Mr. Robot ended its second season in much the same way that it played the entirety of Season 2. That is cryptically and patiently, almost to the point where one had to wonder... "That's it?" Yes, Season 2 hasn't been without its problems, one of the biggest being that it fell into its own trappings of secrecy and confusion rather than rewarding the masses with easy-to-follow plots and gratifying answers to lingering questions.
As I've said all season long, that's not a terrible thing, particularly when that differentiates Mr. Robot from the homogeny of so much of what's on television. And when you add in the spectacular acting performances (congrats, Rami!), the gorgeous cinematography and all the other details that go into making Mr. Robot such a unique experience, what would normally sink a show turns into a gripe because so much of it is so good.
With that out of the way, it's hard to say that "Python, Pt. 2" was the finale many of us were looking for. There wasn't much closure to the season, and there wasn't a distinct end point for us to rest on until Mr. Robot returns next summer. In fact, it really felt like there could have been one more episode to go in this season to wrap up the many things dangling in the air. Creator Sam Esmail said that Mr. Robot was originally a feature film screenplay, and if that's the case, the Season 2 finale would have landed somewhere right in the middle of the second act.
We did get several answers to questions that we all had, like what happened to Trenton (Sunita Mani) and Mobley (Azhar Khan) (they're working in a hacker's hell at Fry's!), what happened to Cisco (his head exploded all over Darlene) and the mystery behind Tyrell's (Martin Wallstrom) phone calls (it was Scott Knowles being revenge pervy!). We may have even gotten the answer to what Stage 2 was, which was a new malware hack that would blow up the hard copies of records Evil Corp needed to rebuild their database and put their boot back on the throat of the working people (of course the hack would likely also kill a bunch of people, too).
The problem here was that these were just surface-level answers telling us the "what" instead of the "how" or "why," and those answers were shoved aside with more questions. Okay, so Trenton and Mobley are down south, but what did Trenton find that could undo everything? Tyrell let Elliot in on their plan, but what has Tyrell been doing this whole time and how has he stayed so hidden? Angela (Portia Doubleday) is now working with Tyrell, but what does she really know and what did Whiterose (B.D. Wong) tell her in their meeting that made her change her tune so much?
That last bit is critical to what's really going on in Mr. Robot, to telling us what this extra layer of the show is. Because if you think it's just about hacking and taking down CEOs, you're wrong. Well, probably. We've suspected something more is bubbling underneath the surface, like how The Matrix became about so much more than an office worker who said, "Whoa," and clues continually point toward some next-level conspiracy involving advanced technology and secret research. Whiterose mentions the next step for humanity and hacking time, and Philip Price (Michael Cristofer) talks about becoming the most powerful man in the world. How they will get there are concepts that we likely can't fathom yet, and Mr. Robot is doing its darndest to withhold information we can use to figure it out.
I get that. Once the secret is out, it can spoil the show. But does anyone want to go much longer without learning what it is? I'm scared the third season will continue this trend. Esmail recently said he envisions the show going four or five seasons, but at this point, I think leaning towards four seasons would do the story better service. I think Esmail has always had a plan in place, but it was a three-season plan, not a five-season one.
Trust me, this criticism comes from a place of love as Mr. Robot remains one of my favorite shows on TV and is one of the few series that's appointment television. And some moments were extraordinary, such as Darlene (Carly Chaikin) discovering the FBI was on to them the whole time, Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) flickering in and out and the burns on Burn Notice and other USA shows. I would also have loved to see the "Tyrell isn't real" theorists go from self-satisfied to crestfallen when Elliot challenged a gun-toting Tyrell.
But I can't help but linger on the feeling that this season felt interrupted rather than came to a proper close. Those discovering Mr. Robot years from now will have the benefit of a continuous binge, but for us watching in real time, it's going to be a long summer.