Mr Robot Season Finale: Where’s Wellick: Or Who Is Wellick (recap and review)


Mr Robot - Season 1

It should be noted that the Mr.  Robot season one finale was delayed a week after the WBDJ shootings on air last week. As the last episode ended with Tyrell searching out Alderson to make him reveal what was going on with the Evil Corp database, this installment started with  Elliot in Tyrell’s SUV sans Tyrell, and this suddenly turned the show into “Where’s Wellick.”  As the episode progresses, however, it starts to feel a little bit more like “Who’s Wellick.”

Alderson is frantic about his lost days, what happened to Tyrell and who executed the take down plan. He awakens after a two day slumber to learn that the world has been hit by his planned hack and that debt has apparently been wiped clean for everyone.

The show opens with Krista’s former lover, and love rat Michael/Lenny, asking for her help. (Typically the douche lied to her about his health.) He wants to go after Elliot. Despite the hacker not telling his wife about his infidelity, the Ashley Madison leaks passed his indiscretions on anyway. He now wants payback and his dog. Krista refuses to help, lying to him about what Alderson has  or has not told her.

Standout Moment Number One:  After a pretty hostile reception from the rest of the fsociety team at the arcade, Elliot  goes online to verify what Darlene and the team have said is true. He sees that the Internet is full news about the hack.  Alderson goes to Evil Corp to speak with Wellick. As he walks toward the offices, E Corp’s hallways are full of  panicking employees and television mounted on the  walls are showing news of the hack. Elliot maintains his internal dialogue. All this is set to a lilting electronic version of Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Waltz No. 2.”

At the office of E Corp, Elliot learns that Tyrell is no longer employed there.  He sees the masked spokesman for fsociety on one of the mounted television’s spreading the new message that the world is free of debt and awake for the first time and that Evil Corp have been “owned.”

Angela gets shouted at by John Plouffe as he gets ready to go on air; live, to talk about the hack.

Standout Moment Number Two: The fsociety team, sans Elliot taking the incriminating computer hardware down to the local pound to burn it in the “puppy oven” aka the unwanted pet incinerator. As the group toss the gear in the incinerator and then release all the captive dogs,  the Jim Carroll Band song from the 2004 “Dawn of the Dead” remake, “People Who Died” soundtrack overlays the sequence and continues to play as Elliot knocks on Tyrell’s house door (the footage is sped up to match the quick cadence of the song) which brings us to:

Standout Moment Number Three: Elliot meeting Tyrell’s wife Joanna. We already learned that this Danish housewife and mother was the driving force behind Wellick’s quest for power and money last week.  As a “beaten” Wellick sits by his wife’s bed,  she is holding their new baby and Joanna  hisses, that he will not be with the family till he “fixes this.” Elliot meets the new mother as she returns from walking the baby. “I’m looking for Tyrell Wellick. Is he here? ” Elliot inquires nervously. “No,” answers Joanna, “He is not.” This is the last utterance from Mrs. Wellick that does not make her seem to be a predatory animal waiting to pounce on its next victim. In a word Joanna Wellick is terrifying. (After watching this interaction between Elliot and Joanna, one feels like doing a freaked out “Arthur.” “Have you met Tyrell’s wife?”)

This whole scene feels like another important reveal.  The odd and knowing looks that Joanna Wellick gives Elliot. The probing and knowing questions that she asks Alderson and…the most important part of the conversation…is in Danish. She and Tyrell speak it to one another all the time, at home and when they plan their strategies. She speaks to Elliot in her “mother tongue” and when he says he does not understand her expression changes…yet again.

In that Sam Esmail has acknowledged the show’s huge Fight Club connection, it stands to reason that Elliot Alderson is not only Mr. Robot, but he might just possibly be  Tyrell Wellick as well.  At the end of the previous episode, Tyrell shows up, just like Alderson’s dad used to. (Although it has to be acknowledged that if Elliot is Wellick why didn’t Tyrell’s former secretary recognize him. Still, there is something there…)

Standout Moment Number Three: John Plouffe provides the Evil Corp statement and answers the questions posed by the reporter on the live transmission. After admitting that the public should be worried and that his life is over, he pulls a gun from his bag, puts the barrel into his mouth and shoots his brains all over the window behind him, seconds after telling the world that the hack will be impossible to fix. This happens scant feet in front of Angela who was pushed to stop Plouffe mid interview. (The FX for this scene shocked and overwhelmed the viewer. The blood pouring from Plouffe’s nose was disturbing and unexpected.)

After the death on air, Angela sits waiting to go home she is, understandably,  in shock. Phillip Price tells Angela to go home and recover and then tells her to attend a PR event later in the day, he gives her some money to buy new shoes, as her’s have Plouffe’s blood on them. He gives her cash since  credit cards have been rendered obsolete by the hack.

Mr Robot - Season 1
Angela, I’ll try the Prada’s next…

(Later on Price reveals to Angela, by his actions, that she really has sold her soul to the devil by working for E Corp. Telling her that he is glad that Plouffe killed himself and that the world will be a better place as a result. He then goes on to present a “tribute” to the late Evil Corp exec.)

Elliot is desperate to learn what happened to Tyrell Wellick. He wants to ask his father, aka himself, but he needs to get the manifestation of his dad to show up. He forces Mr Robot to appear. What follows is a surreal “out in the open” event where we see that in Elliot’s mind he is talking to his dad. (Comic line of the episode goes to Christian Slater as Mr. Robot. After admonishing Elliot for how weird he looks at the moment, Robot says, “I recommend you get one of those bluetooth headsets. That way people will just think you’re the local douche.”)

Standout Moment Number Four: The music playing at the celebration, being held at the arcade to cover up fingerprints, is Kelis’ “Got Your Money.” Listen to the lyrics…it is self explanatory. Darlene’s final line is “We’re finally awake.”

(Add this line to Elliot/Mr Robot’s upcoming rant and this episode suddenly leaves Fight Club and enters The Matrix territory.)

Outside, in the streets, people are celebrating the elimination of debt and Elliot and his father argue. His younger self shows up along with her mother. He asks his friend (re: episode 1) what to do and Mr Robot tells him to stop. Elliot begins the mantra of “you’re not real.”  His father says, “What. You are?” He looks around at the crowd, ” Is any of this real?” He grabs Elliot’s face, “Look at it.”

“A world built on fantasy. Synthetic emotions in the form of pills, psychological warfare in the form of advertising, mind altering chemicals in the form of food, brainwashing seminars in the form of media, controlled isolated bubbles in the form of social networks. Real? You want to talk about reality? We haven’t lived in anything remotely close to it since the turn of the century.”

Certainly sounds like The Matrix, or something awfully close.

The rant continues and Robot/Elliot wraps it up with “hypnotizing us into the biggest slumber mankind has ever seen,” and his final statement in the tirade, is “We live in a kingdom of bullsh*t.”

Mr Robot - Season 1

Elliot fights himself for control…and loses. To the music of Alabama Shakes’ Sound and Color Christian Slater, as Mr. Robot, aka Elliot’s dad, aka Elliot, “sing/talks” (Think Dr. Doolittle, the Rex Harrison film) directions to Elliot on what he needs to do. Alderson follows the instructions and ends up at his apartment watching the coverage of the “carnage” he’s created. Suddenly there is an insistent knock at the apartment door. Which leads us to the end credits and:

Standout Moment Number Five:  Price is at the PR function “afterparty” (?) and talking to…Whiterose, played by B. D. Wong, gone is the wig, the female clothing, but not that beeping alarm watch. Whiterose talks about Nero watching Rome burn while the fire crackles in the fireplace and the harp plays on.

Sam Esmail has given the world sheer perfection in terms of modern entertainment. Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Martin Wallström and Stephanie Corneliussen have all stood and delivered in the tale of hacking, truth, deception and reality. USA’s Mr Robot finishes strong and leaves its fanbase eagerly anticipating season two. 

Mad props to Mac Quayle for scoring this series with some seriously stand out moments. Look up the definition of brilliant in the dictionary and you will find the definition of that word; brilliant, which Quayle is. (Apologies to Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang for that borrow.)

So what do you think? Is Tyrell yet another personality of Elliot, or is Alderson another facet of Wellick? Answers below, please and thank you.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

44 thoughts on “Mr Robot Season Finale: Where’s Wellick: Or Who Is Wellick (recap and review)”

  1. Darlene is Eliott’s sister but I won’t be surprised to learn Joanna is Tyrell’s sister. They are husband and wife but they look like brother and sister.

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  2. Given the clues it would seem the Tyrell Wellick and Elliot Alderson are different people. Wellick’s assistant doesn’t recognize Elliot, and Joanna also doesn’t appear to given that she said “Can I help you?” as though speaking to an odd stranger who is banging on her front door. Additionally, Mr. X picks up Elliot and takes him to Wellick where they meet in a room full of lawyers before the lawyers are sent away. Later Mr. X takes Wellick to beat up the homeless guy. Mr. X would be able to distinguish between the two people or the two personas if one were to toy with the idea that the two are the same person a la Fight Club. Also, in one scene the fsociety crew is genuinely surprised that Elliot knows/has met Wellick as they all know him as the interim CTO of E Corp. Really the only confusing scene is Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) and Wellick speaking in the back of the Cadillac Escalade…which we later see is Wellick’s vehicle and thus not owned by Elliot or any of his alter egos. We should seemingly assume that that meeting in the back of the car was actually between Wellick and Elliot since there is no Mr. Robot that exists outside the mind of Elliot.

    Elliot also does not appear to understand Joanna’s Danish “If you harm him, I will kill you” – though it would seem that she was testing him, or carelessly thinking out loud…and she doesn’t strike me as someone who does anything carelessly.

    My theory is that Wellick, armed with the knowledge of the hack, was able to strike a bargain with Phillip Price (E Corp CEO) and they both shorted the E Corp stock (and perhaps all banking sector stocks). Price appears so calm to Angela because he knows that he can (a) reverse the E Corp misfortunes based on his insider information and be seen as a savior for implementing a remedy once all hope is lost, and (b) has garnered an immense amount of personal wealth in the process. White Rose would have also made obscene amounts of money in shorting the stock, and by definition would have had the insider information to place those orders since he/she coordinated the simultaneous hack of the data center in Eastern China.

    The news cast mentioned that the E Corp stock was down to $18/share and falling (an all-time low). We (the audience) do not know what the per share price was before the hack, but let’s say that E Corp is priced like Google and so $18 would be a loss of like $600 per share. We do know (from the news cast) that $400B in wealth was extinguished from E Corp so the financial gains to Price, Wellick, and White Rose are certainly in the multi-billions of dollars.

    Price, Wellick, and White Rose know that Elliot is the culprit and Price knows about Angela’s connection to Elliot which is why he knows her name and gives her the time of day…and why he came out to speak with her personally before giving her money to buy shoes. Angela is potentially leverage and thus of value to Price, otherwise she wouldn’t even blip on his radar.

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    1. Well thought out mate! I will mention that different personalities in schizophrenics seldom share the same skill sets, i.e. if one could speak a foreign language another personality would not. Great break down though and thanks for sharing! Cheers.

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  3. Sorry for the late appearance to this forum, but I just binged the first season. I didn’t see a mention that when Elliot is spinning out in the finale and is seeing Mr Robot, his mom, and himself, there is no Darlene. Was mom pregnant? Is Darlene significantly younger? They looked close in age in the photos, but she was not there during the family conversation. It bugged me.

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    1. The mom was definitely pregnant in the pic/Times Square JumboTron scenes. That’s why Darlene wasn’t there – she was in utereo.

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  4. Every time Gideon speaks with Elliot, it is either one on one or away from the group. So, Elliot could be ALL of them… (wellick, gideon, darlene, Mr robot).

    Also, Wellick and Gideon have both shown a liking for men…

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  5. Well, I have a different opinion here. Tyrell is a different person altogether. He may have sought all the information from Eliott about the hacking plan not to be part of it, but for his own selfish needs.
    Considering Phillip Price’s nonchalance despite E-Corp’s downfall, probably Tyrell sold the hack or plan to Price in return for the CTO’s (or higher) position once E-Corp is back on its feet (He probably saved the encryption key before hand which apparently deleted itself after encrypting all of the E-Corp data)

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    1. While I believe that Price’s nonchalance has more to do with the elitist attitude that Esmail wanted to give his uber-rich Evil Corp folks, Tyrell could well be a separate entity to Elliot, but the two definitely do seem to have a deep connection of some sort…Thanks for sharing your thoughts matey! 🙂

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      1. I think Tyrell and Elliot are different people but know each other for a while.. Remember when Mr. Robot and Tyrell was in the car together, asking him about the plan.

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  6. I believe Wellick was a character made to contrast Elliot, representing what it would be like for a person like Elliot to join a big conglomerate. Wellick is also a techie, and according to the scene where Elliot tried to hack Wellick, is implied to be a hacker too. Both incredibly angry with the world, where Elliot releases his anger through fsociety and morphine, Wellick beats up homeless people and strangles women. On the matter that if Wellick is an illusion or not, i tend to think that he is not. Mr. Robot represents the part of Elliot that wants to save the world, but since Elliot thinks he cannot do it himself, he creates this persona in the figure of his father to help him do it. Unless deep down inside Elliot has the urge to be an Evil corp employee, i don’t think there would be a need to make a persona like Wellick.

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    1. Valid arguments mate. I’m keeping my bets, and my mind open on there being a deep personal connection between Tyrell and Elliot. These two guys really do feel like a side of the same coin. Time…and a new season will tell! Thanks for sharing matey. 🙂

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    2. I agree! Wellick is all KDE and Elliott is all Gnome. They couldn’t be any more different. It’s all about contrast.
      I love the idea that the Botox princess (Wellick’s wife) has some connection to Elliott’s life, but I don’t see what that could be. Any ideas?

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      1. I am intrigued by the idea that Elliott’s Mom is still alive (no tombstone, and Mr. Robot said to Elliott on the train station that “she’s no longer there”). My first guess is that the Mom is somehow connected to Joanna, who drives Tyrell. Joanna’s motivation is still unclear: the single-handed dedication to Tyrell’s promotion up the ECorp corporate ladder. In the episode “Mirroring”, Joanna mentioned that she gave her firstborn, a daughter, up for adoption. It is possible that it is a mirror about Elliott, that he is adopted by his parents, or that only his Mom is his biological parent . Rami Malek is half-Egyptian in ethnicity, the Mom had an accent and is played by an Indian actress who could pass for Middle-Eastern descent. With Sam Esmail himself being an Egyptian, I don’t think that Elliott is meant to be white in the series, but has a yet-to-be-revealed foreign ancestry.

        My second guess is that Tyrell is a mirror of Elliott, his direct opposite, not a dissociated personality. Tyrell has a complete life very different from Elliott’s, including another language and race. There is every indication that Tyrell knows about Elliott very well (when he introduced himself at Allsafe to Elliott, when he talked to him at Steel Mountain), that he has watched Elliott for some time. I am toying with the idea that Tyrell is a half-brother of Elliott, his Mom’s son with a Swedish national, and that it was his Mom that put Tyrell in Elliott’s life (or vice versa).

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      2. For example his name: Elliot Alderson is purely a scandinavian name : As a matter of fact sam esmail never spoke about elliot background his origins ect …i bet you Can see the connection now ….maybe wellick and alderson are 2 different people although i believe they are one same person but the origin of the alderson name + tyrell and his wife language is Just to much of a coïncidence for me

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  7. Wellick is most likely dead.
    At the end of S01E09 when Elliot is explaining fsociety’s scheme to Wellick, at the end of the scene Elliot looks at the popcorn machine. If I remember correctly there was a part of a previous plot where a handgun was hidden inside the machine, and no one took it out. Elliot most likely took the gun out and shot Wellick, since Wellick obviously could not be trusted. End of story.

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    1. I agree, to an extent. I remember thinking, and mentioning that gun in the popcorn machine in an earlier review. As it has not made an appearance, which I thought would have happened by the season finale, it may still be there…waiting… *evil laugh* Thanks for sharing matey! 🙂

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      1. The only way Elliot grabs that gun and shoots Wellick, is if Elliot is also Darlene…being she’s the one who hid the gun.

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  8. All great thoughts! Having tip-toed around many off these theories, I have suddenly become more intrigued with the matrix-esque concept that is presented in the finale. Why do all the protesters disappear when Eliott/Robot are in Time Square?

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    1. Apparently the empty Times Square scene was inspired by the Tom Cruise film Vanilla Sky, which was a remake of the Spanish film Open Your Eyes, another film that sports a theme similar to Fight Club… The whole series, I thought felt a lot like the Matrix, even that Christian Slater rant in the finale! Thanks for sharing matey!! 🙂

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  9. After the episode ended, I analyzed it for a bit before going online, which led me here. Great information on here. Some things I hadn’t noticed because I was so enthralled by the show. I actually started learning coding after a few episodes. Such is the level of influence. The writing and acting are great, and the parallels with our own “reality” are staggering. I also considered the possibility of Wellick being another one of Elliot’s personality. I don’t think Elliot could be a facet of Tyrell. His character is much more developed, and he has personal relationships and history which make his life more likely to be the main personality, than Tyrell. My biggest argument against that theory was the secretary not recognizing Elliot. I can’t possibly imagine a scenario in which she wouldn’t recognize her own boss. Also, how could Elliot work at both Allsafe and Evil Corp, when Evil Corp is a client of Allsafe? Elliot’s boss at Allsafe had interaction with Wellick as an Evil Corp exec, and also with Elliot as an Allsafe employee. I love shows like this one that make you think beyond the end credits.

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    1. Agreed. The show makes one rehash each episode repeatedly, bloody brilliant telly! Yes, the one big fly in the ointment with my theory is that the secretary did not recognize Elliot, I think I even mention it in the article…But, thinking back to all the times that the members of fsociety interacted with both Elliot and Mr. Robot at “the same time” along with harking back to Fight Club…keeps that train of thought running on the line…Thanks for sharing matey and giving up some more food for thought. Cheers!! 🙂

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  10. But what about in episode 8 when elliot looks in the mirror and sees darlene, TYRELL, Mr. Robot, himself, and even SAM ESMAIL. Obviously elliot in a meta sort of way is esmail, so could he perhaps be everyone he sees in the mirror? Is elliot dreaming? Will he go back to work at all safe and drink coffee and watch movies and make choices like the rest of us when he wakes up?

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    1. Valid point, especially considering that his mental issues have Elliot “being” several different people and in the case of multiple personalities each separate one will have talents, skills (including speaking different languages) than the others. The viewers who get hung up on Elliot’s interacting with his other “selves” and other people doing the same need to remember the mind f**kery of Fight Club…Obviously when Elliot “wakes up” he will not resume a “normal” life, his version of life via his personalities is his reality…Thanks for sharing matey…

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  11. Thanks to the person who shared the Danish translation! I was totally on the fence about Elliot being Tyrell.

    “Baby I Got Your Money” is actually an ODB song, featuring Kelis.

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      1. It can still work even though she told Elliot she would beat him to death if he had hurt Wellick. If Elliot is Wellick then Joanna would be Wellick’s/Elliot’s wife, which means that she would probably know that her husband has more than one personality and prefers the Wellick personality to Elliot and what she was really saying was that if the Wellick personality was gone she would try to kill the Elliot personality to get Wellick back. However, what’s more problematic with that exchange is that if Elliot really is Wellick he was knocking on his own front door and as Joanna walked up she didn’t recognize him. Was she playing along because she’s used to the personality switches? Or is the exchange told through Elliot’s eyes, so that if he didn’t recognize her, he wouldn’t see the encounter as her recognizing him?

        That being said, I don’t think Elliot is Wellick, I don’t see Elliot as Joanna’s husband. It seems like a huge mismatch that I don’t think could be pulled-off acting-wise. And I don’t see Wellick as Darlene’s brother, again mismatch. I could see Elliot and Wellick as possible half-brothers, we never find out what happened to Elliot’s mother or where Darlene has been prior to the season starting.

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  12. What Joanna said in Danish was: “If you have done something to him, I’ll kill you”, That doesn’t sound like Elliott is a manifestation of a Tyrell personality, or vice versa. There have been several meetings in the past where both Tyrell and Elliott were present and people spoke to them independently. Plus the Assistant didn’t recognize Elliott. Plus the lunch at Steel Mountain. And so on. I’m thinking Joanna is somehow related to the Mom, but had not met Elliott yet. Joanna drives Tyrell, but she is in turn driven by Elliott’s Mom.

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    1. That helps. As they show did not opt to provide subtitles, it added to the Tyrell as Elliot theory. Although that device is often used to help the audience feel the same discomfort or confusion that the main character has by not knowing what is being said. Thanks for sharing! I keep feeling that there is a very deep and personal connection between Tyrell and Elliot and keeping in the mind the Fight Club scenario that Esmail admits to following, I keep thinking they may just be the same person…

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      1. One other point I haven’t seen made thus far; what about the delusion during his detox? I am specifically speaking about the scene where he thought he was in his apartment talking with his fish? Tyrell was sitting in his apartment at Elliot’s computer and Elliot did not even notice he was there, while Tyrell sat there calmly at the computer not saying a word. Thoughts??

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      2. Thank you! I’d missed that…too busy tripping on the fish conversation! LOL I still get the feeling that Tyrell is a part of Elliot. It makes a lot of sense, even though there are some clangers in there that make it less likely. The very fact that he went into the storage facility…Another reader used his meal with Tyrell as a point against, but look at all the public interaction Elliot had/has with his dad…and that last very obvious Fight Club scene with Slater and Malek. I’m still going with my Elliot is also Tyrell… 🙂 Thanks for playing!

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    2. Thank you! That was a huge piece of the pie! When I was looking up what language they were speaking, there was also a comment on wordrefrence.com that “Another person told me this”: (LOL!!!) so This may sound silly but in the (I love to learn section of my brain) Your explanation is greatly appreciated! This is defiantly a show you can watch episodes and pick up a nuance each time especially with a great fourm as this one! Looking forward to next season!

      “Norwegian is Danish spoken in Swedish”

      “Norwegian+phonology – vocabulary = swedish”

      “Norwegian – phonology + vocabulary = danish”

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      1. I’ve not heard back from anyone yet on whether the translation was correct or not. I watched the episode with subtitles on (CC) and there was nothing given apart from (Speaking a foreign language)…All of the Nordic language is intertwined and it is kind of similar (in definitions of words and certain “root” words to German and Dutch…) Fascinating bit of information by the way! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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    1. I adore the show, agreed on both counts, writing and acting are brilliant. Never boring…although it is aimed at the young. Still those of us who are not “past it” find it all very addicting…Like Elliot’s morphine habit! 🙂

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