Mr. Robot fan theories that could be total game-changers

The award-winning USA Network psychological thriller Mr. Robot has fans putting on their tin foil hats in an effort to decrypt the show's Matrix-like code. What's really going on? The paranoid schizophrenia experienced by Rami Malek's character, Elliot Alderson, is felt tenfold by the audience. There are hundreds of crazy theories flying around the internet—according to some viewers, Elliot is the second coming of Jesus Christ!—but after hours upon days upon weeks of review, here are the top fan theories that could prove to be total game-changers. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.

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The Tommy Westphall Universe theory

Decider and Grantland have both suggested that everything happening in the series is in Elliot's mind, almost like a lucid dream. Elliot is creating his own story, movie, or TV show featuring subtle elements from, references, and nods to his favorite movies or TV shows, like Back To The Future 2, American Psycho, and Fight Club. Such a premise would be a twist on the Tommy Westphall universe hypothesis, which makes the claim that not only does the NBC medical drama St. Elsewhere take place within autistic boy Tommy Wespthall's mind, but so do numerous other television series which are directly and indirectly connected through crossovers and spinoffs. St. Elsewhere writer Tom Fontana was quoted as saying, "Someone did the math once… and something like 90 percent of all [American] television took place in Tommy Westphall's mind." You can view the ending below…

Elliot is Senior Vice President of Technology at Evil Corp, Tyrell Wellick

As far-fetched as it may seem on the surface, this might be the most popular, most discussed, and most polarizing theory among fans. Those in favor of the idea cite that Elliot and Tyrell are never acknowledged as separate individuals by other people present, similar to how Mr. Robot—the character played by Christian Slater—was never recognized in public. There are a number of parallels between Tyrell and Elliot, causing some fans to combine the two names into "Tyrelliot." Is Tyrell Elliot's money-grubbing, power-hungry alter ego? Is Elliot Tyrell's former self, his "old habit," whom Tyrell is trying to extinguish in his attempt to become the top one percent of the one percent? Perhaps, but there are numerous scenes that indicate otherwise.

The Doctor Who theory: Whiterose is a Time Lord

In the initial meeting between Elliot and Whiterose, the transgender woman and head of the Chinese hacker group the Dark Army, Whiterose says to Elliot, "You hack people, I hack time." Fans have taken that one line to mean the world. They've assigned Whiterose mutant-like superhero abilities allowing her to control time—but only to a certain extent. Some believe that loose handle on the clock is why Whiterose must be smart with how she manages her minutes. If she were to go over an allotted span, it would cause major waves in the space-time continuum. Such a revelation led viewers to suspect that Tyrell Wellick is Elliot's father while Darlene is the baby that a teenaged Joanna Wellick gave up for adoption.

The Americans theory: Tyrell and Joanna Wellick are secret agents

Proponents of this concept feel a very Americans vibe from Tyrell and Joanna Wellick, in that their businesslike relationship is one forged not of love, but for country or agency. In The Americans, viewers follow the exploits of two Russians raised by the KGB from childhood with the sole purpose of moving to America and blending in while actually remaining vital spies in the Russians' Cold War intelligence game. Supporters of this plot note the couple's frequent and unusually fervent allusions to a grand power scheme and "family." Others point to their Scandinavian origin—without any sort of backstory explaining their roots—as a major red flag.

Whiterose is Elliot

When Elliot finally found out that Mr. Robot was his deceased father, Whiterose appeared inside the Faraday cage, which protects equipment from electrostatic and electromagnetic influences. It was assumed that Whiterose or another Dark Army member torched Blank's Disk Recovery, but Elliot has a habit of burning disc drives. When Elliot entered Blank's, the employee who lead him to the Faraday cage didn't give Elliot any instruction, possibly because Elliot was the guy (or transgender woman) who gives the orders (Whiterose). After Whiterose disappears at Blank's, Elliot appears to be "infected" by Whiterose's obsessive timekeeping.

The Identity theory: Elliot has multiple daemons/demons

In the world of computers, there's a certain kind of program called a daemon, which runs as a background process, rather than being under the direct control of a user. Now, with that jargon out of the way, remember that movie Identity  from 2003 starring Jon Cusack? In it, a bunch of strangers arrive in one place, only to be mysteriously murdered, one at a time. Putting those two ideas together has led many fans to believe that Elliot has a bunch of daemons or inner demons that "run" or act without his control, specifically the members of fsociety. His hacker crew is just his physical manifestation of his feelings. It's a clever take on the multiple personality disorder angle that logically follows the tenets of compartmentalization and repressive, dissociative mental states.

Elliot is a human honeypot who's been reprogrammed like a robot

In the computer world, a honeypot is a security mechanism that lures in attackers with seemingly valuable and vulnerable data just so the system host can catch the offender. Likewise, fans believe either the Dark Army, Evil Corp, or some other entity programmed Elliot to do their bidding after he was arrested for hacking in an effort to catch a bigger hacker and punish them. This thesis also affirms the Dark Army or Evil Corp are secretly backed by a government agency to exert control over the population.

Evil Corp's CEO Phillip Price actually wanted the collapse to happen

In this theory, Price knows that Tyrell and Elliot are both trying to hack into E Corp thanks to Whiterose, and works with Terry Colby as the fall guy for the attack in the first episode. Colby's in Price's inner circle of trust, but Tyrell isn't, and wants the next big hack to happen so he can emerge from the dust and ashes as an "I told you so" hero and move up the corporate ladder or start his own company. Elliot wants to redistribute wealth and eliminate debt because he's seen what that power and leverage can do to families. Price wants to prevent Tyrell from assuming power and has hired Angela as a bargaining chip to manipulate Elliot. This way of thinking falls in line with the Elliot-as-honeypot theory.

Whiterose is the owner of Evil Corp and has orchestrated the collapse to profit

The last time we see Evil Corp CEO Phillip Price talking with Whiterose in season one, Whiterose speaks about a lyre that the Roman Emperor Nero played as he watched Rome burn. As the story goes, Nero purposely burned down Rome so he could rebuild. Connecting the dots, we can see that Whiterose has a huge stake in Evil Corp and allowed Evil Corp to collapse, so he can build something even bigger. It's possible Whiterose represents an entity that controls both Evil Corp and the Dark Army, and is using Elliot as bait since Elliot's word can't be trusted due to his psychological profile.