|“||Exciting time in the world right now. Exciting time.||”|
— Mr. Robot
Mr. Robot is the co-founder and leader of the hacker group fsociety, a revolutionary prophet who plans to bring down the world's largest conglomerate. Though he is intelligent and charismatic, Mr. Robot is also emotionally manipulative, and can be quick to violence. This has prompted comparisons to the behavior of militant cult leaders.
It eventually becomes clear that Mr. Robot is a construct within Elliot Alderson's mind. (“eps1.8_m1rr0r1ng.qt”) His persona is an idealized representation of Elliot's deceased father, Edward; where Edward was unwilling or unable to take action, Mr. Robot was created to inspire war against E Corp and incite historical change. In some situations, Mr. Robot will take control and act through Elliot, thus explaining his direct interactions with other people.
Mr. Robot is played by Christian Slater.
Elliot first sees Mr. Robot in the New York City subway. Not long afterwards, Elliot spots Mr. Robot outside Pierre Loti's, asking two men in black for spare change.
That night, fsociety launches a massive DDoS attack against E Corp, disabling their servers and inserting a rootkit. Travelling to Dulles with Gideon Goddard, Elliot isolates a single infected server, CS30. On it, he discovers a .dat file with a pattern of IP addresses, and a simple message: "LEAVE ME HERE". Rather than deleting the folder, Elliot rewrites its permissions and creates a backdoor, passing Mr. Robot's first test.
Mr. Robot approaches Elliot on the subway. He wins Elliot over by telling a story about his father, a career criminal who believed that theft was simply part of the way the world worked. As long as he stole without being caught, he was fulfilling his contract with society. Initially impressed by this ethos, Mr. Robot lost faith when his father was jailed, eventually realizing that he and everyone else were prisoners of capitalism.
Mr. Robot leads Elliot to a run-down property in Coney Island. He explains that the Fun Society arcade is the base of operations for a major project, and that participants meet face-to-face to avoid the inherent flaws in digital security.
In their next meeting, Mr. Robot explains fsociety's agenda: they intend take down E Corp by destroying their financial data, erasing consumer debt and devastating the capitalist economy. He asks Elliot to take the first step towards global revolution by altering the .dat file recovered from server CS30, replacing fsociety's IP address with that of E Corp CTO Terry Colby. Though Elliot has misgivings, he follows through on the plan, and Terry Colby is arrested. (“eps1.0_hellofriend.mov”)
Following Colby's indictment, Mr. Robot releases a video declaring fsociety's "non-negotiable" terms: release their leader, Terry Colby, dismiss all outstanding consumer debt, dissolve E Corp, and donate all its assets to charity. fsociety begins dumping large amounts of confidential E Corp data.
Returning to the arcade, Elliot is properly introduced to the other members of fsociety. When Darlene asks about the plan of attack against Steel Mountain, Mr. Robot intervenes, instructing everyone to check and recheck their backdoors into E Corp's network. He takes Elliot aside and explains the next step in the plan: hacking Comet Electric's fuel pipeline controls. The ensuing explosion would destroy the hardened Steel Mountain data facility, along with E Corp's backups; at the same time, the Dark Army would launch an attack against a redundant facility in Beijing. Elliot refuses to follow through with this plan, unwilling to jeopardize workers and civilians in the blast area. Angry, Mr. Robot argues that life is a series of binary decisions, ones and zeroes. If Elliot walks away from fsociety, he becomes a zero, just like Edward Alderson. Elliot storms out of the arcade, telling Darlene that he won't kill anyone.
Elliot devises an alternate plan of attack and returns to Coney Island, meeting Mr. Robot on the boardwalk. Before going back to the arcade, Mr. Robot asks Elliot to tell him about his father. After some hesitation, Elliot explains the circumstances of Edward's diagnosis, the promise he failed to keep, and how Edward pushed him out of a second-story window. At first, Mr. Robot appears sympathetic; then he accuses Elliot of betraying his father's trust, and shoves him off the boardwalk railing. (“eps1.1_ones-and-zer0es.mpeg”)
Discharged from hospital, Elliot returns home to find Darlene, who says that they need to talk. Elliot tells her to leave and goes to work. To his surprise, Mr. Robot is waiting at the Allsafe Cybersecurity office, reiterating Darlene's need for a meeting. When Mr. Robot threatens to make a scene, Elliot agrees to talk at the bar next door. Mr. Robot apologizes for his outburst, explaining that "people who get violent get that way because they can't communicate." He urges Elliot to forgive Edward for his actions, and declares that without Elliot, fsociety cannot proceed at all.
Elliot tries to put fsociety behind him and live a "bug-free life", but the next round of data dumps reveals Terry Colby's involvement in the toxic waste leak that caused Edward Alderson's leukemia. He attributes this data dump to Mr. Robot. (“eps1.2_d3bug.mkv”)
Elliot rejoins fsociety and explains his strategy for a climate control attack on Steel Mountain. Mr. Robot remains notably quiet throughout the planning stages, saying that Elliot has everything well in hand.
En route to Albany, Elliot succumbs to the physical symptoms of morphine withdrawal, and the group stops at a hotel. Skeptical of their chances of success and unwilling to wait around, Romero and Mobley leave Elliot behind.
In need of a fix, Elliot implores Mr. Robot to take him to a drug den. Instead of morphine, Elliot is given heroin, and is apparently shot by an unidentified gunman. As Elliot loses consciousness, Mr. Robot appears on television, urging viewers to wake from their slumber, "retrieving lost, damaged or stolen memory". As the camera pulls back, Elliot finds himself side-by-side with Mr. Robot, who hands him a key and a mask.
When Elliot wakes from his withdrawal-induced hallucination, Mr. Robot is still with him, promising that "we're in this to the end." Romero and Mobley return soon after, and the team continues on their way. (“eps1.3_da3m0ns.mp4”)
In Jungian terms, Mr. Robot is Elliot's shadow side. Unlike Elliot himself, he is not afraid to voice his opinion of the society in which they live, to the point of influencing Elliot to start a global revolution, often without the latter's knowledge or consent.
Through Mr Robot's actions in season 2 and 3 it is implied that he cares only about Elliot and is stated by Elliot and Mr. Robot indirectly that he wants Elliot's attention and if he doesn't get it he throws temper tantrums by acting out in violence towards Elliot, he especially hates when he is ignored.
He has stated to Elliot that Elliot is his God and he is his prophet, probably in the sense Elliot brought him into reality and Mr. Robot gives him advice.
In “eps1.9_zer0-day.avi” it is implied by Mr. Robot that Elliot created him to get rid of his loneliness and in “eps3.4_runtime-error.r00” it is implied by Elliot another reason he needs Mr. Robot is to give him advice to get out of a situation when he doesn't know how to get out alone.
- In several episodes, Mr. Robot can be seen reading Leo Tolstoy's Resurrection, and throughout Season 2, a copy is visible in Elliot's room. The story follows a nobleman named Nekhlyudov who gradually comes to recognize the social, economic and legal oppression heaped upon the lower classes.
- In the season 3 final Elliot tells Mr. Robot that he missed him and the reason why they were not able to talk the whole time wasn't because he refused to talk, but it was because he was afraid of Mr. Robot and because he couldn't get over that fear he ended up locking Mr. Robot away unable to talk to him. Only when he got over his fear could they talk.