If you haven’t been watching this show but you have been considering it, then I wouldn’t continue reading because I am going to talk about something that may, or may not, be a spoiler for the show. I’ve always been a fan of high-brow shows and I do think this show constitutes as high-brow at a technical level. Granted not all of the “hacks” the main character performs are technically feasible (i.e. a brute force password script cannot complete within 2 minutes using only two pieces of personal minutia- ex: favorite baseball team and pets name). It is a pretty decent show if you can get past the far left-wing agenda subtext that comes off a little too radical to be believable. Be that as it may, I am going to get into one of the biggest theories of the show and why I think it would continue to make the show awesome.
*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***
The big theory is that Christian Slater’s character is Eliot’s Tyler Durden brought on by the stress of his cyber security job and social anxiety, or perhaps its brought on by his morphine use. I was originally going to talk about how this was a theory I had since the second episode, but I later found out that this has been a theory posted out on the Internet since the first episode aired online (prior to its USA premiere). Initially I was disappointed that this theory was already so prolific but now I am disappointed to learn that if its true people will be upset. Fight Club, to my knowledge, was the only movie to successfully allude the audience that Edward Norton’s character was schizophrenic and there isn’t an episodic series or movie that has successfully done it.
In fact, I thought at one point I read that some studio was thinking about doing a Fight Club television series. Perhaps Mr. Robot is the evolution of those discussions. Granted I thought Fight Club was a great movie but I don’t know if the end really allowed for it to become a television series. Christian Slater is desperately trying to find a successful sitcom so if he is a figment of Eliot’s psychosis and the producers establish that in the show, does that still warrant a need for Christian Slater’s character? Sometimes tv series just use a big name to generate viewers and then hope that the remaining cast will eventually be able to carry the show without said A-lister (not that Christian Slater is much of an A-list actor anymore, but you get my point).
If it were me and I was producing of the show, I wouldn’t say either way for the entire series. I would keep the audience guessing with every episode. Let the Internet build the hype for you and let them argue about if he’s real or not. In every couple of episodes throw a couple of hints in either direction, creating just enough ambiguity to keep your viewers coming back each week. I would try to keep the suspense going until the final episode and only then reveal the truth. Just as long as the truth makes sense …
… we don’t want to find out he was in purgatory the whole time! 🙂