Monday, December 11, 2017

MR. ROBOT: Season 3: Some Pre-finale Big Picture Theories…

Hello, Friend.

Gonna ramble on some Big Ideas that might explain what’s going on in the WhiteRosey sectors of MR. ROBOT…


The universe is a simulation, or at least effectively functions and exists as one, and WhiteRose is able to hack it. Currently only to a degree. She can copy and paste elements that exist and have existed in the universe. She can edit them, but only in certain ways. She currently has limited write permissions.

We've seen her do this when she copied a young Angela from the past and pasted her into the present to interview the adult Angela.

We also saw *someone* do this when Trenton's brother (who actually left town with his parents) was copied and pasted onto the beach next to Elliot. Each of these instances was edited, tailored to accomplish a certain task. This is the kind of "undo" that WhiteRose has promised and tantalized Irving and Angela with.

However, he cannot yet deliver what Angela wishes for—the return of her mother and Elliot's father, hale and hearty. Editing them to the degree that they would be cured and healthy is currently beyond WhiteRose's power. She needs to proceed with her Congo project in order to gain that ability. WhiteRose's ultimate goal is to be able to edit the universe so that she can make lasting and stable changes, for herself, and to herself. In order to achieve that, anyone and everyone may be expendable, but also revivable.


WhiteRose already possesses time travel capability, and she's used it countless times, each time tweaking events to get closer to an ultimate desired result. She doesn't believe in coincidence because when it occurs around her, she's had a hand in manufacturing it. In the events and timeline we see unfolding on the show, Elliot Alderson is the right person with the right connections and experiences in the right place at the right time for what WhiteRose needs to be done. I do not think that WhiteRose's time travel allows for a person to get into a DeLorean in 2015 and step out of it in 1985. Instead, what she can do is send herself (and maybe others) information. Maybe it's "psychic," a la PRINCE OF DARKNESS, but I prefer to think it's electronic, a la STEIN'S GATE. An email with an attached document sent from her personal server in 2015 to her AOL address in 1990.

How would this help WhiteRose? I'm gonna run thru a couple of *hypothetical* loops to demonstrate…

Let's say that in a previous iteration of the universe, WhiteRose identified Edward Alderson, Elliot's dad, as a useful tool in a takedown of ECorp and the global economy. He was poisoned by ECorp and had the coding/hacking chops to damage them. WhiteRose could have used her resources to encourage him to make the attempt. It fails. Edward can only do so much damage to ECorp in the 90s before he dies. However, his son grows up to be an accomplished hacker at a time when ECorp is committed to digital records and vulnerable to a catastrophic attack. But for whatever reason, this Elliot doesn't have the drive to pursue such a course. At the same time WhiteRose, Zhang, and the Dark Army try many paths to sink the economy and gain leverage for acquiring the Congo, but none pan out.

When WhiteRose believes she's exhausted her options in that iteration, she assembles an information payload—added to the one she received from her previous older self—for her younger self. ZIPs it, attaches it to her Chronomail, and hits [SEND]. The next iteration begins. This time, WhiteRose tweaks details at the Washington Township plant so that Edward dies earlier (perhaps by stepping up the timeline of her pet project there?). In the wake of his father's death, this Elliot makes toppling ECorp his lifelong goal. He grows up and assemble the fsociety team, but he's too reckless, and he gets himself caught or killed. His aggression needs to be tempered. He needs to be introduced to some already available channels instead of brute forcing his way every step of the way. Again, WhiteRose has many irons in the fire, but none prove successful. She assembles a new payload, updated with this iteration's edits and outcomes, and clicks [SEND] again.

The next iteration begins. This time, WhiteRose engineers events so that Elliot has a sister and a best friend who share his interests and motivation. Darlene is another hacker, naturally more reckless than Elliot, enough so that Elliot has to step up his responsible side. Angela is another victim of ECorp, whose shared orbit guides Elliot to a position beside her at AllSafe. This Elliot wants to take down ECorp, has the skills and access, and is levelheaded enough to accomplish it. However, when he does the math and comes up with an unavoidable body count, he cannot go through the hack, at least not 100%. WhiteRose takes notes and launches the next payload into the next iteration.

This time, WhiteRose somehow gets Edward to reveal his illness to Elliot in secret, leading to the first time Edward pushes his son out the window, and so, the introduction of Mr. Robot. Everything goes nearly perfectly, but the hack is thwarted. There's one piece missing, and WhiteRose thinks she's located the raw material from which to carve it. She adds her new experiences and insights to the next payload and begins the next iteration.

This is the one we're watching. The one in which Elliot breaks his father's trust, angering him enough to push him out a second story window, creating Mr. Robot. The one in which Mr. Robot recruits fsociety and plans the hack. The one in which Angela's influence gets Elliot to the place he needs to be—Allsafe—to enable Mr. Robot's hack. The one in which they both meet Tyrell Wellick, the final (perhaps) piece of the puzzle, and low and behold, a bloodless 5/9—well, y'know, not counting the aftermath—and leverage enough for WhiteRose/Zhang to acquire the Congo!

If this is the furthest that WhiteRose has gotten, then she is in truly uncharted territory. We've seen how she has numerous strategies in play (influencing the media to pump up a certain pompous buffoon's Q rating), and I think it's in that same vein that she turns to Grant for his advice in light of Elliot's proposal of Stage 3, something that would not have come up in any previous iteration of events. WhiteRose has the coltan mines of the Congo now. Maybe Elliot *has* outlived his usefulness. No doubt she's already made notes for her younger self to take steps to quell the unrest in the Congo so that her pet project can be transported there hassle-free in the next iteration.

And what is her pet project? Her ultimate goal? Y'know, assuming she's already got this method of time travel? What could top that?

What about the ability to run these iterations as simulations, allowing her to not have to *live* each iteration? Not that she feels it, but intellectually, for a hacker of time, that's got to be aggravating, right? Of course, each of those simulations is an iteration, too, so a subjective, paradoxical advance.

How about hacking reality? Basically, the ability I discuss in my first theory. I feel like WhiteRose's ultimate goal involves taming cosmic forces to perhaps selfishly right a personal (cosmic) wrong. Did Zhang ever have a sister? Do Zhang and WhiteRose each wish to live as two separate beings? Or is WhiteRose her true self, and Zhang a mask? Would WhiteRose wish to recode herself as a biological woman? Or somehow able to transform at will? Perhaps her pet project, once complete, can realize these wishes.

This would also make her promise to Angela a deliverable one, as I describe above.


I would *love* for WhiteRose to have or be working toward, classic pulpy scifi time travel, but I just don't see it working out. Assuming that's the goal, and that she achieves it, she can't use time travel to go back and change or fix anything without endangering the machinations she engineered to enable it in the first place. Which logically means she can only go forward in time, and aside from hoverboards and gambling, where's the fun in that, right?

Huh. Something (zany) just occurred to me. Maybe she wants to go *all the way* forward, to the Singularity and/or Omega Point. Sorry, "and/or" because I forget if they're mutually exclusive. I’m fuzzy on the details of each. In any case, once then-there, assuming there isn't some fascist super villain who's somehow able to dominate the state, WhiteRose can live or relive any life she would want…or something. Right?

Yeah, like I said, that *just* occurred to me.

Multiverse-hopping also sounds like fun, but I'm not seeing the upside to that, either.

Maybe WhiteRose has been contacted by an alternate version of herself and given instructions on how to bridge and cross 'verses, but to what end? A Council of Cross-Time WhiteRoses who manipulate markets and technology across timelines? I'd *love* that, but it seems incongruous with the fabric and feel of the MR. ROBOT we've watched for three seasons.

Maybe WhiteRose speaks of these things in earnest with certain parties in order to manipulate them, as dramatically seen with Angela. Irving has mentioned that he doesn't find the possibility of some kind of undo (Angela and Irving never name it) completely unbelievable, and I love the idea that such a promise is part of Irving's motivation, but just as likely is the notion that Irving is toeing the line with Angela, saying what he's supposed to say to keep her motivated.

But you *know* Irving wants WhiteRose to deliver a reality in which BEACH TOWEL is a huge best seller and optioned for an HBO series, right? =)

Some last bits of crazy talk…

  • Washington Township has been the home of WhiteRose’s project for a very long time. If time travel is in play, maybe it’s only available for the lifetime of the functioning core of that project. How the heck is she having that “packed up” and moved to the Congo? Or is she having a second/newer facility assembled there?
  • What properties of the DRC region and/or coltan would be so valuable to the presumably exotic science involved in WhiteRose’s project? EM radiation? Magnetism? Radioactivity?
  • The Mandela Effect is visible everywhere in the show—and I *love* it—but maybe that's just the reality that this show lives in.
  • I'd like for there to be an opposing force to WhiteRose, someone we haven't met yet, who's playing the game at her level, or maybe even one level above, unknown to WhiteRose. Maybe it's a future Elliot. Or someone we've been told is dead. Or an alternate WhiteRose. Maybe Elliot's landlord (is that Guillermo del Toro or G. G. Martin? =) is the Yoda to WhiteRose's Emperor?
  • I think that someone or organization has repurposed Flipper's chip and is using him to track or spy or spoof Elliot and Mr. Robot. Krista's dick ex returning Flipper to Elliot as a curse on him was just a bit too dramatic for me to be legitimate.
  • Does WhiteRose know that Elliot shares his body with Mr. Robot? Does she *recognize* this dual persona existence because she does the same with Minister Zhang? Were WhiteRose's parents exposed to the same poison cocktail that killed Elliot and Angela's parents, but under different circumstances?

I know I've got more crazy talk in my rusty innards, but it's not coming to me just now. Hopefully events and revelations in this week's episode will rule some of it out. Just as likely, tho, it will inspire more. =)

Be seeing you.

Keep on keepin' on~

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