AVClub: Since the beginning of this season, Mr. Robot has been subtly (and not-so-subtly) exploring the idea of how illusion plays a vital role in reality. I’ve talked repeatedly in these reviews about the way in which the show undercuts Elliot’s ideas, how it exposes his need for illusion at the very moments when he’s denouncing such shams—most notably during his rant against organized religion during Bible study. Elliot Alderson is continually inveighing against illusion, scorning its “escapist comfort,” as he calls it tonight, during the final moments of “h4ndshake.sme.” And much like those earlier moments, he knows the hollowness of the barb. Sure, it can seem like cheap fantasy, but that’s not all it is. Last week, illusion spared Elliot untold amounts of pain. That realization finally broke a safeguard in his mind. He’s letting the illusion drop.