BY FRAZIER THARPE & KHAL
During the opening of last week's episode of Mr. Robot ("eps3.5_kill-process.inc"), we were shown a scene where a young Angela was at a party for her mother; this was after the accident that ultimately killed her mother and Elliot's father.
Calling it a "party" sounds weird, but there was definitely a gathering, and it felt like Angela's mother was saying her last goodbyes. Angela had a conversation with Elliot's father, in which he made her understand why she should speak to her mother during this time, convincing her to be upfront with her mother during this ordeal. Angela's mother makes an interesting comment about there being "another world" out there, and that they'd "see each other again."
Seeing each other again... It's interesting that she mentioned that, as this isn't the first time we've seen the actress who played Young Angela in this episode. No, seriously.
That's right, she was the "Girl" in the first part of Mr. Robot's season 2 finale ("eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z"), something Frazier pointed out over the weekend:
That's right: this can't just be a coincidence, and if you're thinking what we're thinking, you should be shook as well. Think about it: if this actress (Mabel Tyler) was both Young Angela and the Girl who interrogated Angela in season 2, does this mean that Young Angela... interrogated herself? And if that's the case, WTF kind of Pandora's Box did we just open?
The easy answer? Angela was hallucinating during that portion of the interrogation. Feel like Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail wouldn't just drop that in to ultimately be a hallucination, though. The real question is, could this be a piece of the Time Travel theory heads have been going off on since we saw Whiterose's machine in the Mr. Robot season 3 premiere?
For what it's worth, Esmail had an intriguing answer for Entertainment Weekly when they asked about what this machine was, and if it meant the series was going into time travel. "The problem with time travel," Esmail began, after laughing, "I’ve always said in the writers’ room that whenever you introduce time travel, it’s game over. Then all of the rules go out the window. Throwing out time travel in the middle of a series run is a little late."
On the one hand, you can say that's Esmail throwing out the possibility of time travel altogether, considering that this machine is new information we're being given in season 3 of his series. And you'd be right... unless you read this discussion on the time travel theory from TV Guide, who pointed out that, during Elliot's season 1 meeting with Whiterose, she made a point to mention that while Elliot hacks people, she hacks TIME. TIME, fam. Time.
Something is clearly amiss, and Esmail has been using Angela and Portia Doubleday's increasingly unnerving performance to sow the seeds all season. From her conversation with Mr. Robot about becoming a Whiterose True Believer in the premiere to her exchange with Bobby Cannavale's Irving in episode 4—"Did Whiterose ever show you?" to which he ultimately responds with "I believe anything is possible"—Angela has clearly been awed in some way. Her insistence in the latest episode that nothing has any lasting consequence anymore, including her and Elliot's parents' deaths, heavily implies that maybe the series isn't actually capable of sci-fi leanings, but Angela believes Whiterose's Dark Army is.
Maybe the show has always been about time travel in some aspect. Maybe we're a little off the mark, and parallel universes are what's really afoot. Maybe Angela is fucking crazy. The seeds for each theory are certainly there, possibly hanging out in plain sight. Or Esmail just threw yung Mabel Tyler into this scene as an Easter egg to hack us, forcing us to ponder a path that he's not even trying to go down. Either way, admit it: you're more intrigued with this season (and this show) than ever before, aren't you?