'Mr Robot' Season 4 Episode 4 features Tyrell Wellick's surreal death, for the show to end with magic realism would be a cop-out
If the show is embracing magic realism and if fantasy elements are used to explain Whiterose's Mac Guffin project, fans will be disappointed. Till now, the show was rooted in reality, presenting real-life issues around privacy and concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the "One Percent"
Let's take a moment here. This final season seems to have a few nasty surprises up its sleeve, mostly packed into the last few minutes of each episode. Angela Moss (Portia Doubleday) died. Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) almost died. And now, in episode 4 of season 4, poor, Elliot-worshipping Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström) dies, just days away from being crowned the CEO of E-Corp.
The script gave him a heroic death. For the man who was introduced in season 1 as someone who paid a homeless guy 300 dollars just so he could beat him to a bloody pulp while wearing creepy latex gloves, it feels unjustified.
No end-of-life confessions, wandering through a snow-covered forest, can change that. So even though we get that poor little rich kid Tyrell has always felt like an outsider, wearing his 6,000-dollar suit to impress people, and that he envies Elliot's "don't care" attitude, Tyrell doesn't earn our sympathy.
Even Elliot says "No", loud and clear, when Tyrell in a fit of pique asks if he ever "liked him". All shows have filler episodes. But rarely do we have one devote so much time on a character that has felt dispensable for some time.
After taking a bullet to protect Elliot and safeguarding the secrets that would expose their plan to take down Whiterose and her Dark Army, Tyrell chooses to "go for a walk" and die a lone-wolf death. And this is when it gets weird.
In his end moments, Tyrell finds a mysterious blue light he is entranced by while the weird death howl, that he and Elliot had heard all night, grows louder. Is he hallucinating? Did Window's Blue Screen of Death make an unexpected cameo? Is it the show's late bid for some magic realism after being an essentially grounded show over three seasons, despite Elliot's strange mental calisthenics?
If the show is embracing magic realism and if fantasy elements are used to explain Whiterose's Mac Guffin project, fans will be disappointed. Till now, the show has been rooted in reality, presenting real-life issues around privacy and concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the "One Percent."
Despite the surrealism involved in depicting Elliot's mental states and his alter egos, it has never messed with any other fantastical elements. So to lean into fantasy to tie up the loose ends so late in the game will be a cop-out to rival the finale of 'Lost'.
Barring the mysterious blue light, this episode was, for all practical purposes, a long and fond farewell to Tyrell Wellick. A majority of its runtime is devoted to Tyrell hashing it out with Elliot and a mostly silent Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) about their strange journey as frenemies.
He gets a lot more screen time and pathos than the shock killing of Angela who deserved better as a character. However, his interactions with Elliot also reveal our favorite hacker's state of mind.
In the beginning, when they think the Dark Army agent has got away and has exposed their secrets, his only thought is to warn Darlene so she can escape. But, while he is lost in the woods and Tyrell is talking about disappearing, Elliot ponders about what happens to the object that is "not found" after you have stopped searching for it and whether the "404 not found" error meant the object did not want to be found.
Is Elliot hinting at how he will disappear once he has taken down Whiterose and become more myth than man? Darlene Alderson (Carly Chaikin) and Dominique "Dom" DiPierro (Grace Gummer) both get their filler storylines as well, revealing their fragile mental states.
Dom, after the saddest masturbation session using Darlene's confession tapes, falls asleep only to have a vivid nightmare about being drowned by a Dark Army enforcer who tells her to stop trying to control anything in her life.
Darlene, in her quest to find her brother, who she thinks is dead, ends up giving a ride to a drunk Santa who leaves her with a valuable piece of advice -- There's no point trying to rescue someone else if you aren't taking care of yourself first. Words to live by as the end of the season approaches.
'Mr. Robot' airs on the USA Network Sundays at 10/9c.