Alas, Mr. Robot's latest episode reminded its viewers of the show's cardinal rule: Don't take Elliot's word on anything. The still-unknown "Stage 2" of the Dark Army's plan, it turns out, was Elliot's brainchild — the hacker collective is just helping him execute it.
The show still hasn't revealed what exactly Stage 2 could be, but one redditor's fan theory suggests the mystery lies within Elliot's father, the personification of his Mr. Robot alter-ego, and the cancer that killed him. The theory, posted Thursday by redditor Zchmhssn89, says Elliot's plan ostensibly reflects the stages of cancer, which would do more than take down Evil Corp: It would fundamentally destroy modern society.
According to the theory, what we saw in season one was the first stage of the plan, when Elliot and fsociety complete the hack on Evil Corp, referred to in the show as 5/9.
"Yes, it's terrible that it's happening, but with chemo in the form of the right injection of federal cash — i.e. a bailout — E-corp and, in turn, the economy that supports the crooked system that they are trying to dismantle would recover," the user wrote.
In stage 2, then, the metaphorical cancer spreads, and society begins to crumble outside of Evil Corp. This is seen in the latest episode in the show, when there are repeated brownouts in the city. Per the theory, the plan would come to a head around the mysterious Washington Township nuclear power plant that the Dark Army's leader, Whiterose, wants control of.
"With Angela going to the nuclear regulatory committee about it, maybe there will be some serious fallout from that eventual disaster, inhibiting the government from providing an adequate response to what is happening to the infrastructure and, by diverting its attention, preventing it from stopping the cancer before it moves into stage 3 with the beginning of season three," Zchmhssn89 added.
In Stage 3, the user posited, the deterioration of physical infrastructure, such as power grids, trash removal and traffic control, will leave society in dire straights. Beyond Evil Corp, citizens would lose faith in the government, which at this point would be so overburdened citizens would be "unable to even get their rations for food."
To support some of these points, Mr. Robot's second season has plainly hinted that trash is already piling up on the streets, credit cards no longer work and citizens don't have access to their savings.
Ultimately, stage 4 would represent the death of modern society. A new world order helmed by Elliot or the Dark Army would effectively take its place.
"This new system will be seen as a salvation, a bright light after the dark shroud of the death of society," the user wrote.
Again, this is speculation; Mr. Robot has historically proven to be a difficult show to nail down, even though the fan base has predicted some of its plot twists. But given that one of its greatest influences is Fight Club — where Tyler Durden's ultimate goal in creating the titular club was to destroy modern society with "Project Mayhem" — the endgame is not a stretch.
After all, when a show conceals that its protagonist was living inside a prison for half a season — a year after revealing that Mr. Robot was a figment of Elliot's imagination — viewers have the right to question everything.