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Explore Mr. Robot season_2.0 Easter eggs. Warning: Contains Spoilers.
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Video: When Elliot asks if the Dark Army can speed up their timetable, they quote a Chinese proverb followed by the line, "Spirit away. Spirit away. The ninth of May." This has a similar ring to the traditional Guy Fawkes Night rhyme: "Remember, remember the fifth of November."
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Elliot calls out Hot Carla, the local pyro, a.k.a. his “personal totem.” She burns a copy of “Waiting for Godot,” an absurdist play that involves a LOT of waiting, in a red wagon (not exactly a wheelbarrow but still).
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Video: While Susan Jacobs is out for a jog, she unknowingly runs by Darlene. Given that “Madame Executioner’s” smart watch isn’t working when she arrives home, it seems that Darlene hacked the watch as Susan passed to gain access to her smart house system.
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Video: Leon, Elliot’s new “Seinfeld”-obsessed buddy, is played by first-time actor but well-known rap artist, Joey Bada$$. Sam Esmail explained he was a huge fan of Joey and wanted to cast him since the first season. When Sam finally got to meet Joey during season 2 casting, he called Joey’s charisma “undeniable.”
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Video: When Darlene sets up the E Corp bank hack, her screen says, “Hack the Gibson,” which is not only a reference to the 1995 cult film, “Hackers,” but also a real line in the Social-Engineer Toolkit (SET) she’s using, which is real, free coding software.
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Video: Why would Darlene and fsociety demand the seemingly random number of $5.9 Million from E Corp as a ransom for their banking system? Hello: 5/9, the ninth of May.
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Video: Phillip refers to these three people as "Janet, Mary, Jack”. In real life, there happen to be three very high-ranking financial officials in the United States whose names correspond to those: Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Jack Lew, Secretary of the Treasury; and Mary Jo White, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Video: One scene, three eggs: all over the bodega there’s yet more Bitcoin and E-Coin signage promoting currency alternatives for the post 5/9 world; Joanna Wellick appears on the cover of InTouch magazine, and the guy behind Dom telling her to hurry up is Gregg Housh, who is considered to be one of the founders of Anonymous.
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Video: Craig Robinson, known best for his comedic roles, including in “The Office,” plays the enigmatic and morally questionable Ray. The first time we meet him, however, he’s an amiable presence helping to keep the peace on the basketball court.
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Video: When Derek is looking for something to watch on TV, he chooses “Vanderpump Rules,” which Joanna has no interest in watching—deliberate irony since Stephanie Corneliussen is friends with stars Katie Maloney and Kristen Doute in real life.
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Video: The same man in black who is employed by Tyrell in season one is now working as Joanna’s bodyguard-slash-henchman. While he jokingly tells Elliot to call him “Mr. X” in the first season, we later learn his name is Sutherland.
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Video: [Warning: Clip contains major plot spoiler.]When Brock approaches Gideon in the bar, he (incorrectly) accuses Gideon of being a "crisis actor," a term which has been appropriated by conspiracy theorists to refer to someone hired by the government to strike a falsely sympathetic figure and help deceive the public as part of a cover-up.
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Early hints that Elliot was actually in prison and not his mother’s house: the striped wallpaper, the bars on the living room windows, and perhaps even the red rotary phone in the hall.
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Video: The bald man with the porkpie hat and glasses who ominously appears in the diner in episode 201 returns to snatch Elliot off the street. It’s probably no coincidence that he resembles “Breaking Bad’s” Walter White, who eventually took on the alias, “Heisenberg.”
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Video: Here comes that red wheelbarrow (from the cover of Elliot’s notebook) along with a red-handled shovel…and a red plastic funnel, all perfect for mixing and force-feeding someone concrete.
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While this scene is certainly a nod to The Shining, this clip was actually inspired by musician Jenny Lewis' album cover for “Rabbit Fur Coat.”
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Dom’s chat room sex partner’s alias is “happyhardonhenry806,” which could possibly be a sly reference to the 1990 movie, “Pump Up the Volume,” in which Christian Slater’s character broadcasted over his pirate radio station as “Happy Harry Hard-on” to rail against the status quo of his small town.
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Video: If you look closely at the screen of uTorrentPlus, a real pirating software, you’ll see the 2014 feature that Sam Esmail wrote and directed, “Comet,” starring Emmy Rossum and Justin Long.
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Video: The title of Elliot and Darlene’s favorite (fake) film from growing up, "The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeousie," sounds an awful lot like one of Sam Esmail’s (real) favorite flicks, "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie," directed and co-written by Luis Buñuel in 1972. The fake movie points to the origin of the fsociety mask among other references to come.
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Video: The chess game between Elliot and Ray follows the exact same moves as a famous game from 1851, called “The Immortal Game.” For the first two of three games Elliot plays “against” Mr. Robot, the show used a fast-paced game that could be played in real-time and would bring them quickly (in 10 moves) towards a stalemate, the sequence for which the actors needed to memorize.
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The man whose door Elliot knocks on during his dream sequence is Bill Harper, the cat-loving sales associate from Steel Mountain (S1, E5) who Elliot verbally eviscerated in his efforts to gain higher-level access to the facility. (And speaking of Bill’s cat, the picture we saw of it in season_1.0 was Photoshopped in with actor Tom Riis Farrell.) In Elliot’s idealized scenario, he apologizes to Bill, who forgives him with a tearful hug.
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Video: It has been surmised that the very specific spelling of Operation Berenstain, the FBI’s top secret surveillance program, points to it being a reference to the series of children’s’ books, cartoons and video games, “The Berenstain Bears,” as well as to the much debated Berenstein/Berenstain parallel universe theory which posits that the common misremembering -- or false memory -- of the spelling of the bears’ surname (‘Berenstein’ or ‘Berenstain’) points to the existence of an alternate history and parallel universe.
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Video: The IRC channel Elliot and Darlene have joined is th3g3ntl3man, which refers to the killer in The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie, “The Gentleman;” Elliot’s handle is Sam Sepiol, the alias he used to get a tour of Steel Mountain and a mashup of show creator Sam Esmail and Alex Sepiol, the show development executive at USA Network; Darlene’s handle is D0loresH4ze, which may be a reference to Dolores Haze in Nabokov’s Lolita.
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Video: The breaking news report playing on the TV in the bar where Angela meets Ollie could be a clue as to where we are in the timeline following the 5/9 Hack: Same sex marriage was legalized in the United states on June 26, 2015.
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Video: The extra scene after the closing credits of the season one finale revealed Whiterose’s connection to Phillip Price, as well as her male persona, followed by another interaction between them in S2 E4. Here we finally learn her public identity: as Zhi Zhang, China’s Minister of State Security.
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Video: When Whiterose as Zhang catches Dom looking for the bathroom, the lines that Whiterose quotes are from a famous scene from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” when Macbeth finds out Lady Macbeth is dead in Act V, Scene 5.
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Video: The username that Ray’s former IT guy, RT, types into the admin page for Midland City, “_dread_pirate_roberts,” seems to be both a nod to the masked character of the same name in “The Princess Bride” as well as the pseudonym for the once anonymous person responsible for Silk Road, a real illegal online drug site.
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When Elliot’s ‘90s family sitcom spoof aired, Sam Esmail tweeted that one of his favorite guest stars made an appearance in this episode: Paul Fusco, as the voice (and creator) of ALF, the iconic late ‘80s/early ‘90s sitcom (puppet) extraterrestrial.
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Video: Edward opens the trunk during the Alderson family road trip/fever dream to reveal Tyrell bound and gagged, much to Elliot’s horror. Remember who else wound up in a trunk? Shayla in season one.
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Video: What’s the deal behind the death stares Angela gives Cisco? Angela has recognized Cisco as the guy who seemed to be randomly hawking his hip-hop/rap CDs in front of AllSafe to Ollie and her in season one and is likely shocked to learn of his association with Darlene.
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Video: What’s in the syringe that Xun plunges into Cisco’s finger before breaking it off? Nothing. According to Kor Adana, “Mr. Robot’s” technology producer and writer, Xun was just torturing Cisco.
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Darlene uses a tubular-shaped device called a Cantenna to pick up Evil Corp’s Wi-Fi network across the street to get access to the FBI. In the early days of Wi-Fi, people used a Pringles can as a homemade directional waveguide antenna.
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Video: Joanna shows Derek her divorce summons from Tyrell as a birthday present. But how can she divorce her husband if he’s MIA? In New York (and other states), there’s a process for divorcing a missing spouse that requires “diligent search”...........
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Video: Kevin, the leader of the seemingly white supremacist group who threatens and then attempts to attack Elliot, first appeared in Elliot’s church group early in the season: Kevin confessed about beating the crap out of an Indian man because of his accent right before Elliot went off on his anti-religion rant.
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Video: When Leon says, “Just remember, bro, you’re sitting under the sword of Damocles,” he seems to be referring to the ancient parable by Roman philosopher Cicero about how Dionysius II, a tyrannical king, allowed court sycophant Damocles to enjoy the spoils of being a king that he so vocally envied, but hung a sword by a horsehair over Damocles’ head to show him that with great power comes great danger.
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Video: The large piece of blue abstract art on the wall of Phillip’s office (the sea? the skyline at night?) acts an interesting visual counterpoint to the wall art of a peaceful (seaside?) landscape that frames Elliot and Krista once where they’re REALLY having their session is revealed at the end of the episode.
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Video: Moments before the big reveal, we’re given just one last hint of where Elliot actually turns out to be: the vertical blinds behind Elliot in Krista’s office—like much of the décor in Elliot’s mother’s house—resemble the bars of a jail cell.
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The place where Trenton and Mobley meet (cutely) for the first time during the flashback to November 2014 is Ron’s Coffee—not the exact same coffee shop at which Elliot would later take down the owner, Rohit Mehta, for running a kiddie porn site, but a location that is likely part of “Ron’s” mini-empire of coffee shops Elliot referenced.
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Video: fsociety’s hack of the FBI’s conference call was inspired by a real hack in 2012 by Anonymous, which intercepted a calendar entry containing info for a conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard about catching and prosecuting the group’s members. Anonymous recorded the discussion and released it to the public.
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Video: When Darlene tells Susan they’ve uncovered her secret affair with a judge, she references the Petraeus e-mail scandal. The former CIA director reportedly communicated with Paula Broadwell by sharing an e-mail account with her so that they could write to each other within the same saved draft, a trick Petraeus allegedly picked up from terrorists.
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Video: Angela’s ditched Fourth of July date/bar hookup Andre, who is (unbeknownst to her) an undercover FBI agent. His character is named after Andre McGregor, a member of the show’s consulting team who formerly worked at the FBI. It’s the second time a character has been based on a consultant: James Plouffe, the E Corp EVP who offed himself on TV in the season one finale, was named after another technical consultant.
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Video: Now we know what happened to Flipper: The dog is returned to Lenny Shannon (aka Michael) after he gets Elliot arrested for hacking his life and “stealing” his dog from him. Flipper Fun Facts: Flipper’s real name is Dusty. She’s a female, a rescue dog, and a stage star: she recently played Toto in a production of “The Wizard of Oz” in St. Louis.
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Video: As Leon introduces Elliot to life at the prison, the book they see Hot Carla is burning is Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” a seminal novel from the 1960s that’s narrated by a paranoid-schizophrenic character in a mental hospital who has delusions that could be construed as similar to Elliot’s.
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Video: By now we know all about Whiterose’s obsession with time, rigorous scheduling and punctuality. But in Mrs. Alderson’s world, it seems to be the opposite. The broken clock in her nursing home room—and her unresponsiveness to Elliot when he visits—make it appear that time is standing still for her.
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Video: To learn Chinese for his role as Whiterose, B.D. Wong worked with a voice coach, whom he found through his friend Grant Chang (who plays Whiterose’s assistant). His coach also taught B.D. the necessary Beijing accent to be as authentic to the character as possible.
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Video: Why does Joanna call Elliot “Ollie” when he approaches her SUV, which is parked outside his apartment? At the end of season one, Elliot introduced himself to her as Ollie (at the time, his co-worker’s name) when he was outside of her townhouse looking for Tyrell.
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Video: Do you think Sutherland has clued into the irony of playing “Watch Dogs,” a game that lets you take on the persona of a brilliant hacker with a criminal past out to avenge a violent family tragedy, while Elliot shops for phone hacking tools? Guessing not. But we have.
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Video: When Elliot gets an anonymous call on the phone Joanna had given him to hack, note the photos hanging on the wall of Micro Center: portraits of Albert Einstein and Bill Gates. Apparently, photos of them -- as well as other notable computer science figures -- can be found in all Micro Center stores including this one, which is located in Westbury, Long Island.
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Video: In season one, Angela tells Elliot that when she was a kid, she always wanted to be Claudia Kincaid from the classic childhood tale, “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” hence her Wickr screen name. The book also inspired her idea for them to run away from home, though they wound up at the wrong museum.
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Video: When Dom finds Cisco’s library work ID, she learns his real name for the first time: Francis Shaw. What are the chances that the name of Darlene’s failed loved interest is a shout out to the actress, Frankie Shaw, who played Elliot’s ill-fated love interest, Shayla?
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Video: The clock on the Don’t Walk signal on the traffic light seems to be counting down the time it takes for the motorcycle to drive up to the corner and then for the shooter to dismount and approach the restaurant window before opening fire.
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Video: Mini-Angela uses a Commodore 64, which debuted in 1982 and went on to become the best selling machine in history. Kor Adana, the show’s tech producer, posits that Whiterose used this machine for his test because not only does it reference a specific technological moment in time, but also because it’s not networked and can only read/write data to a 5 1/4” floppy disk.
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Video: Two of the games loaded onto Whiterose’s C64 are real -- “Maniac Mansion,” which was Lucasfilm Games’ first self-published product, and “Pitfall” from Activision -- but “Land of Ecodelia” is not. Or, at least, not yet. When The Hollywood Reporter asked Kor Adana if there’s a backstory and set of rules for Angela’s game in the writers room, Kor said he wasn’t at liberty to speak about it.
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Video: The presence of Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita” on the desk doesn’t seem to be random: Angela’s response to the “where’s the key?” question is a direct quote from the novel. And don’t forget Darlene’s IRC screen name and her love of heart shaped glasses…
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Video: More Red Wheelbarrow: the takeout menu that contains the complicated code that Mr. Robot cracks to find Tyrell is from Red Wheelbarrow BBQ. The title of Elliot’s journal, the red wagon in which Hot Carla burned a book in Elliot’s alt reality and the red wheelbarrow that the men in black used to mix the cement…it’s the motif that keeps on giving.
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Video: When the finale opens, we revisit that gloomy day in Coney Island from season_1.0 when Tyrell met with Mr. Robot sans Elliot, but this time it’s Elliot sitting in the back seat instead of Mr. Robot, saying the exact same words but channeling his alter-ego’s confident, self-assured persona.
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Video: Tyrell tearfully quotes the famous William Carlos Williams poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow,” explaining to Elliot it was the only English his father knew. It’s Tyrell’s reminder of what he never wants to become. Maybe it now serves the same purpose for Elliot…which could be why we’ve seen a reference to it in almost every episode this season.
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Once more before we go: the hazmat-suited guy operating the freight elevator of Tyrell’s hideout is chowing down on a sandwich from—where else?—Red Wheelbarrow BBQ. Maybe he found an extra takeout menu lying around. Also, this is the same hazmat-suited guy as from 108 in the faraday cage—seconds before Elliot meets Whiterose.
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Video: When Santiago plays bad cop with Darlene during the interrogation, he makes a few references to the network on which “Mr. Robot” airs. USA Network, whose old tagline was “Characters Welcome,” used to air “Burn Notice,” a series, among others at the time, which was considered to be “blue sky” in terms of its sensibility, look and tone.
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Note the double-headed snake over the Aztec-inspired temple-like façade of Fry’s Electronics (a real store with a similar storefront in Phoenix!) where Mobley and Trenton are hiding out as Frederick and Tanya in the bonus scene after the credits. Could this be a visual reference to Dom’s Patient Predator/Python Approach…?