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The final moments of "h4ndshake.sme" make a significant reveal, yet it's the carefully drawn characters and their allegorical relations that continue to be the most important constant in the show.
Last night's Mr. Robot, "eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme," dropped the logic bomb we felt coming for a while now, the revelation that Elliot's "perfectly constructed loop" was only perfectly constructed because it was orchestrated behind the steel bars.
If you were one of the many viewers who thought that Elliot was not really hiding out at his mother's home then congratulations, you win a bitcoin.
What all of this tells us is that though Mr. Robot is strong when it comes the science of hacking, it is weak (and even dry) when it comes to the social science of economics.
DAMMIT THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD.
So much of the rest of season two has been such an impressive slow-burn that I'm inclined to cut the predictability of the prison twist more slack than it probably deserves.
A number of things were made a bit clearer... we got answers to a few questions that we've been wondering since the show returned for season two.
The twist was revealed perfectly - once again proving that it's the execution, not the twist itself, which keeps us all tuned in to this series.
"Handshake" was another perfectly fine episode of Mr. Robot. But is "perfectly fine" what we expect from a show that dazzled us so greatly in Season 1?
It's tricky to decipher whose side [Angela's] really on at this point, but her position makes her the series MVP right now - and that's thanks in no small part to Portia Doubleday's slow-burning performance.
We're glad Sam Esmail didn't waste the whole season waiting to reveal the reality about Elliot's circumstances. There's a lot more going on here that needs to be told.
With characters this well drawn and carefully framed, "Mr. Robot" can flip the world on its head as often as it likes. The really important things remain constant.
The twist decidedly works within the best thematic thread in the series: Elliot's struggle to connect with himself and with society.