and Harvey scene at the end. It was a major surprise to see Jessica leave the firm. But fans of the show came to learn after the midseason finale that Jessica was intentionally written off because Gina Torres who played the character wanted to leave the show. Jessica’s farewell scene was a truly touching moment.

SUITS -- "P.S.L." Episode 610 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Shane Mahood/USA Network)

SUITS — “P.S.L.” Episode 610 — Pictured: (l-r) — (Photo by: Shane Mahood/USA Network)

The scene at the end between Harvey and Donna was also memorable for me. After seeing Harvey as a tough, uber confident and emotionally unavailable guy in previous seasons, it’s so good to see that he’s finally breaking down his walls. He’s finally willing to be open and show his vulnerability. And he showed that when he told Donna that he doesn’t want to be alone at that time when he realized that Jessica is gone and left the firm in his hands.

When Donna reached for his hand and he held her hand and they stood wordlessly by the window, it was a pivotal moment for Harvey and in their relationship. It’s a sign that their relationship might finally progress towards a romantic one. And it’s about time that they do.

‘Mr. Robot’ Season 2 Review: The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get

July 25, 2016 at 4:32 PM | Posted in TV | Leave a comment
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The second season of Mr. Robot opened strong with an intriguing storyline and more insights into Elliot Alderson’s character and state of mind. What I love about this show is that it pulls the viewer into a world where imagination and reality are becoming more and more blurred in each episode. It forces you to think if what Elliot is seeing is actually real or not. And this couldn’t be truer in the first two episodes of season 2.

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The first two episodes were mind-blowing and fantastic and provided viewers with a few revelations that gave more background to its characters and the story. Unfortunately, the viewers were only given a few hints about Tyrell Wallick and the origins of the fsociety name and its headquarters. So we still don’t know where Tyrell is or what exactly happened between him and Elliot during the 5/9 cyberattack.

The camera shots looked so cinematic that I felt I was watching a movie instead of a TV show. And the soundtrack of each episode was really on point. In “,” I particularly loved that part where the CTO of E Corp. was burning the pile of ransom money in the park while a Phil Collins song was playing in the background. Same with the second episode, “eps2.1_k3rnel-panic.ksd.” There was a sweeping camera shot of the city while “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” was playing in the background. It’s as if the song was about Mr. Robot himself telling Elliot that he’s not leaving his side no matter how he hates or ignores him.

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And this was what’s been happening to Elliot all this time after season 1 ended. He moved to his mother’s house and kept a very rigid schedule doing mundane activities like washing the dishes and doing laundry. He’s been off the grid for a while and looked to have sworn off hacking and tinkering with computers. Mr. Robot, on the other hand, kept hanging around Elliot trying to convince him to get back into the action and regroup with fsociety. But Elliot was determined to ignore him and chose to record his daily activities and illusions in a journal instead.

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The scene where Elliot lost it all together and started laughing all of a sudden was so creepy and disturbing. In the scene, we can see that he was in his bedroom with Mr. Robot. But we as the viewers know that Mr. Robot is just a figment of his imagination – an illusory representation of his dead father. When I was watching that scene, I thought that Elliot should already be institutionalized considering the severity of his mental illness.

And this brings us to that one theory that’s been going around regarding the first two episodes of Mr. Robot season 2. There’s this popular theory that Elliot is actually in a mental institution already and that everything that’s happening around him are just part of his hallucinations. Apparently, there are clues in the episodes that point to this, such as Elliot keeping a rigid schedule and mostly seen locked up in his tiny bedroom. Considering these clues, I’m more inclined to think that this theory could be true.

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And why not? I’m having doubts myself as to why Elliot would choose to live with his mother given his history of being abused under her care. And the routinary activities he’s been doing looked very much like he’s in an institution.

Whatever the real case is, I can’t wait to see how the rest of the second season would unfold.

Episode Highlights:

  • Gideon getting shot and killed. I was shocked and kind of disappointed about this since I liked Gideon. He was a good boss and his company was so unlike E Corp.
  • Elliot high on Adderall and super hyper about basketball, Seinfeld, washing the dishes, and his church group. I totally loved these scenes! The writing of these scenes and Rami Malek’s performance were just superb!
  • Elliot and his rant about God and organized religion during a church group meeting. That was epic!
  • Romero’s death. Who killed him? Who is after fsociety?
  • Ray befriending Elliot during basketball. Who is he and what’s his story? I really want to know.
  • Elliot glitching out and barfing all over the floor. Cinematography at its finest.
  • Angela’s dinner with Phillip Price. What does he really want with Angela? I’m still curious to know how he is connected with White Rose.


(NOTE: This article originally appeared on

Things Are Not What They Seem

April 5, 2016 at 9:30 AM | Posted in TV | Leave a comment
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“Power belongs to the people that take it.”

This could very well sum up what Elliot Alderson is trying to do. He wants to save the world from debt, corporate greed and consumerism by taking power from the “top 1% of the top 1%.” He wants to close the gap between rich and poor. He wants equal wealth distribution. He wants to protect the people he cares about from the social and economic ills of the world. And he does this one hack at a time.

And so this is the story of Elliot – the main character in the US hit TV show Mr. Robot. I’ve heard many good reviews about this show which debuted last year. I’m glad I finally watched the entire first season last week. Mr. Robot is now my instant favorite. I was hooked right from the start.

Mr. Robot poster

The writing in this show is exceptional and brilliant, and Elliot is such an interesting character. He works as a tech engineer in Allsafe Cybersecurity – a company that protects corporations from data breach and viruses. At least that’s what he does during the day. At night, he’s a hacker who hacks just about everybody – his friends, coworkers, clients, girlfriend, and even his psychiatrist.

To him, hacking these people is a way to find any dirt and wrongdoings they did and use that against them. In the case of his friends, he hacks them so he can protect them from the bad people. Elliot especially hates corporations who monopolize the market for their own greedy and selfish needs. His personal advocacy of ridding the world of greed and corruption leads him to team up with a mysterious man known only as “Mr. Robot.” This mysterious man is the leader of a secret hacker group called F Society – a group very much like the real-life Anonymous.


Although there were times when I couldn’t follow the dialogue because it’s all in techspeak, which only computer programmers and systems engineers could understand, I still enjoyed every episode immensely. What makes Mr. Robot interesting is that the story has many twists and turns, and the main characters are intriguing – from Elliot himself, to “Mr. Robot,” Tyrell and his wife Joanna, and of course the very mysterious White Rose who is the leader of another hacker group in China. Elliot is perfectly portrayed by Rami Malek. He delivers a fantastic performance in every episode. Christian Slater as “Mr. Robot” is just as good. I haven’t seen him in movies or TV for years and to see him again on screen is refreshing.

Elliot and Mr. Robot

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After watching the first season, I’m left with more questions than answers. I’m not sure what’s real and what’s not anymore. Things are not what they seem. That’s how good this show is. It makes you think. Just when you think you figured it out, it comes up with another surprise. To those looking for a new and different show to watch, Mr. Robot is a must-see.

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