The 'Mr. Robot' Series Finale Leaves Viewers With More Questions Than Answers

Sara Belcher - Author

Dec. 23 2019, Updated 12:38 p.m. ET

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The series finale of Mr. Robot answered the question viewers have been wondering for most of the series: who are you?

Well... sort of.

The finale gave one final plot twist that probably left viewers with more unanswered questions than they had at the beginning of the season — one final mic drop to leave the series sitting with viewers for some time. If you watched the two-part finale and are still reeling from that final turn of events, here's the series finale, explained.

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Need the Mr. Robot finale explained? The Elliot we know isn't the real Elliot.

In what's probably the hardest twist of the knife, the Elliot that we've been following for four seasons isn't the real Elliot, but actually an alternate personality that Elliot has created to protect himself from trauma. This alternate personality is dubbed "The Mastermind."

Elliot has struggled with dissociative identity disorder, anxiety, and clinical depression, and the ending reveals that he's created multiple personalities to help him deal with his trauma.

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But the mastermind personality has taken over, suppressing the real Elliot and creating this utopian world for him to live in inside his own head. That's the alternate reality we see in part one of the season finale. In his utopian world, his parents didn't abuse him, Angela is alive (and they're getting married), and Darlene doesn't exist.

This is revealed when his therapist (posing as Krista) tells him, “You’re not Elliot, you’re the mastermind and it’s now time for you to give the control over to the host, the real Elliot."

She continues to explain to Elliot his diagnosis.

"For a while, we thought we had identified all of Elliot's personalities, but there's another one who came about not too long ago," she said about the mastermind persona. "I know why you did it. Your heart was in the right place. You wanted to shelter him, which is why you changed his past… but it was his future you really wanted to protect. That's why you went through such great lengths to take out all of the evil that surrounded him in the real world."

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But when Elliot wakes up in a hospital bed with Darlene by his side, the mastermind is still in control. But as he learns to let go, and give Elliot control of himself again, Darlene explains everything that happened, including what's real and what's not. 

In short: the Elliot we've known all along isn't the real Elliot, meaning we've been following an unreliable narrator for four seasons — and it's up to you to determine what of the series events you believe.

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Creator Sam Esmail isn't making himself available to answer questions.

If that ending wasn't enough to frustrate you, Sam is making himself unavailable to answer press questions about the series, meaning you'll never know how he intended the series to end. It's the mic drop of all mic drops.

Knowing that Elliot was really the mastermind all along brings into question the validity of most of the events of the series — but the truth is really up to you to decide, based on how you want to interpret the show now.

However, we have to believe what Darlene tells Elliot while he's in the hospital. Her explanation of what really happened — what was real and what was not, is all we have to ground any sort of truth in the show. But even after she confirms that most of the events of the series did happen, there's still so much up in the air.

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