Black Mirror, episode six

A woman is waiting to be called into an office. She’s summoned to talk about the events of the previous May. She starts her explanation.

The woman is walking alone down a sunny street. It’s May 15, day one. She gets inside and uses a remote to turn on lights and open the blinds in the house. She takes out some food as though to prepare a meal before opting for chips and sits in front of the television to watch the news.

Another woman is walking alone. She gets home and is stopped by a man delivering baked goods. He confirms she is Jo Powers (Elizabeth Berrington) before handing her the cake. She takes it inside and talks to her husband. She reads the comments on her article.

The woman from earlier is watching a late night talk show. The interviewee is being nasty about a kid. She gets a call to a crime scene. She gets there and meets “her shadow” Blue Colson (Faye Marsay). She introduces herself as Karin Parke (Kelly Macdonald). They find out from Nick Shelton (Joe Armstrong) that the victim is Jo.

The crime scene is gruesome. Neighbors called it in. Her husband was found unconscious. they look for CCTV. Karin thinks the husband is a suspect and says they will question him when he wakes up. In the meantime she drives Blue home. She used to be in tech crimes. She cracked a case of child murders and it changed her. She wanted to get out in the field and help.

Karin and Nick are going over security footage. No one really suspicious is spotted. Blue is going over more information. They talk about the Powers likely relationship and Karen admits she is divorced. The husband wakes up. He says that Jo did this to himself.

Karin and Blue argue after the fact. Toxicology is looking into it but Blue just doesn’t think the husband seem like the type. They go to follow up on a lead, the woman that sent the death to Jo Powers cake. She’s part of a group that crowd sourced the money for the cake. They give her a warning and move on.

The husband will be discharged the following day and Karen says they will bring him in and arrest him. They talk about who the Internet hates that day. A performer named Tusk, the one from the late night show earlier that was ripping on the kid.

Cut to Tusk (Charles Babalola) getting ready to leave after a show. He starts screaming and grabbing his head. He’s rushed to the hospital and while in the MRI machine seems to be having a seizure. When the doctors pull him out they find some sort of tech bug has killed him.

Karen and Blue report to the ME’s office and Jo is on the table. The ME found some sort of tunnel from her ear into her brain. He followed it and found a tech bug in her head too. It went right through the pain center in her brain. She was in such agony she would probably have done anything to make it stop, even cut her own throat.

They head to see the company making these bugs, these ADIs (autonomous drone insects) and to ask a few questions. They meet the head of the company and Rasmus Sjolberg (Jonas Karlsson) and talk about what these tech bees do. They replicate themselves to form hives and apparently kill people on occasion.

Rasmus says that a malfunction must have been the cause but that a hacker is highly unlikely. Karin points out that that is not impossible though. Blue starts talking in tech to him about what could have happened. They track near the Powers house and find that one did in fact go missing in the area at the time of Jo’s death. It tried to jump hives only there wasn’t another hive to transfer to. Rasmus keeps looking while Karin and Blue head back to the office.

Karin is worried about jurisdiction now but a man named Shaun Li (Benedict Wong) enters. He wants to talk about the case because he’s got another of the same. Tusk. He shows Karin footage of it. He wants her bee to analyze but she says it is evidence. It shows a pattern. Blue is looking into the social media stirrup of Tusk and Jo. She’s tracing the #deathto.

It’s pretty dark. It turns out it was started by a bot account, with a photo of bees naturally, and is polling people everyday. Whoever gets the most hashtag votes dies at 5 p.m. and then it starts again the next day. On day three a woman by the name of Clara Meades (Holli Dempsey) is in the lead. She took a selfie pretending to pee on a war memorial and people are upset. Shaun and Karin want to protect her. Blue tracks her.

Clara is at home watching the hashtag when he phone rings. She ignores it her roommate answers when her phone rings. It’s Karin calling Clara. Karin tells her to close the windows and stay where she is. Blue calls Rasmus to monitor the situation and they roll out. Clara watches police swarm her street. Rasmus lets Blue know that there is a breach.

Karin goes in and gets Clara. They take her out of the city to a safe house. They plan to keep her for one night. Shaun calls in while Karin, Clara and Blue head into the house. A bee crawls along the back of the car. It flies to the window and walks along there. Blue and Rasmus are on the phone when he loses a whole hive, thousands of bees. The phone cuts out. Rasmus looses the whole system.

Shaun is outside on the phone when the bees start to swarm. The women try to hide out but the bees keep finding ways to break their defenses. They barricade themselves in a windowless bathroom. They cover the gap in the door, and the key hole but one gets in through the fan and gets Clara, with Karin and Blue watching the whole thing. Once she is dead the bees stop. All is quiet.

Karin is on the stand again. She’s talking about seeing bodies before but Clara was the first person she saw die. She was right there. Blue took it hard.

Blue and Karin watch them load up Clara’s body. At the office, Shaun, Blue, Rasmus and Karin talk about what could be hacking the system. It’s proof of the government spying. Blue is sure the tech uses facial recognition. Rasmus doesn’t know how to get the system back. Blue asks if he can check the log of an individual bee and he says yes. She heads off to analyze the bee that kills Clara.

News coverage is going nuts about the hashtag and the current top of the board is the chancellor, Tom Pickering (Ben Miles). Karin and Nick talk to a few people about the issue but it doesn’t turn up anything. Shaun goes to present information to Tom and turns out arguing about how to proceed. Tom wants to shut down social media. Shaun wants a safe house.

Karin and Nick are still doing interviews. They bring in Tess Wallander (Georgina Rich) who talks about how people on the internet hated her. Blue gets some distressing news as Karin’s interview goes on. Tess tried to kill herself. Her flatmate Garrett Scholes found her. He had worked on the ADI project. Turns out he sent Jo a manifesto as well.

Shaun authorizes destroying a hive to clear space for Tom. It seems to work out, until it doesn’t. The bees go after the soldiers. Blue finds selfies in the manifesto and they realize that he wants them to broadcast this stuff. Well Karin won’t do it. There are tags on the photo though because he took it with a phone. They track him to near where the bees were made.

They enlist Rasmus and start trying to sort through the information that they’ve come across. It’s a list, a monstrous list of names. Everyone that has used the hashtag. Garrett wanted people to be responsible for what they said and by making the players the targets he is doing just that. Shaun shuts down the whole system and it looks like it worked until moments later it becomes very apparent it didn’t.

Bees swarm places where hashtag users are. Garrett (Duncan Pow) packs a bag and changes his appearance before heading out.

Karin is still answering questions about all that happened. She says that no one needs reminding of what happened. She’s asked what became of Blue. Karin says she took it hard. She tried to reach out but didn’t hear back. Months later her belongings were found on a beach. The theory is she killed herself.

Karin is thanked for her testimony and heads out. Shaun is seen entering behind him. Garrett is walking arund in his disguise in a different part of the world and Blue is hot on his heels. She texts Karin to let her know.

This was probably the creepiest episode of the season. They all seem like they could absolutely happen but this doesn’t seem so far off at all. Like it could happen tomorrow. I’m paranoid now walking around outside in case there are fake bees after me.


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