Black Mirror, episode six

Recap of “Black Museum”

A woman is driving along on a desert road in the American southwest. She has a bit of car trouble and pulls off for a bit. She’s happened upon the “Black Museum” and fiddles with vents and then heads inside for a tour, with just the owner himself as the guide.

She’s driving through on the backroads to surprise his father for his birthday and this is along the way. As the woman, Nish, looks through the exhibits, the owner, Rolo, tells her stories. First up is a helmet that he was involved with working on in New York when he was doing tech stuff. It connected to a transmitter in another person.

The device sends physical sensations that the helmet wearer has to the transmitter. He gives it to a doctor to help diagnosis things quicker. Things are going great. Until he can’t do it. He feels someone died and comes out the other side. After that he’s different. He’s into pain. He gets off on it and now he’s addicted.

The hospital finds out and shuts him down until they can take the transmitter out. He’s home, alone, going nuts. With no pain at work he starts hurting himself but it’s not the same because there is no fear mixed in. So he goes out and kills someone. He gets caught and ends up in a coma. He’s still there to this day, Rolo says.

Nish is still waiting for her car to charge so tells her the story of another item. It’s a stuffed animal. He tells her of a young couple that met and had a kid. They were the perfect family, complete with the smiling baby boy, until the woman gets hit by a truck. She ends up in a coma but her man does right and keeps visiting.

She gets hooked up to a device so that she can at least in some way communicate back. Rolo approaches the man about a revolutionary idea. They are working on a way to move a coma patient’s consciousness into a host. In this case the guy would be the host. He’s hesitant but the woman communicates that she is game.

Dude agrees and they go through with it. It’s a success. She can taste and feel and see and speak. There’s always a “but” though, Nish points out as the story continues. There’s no privacy or anything and dude looks crazy talking to himself. He went back to Rolo who upped his privileges. Now he can pause the other consciousness.

On the way out he checks out a woman and the consciousness yells at him. He pauses her, for eight weeks. She freaks out and they eventually come to a compromise. Like a divorce, she’s on pause except on the weekends. It works for a while, until the guy meets someone.

Then they need a new solution and Rolo has one. They transfer the mom into a talking stuffed monkey. It goes horribly for the mom and the kid gets bored with the monkey. The woman is still in the monkey on the display now. It’s now illegal to delete her.

Rolo takes Nish to the main exhibit. It’s a hologram of a convicted killer. Rolo originally wanted to fill the museum with dead celebrities, a living Madame Tussaud’s but there were too many rights involved so he went the crime route instead.

The murderer got the chair and Rolo got his consciousness. The first man to survive his own execution. Rolo moved him in and let guests zap him with voltage recreate the guy’s death. Rolo keeps talking, and choking. His AC has been busted and he’s been chugging water.

He’s having trouble though and that’s when Nish starts talking. She rips on Rolo for being such a sadist. She knows the story of the murderer. He was wrongfully convicted and died for it. Rolo just let him suffer for years until people found out and there were protests. They abandoned the museum and he had to let real creeps in to run wild in order to pay the bills. That turned the digital consciousness into a vegetable.

Nish knows all this because her mom had come and saw it herself. She saw the hologram of her husband destroyed and then killed herself. Nish found her and now she’s here for payback. She zaps Rolo into her father’s head and she’s going to fry them both. She figures it will set her father free and trap Rolo forever.

It works and she’s got a souvenir to prove it. She heads out and takes the stuffed monkey with her. Turns out this isn’t her first experience with the tech. Her mom is in her head too.

I didn’t expect that ending. Poor Nish. Actually all those people were victims because the dude was just awful. Like really supremely awful. He got what was coming to him it seems. I don’t like all this put a thing on your temple and it messes with your brain stuff they use in every episode.

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Black Mirror, episode five

Recap of “Metalhead”

Three people are driving down a road in the prairie. It’s pretty desolate and they even comment that they don’t have much, just mints. There are no pigs left because dogs got them. They get to a warehouse and head inside. They have five minutes to get what they need and head out.

One guy handles some sort of computer program while they other two look for a file. They find the box and the guy goes up on a ladder to get it. Easier said than done though. There’s a small robotic dog-type thing guarding it and it goes after them. The man is killed before he’s down the ladder but the woman gets outside.

She gets in the car and makes a break for it, yelling to the other guy who is now in a van, to do the same. He does but the dog thing gets in and blows his head off. Then it connects to the car and stars to drive it. It runs the woman off the road and when it jumps in the car she fights back.

The dog is still in the car when it falls off a cliff. The woman makes a break for it along a river and the dog eventually gets out and gives chase. She was shot with a tracker so she digs it out and puts it in a water bottle, sending it down river.

After climbing a hill she uses a radio to try to reach other people. The dog keeps looking for her. It finds the tracker and then her blood and follows it. She talks on the radio to possibly tell whomever will listen what happened before taking off again. She sees the dog tracking her and eventually climbs a tree for cover.

Since it has a busted limb, it can’t climb. She waits all night, almost falling at one point before making a break for it. She gets away and finds a house with a car. She also finds the homeowners dead inside and a gun as well. She swipes the gun and the keys before going to clean up her injured leg.

Not all is well though. The dog catches up to her. It moves through the house, grabbing a knife in the process. She hears it and hides out in a room being renovated. The dog comes in and she throws paint on it, covering the sensors so the dog is operating by sound only.

She throws the paint can at a wall and the dog attacks the wall. Then she heads outside and tries to get away in the car. It won’t start though so she turns the radio on and up. The dog comes out to attack that and she shoots it a few times. She ends up a bit banged up by shrapnel in the process.

The woman goes back inside and cleans herself up. She radios to tell her family that she’s not coming back. She hopes they will be okay and she loves them. Then she slits her throat. Dogs move in on the house and the car wrecks she left and the warehouse. They are everywhere. The package that they were in the warehouse for is still on the floor. The stuffed animals that she was trying to get for her nephew spilling out of it.

This shit was so creepy. She was all alone and knew she was going to end up dead. This was so sad. I felt really bad for her. Why are those dogs everywhere and who is controlling them? Is it the government? Those poor people.

Black Mirror, episode four

Recap of “Hang the DJ”

Two people meet in a restaurant for the first time. They are on a blind date from an app. The app handles everything. They don’t even have to order. Whilst they, Frank and Amy, chat they decide to check the relationship’s expiration date via the app. It’s only 12 hours away. They decide to make the most of it.

After dinner the app has a car pick them up and take them to a cottage for the night. From there they are on their own and they don’t know what to do. They go to bed, fully clothed on top of the covers, and talk briefly about how crazy things must have been before the app.

The next morning they go their separate ways but seem to be less than pleased about it. They both go to exercise after and talk to the app about what comes next. More relationships. It’s still building an algorithm for them. They each get a new match and head off.

His will be a year and his new match is less than thrilled. Hers is nine months and dude is just ready to jump in bed. Both couples have sex but afterward each Frank and Amy seem a bit melancholy. The app people host a wedding to tell all the couples that the system works. Frank and Amy run into each other and get along swimmingly, less so with their respective matches.

Time goes by. Neither Frank nor Amy is happy in their relationship. Amy’s is done first and she gets paired up again pretty quickly. It’s a short one though. 36 hours. Another match. Another 36 hours. And again.

Frank’s relationship ends and he gets another match right away. He heads to the restaurant and is surprised to see that he has been matched with Amy again. They enjoy themselves and decide not to check the expiration date. They have sex and enjoy themselves.

They talk about the system and she thinks that it might not be as legit as people think. She’s happy and wants to spend time with him. He goes along with it but eventually starts messing with the app again. He gets up in the night and talks to the system. He asks for the date and it mucks up the system. What was once five years drops to less than a day.

Now that Frank has ruined everything, he can’t focus on what’s right in front of him. Amy is business as usual but he keeps checking the app now. She eventually calls him on it and he admits that he checked and she gets mad. They have an hour left. He wants to ignore the system and run away together. She walks off.

Life goes on but they are both miserable. She gets a ton of matches and he tells his latest girlfriend about Amy. She gets a notification that her ultimate match has been found. She’ll be able to meet them and leave the community. She gets to say one goodbye and she picks Frank. Then she throws the system in a pool.

She goes to see him and this is his goodbye too. She tells him this is a test. She feels it and he agrees. They are going to hop the wall and rebel, together. They make a break for it and climb the wall. They never reach the top. Turns out they were simulations. The pairing rebelled to stay together 998 out of 1000 times. They are a perfect match.

It’s just proof that people are actually Sims. That’s it. I’m glad they ended up together but on a larger scale it kind of terrifies me about the meaning of life and free will and all that fun stuff.

Black Mirror, episode three

Recap of “Crocodile”

A man and a woman are at a rave. They party and dance. They are a couple named Rob and Marie and when they leave, he’s still not sober. They drive along a snowy mountain road and hit someone on a bike. Mia wants to call the cops but Rob says that’s “instant prison” so they toss the man and his bike in a lake.

Years later, Mia has a fancy speaking engagement so she leaves the family. Elsewhere, an injured woman gets a visit from an insurance agent. Mia speaks at her architecture forum in London. She gets a call from Rob. It’s been three years. He’s sober and wants to talk to her about something. He found an article about the dead guy’s wife.

It’s been 15 years and now he wants to tell her what happened, anonymously. She tells him not to. That he will be found out and that this will ruin her life. She cries and he tries to leave. She doesn’t let him. Instead she kills him. Outside, a man gets hit by a pizza van. Mia closes the shades.

The insurance agent is working from home. Her boyfriend/husband comes in with a guinea pig. He didn’t discuss it with her first though. Mia has to ditch Rob’s body now. So she rents porn and then smuggles him down to her car, drives off to an industrial site and dumps it there. She has a chat with her husband and son along the way.

The next morning she checks out and drives away. She drives by the insurance agent on the way. She’s working the pizza van case. She checks the police camera but its been vandalized. Next she heads out to talk to the victim.

She has some tech to watch his memories so he walks her through what he saw. It’s not much but she does have a witness to try to track down now. Mia gets home and talks to her husband a bit before he and her son head out. They won’t be back until that evening.

As soon as they are gone, she cracks open the booze. Insurance lady goes to see the witness. She doesn’t get much. Just some more stuff to check at the scene. Mia is paranoid and goes to scrub down her car. Insurance lady goes to see a dentist in the area to see if he saw anything.

He didn’t see the accident but he did see Mia looking out the window. Next stop is the hotel. She can’t get the patron’s name but the clerk tells the insurance lady that Mia rented porn. She uses facial recognition software and finds Mia’s name. It’s a trek but she heads out to talk to Mia.

She turns up and Mia tries to brush her off but insurance lady is persistent. Mia lets her in and reads the fine print before taking a bathroom break. She tries to control her memories and then goes back and gets hooked up to the memory machine. She sees her room service and the porn and the pizza van accident.

Mia also remembers Rob’s face and their fight and the first accident. Insurance lady pretends she didn’t see anything unusual but she tries to leave in a hurry and Mia realizes what’s what. She grabs her and takes her to the garage and interrogates her a bit before checking her memories to see who will go looking for her.

Then Mia kills the insurance lady and heads back into London to kill her husband too. On the drive she talks to her own husband and pretends everything is okay. She sneaks into the dude’s house and finds him in the bath. She smashes his head with a hammer. On her way out she hears something. It’s a baby crying. The couple had a baby.

Mia gets to her son’s recital in the nick of time and hears him and his classmates sing. She doesn’t seem to be very enthralled with the performance though. Cops are at insurance lady’s house. They found the dead husband… and the dead baby. They assume the baby was killed to get rid of witnesses, too bad the baby was blind one tech says. There is a witness though. The guinea pig.

SHE KILLED THE KID! Also, the wife would automatically be the suspect right? They don’t know she’s dead in a shed 50 miles away right? Mia was awful. I felt bad for her at the first accident because she was trying to do the right thing but she is awful.

Black Mirror, episode two

Recap of “Arkangel”

A woman is in the hospital. She’s getting local anaesthetic¬†for a c-section. Doctors take the baby out. She doesn’t cry right away and the woman freaks out but it’s okay. The baby is okay. A few years later the baby is now a little kid who won’t eat for her grandfather.

Mom comes home and takes her to the park. While the now 3-year-old Sara plays, Marie talks to another mom Sara wanders away. The neighborhood searches and finds her. She followed a cat. Marie isn’t taking any chances. She gets her into a trial program for a GPS type chip.

It can track where she is, vital statistics, even what she sees. Marie’s father is skeptical but Marie thinks it is great. She goes about her business and continues to watch the world through Sara’s eyes on her tablet. She sees her father have a heart attack that way.

As Sara gets older, she still has the chip and she still has a parental advisory filter. She doesn’t see “upsetting things” from fights to bad language, even her own blood. Marie thinks she is acting out but it’s just a reaction to the chip.

The program, Arkangel, never went wide and will be completely pulled in a matter of months, according to a psychologist. The way to solve this is to turn the chip off, since it can’t be removed. Marie agrees to do that and Sara heads to school. It’s a bit of culture shock at first but she adjusts.

Years go by. Sara is in high school and interested in boys now. She and a friend lie and sneak out to see said boys. Marie goes out to see a man herself and calls Sara’s cover story to offer a ride home.

Sara isn’t there though. She’s not anywhere that Marie tries so in a panic she goes home and boots up the old tablet. She gets more than she bargained for when she catches a view of Sara having sex. She cries. Eventually Sara’s friend figures out she’s been found out and they head home.

Marie has waited up and Sara comes in. She maintains her story and Marie doesn’t confront her. The next morning she says that she will be late from school because she is helping a friend. Marie doesn’t question her but she’s carrying the tablet around again.

After school, Sara goes to see her new boyfriend. He’s a dealer and she convinces him to let her try some coke. Marie gets an alert about it and freaks out. She tracks the guy down and threatens him, revealing she still has the system.

He starts avoiding Sara which upsets her. Marie tries to cheer her up but gets nowhere. Eventually Sara confronts him and he tells her that he doesn’t want her. After the breakup, Sara wanders around alone and Marie watches. She goes to a pharmacy in the middle of the night and adds something to Sara’s smoothie the next morning.

She goes to school and gets sick. The nurse there tells her that it was the emergency contraception that made her sick. Sara connects the dots and goes home. She digs through the garbage and finds the package for the pill. Then she goes and finds the tablet. She sees that her mother saw everything.

Marie gets home and Sara confronts her. They argue and have a tug of war over the tablet. Sara wins and bashes on her mother with it until she’s knocked out. The parental advisory is back on and Sara flees. Marie wakes up and goes to look for Sara. The tablet is busted and Marie melts down in the front yard. Sara hitches a ride with a trucker.

The whole chip thing is creepy just as a tracking device but once they started the whole, see what they see thing it went really off the rails. Then it became change what they see and that’s just awful. I felt bad for Sara because she had trouble relating since she couldn’t see things. The end though was nuts. Marie was a creep.

Black Mirror, episode one

Recap of “USS Callister”

Captain Daly and his crew are flying through space when they encounter an enemy ship. They seem to have no way out and a crewman by the name of Walton panics until Daly makes a bold move to save the day. They crew cheers for him.

Daly is on an elevator. He gets off and heads to work at a company called Callister. Turns out he’s the CTO and the crew from his “mission in space” are the people who work there and whiny Walton is the CFO. He doesn’t seem to get a whole lot of respect.

A new employee named Nanette stumbles in to introduce herself and fangirl over his tech work. Walton comes in and bullies Daly before whisking Nanette away. After work, he goes home and boots up his VR game, the one he invented and they all work at.

He basically just bullies the crew and then signs off. The next day at work, Walton chats up Nanette but she offers to and makes coffee for until she gets warned to steer clear because he’s a bit “starey.” After everyone leaves the office, Daly steals Nanette’s coffee cop, and her DNA. He takes it home and hooks it up to his computer.

Then its morning and he’s off to work. Walton yells at him. Most everyone else just ignores him. During the day the computer program at home boots up. Nanette wakes up on the USS Callister. She stumbles around until she finds the crew.

She talks to them and finds out that he has created his own version of the game that he keeps offline. They are digital clones. When he isn’t there they talk. They are aware but don’t know what’s going in the real world. They also can’t escape.

Some noises chime. Daly is back. Cole tries to escape but he zaps her back to the bridge. She fights back and he whips off her face and suffocates her until she submits. They go on a mission and when they get back aboard the ship, Daly tries to kiss Nanette. She is smacks him. He shows her mercy… this time.

Once he signs off Nannette tries to hack the system and eventually gets through to the main game page. She sends herself a message and thinks that will work. It doesn’t. Real world her tells real world Daly. He comes back to the game and yells at them. One of the crew members, Lowry fights back and he makes her a monster.

When he leaves again, Nanette comes up with a plan to erase their coding and basically kill them all. Everyone agrees except Walton. Turns out he has a son in the real world. Daly brought him into the game and killed him. He still has that DNA too. That’s how he keeps Walton in line.

Daly comes back to play again and this time Cole goes along with it. She convinces him to go onto a new planet alone with her. She frolics with him in the water while the others hack her photocloud account and get real world her to go to Daly’s place and steal the DNA he has saved. She does while he is away from the game answering his door.

She sends them a signal and they use the ship to try to get into the wormhole that will kill them all. On the planet, Daly comes back and gets on the stranded ship. He takes off and gives chase. He keeps contacting and yelling at them.

They are close to the wormhole when they get hit with an asteroid and they lose engine function. Walton sacrifices himself by climbing into the engine to turn on the manual override. He tells Daly to fuck off in the process. Engine power resumes and they make it into the wormhole.

It doesn’t kill them though. It just gets them out of Daly’s game. They are now alive in the system and can go wherever they want. Meanwhile, Daly is stranded in his rogue universe. The system deletes it and real world Daly dies in the process. Nanette is now the captain and the team can do whatever they want.

This was pretty cool. I felt bad for real world Daly at first but then he turned out to be so awful behind closed doors. I thought it was very clever the way they eventually blackmailed Nanette but she’s a bit of an idiot for assuming that her real world self would believe the first message.

The Crown, episode ten

Philip is up early and exercising. He mucks up his neck and needs to see a specialist for her. They talk about all sorts of things and eventually the doctor invites him to a party.

A year lady there is a woman being asked about several Soviets. She isn’t saying anything. They want to know about the party. There is a man with his back to the camera. They want an ID but she doesn’t give one.

Macmillian talks about it. Government types think it is a foreign minister that Macmillian thinks the minister in question is innocent. Margaret is doing construction. Elizabeth has to mediate. Her doctor comes in. Good news, she’s expecting though her iron levels are low.

She goes to tell Philip but he’s not there. Turns out he’s at a weekend house party, even if it is only Wednesday. The doctor, Ward, is brought in by police. He admits that he introduced the foreign minister to a call girl and a Russian spy. He’ll be resigning shortly.

Tony has been handling a lot of foreign assignments. It’s good for the marriage. Elizabeth goes to see Margaret about the construction noise. She finds out that Margaret is pregnant too. They talk about the latest news.

Apparently the minister admitted to an affair but he’s not the mystery man in the photo. Margaret thinks it is Philip. Elizabeth meets with Macmillian who tries to resign. She refuses to accept it. She will be taking leave to Scotland because of the pregnancy.

There is a theater production poking fun at the queen and the government. Macmillian’s wife found it funny and tells him to see it. Elizabeth is excited to see Philip packing. She thinks that he is going with her. He’s not. She takes a jab but they still part ways.

Macmillian goes to see the show and gets called out. Elizabeth takes the train to Scotland. Ward is on trial. Elizabeth is asleep when Michael comes in. He needs her for a few things. Run of the mill charitable paperwork but there is something else.

Ward took his own life and the investigation into his estate revealed a link to Philip. Elizabeth is not happy about it. Then she gets news that Macmillian is resigning. She goes to see him but she can’t talk him out of it.

Philip gets back to Buckingham and finds Margaret and Tony but no Elizabeth. She appointed a new PM and then ran back to Scotland and her selection isn’t going over well. Philip takes the train to see her but she would prefer to be alone.

The next day they fight. He says that he knows she is under a lot of stress but some people are there for her. She doesn’t think he is. They fight about Ward and the truth. She would rather the truth even if it hurts but he is a mystery man. He says that he’s hers. She has the baby, Prince Edward. Margaret has hers. They sit for a family portrait.

Elizabeth is trapped and Philip is awful. That’s basically the moral of the story right? None of them are happy. They probably don’t even like each other. They are stuck.