Archive for December 22nd, 2019

Bill Cosby’s publicist calls Eddie Murphy ‘Hollywood slave’ over ‘SNL’ joke – NBC News

December 22nd, 2019

Bill Cosby’s publicist hit back at Eddie Murphy on Sunday, calling the comedian a “Hollywood slave” who’d become “clickbait” over his comments about Cosby on “Saturday Night Live.”

On Instagram, Andrew Wyatt said it was “sad” that Murphy — who appeared on the show for the first time Saturday after 35 years — had used his “glorious” return to “disparage” Cosby.

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“One would think that Mr. Murphy was given his freedom to leave the plantation, so that he could make his own decision,” Wyatt wrote. “But he decided to sell himself back to being a Hollywood slave.”

Dec. 22, 201902:21

In his “SNL” monologue, Murphy described his expansive family and the birth of his 10th child, then said: “If you would’ve told me 30 years ago that I would be this boring, stay at home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail — even I wouldn’t have taken that bet.”

“Who’s America’s dad now?” he said, imitating Cosby.

The discord between Cosby and Murphy dates back decades. Cosby reportedly scolded the younger comedian over his explicit language — an event Murphy worked into a bit he performed in the movie “Eddie Murphy Raw.”

Cosby was sentenced last year to 3 to 10 years in prison after being convicted of drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand, who testified that Cosby violated her at his Pennsylvania home in 2004 after she came to him for career advice. At the time, she was Temple University women’s basketball administrator.

Cosby has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct, but he was only charged criminally in the Constand case. He called the prosecutor a profanity in open court.

In an interview last month, Cosby called the case a “set-up” and said he didn’t expect to express remorse for the crimes he’d been convicted of.


Inside Hilary Duff’s Wedding Dress Fitting | Vogue – Vogue

December 22nd, 2019

Vogue got an inside look at Hilary Duff’s final wedding dress fittings ahead of her Los Angeles ceremony. The elegant Jenny Packham design will be front and center in Hilary’s wedding to songwriter Matthew Koma.

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Inside Hilary Duff’s Wedding Dress Fitting | Vogue


Mr. Robot ends with hope, heartache, peace—and one final twist – The A.V. Club

December 22nd, 2019

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“One of the commonest and most generally accepted delusions is that every man can be qualified in some particular way—said to be kind, wicked, stupid, energetic, apathetic, and so on. People are not like that. We may say of a man that he is more often kind than cruel, more often wise than stupid, more often energetic than apathetic or vice versa; but it could never be true to say of one man that he is kind or wise, and of another that he is wicked or stupid. Yet we are always classifying mankind in this way. And it is wrong. Human beings are like rivers; the water is one and the same in all of them but every river is narrow in some places, flows swifter in others; here it is broad, there still, or clear, or cold, or muddy or warm. It is the same with men. Every man bears within him the germs of every human quality, and now manifests one, now another, and frequently is quite unlike himself, while still remaining the same man.”—Leo Tolstoy, Resurrection

I am not who I am; I am who I am not. It’s the primary condition of humanity, from philosophies biblical to psychoanalytical, that defines us not as gods (sorry, Tyrell Wellick) but as imperfect creations, our selves built upon an ideal version we can never fully attain, and therefore never really are who we say. Leave it to Mr. Robot—this sharp, soulful, tense, and often unexpectedly funny, series—to make that quite literally true, since the very beginning. Our friend, Elliot Alderson, was never really Elliot. He was only a piece of him, the piece needed to make him feel safe in the world by taking down the evil that surrounded him. The part of Elliot that dug in, refused to budge, and made the world change around him. The part that then, in turn, changed Elliot, too. In just about any moment in life, we’re never fully there; there’s always a part of us that plays catch up later on, or another side of our identity that isn’t being used. But they work in tandem: the us at our jobs, the us with our families, the us when we’re alone. But being the part that changes the whole for the better? To quote not-entirely-Elliot, who wouldn’t be proud of that?


It would be easy to feel a little bit cheated by the reveal in the second half of Mr. Robot’s series finale, had this kind of twist not been baked into the DNA of the show from the start. Normally, the “you’ve been a different persona the whole time!” is a kind of lazy psychodrama, something the twin brother from Adaptation might’ve cooked up in place of a Jacob’s Ladder-esque “you’ve been dead the whole time” scenario. But this is where Sam Esmail’s commitment to story really shines: Having constructed the entire narrative arc from beginning to end before the first episode ever aired, the creator of Mr. Robot was able to lay the groundwork for precisely this conclusion, a means of getting to the reveal of “our” Elliot as merely the dominant personality for the duration of this story, while the “original” Elliot was safely stowed in a comforting time-loop inside Elliot’s head.

The obsession with masks, the endless ruminations on whether we can ever truly know ourselves, the continual second-guessing as to the nature of not only reality, but the role of the viewer themselves in this whole endeavor…it’s actually the most fitting ending for a series predicated on such elusive (and allusive) questions of identity. If this is a show about what it means to try and create meaning for our lives in such a cold and hostile world, then the finale is about the realization that “we” are never really who we think we are—and that’s okay. With a little hope and a lot of luck, we’re the best parts of ourselves. Or at least we try to be.

But even parts of a whole need anchors to ground them, animate them, and connect them to the world around us. For our Elliot (and for the so-called “real” Elliot, it seems), that anchor was Darlene. From the start of the first half of the finale, when Elliot comes to on the ground of the land where the power plant used to be, there are plenty of strange changes to reality, but the most striking one of all is the way Darlene has been scrubbed from existence. Sure, Elliot’s mother and father are alive and well, the loving parents the real Elliot never got to experience in our world. And Elliot is the CEO of AllSafe, landing the big E Corp (sorry, F Corp) account in between casual chats with friends and lunches with his dad. And our protagonist is even marrying his longtime love Angela, enduring hastily mixed whisky sours from Phillip Price while Angela’s mother gushes about how her daughter has finally found a good guy with whom to settle down.


Yet underlying the entire reality is a fundamental absence—Darlene. She’s missing from the family photos, and she’s the one he ultimately hears calling to him through the fog of this unreality, beckoning him back to the real world. We eventually receive confirmation from fake-Krysta that Darlene is indeed Elliot’s connection to reality (hence the need to remove her from the fantasy world, to prevent original Elliot from being jolted out of it), but thanks to the way their relationship has been fomented throughout the entirety of the show—but especially this season—we already knew that. “What do you think? Do you buy any of this?” Elliot asks us early on, before we learn this has nothing to do with Whiterose’s machine, but the answer is already a resounding no. No Darlene, no better world.

The most shocking element of the false reality we go through in this two-part finale is the realization of just how desperate and eager to believe our Elliot turns out to be—so much so, he’s willing to murder his well-balanced alter-ego just to have a prayer of maybe getting Angela back. “I think you should look away, too” he tells us as he chokes the life out of himself, a truly dark moment that brings the weakest and most base of our Elliot’s desires to the forefront. “I can’t lose her again,” he reasons, and while we feel for him in the moment, it confirms the essential wrongness of this world, even before Mr. Robot explains it. Earthquakes or no, Elliot’s “I had no other choice” rings hollow because even he knows he did have one; thus, he conjures Dom as a cop to catch him, Krysta as the therapist to call him out, a bunch of mask-wearing wedding attendees to bear witness to a non-existent marriage, all so he can finally confront his own actions and his true self. We even get the Being John Malkovich-like sight of Elliot on the Coney Island boardwalk, surrounded by everyone wearing Robot’s face, the better to force him into a confrontation with, well, himself.


It’s not a coincidence that Elliot doesn’t accept his truth until he’s back in the real world, either, lying in a hospital bed with Darlene by his side. The show has made a recurring theme—sometimes to the point of farce—out of Elliot’s ability to lie to himself, and evade his own demons. Those specters of the past have slowly been exorcised over the course of the final season, as Elliot re-entered his childhood in order to accept and process the trauma of abuse, the pain of his false memories, and the lingering guilt brought on by his own sense of helplessness. So the biggest truth of all—that he’s only a part of Elliot, one created to make the world safe for him—is understandably his biggest roadblock. It’s why he can reject both Mr. Robot’s explanations and the fake-Krysta’s soothing assurances that he was doing the right thing. “It’s my life. Always will be,” he insists, right before the ceiling falls in on him. And then he’s in the real world, staring Darlene in the face, and he realizes that she’s the one he can’t lie to. She brings out the best in him, even when he doesn’t want to admit it. So he confesses, and to his shock, she reveals that she sort of knew all along. “You’re not the Elliot I grew up with, at least,” she says, and explains her own subterfuge: She went along with it for the same reason our Elliot came about in the first place: love. She finally had her brother, the sibling she could be close to and share life with, so even if there was something off about it, she was willing to go along with it, because it was a chance for her to have the Elliot she never did. And it was fine—right until it wasn’t. But as the final shot confirms, Darlene isn’t going anywhere; she’s here for her brother, from now on.

Gone are the off-center framing shots with a ton of negative space that have defined the look of the series. If “eXit” was Esmail’s homage to early Wes Anderson, replete with slow-motion walks to pop songs and diorama framing, then this is his wholly apropos Bergman-meets-Kubrick ending, all close-ups on faces entering a state of enlightenment or painful realization, capturing the fullest expression of emotions right up until the closing gloss on 2001’s stargate sequence, as Elliot enters the movie theater of his mind, sits alongside his constructed family, and lets the experiences of his “life” wash over him. It’s a fusion of the show’s most indelible episode styles, combining the dreamscape haze of Elliot’s season-one morphine withdrawal (which gets a callback here) with the stagey intensity of this year’s “Proxy Authentication Required,” as plenty of references to other seasons and storylines get aesthetic nods along the way. As Esmail’s language and onscreen displays of emotion have gotten more earnest and heartfelt along the way, his direction has changed to match the more outsize feelings getting worked out in his narrative, form meeting function in elegant manner. (And a lot more pop-music needle drops—possibly more than the first three seasons combined.)


I’ve been saying it the last few episodes, but it’s proven very true in this finale: This wasn’t a story about hacking, or revolution, or giant sci-fi machines that may or may not have been capable of transporting people to alternate dimensions. (Very sorry, people who have been patiently waiting to see whether or not Whiterose’s machine was the real deal—we’ll never know.) This was the small, intimate story of a troubled man trying his best to get back to some semblance of meaning in his life. As with many alienated souls today, he thought he could find that meaning in the very isolation that unmoored him from the world—turning his resentment into rebellion, fomenting a struggle from the ground up against a society doing its best to grind him down and keep him there. Elliot Alderson became the avatar for fantasies of radical action dreamt of by many of us; but unlike us, he actually made them come true. And then, it proper poetical fashion, he discovered the hollowness contained therein. Not just the ways that the wealthy would turn any revolution to their advantage—forcing Elliot to walk back the 5/9 hack in the process—but how you can’t make a virtue of alienation and anger, no matter how hard you try, how many buildings you topple. Ultimately, even the justice exacted against the one percent of the one percent, the leveling of the playing field and the punishment for those who took so much and left so little for the rest of us, wasn’t the true measure of achievement. No, for that Elliot needed to find the most valuable thing he could: other people. People who would care about him, and who he cared for in turn. It was the only solace he could find—and eventually, the only truth as well, bringing him full circle to the end of his journey, outwardly staring up at Darlene while our Elliot inwardly took his place alongside the other aspects of Elliot’s self. We bore witness, and in the end we took our place as well. We were part of Elliot, just as he was part of us. Hello, Elliot—hello, friend.

Stray observations

  • In a finale full of small, pained moments, perhaps the harshest one of all was Elliot telling Robot on the subway that all he ever wanted from him was to be left alone. It hurt because of the element of truth, even if it wasn’t really true. The older, angrier part of Elliot really did want that back in the day, and Robot knew it.
  • I understand a certain percentage of people are probably going to be a bit put out by the lack of answers to the big Whiterose Mystery Machine, but for my money, the only cliffhanger left unaddressed that’s going to remain a bit galling as time goes by is the answer to What Happened To Tyrell Wellick In The Woods?
  • Fsociety? Just “a dumb name I came up with,” original Elliot explains. You know, “anarchist” stuff. As far as lampshades go, that’s a nice one for hanging.
  • Elliot spends a lot of time looking right at us in the finale—asking us questions, reassuring himself that we’re there. He must be making up for lost time.
  • Elliot, as usual, jumps to the darkest conclusion, even when a more hopeful one is staring him in the face. “Am I his monster?” No, you poor guy!
  • Mr. Robot series finale music cues: At long last, we get the song everybody was awaiting for four long seasons: “Mr. Roboto.” But we also get Jacques Brel’s “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” Perfume Genius’ “Queen,” and the outro from M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.
  • Not-Krysta calls us “the voyeurs who think they aren’t a part of this despite being here for all of it,” but come on—we’ve known we were a part of it for a long time.
  • This only works if you let go, too.
  • Thanks, everyone, for joining me for the past five years to obsess over one of the best shows of the decade. It’s been incredibly rewarding diving into this series with all of you, and your contributions over the years have made my work better (not to mention a lot more fun to put together). It was a joy to get to review Mr. Robot with one of the best commenter communities on the internet.



Astronaut Jessica Meir celebrates Hanukkah from, where else, space – CNN

December 22nd, 2019

‘Mr. Robot’ Series Finale: Seriously, What Just Happened To Elliot? – Deadline

December 22nd, 2019

SPOILER ALERT: This recap contains details from tonight’s USA Network series finale of Mr. Robot.

If you thought the last season of USA Network’s Sam Esmail series Mr. Robot was becoming a little too straight forward and suspenseful sans its regular twist from the mind of Elliot Alderson, well then tonight’s two-hour series finale and last weekend’s penultimate episode “eXit” popped the show’s arm back in its noirish socket complete with many Elliot doppelgangers.

Esmail wasn’t available to the press to sort out tonight’s series finale, and likely for good reason: We’d keep bugging him about what Elliot’s (Rami Malek) entire wormhole meant at the end, and quite likely the creator wants us to figure that out for ourselves, just like David Chase wanted everyone to come away with their own personal take on why their TVs went black in The Sopranos finale after Tony Soprano had onion rings with his family in a New Jersey diner.

Arguably, by the end, Elliot is dead having been hospitalized after an explosion at the Washington Township Power Plant.

Mr. Robot penultimate season 4 episode ‘eXit’

There are several signs indicating death: Elliot closes his eyes, he rejoins his family (his dad Mr. Robot aka Christian Slater, his mom played by Vaishnavi Sharma, and his younger self-portrayed by Evan Whitten) in a movie theater as what we assume is his whole life projected before him. The camera also pulls up and toward the projector light (as if he’s running toward the light, with his memories streaming like a tunnel. Get it? It’s death. My grandmother once shared a story like this with me). The final shot is of Elliot’s sister Darlene (Carly Chaiken) coming in, looking down as though he’s dead — but then, oh, no — is he alive? She says to him in a positive tone, “Hello, Elliot”. It depends on which way we look at it, and I think this poor guy has gone through so much defeating a multinational Chinese hacker organization that he just wants to go to sleep like a bad Dell. It stands to reason given how Elliot has battled his dissociative identity disorder that we’d never end on a crystal clear note, and the series finale kept going back and forth as the hoodie hacker side of Elliot battled his white-collar, perfect other-self.

Such madness is a fitting end for Mr. Robot, but it was a very long season at 13 hours compared to Esmail’s previous tight ten episodes a season. It’s always been a treat to wonder which way Elliot self was wandering. For example, back in season one, when it seemed he lost his sense of time, couldn’t locate Tyrell Wellick and wound up confused on wife Joanna’s doorstep. But in these past three episodes, the fact that all this crazy math and coding didn’t yield a clear cut resolution is a tad frustrating and tiring.

When a series is so particular to detail like Mr. Robot and Westworld, it’s literally like a soap opera/serial. We need our fix, we need to remember the details and breaking for close to two years doesn’t help. While I remember the details of season 1 and 2 very distinctively because they were back-to-back, I vaguely remember season 3 of Mr. Robot other than Dom (Grace Gummer), Elliot and Darlene being forced to be associates of big bad nemesis Whiterose (B.D. Wong). Also, Bobby Cannavale going nuts with a bloody ax. It almost feels like season 3 shouldn’t have happened and we should have just cut to the chase here in season 4 as this long journey’s practical endgame has always been about the takedown of Whiterose, and the re-distribution of wealth to society.


In last weekend’s episode, the frame went to red after Elliot’s attempt to defuse Whiterose’s computer at the nuclear power plant. He awoke in a perfect reality as an upbeat, positive guy, the CEO of his former anti-virus firm AllSafe with Angela alive, not to mention they were seriously in love.  Hoodie-clad Elliot wakes up in tonight’s episode in Washington Township to find the nuclear plant gone and a perfect community, like Back to the Future‘s Hill Valley in the 1950s. His dad still has his shop, but life is off: Darlene isn’t around, the evil E-corp exec we know as Philip Price is a hokey plaid shirted dad of Angela (we revealed himself as dad in the season 3 finale), her mom is alive, and Elliot learns he’s about to get married to her on Coney Island.

But while visiting Angela’s parents, their phone rings and it’s Elliot’s alter ego: the white-collar side. WTF is going on? Elliot heads back to his apartment and learns that the guy has decorated it in a neat and posh way, something the Elliot we know would never do. Hacking into the guy’s computer, Elliot finds sketches of himself and Darlene among other Mr. Robot paraphernalia. After the white-collar dude enters his apartment, the two talk and he confesses to having made up this vigilante hacker storyline with characters in comic book fashion which is actually Elliot’s life. Throughout both parts of the episode, whenever Elliot runs into a sticky situation, an earthquake tremor happens, shakes everything up and he moves on to the next crazy set of characters in his life. Before the end of Part 1, a tremor shakes preppy Elliot to the floor. Hoodie Elliot then suffocates him and sticks him in a cardboard box.

In Part 2, Dom has become a traffic cop and demands to see the inside of the box. Opening the box, she draws her gun on Elliot but another tremor occurs and Elliot is off in his tuxedo to marry Angela. Mr. Robot shows up to tell him, that the whole marriage to Angela isn’t real, that Elliot is imaging this. That’s the short story because it’s more complicated than that. Mr. Robot says it’s “a loop that you constructed about a year go…to keep him occupied so you can take control of him.”

“Who?” asks Elliot.

“The real Elliot,” says Mr. Robot.

Christian Slater in ‘Mr. Robot’ Elizabeth Fisher/USA Network

Elliot spots Angela in a wedding dress across the way on the boardwalk. He chases her into the boardwalk arcade. There she tells Elliot, “He tried to tell you, you’re not Elliot, you’re the mastermind.” Elliot is thrust back into an alleyway. Eventually, the Eureka moment comes in a therapy session with his therapist Krista (Gloria Reuben), who you know is not really Krista (so she says). Anyhow, she aims to make sense of why Elliot was encountering so many different realities. He’s not living in the perfect world that Whiterose’s computer was promised to yield.

Krista deconstructs Elliot’s dissociative identity disorder and how he created different versions of Elliot, i.e. the one who jumped out the window, the alter ego Mr. Robot to replace his abusive dad, etc. More sides of Elliot he created: There was the abusive mom, and his understanding family (mom, dad and younger self) to get him through painful times. The crusading hacker Elliot who takes down evil in the world is “is only part of you” she says. It’s the only grounded explanation for all the zig-zags we’ve been through.

“You’re not Elliot, you’re the mastermind and it’s now time for you to give the control over to the host, the real Elliot,” says Krista philosophically. Another tremor comes, “Don’t do this,” she tells Elliot, “this is your rage.”

Elliot awakes in a hospital. It appears we’re back in the real world. The TV news indicates that a near meltdown nearly happened at the plant and that Minister Zhang aka Whiterose was found dead in a terrorist attack. Darlene tells Elliot he saved the world, and prevented a meltdown, but was hurt in an explosion. As he struggles to understand what’s real, Darlene tells him everything over the last four seasons — the hack on E Corp, going to prison, the cyber bombings and robbing the rich Illuminati to give back to the poor — was all real. “I’m not Elliot,” he tells Darlene. While she admits she’s noticed that sometimes he’s not himself, Elliot says “even though I’m only part of him, I want you to know that I love you.” And that is when there’s a fade to light, a blue sky and the eventual segue to the movie theater scene. Just prior to that, Elliot standing his family in the E-Corp high rise, looking out, tells us that he’s “a guy trying to play God without permission” and that “I don’t have a name.” Elliot then launches into an end monologue that would make Revenge‘s Emily Thorne proud, for its quite reminiscent of the meaing-of-life speeches she delivered at the end of each episode.

“This whole time I thought changing the world was something you did, an act you performed, something you fought for. I don’t know if that’s true anymore. But if changing the world is just about being here, by showing up, no matter how many times we get told we don’t belong, by staying true even when we’re shamed into being false, I believe in ourselves when we’re told we’re too different. And if we hold onto that, if we refuse not to budge and fall inline, if we stood our ground for long enough, just maybe, the world can’t help but change around us even though we’ll be gone.” And the latter part of that quote is another hint that Elliot has passed on.

Mr. Robot Season 4 Episode 8

And so it’s ‘Goodbye, Friend’ to Mr. Robot. While there were some pretty taut moments in season 4: Episode 8 where Dom and Darlene were held hostage in the latter’s apartment by Whiterose’s associate Janice (Ashlie Atkinson) was one of the series’ best in recent memory. Angela’s unfortunate murder was a great trigger that got the season off to a rockin’ start. However, the reveal that Elliot was sexually abused as a child was tasteless shark-jumping. I found that moment when Elliot’s forced to emotionally unload at gunpoint to Krista by the gangster who took the life of Elliot’s girlfriend Shayla (Frankie Shaw) in season 1 to be just over the top and negate Elliot’s entire purpose in protecting Mr. Robot and working with him to take down E-Corp. Way too deep, and the mere reasons that Krista outlined tonight for why Elliot is the way he is, made so much more sense. Overall, Esmail took USA Network’s sense of drama to another level with a Kubrickian (and in this finale, a Lynchian Twin Peak) sense. His play with noir and the war against the man by the cyber Robin Hoods of the world will be missed.

That said, in regards to wrapping up the entire series, Elliot said it best in his convo with Mr. Robot on Coney Island, “It still doesn’t make any f***king sense.”


‘Mr. Robot’ Series Finale, Explained – Hollywood Reporter

December 22nd, 2019

[The following story contains major spoilers for the series finale of USA Network’s Mr. Robot.]

Written and directed by creator Sam Esmail, the Mr. Robot series finale ends with an answer to the penultimate installment’s final question: “Who are you?” True to the USA Network thriller’s form, the answer is a complicated one — but in one of the final scenes of the finale, Rami Malek’s troubled computer hacker does his best to articulate the answer: “I’m not Elliot. I’m only a part of him.”

In one final twist of the series (as well as a twist of the knife), the central character and the audience alike learns the truth: Elliot Alderson is not who he believes he is — at least, not the Elliot viewers have watched over the course of four seasons of tense technological exploits. The two-part series finale dives deeper into Elliot’s psyche than ever before, as it becomes clear the “alternate universe” posited in the penultimate episode was nothing more than an illusory world, designed to keep “the real Elliot” safe from harm. Much like the titular Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) himself, the Elliot we have known all this time turns out to be yet another personality created by Elliot: a hooded vigilante raging against the powers that be, fighting for a better future out of love for himself. Put another way: the Elliot we know is “the other one.”

Heading into the final act of the finale, an illusory form of Elliot’s therapist Krista Gordon (Gloria Reuben) sits down with her patient, to let him in on the truth of his many personalities — including the one who has been at the forefront of the entire series. 

“In order for you to fully hear the truth, first we need to discuss Elliot’s dissociative identity disorder,” she says. “The first personality was created the day Elliot jumped out the window — the protector personality, the one Elliot created to replace his father, to protect him from intolerable situations: Mr. Robot. Later in life, Elliot created the mother personality, the persecutor, blaming Elliot for the abuse, insisting that he needed to pay for it. Not long after her came Elliot’s younger self, who he merged to handle the abuse he couldn’t tolerate. With that, he created his own family of sorts.”

“I guess she doesn’t know about you,” Elliot then says via inner monologue, looking directly into the camera at the viewer — us, his “friend.” Krista then stares right into the camera and acknowledges “our” presence, labeling us as “the voyeurs who think they aren’t a part of this, despite being here for all of it.”

“For a while, we thought we had identified all of Elliot’s personalities, but there’s another one who came about not too long ago,” she continues, addressing Malek’s hooded vigilante directly. “I know why you did it. Your heart was in the right place. You wanted to shelter him, which is why you changed his past … but it was his future you really wanted to protect. That’s why you went through such great lengths to take out all of the evil that surrounded him in the real world. So you formed fsociety. You loved him so much, you wanted to save the entire world, so you could make it better for him, no matter the cost. That’s why you hid him here, turning his harsh reality into a fantasy, trapping him in an endless loop to keep him safe until you were ready.”

Elliot resists the information, insisting that Krista has been wrong in the past. This version of Krista admits that the real therapist has gotten it wrong in the past: “She never realized she wasn’t talking to the real Elliot. She didn’t realize she was always talking to you, a personality created to carry Elliot’s rage, the vigilante hacker Elliot always imagined being, the one who sought vengeance, the personality that had gained so much control he forgot he was only just a personality: the mastermind. And now it’s time for you to give that control back to the host: the real Elliot.”

Following the confrontation, Elliot wakes up in a hospital bed, miraculously alive despite the Whiterose (BD Wong) project’s explosive meltdown. In the hospital, Darlane (Carly Chaikin) and Elliot face the truth: this is not the real Elliot, but is yet another fabricated personality, one that gained control over the past year. It takes little time at all for Darlene to accept Elliot’s confession, saying she knew all along that she wasn’t dealing with the brother she grew up with, insisting she ran away from him long ago because she didn’t know how to deal with his trauma. 

In the final scenes of the series, Elliot retreats within himself once more, settling into an illusory movie theater alongside the other personalities he created. He watches his life unfold as a series of blurring projections, a tunnel of light and imagery. On the other side: Elliot’s eye, red and brimming with tears. He’s finally awake. The last image of the series is what that eye sees: Darlene. She smiles, and offers up two final words that mirror the first words of the whole series: “Hello, Elliot.”

It’s an emotional finale, a two-hour odyssey that exudes a multitude of sensations: terror, exhilaration, bewilderment, catharsis. Indeed, “odyssey” is a fitting word to describe the finale, according to what Phillip Price actor Michael Cristofer previously told The Hollywood Reporter about what to expect from the episode.

“I said to Sam after we read through all of [the scripts], and then I finally heard [the finale], I think he’s managed to do the journey of the hero, and not the Joseph Campbell one, but literally Homer,” Cristofer previously told THR. “It’s Ulysses in The Odyssey. It’s the man separated from himself who has to journey to find his way back to himself. I think we have done that with these four years. I think you’ll know when you see these last few episodes, whether I’m right or not. There are so many parallels to The Odyssey…but it’s all inadvertent; Sam had no idea what I was talking about! But you imitate it inadvertently, because it’s so accurate in so many ways. A classic is something you keep going back to. Although the ending is satisfying, you never quite know how you got there. So you go back and you read it again. You go back to the movie and watch it again. You ask: ‘How did I get there? How did I get to that place?’ And of course, that’s the journey. I hope, I hope, I hope it all goes well for the [final episodes] — because on paper, I think it worked. It’s a very, very complex and interesting ending to this story.”

It’s certainly a complex ending, one that’s bound to lead to several questions, including whether or not the events of the series actually took place. For what it’s worth, the hospital scene between Elliot and Darlene offers an answer. When Elliot asks if everything is real, Darlene insists: “I’m telling you, this is real. I was there with you through all of it: fsociety, our hack on E Corp, Five/Nine, you going to prison, the cyber bombings, us robbing those evil motherfuckers after what they did to Angela. Angela, she’s gone. Same with Romero, Trenton, Mobley, Shayla. Elliot, I wouldn’t lie to you: this isn’t in your head. This is real.” It’s only then that Elliot openly acknowledges that while the world may be real, he himself is not real — at least, not his whole self.

For now, “Krista’s” explanation, as well as Darlene’s hand-holding, serve as the current word on the finale’s twists from creator Sam Esmail as well. The Mr. Robot mastermind (a loaded term, given the finale’s reveal) has opted not to do press for the two-part episode (titled “whoami” and “Hello, Elliot” respectively, according to USA reps), instead choosing to allow the finale to speak for itself. In other words, until and unless he reverses that decision (or decides to grace the faithful Mr. Robot subreddit with an AMA), do not expect Esmail to answer any of the following questions in the immediate future:

• “What did this series look like as a feature film?”

• “How long has that ‘Mr. Roboto’ needle drop been in the works?”

• “When did you first envision the scene of Elliot murdering himself and stuffing his own body in a self-storage box?”

• “What’s going to happen to ‘the real Elliot’ after he wakes up? Please don’t send him back to jail!”

• “What’s the recipe for Phillip Price’s famous whiskey sours?”

• “Where. Is. Flipper?”

• “Were they dead the whole time?”

(Again, on that last point: listen to Darlene. They were not dead the whole time. Let’s not do this again.)

Though his lips are sealed at the moment, Esmail has at least weighed in on the emotional impact of Mr. Robot as a series, both on his audience and on himself. As we close the book on Elliot Alderson and Mr. Robot, let’s look back at what Esmail said about this journey when he spoke on The Hollywood Reporter‘s Series Regular podcast at the start of the season:

“It means the world to me. I was a little taken aback by the big response we got when we first aired the show. It’s a weird show. These characters are odd. Elliot is odd. I thought I was making something kind of niche. I thought I would be speaking to a small group of people out there. The fact that it was relatable to a larger audience is something that made me feel seen, weirdly enough. This story is very personal to me. A lot of what Elliot went through is something I used to go through. I’m speaking from the heart when it came to that. The fact that there’s such a huge fanbase out there that related to his character moved me. The fact that I could even speak to that, or speak to some of the same struggles that Elliot’s gone through, I never thought about how it made them feel, being selfish. But it’s something that made me feel like I could make a connection with other people, and that we are talking about something that is important. It’s moving beyond the pale. It’s so touching to me.”

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How to lose weight and get fit like this guy who lost fat by following this one genius diet hack – GQ India – What a man’s got to do

December 22nd, 2019

Nothing can kickstart your weight loss and fitness journey faster than a bout of self realisation. 22-year-old Pankaj Kumar tells us that he started hitting the gym to not just lose weight but also get ripped to overcome an inactive lifestyle. “I wanted to invest my time in bettering my life, my confidence and also my mental well-being.”

“When I began my weight loss and fitness journey, I weighed 77 kgs with a fat accumulation of 27-30 per cent,” he says. To build a ripped body, the first thing that you need to do is get rid of your body’s excess fat and then work towards building lean muscles, which Pankaj was able to do by losing 11 kgs, courtesy of one genius diet hack — calorie deficit.

What is a calorie deficit diet?

A calorie deficit is a specific diet pattern that revolves around the number of calories you consume in a day. According to Healthline, “the concept is based on the idea that as long as you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’re bound to lose weight.”

What to eat if you’re following a calorie deficit diet?

This diet pattern requires you to calculate the number of calories your body needs to consume to function smoothly without feeling hungry, and how much deficit you need create without harming your health.

The deficit can then be created by cutting down empty calories and unhealthy fats. Keep in mind that the number of calories required to create a deficit is different for different body types. You can calculate yours online via a calorie calculator.

QUICK READ: How many calories should you eat every day to lose weight?

“I am an eggetarian, my calorie deficit diet was a combination of vegetarian sources (mostly paneer, tofu, low-fat milk, sprouts, dal, nuts, low-fat curd, fruit salads, rice, fresh veggies, brown bread, peanut butter) and eggs.”

QUICK READ: This is how eating eggs daily will help you lose weight without compromising on flavour

“Since the number of calories one needs to consume will keep changing as per your goals, the quantity of the foods will also change, as it did for me. But these foods comprised my daily diet. The same is also true for your exercise regime, I followed the below exercise regime to lose 11 kgs before switching the routine again to build my body up.”

Weight loss exercise regime –

“I used to workout 5-6 days/week and the basic routine comprised Weight Training + HIIT/Sprints. More importantly, I used to train 2 body parts in a day and focused more on Compound Movements such as Bench press, Overhead press, Push ups, Deadlift, Pull ups and Squats.”

QUICK READ: You’re truly fit if you can do these 10 pushup variations

“My body transformation has gone through what’s popularly known as ‘a weight recycle’. Simply put, I lost 11 kgs in 4months (77 kgs to 66 kgs) by following the above diet and exercise regime, which essentially also meant that I lost a lot of the excess body fat. So with the excess body fat gone, I became lean and then started to work on gaining healthy muscle mass. So, now I am 76 kgs with lots of muscle mass and very less fat percentage.”

Any tips for someone who’s trying to lose weight?

1. Follow a calorie deficit diet

2. Track your calories daily (if you don’t want to do that then work on a trial and error method by reducing your portion size and checking your weight weekly, if your weight goes down then voila this is perfect portion size for you!)

3. Eat more vegetables and protein-rich food. Vegetables are loaded with minerals and vitamins. Protein-rich food will help retain muscle mass and also help burn calories.

4. Drink more water.

5. Do weight training. It helps shape the body and retain muscle while losing weight and also walk more (at least 10,000 steps). Walking strengthens the joints and also promotes heart health.

6. Be consistent and stay disciplined.

Disclaimer: The diet and workout routines shared by the respondents may or may not be approved by diet and fitness experts. GQ India doesn’t encourage or endorse the weight loss tips & tricks shared by the person in the article. Please consult an authorised medical professional before following any specific diet or workout routine mentioned above.

Have you lost weight and got fit? Share your body transformation story too! Write to and we will publish select stories right here!


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The Rise of Skywalker: Another hit for Star Wars despite falling sales – BBC News

December 22nd, 2019

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Media captionStars past and present came out to celebrate the final film in the Skywalker saga

The latest Star Wars blockbuster raked in $374m (£288m) in global ticket sales in its opening weekend, falling short of prior films in the trilogy.

The Rise of Skywalker’s US sales were down nearly 30% on the first movie in the saga, The Force Awakens.

Still, the latest instalment ranked as one of the best December openings in North America.

It is expected to end a strong year for distributor Disney, with a string of hits grossing more than $1bn.

Starring Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, the film is the final chapter in the Skywalker saga begun by George Lucas in 1977. It is set one year after its predecessor.

The movie, directed by JJ Abrams, has drawn mixed reviews from critics with some describing the plot as unimaginative.

In North America, the world’s largest film market, The Rise of Skywalker pulled in about $176m.

Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations Co, told Reuters the opening weekend takings marked a “great number for December”.

But he added the US sales showed a 20% decline from the previous instalment.

“That’s a cause for concern no matter how big your franchise is.”

Released in 2015, The Force Awakens took about $517m in its opening weekend. The Last Jedi, released two years later, scored $450m in its global debut.

Despite the softer debut, many fans showed their enthusiasm for the Star Wars franchise.

Dressed as their favourite characters, some attended cinemas for marathon screenings of the eight films leading up to The Rise of Skywalker.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Imperial stormtroopers posed at a Hollywood premiere of The Rise of Skywalker

The Hollywood blockbuster looks set to end a solid year for Disney.

The entertainment giant has enjoyed huge box office success with films including Frozen 2, Lion King and Aladdin.

Earlier this year, Avengers: Endgame smashed box office records and within five days it had become the fastest film to break the $1bn sales barrier worldwide.


Two pedestrians dead after car loses control in city’s east end – Toronto Sun

December 22nd, 2019

Two pedestrians are dead after three people were hit by a car in the city’s east end on Sunday evening.

Toronto Police say the collision happened on Progress Ave. east of Markham Rd. around 6:30 p.m.

Two of the victims were taken to hospital in life-threatening condition but did not survive. The third was also taken to hospital but police said that person was not believed to be in life-threatening condition.

No other information on the victims was immediately available.

The driver was in police custody at hospital, cops said. There was no immediate word on charges, though reports said possible impairment was being investigated.

Meanwhile, another pedestrian was struck and injured Sunday around 2 p.m. at Finch Ave. W. and Jayzel Dr., west of Weston Rd.

The man was in serious but non-life-threatening condition. The driver remained at the scene. There was no word on charges.

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Uninstall ToTok, the Government Surveillance Tool Posing as a Chat App: Report – Gizmodo

December 22nd, 2019