For the next 12 weeks, the Burn-In will be recapping the final season of “Mr. Robot.” In addition, the site will feature weekly prediction pieces that will speculate how future episodes of the series will play out. The weekly “Mr. Robot” forecasts will also look at how the hacks depicted on the show have been used in real life.
**This article contains spoilers for “Mr. Robot” season 4**
Things Will Get Worse for Elliot
Although Elliot has been through a staggering amount of suffering in “Mr. Robot’s” first three years, season 4 has already treated the hacker worse. In “401 Unauthorized,” Whiterose had Elliot’s love interest murdered, his sister fell into drug addiction, and Philip Price’s goons forced him to overdose. Admittedly, the henchman promptly resurrected the hacker, but his situation is still awful.
Unfortunately, Elliot’s life probably isn’t going to get better anytime soon. While Price will likely enlist him to get revenge on Whiterose, he won’t treat him well while doing so. Though not as much of a monster as his adversary, the E Corp CEO is nevertheless a profoundly unscrupulous man. If the former Allsafe Cybersecurity staffer doesn’t comply with the executive’s demands, more torture will likely be in the offering.
Furthermore, after reaching an accord with Mr. Robot last season, Elliot is once again bickering with his alter ego. As such, his other personality may start acting without his knowledge or approval once again.
Also, Elliot is so focused on taking down Whiterose and the Dark Army, he probably doesn’t even know his old nemesis Fernando Vera is out of prison. As such, the ultra-prepared hacker might be subjected to a brutal assault he won’t see coming.
Price Quits E Corp as Part of a Larger Strategy
One of the more tantalizing sequences in the season 4 teaser is the bit where Price mentions he’s stepped down as E Corp’s CEO. While the veteran executive seemed crushed by Angela, his abrupt exit is likely a misdirect. Having been professionally and personally brutalized by Whiterose, his only remaining goal in life is getting revenge. Taking himself out of the public eye is a smart way to initiate a larger scheme.
By leaving E Corp, Price will relieve himself of the responsibilities of running a massive global corporation. That way, he can dedicate himself fully to setting up his plot. Moreover, his stepping down will complicate Whiterose’s timetable by forcing her to housebreak to a new chief executive. Indeed, the trailer shows China’s Minister of State Security yelling at someone for breaking the rules, and that person is likely Price.
Besides, just because Philip is leaving E Corp doesn’t mean he’s giving up control of the company. Last season, Price told Tyrell Wellick in no uncertain terms that he owned the younger executive. As the press has made Wellick into a hero for his role in reversing the 5/9 hack, he’ll likely be elevated to replace the outgoing CEO.
Accordingly, Price could use his newfound autonomy and corporate pawn to attack Whiterose. However, there’s a good chance the stylish supervillain will anticipate her enemies move and take him off the board before he can enact his strategy. After all, this is the show’s final season, and the premiere made it clear no one is safe.
The Dead (Probably) Won’t Rise
Since “401 Unauthorized” aired, “Mr. Robot” fans have posited that Angela Moss will return after her fateful encounter with two Dark Army assassins. The AV Club suggested the organization faked her death. Conversely, Bustle suggested Whiterose’s mysterious machine will be used to bring her back via time travel or alternate universe incursion.
However, unlike Elliot, Angela probably won’t be resurrected. For one thing, her exit from the series makes a lot of sense narratively. Throughout the show’s first three seasons, she lost her job, her lover, and her grip on reality. By finally killing her off, the show just brought her tragic story to its natural endpoint.
Also, creator Sam Esmail used her murder as the catalyst for “Mr. Robot’s” entire fourth season. In dying, she motivated Elliot to declare total war on Whiterose, Darlene to fall into addiction, and Phillip to rebel against the Dark Army. Undoing her demise would undo much of the season’s dramatic tension for the sake of a cheap twist.
Also, other than not being filmed in close-up, nothing about her killing suggested it was staged. Moreover, “401 Unauthorized” even featured a brief shot of her dead body when Elliot mentioned being sent a photo of his corpse. Because actress Portia Doubleday was an essential part of the show, her character might reappear in a flashback. But Angela is as dead as Mark Zuckerberg’s credibility.
Phishing for Secrets
Since its debut in 2015, “Mr. Robot” has received acclaim for its atypically accurate depiction of hacking. For instance, “401 Unauthorized” featured an accurate representation of an increasingly common type of cyber-attack, a phishing scheme used to introduce malware into a secure network.
In the episode, Elliot blackmails corrupt lawyer Freddie Lomax into downloading his firm’s email inbox onto a thumb drive. As part of the hack, Mr. Robot has the attorney click on a link which uploads the malicious program to his office network. Lomax said that his company’s IT department would promptly detect the malware and take action. As noted by Vice, the programmer anticipated that and used the attack to conceal Lomax’s mass file download.
While Elliot used the attack as a distraction, real-world hackers used a compromised email to carry out a devastating ransomware attack earlier this year. In May, rogue operators tricked a Riviera Beach, Florida police officer into opening a malware-laden email attachment. Ultimately, the city decided to pay $600,000 in Bitcoin to recover their encrypted files.
It’s worth noting the municipality could’ve saved itself over half-million dollars had they trained their staff to practice better cyber hygiene. Under no circumstances should anyone ever open an email attachment from an unknown sender on a work or home computer. Doing so is akin to leaving your car door open with your keys on the front seat.
“Mr. Robot” airs on the USA Network at 10 pm ET. Come back to The Burn-In for coverage of the show’s final season.