The show: Mr. Robot
Mr. Robot constantly deceives viewers along with its reality-deprived protagonist Elliot Alderson. The noir series about a hacker in a modern-day dystopia stutter-steps past all expectations, but its biggest one dawns slowly and magnificently outside the show itself.
The moment: Mr. Robot is officially becoming an ARG
The presence of a particle accelerator hints that reality may be as pliable as Elliot's tenuous grip on it. Is he in a simulacrum, or is the show bending towards a parallel universe? Either option would be mind-blowing, but so far, so sci-fi.
What gives depth to the question is the revelation that the show itself has started acting like an alternate reality game (ARGs thus far have mostly been video games, not TV shows). QR codes show up within the episodes, and internet whirlpool Reddit has discovered some viral marketing subreddits like r/REALMysterySpot and r/inside_e_corp, where seeds planted two years ago have hinted at what’s to come now. Oh, and let’s not forget the show’s fictional ECoin cryptocurrency has now debuted in reality.
So are we watching a TV show about a guy fighting a corporation who’s edging towards some sort of alternate reality? Or are we the audience now playing an alternate reality game with a corporation? Mr. Robot is traversing the membranes between real life and fiction to make us question what’s real alongside Elliot.
Predicted jaw-dropper next season:
Elliot plays a version of The Sims featuring a character just like you -- yes, you, reading this.