Mr. Robot: Three Possible Futures

What’s Happening At the Washington Township Facility

USA Network

Lots of speculation and fighting over what ‘whiterose’ is planning at the Washington Township Facility (WTF). I think there are three possibilities of what could possibly happen so lets sort through them just for fun.

The Back To The Future Scenario

USA Network

Believers in the Back to the Future theories (and there are several, ranging from ‘whiterose’ trying to open up parallel universes to her actually trying to actually go back — or forward — in time) believe that ‘whiterose’ is being literal and that she has constructed a particle accelerator, is gathering Coltan from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and will use both to take the series into uncharted territory.

Sam Esmail, after episode 3.0 threw some water on these theories seeming to suggest that it would cheapen the series to inject time-travel (or, by the same logic, parallel universes) into the series time-line at such a late date.

Sam, however, is incredible careful with his words and often slippery on purpose and it is possible that what he was inferring was that they already injected time-travel (or, by the same logic, parallel universes) into the series prior to this season and that they really will not be technically changing a thing.

In other words, it is very possible, that many of the surreal and seemingly “out-of-time” sequences throughout seasons 1,2, and 3 were examples of parallel or alternate time-lines, past events being visited by people in the show’s current time-line (2015), or future events being visited by people in from the show’s current time-line.

Strengths: 1) Explicitly hinted at throughout the entire series including in several back to the future references. 2) Allows some unpredictability if previous sequences prove we have already been Back to the Future.

Weaknesses: 1) Too A + B = C (linear and predictable) for Mr. Robot. For goodness sakes, he already showed us the particle accelerator 2) Makes the show about everything except dealing with the society we are actually faced with (I deeply believe that the show is about the ethics of capitalism, people, and revolutions).

The “So Near and Yet So Far” Scenario

USA Network

In this scenario, hinted at perhaps to directly after episode 3.0 by Sam Esmail, ‘whiterose’ tries to implement his time travel or parallel universes plan and is thwarted at the last minute by some combination of forces working against him (either in concert or independently) likely including Phillip Price, Angela Moss, Elliot Alderson, Mr. Robot, Dom DiPierro, Tyrell Wellick, and/or Darlene Alderson.

In other words, we get to see everything almost go SciFi and then get taken back down by the remaining members of the original wacky band of friends with the help of a few revenge-minded co-conspirators.

Strengths: Not Many, I guess it allows the principles to team up and work together towards a common goal

Weaknesses: Way too conventional, and who wants to see an unpredictable and interesting show become nothing but another superhero team-up?

The False (Flag) Future Scenario

Okay, maybe I am a bit too tied to this scenario

Most of you are hopefully already familiar with my Dr. Strangelove theory. If not, catch up here:

Over the last several weeks a few things suggested to me that my theory could still be active:

  1. When Price interrupted Minister Zhang at Mar O Lago, Zhang referred to the massive business value that comes from global conflict
  2. The Dark Army has put a whole lot of effort into setting up Iran for a frame job in an area of the world where any additional United States antagonism could set the entire world on fire (it would not take much additional provocation to spark a United States attack on Iran).
  3. Cobalt, found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is helpful in the building of dirty bombs and salted bombs (known, in a chain arrangement, as the Doomsday Device in Dr. Strangelove).
  4. There is every reason to believe that ‘whiterose’ was using promises of time travel and/or parallel universes to manipulate and destroy Angela as a means of getting revenge on Price (who might be her Father).
  5. Just like there have been references to Back to the Future there have been references to Dr. Strangelove.
  6. It is also possible that ‘whiterose’ could be planning to set off the world war and then open a Sci-Fi escape hatch (best of both worlds scenario).

Strengths: Keeps ‘whiterose’ unpredictable and the narrative counter-linear. Pays off several leads instead of just one.

Weaknesses: Batshit crazy (even for me).

Obviously, all bets are off with all of this stuff and San is playing his cards much closer to the vest than usual. If I were a betting man I have a perverse feeling that Time-Travel/Parallel Universes is possible if only because Sam (kind of) inferred it wouldn’t happen (but left a crafty loophole).

I guess I would put the conventional narrative where all of the disparate non-Dark Army players unite or work together apart to take down ‘whiterose’ the least likely.

I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see a hybrid of Back to the Future and Dr. Strangelove.

Regardless, the last three episodes are going to be a trip (and I seem to remember references in the pre-season stuff to everyone attending a flashback screening of Back to the Future?).

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Josh is a blogger and freelance writer. Please consider following him on Twitter, throwing a tip into his hat on Patreon, or adding his blog OnPirateSatellite to your feeds.

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Josh H

Author, Criminal Justice Reform Advocate, Co-Host of the "Decarceration Nation" Podcast, Television critic and Movie Reviewer, OnPirateSatellite.com