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S04.E03: Crocodile

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Architect Mia scrambles to keep a dark secret under wraps, while insurance investigator Shazia harvests people's memories of a nearby accident scene.

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I liked this one, since it reminded me of Shut Up and Dance. Even though Mia tried to do everything to keep herself safe, she was foiled by a house pet. People will do anything to hide crimes, but wow is she stupid. Covering up the initial crime was bad, but she could have said she was coerced into it. We already saw that she didn't want to do it, but was pressured into it by her boyfriend at the time. He also said that he'll leave her out of it, which would help as well.

But to kill three people and a baby. I was hoping she wouldn't kill the child, but then she did. What a horrible person from beginning till the end.

 

My only complaint is that when Shazia is about to die she was saying 'inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'oon' which means 'We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return', but that phrase is usually said when someone else dies and you're offering your condolences or when something bad happens. If you know that you're going to die, Muslims usually say (or at least we're encouraged to try and say) ' La ilaha illAllah' which means there's no deity worthy of worship except Allah.

But that's minor and not something anyone, other than a Muslim would pick up on.

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Some really nice callbacks to previous episodes. 15 Million Merits, to be exact, with the song continuously playing and the mention of Hot Shot. 

Yeah, Mia was a pretty despicable person as the episode went on. Sure, she felt guilt and shame, but then she willingly killed her ex because he was ready to talk, and then she killed more people to cover that up. The initial crime was bad, sure, but she was in her early twenties, she was in shock, and she allowed her boyfriend to coerce her into keeping quiet. And he was willing to keep her name out of the letter, which probably would have worked. Or it wouldn't have, but then she needed to take responsibility, all because she was comfortable in her life. 

I think she could have been a fine character if she hadn't have killed her ex, especially since he was willing to risk it all. And then she started making bad choice after bad choice.

I don't think this episode worked as well as others for me because Mia was simply unlikable, and she wasn't supposed to appear sympathetic. We spent so much time on Mia that I feel like we were supposed to somewhat sympathize with her...or they planned for us to follow the antagonist as a twist. I'm still debating which they were actually going for. I don't think we were supposed to like her at all, especially once she killed the kid, but why'd we spend so much time on her, then? Also, why kill the kid? What's the kid going to say? I guess she was afraid that the recaller would be used on the kid, which really, really sucks. 

At least with episodes such as White Bear and Shut Up and Dance, there was an attempt for some sympathy on the main characters, even when it was revealed they did some pretty messed up shit. Here, we knew earlier on that she wasn't a good person. 

At least there was sympathy for her victims, like Shazia. I just feel like we could have gotten more on her and less on Mia. I do like the guinea pig actually being used to recall and get Mia arrested (I assume). It was incredibly satisfying, thinking the outcome at least worked out in some way, even though four people were murdered in the course of 24 hours. 

This isn't quite as bad as the Waldo episode, but this episode was definitely on my list of least favourite episodes.

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I liked this one, since it reminded me of Shut Up and Dance.

Definitely! So messed up... But in a good way ;-)

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That poor investigator and her family!  I was hoping that Mia wouldn't go that far to try to cover up her 2nd crime, but this show is determined to go there.

When they showed the events of the first crime, she was very meek and helped her addict boyfriend (of the Outlander "mark me" fame!) with hardly any persuasion.  This should have told me that she would do anything to cover her ass.  After she killed her old boyfriend, she definitely showed her coldness and new pro-active approach with covering up a crime.  Although she was in tears (I guess that's where the title is from),  she even took a phone call from her family with a corpse in the backseat.

I was hoping her conscience would reappear, but she just kept going.  I'm glad they didn't show anything of the baby's death.

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Wow that was dark.  And in the most awesome straight out of criminal minds way possible.  So would Mia be a serial killer or a spree killer?   One issue I have is why Crocodile and not guinia pig?  Seriously though I kept thinking this was some weird version of How To Get Away With Murder or the chain of murder.  Still  far second favorite episode so far.  I like USS Callister better.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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Thus far all the villians have gotten their comeuppance this season. But this episode was a lot darker than the previous ones. Nobody of the main characters died in the previous episodes and they got out more or less intact. This time, everybody died, even the toddler.

It was interesting how Mia made things worse and worse for herself. If she had only agreed to writing the letter she probably would have been fine. Physical letters are still hard to trace if you take precautions, I expect even in that world, since it didn't seem that far advanced apart from the memory thingies. Alternatively they could have written her an email through TOR. Even if they had it traced it back to her, probably nothing would have happened to her except some public shame. Worst case would have been obstruction of justice, which realistically wouldn't have gotten her more than a few month on parole.

But she decides to kill the guy, which okay, spur of the moment, probably a manslaughter charge. She gets rid of the body which still is kinda understandable, but then, when she is found out she starts going on a murder spree. What the fuck, lady? When did you turn into a coldblooded killer? Really, if she had just taken it, when Shazia discovered the memories, she might have gotten out in time to see her son graduate university. Now she'll stay inside forever. She really needed to learn when to cut her losses.

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Quick question regarding the male and female cop at the end. Did they appear in a previous Black Mirror episode? They look so familiar and my memory is terrible. Just wondering. 

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“I think she could have been a fine character if she hadn't have killed her ex, especially since he was willing to risk it all.”

 

SHE KILLED A FUCKING INFANT.  Thanks, Black Mirror. 

Edited by Jade Foxx
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7 hours ago, Jade Foxx said:

 

SHE KILLED A FUCKING INFANT.  Thanks, Black Mirror. 

A blind infant actually...

Appartantky the memory thing needs all your senses to work so the kid couldn’t have been a witness anyway.

But the guinea pig made a great one.

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I didn't understand why Mia agreed to being memory-dumped in the first place. Shazia wasn't law enforcement.

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13 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

why Crocodile and not guinia pig

I suspect the reference is to "crocodile tears."  Mia cries a lot for a villain!

I liked this.  I wanted to know more about the universe in which memories are routinely harvested.  I thought it might work awfully well as the premise for a futuristic detective series.

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17 minutes ago, Maximona said:

I suspect the reference is to "crocodile tears."  Mia cries a lot for a villain!

I liked this.  I wanted to know more about the universe in which memories are routinely harvested.  I thought it might work awfully well as the premise for a futuristic detective series.

I liked it too.  Although a fun twist thinking about it the guinia pig was a big cop out.  I much rather have the much darker ending if Mia getting away with it.   Or maybe her realizing that there was yet another witness she had to kill or something.  Some much darker twist then an unseen pet being her downfall. That is the only thing about the episode I didn’t like.  

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9 hours ago, Jade Foxx said:

“I think she could have been a fine character if she hadn't have killed her ex, especially since he was willing to risk it all.”

 

SHE KILLED A FUCKING INFANT.  Thanks, Black Mirror. 

Yeah, agreed. I should have specified that up until that point, she could have been a morally grey character. But then she kept killing people and then killing a poor innocent infant was the straw that got me to never ever sympathize with her. 

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1 hour ago, 2727 said:

I didn't understand why Mia agreed to being memory-dumped in the first place. Shazia wasn't law enforcement.

Shazia mentioned that if Mia didn't do it, then Shazia would have to inform the police and get it anyways. So Mia thought it would be easier to just go through Shazia and try to black out her memory as oppose to having the police involved and going to jail then.

Which is stupid, because Shazia mentioned that it would take time to get the police and paperwork in order and by then Mia could have lied to herself and gotten away with the murder. But she panicked and instead of seeing countless of opportunities to get out of the situation, she just erecting more and more walls around her. (It's a nice contrast to the beautiful open setting and the cage that she placed herself in)

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At one point I wondered if she was going to go through that whole freakin' town, just whacking each and every person as they connected her to the previous murder. It was like something out of the Simpsons's Halloween specials. 

What an adorable star witness, though! 

ETA: I knew I've seen the cartoon version of this plot before!

Edited by Luciano
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This was probably my favorite episode of the season. 

13 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

I liked it too.  Although a fun twist thinking about it the guinia pig was a big cop out.  I much rather have the much darker ending if Mia getting away with it.   Or maybe her realizing that there was yet another witness she had to kill or something.  Some much darker twist then an unseen pet being her downfall. That is the only thing about the episode I didn’t like.  

I was kind of upset that she didn't get away with it too.  The only thing that redeemed that for me was that she ended up killing the whole family including the baby (super dark! I love it!), but also that they used the guinea pig's memories! I kind of wished they would have shown them hooking it all up to the guinea pig, because that would have been hilarious to watch. Making it sniff something from the room and listen to some familiar noises to jog its memory...lol! 

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On 12/29/2017 at 4:39 PM, Lady Calypso said:

I don't think this episode worked as well as others for me because Mia was simply unlikable, and she wasn't supposed to appear sympathetic. We spent so much time on Mia that I feel like we were supposed to somewhat sympathize with her...or they planned for us to follow the antagonist as a twist. I'm still debating which they were actually going for.

I don’t think we were supposed to sympathize with her at all.

In most episodes of this show, we are presented with an audience surrogate—someone whom we, the audience, can either identify with; or (more frequently for this show) someone who may appear unsympathetic, but whose moral choices and moral failures strike us as uncomfortably familiar.) In the very least, in the past we’ve gotten characters who, even when irredeemable, nonetheless compel sympathy with their immense suffering (the protagonists in “Shut up and Dance” and “White Bear.”)

But this episode lacked the familiar audience surrogate. Mia, despite beginning with a tragic situation that compelled some sympathy, quickly became unsympathetic, and grew more and more so as the show went on. Brookner’s object here seemed less to provoke sympathy for her; more to provoke unease and horror in the viewer as events unfolded in an increasingly horrific fashion. Whether or not we the viewers should judge this as a worthy goal for an hour length episode is up for debate; but it seems to me that whether or not Brookner was trying to make Mia sympathetic to audiences is clear—he wasn’t.

I found this episode a bit difficult to rate or categorize not only because it lacked the typical audience surrogate, but because it lacked any clear moral or message. A few episodes of this show have somewhat didactic morals, but I think the strongest ones—“Hated in the Nation,” “USS Callister”—explore questions and deep moral issues through the medium of Sci-Fi/ fantasy. “Hated” explored the phenomenon of public shaming and asked questions about morality and personal responsibility; USS Callister was an exploration of free will, human rights violations, and the small ways we all might abuse our power (subtle and overt) over others in everyday life.

This episode, however, didn’t really appear to have a moral. (Unless you count something glaringly obvious, like “murdering babies is bad.”) It seemed gothic—not gothic in the sense of castles and barren moors, but gothic in the traditional sense, of the “gothic tales” of writers like Poe and Hoffman. The gothic (to quote Angela Carter), “is shocking and graphic, and serves no moral function other than provoking unease.”

Mia was not likable, relatable, or sympathetic in any sense of the word, but she was profoundly unnerving. Because despite her increasingly heinous, violent acts, she was presented as clearly human. (And I don’t mean “human” in the positive, relatable sense; but human in the “human, all too human” sense.) Rather than taking the easy route of making her a completely emotionless sociopath, or gleeful psychopath who delighted in murder and mayhem, Brookner made her a “normal” woman whose emotional and physical reactions were those that were humanly recognizable. No, Mia wasn’t a psychopath or a moral imbecile, which made her, when you think about it, all the viler. She was wholly aware that what she was doing was wrong every step of the way, yet she made the clear choice to do it anyway. The banality of evil, indeed.

Mia’s “normalcy” also lended itself to the unease the viewer felt—because with each evil choice she made, most viewers probably found themselves saying, “No, she won’t do it. It’s too evil. No way she’ll do it!” only to have her go ahead and do it. I know that was what I was saying as she stood outside of the baby’s crib for several minutes. (“Oh no! Just walk away! Come on, not even you are that evil!” But she was.)

Anyway, I’m not sure this episode deserves to stand with this shows finest, but I think that in order to understand it, it’s worth looking at what they were trying to accomplish, at least.  

Edited by Hazel55
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I really felt for Mia in the beginning, she was put into an impossible situation and picked up the pieces and tried to make the best of it. I was so mad at her ex for coming and telling her he was coming clean, but then she killed him and my sympathy evaporated. Watching her spiral out of control, killing everyone in her way was fascinating. I could not believe she killed the baby! I actually thought that the blind baby was a bit of a cop out, it was bad enough to kill the baby,to make it blind too was just too much for me. She had her own son who know has to grow up knowing his mom is a baby killer. I am not sure this is one of my favorites,but I am still thinking about it, 2 days later.

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On 12/31/2017 at 5:20 PM, Arynm said:

I really felt for Mia in the beginning, she was put into an impossible situation and picked up the pieces and tried to make the best of it. I was so mad at her ex for coming and telling her he was coming clean, but then she killed him and my sympathy evaporated. Watching her spiral out of control, killing everyone in her way was fascinating. I could not believe she killed the baby! I actually thought that the blind baby was a bit of a cop out, it was bad enough to kill the baby,to make it blind too was just too much for me. She had her own son who know has to grow up knowing his mom is a baby killer. I am not sure this is one of my favorites,but I am still thinking about it, 2 days later.

My sympathy for Mia lasted until she dumped her exes body.  Up until then she could justify her actions.   She was right about the letter.  With the memory gizmo who knows if the police would have tracked the letter back to them.  And she had a life to protect.  It wasn’t her fault that her ex couldn’t live with what he had done and made her do.

After she went to great lengths to dispose of his body and even give herself an alibi my sympathy continued to dwindle.  I still had some all the way until she murdered the other main character; the memory tech operator who was a fundamentally good person just trying to do her job.

That is when Mia turned into a villain for me.

She hit rock bottom when she killed the woman’s family just to keep her secrets.

Honestly I loved this episode.  This is one of those episodes I wouldn't have mind if it had been longer and more drawn out.  It was a top rate thriller with the villain as the protagonist.

Those are always fun.

Edited by Chaos Theory · Reason: Editing because it kinda needed it,
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I think this one was too dark even for me.  Mind you, it wasn't a bad episode.  Good performances to be sure.  I liked Kiran Sonia Sawar's insurance investigator and I definitely could have gotten behind a series with her character.  I kind of like insurance investigator characters ever since I listened to some of the old Johnny Dollar radio shows on XM Radio Classics (the man with the action packed expense account!)  Loved the landscape that they shot this episode in and the technology.  But damn, that just got about as dark as it could get and for Black Mirror that's saying something.  It got too out of control by the end and drowned in its own darkness.

I also found the way Mia killed her ex to be laughable.  She's about 100 pound soaking to death, so she hugs him, pushes him into the wall and then landed on top of him where he cracks his head open.  Her strangled him with her forearm was even more ludicrous and then managing to sneak his body out and dispose of it.  Yeah, just not buying that she could do that all on her own.

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I'm on the fence with this ep. The tech part was interesting, especially when you think about the potential legalities of it. I'd want an attorney present before hooking up to that device, but unlike verbal testimony, you can't control actual memories. And that might explain why Mia was so willing to start killing. In this future, it's close to impossible to get away with any crime. While watching, her murder spree seemed unrealistic to me, but how far would she have to go to truly erase all witnesses? Based on the research for the car accident, it seems they're hiding everywhere.

As a piece of entertainment, it didn't hold up as well for me as some of the other eps, mainly for reasons that have already been mentioned here. The outdoor scenery was beautiful, though. I want to visit Iceland now.

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15 Million Merits, to be exact, with the song continuously playing and the mention of Hot Shot. 

Thanks! I was trying to remember which episode the music came from. I knew I'd heard it somewhere.

I guess one thing that bugged me was that they have this super high-tech thing that can actually read peoples' minds, but the device itself - the one with the little view screen - looks super low-tech. Like a prop from the original 1960s Star Trek show, or Lost in Space. 

Also, I'm not sure that I buy that Mia was able to so easily utilize this device on Shazia. With all her other witnesses, Shazia had to prompt the memories by instruction and with stimuli, like the bottle of beer. It seems like she would be practiced enough not to give away any memories by force. And how did Mia even know how the gadget worked? 

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"The Prosecution will now call its star witness...Mr. Fluffybottom!!!!" 

Definitely the darkest episode of the season yet, at least partially because there isn't really a lesson here. Its just a story of a women going to increasingly desperate (and evil) lengths to cover up a terrible mistake made years ago, with advanced technology just being a part of the story. Mia was an awful and unsympathetic character, but I did find her interesting. She wasn't an unfeeling sociopath, but she just kept doing more and more unforgivable things, all the whole rationalizing it as being something she need to do to keep her happy life. I mean, she went to her kids school play right after beating a baby to death with a hammer. Dear God lady. This story could have probably been made now, just aging up the kid a few years to be a witness. Maybe the moral is that making it easy to go into peoples memories is dangerous? 

I thought the memory tech was interesting, and how it was used in crimes and insurance claims. While I know that Black Mirrors bread and butter is showing how tech hurts people and society when its used for destructive pruposes, I also enjoying seeing how it affects society on a more neutral level. I would totally watch a crime show about cops in this world. 

I wonder if the guy with the lawsuit will get together with the girl he saw on the street? They both seemed to have liked each other, and at least something good would have come out of all of this. Poor Shazia and her family. I did like seeing her work day, and she and her family gave us some sympathetic characters, in between Mia and her awful self. Maybe they adopt the Geuinie pig! Maybe thats the real lesson here. Get a family pet, you never know if if might help solve your family's brutal murders. 

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Not my favorite, mostly because I feel like the tech was incidental to the plot. There's an accidental murder followed by deliberate murders to cover it up. Standard crime story. That the witness testimony is being visualized rather than relayed is a minor difference. (Except that it enables the ending.) And she committed a classic blunder: don't remove your mask while still at the crime scene.

I like the automatic pizza truck. It seems the pizza company from last episode has advanced enough to not need delivery guys anymore.

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7 hours ago, Amarsir said:

Not my favorite, mostly because I feel like the tech was incidental to the plot. There's an accidental murder followed by deliberate murders to cover it up. Standard crime story. That the witness testimony is being visualized rather than relayed is a minor difference. (Except that it enables the ending.) And she committed a classic blunder: don't remove your mask while still at the crime scene.

I like the automatic pizza truck. It seems the pizza company from last episode has advanced enough to not need delivery guys anymore.

Not really.  The whole plot revolved around a memory reliving gizmo.  If not for that then a good number of people would still be alive.  Black Mirror is pretty good at showing the bad things tech can do.  This took a piece of tech and showed both the pros and cons of it extremely well.  It can be used as a tool solving crimes but it can also be used for dark dark purposes.  

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Codger the Guinea Pig is a hero!

I want Mia’s consciousnesses to be harvested and put into that Black Museum cell where she can be tortured every day. In any case, just put her in gen pop in prison. A baby killer wouldn’t last a day there.

Was that filmed in Finland? 

How did Mia make a hundred mile round trip and get to the play on time?

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JFC this was the most depressing, harrowing, distressing and awful episode ever. I mean it was good but it was also terrible.  UGH

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I found this episode insanely gripping, dark and disturbing.

Initially I felt some sympathy for Mia, because at the time of the original incident, she was in shock, and her boyfriend bullied her into covering up the accident. I was supremely annoyed when he reappeared years later to declare unilaterally that he was going to write an anonymous letter detailing what had happened. Had I been in her position, I would have been furious, but would have let the chips fallen where they may, and gotten a good lawyer if it came to that.

The  ease with which she slipped into serially murdering people was chilling. As soon as poor Shazia pulled into Mia's driveway, I was yelling at my screen "Don't do it! don't go in there! Run girl, run!". And the little baby. I was really hoping they wouldn't go there and they did. : (

I was actually glad to see her get her comeuppance at the very end (yay guinea pig!). For those saying this episode didn't have a moral, I disagree. I think it was a tech-updated version of the famous saying "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." Except instead of garden-variety deception, the main character was engaged in multiple murders.

I've been working my way through the episodes in order, and I think I need to take a break and watch a comedy special or something.

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For me there is a big plot hole from the get go, and that is why, once the ex showed up to tell her of his plans, why didn't she just contact the authorities to have them use the memory thing on him to prove her innocence and his guilt from the get go.  And then she could have been under their protection, right? That bugged me throughout the whole thing. Or did they address why she didn't do that?

1 hour ago, LittleIggy said:

Was that filmed in Finland? 

It was filmed in Iceland according to IMDB :)

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9 minutes ago, catrox14 said:

For me there is a big plot hole from the get go, and that is why, once the ex showed up to tell her of his plans, why didn't she just contact the authorities to have them use the memory thing on him to prove her innocence and his guilt from the get go.  And then she could have been under their protection, right? That bugged me throughout the whole thing. Or did they address why she didn't do that?

Good point! I'm assuming that sort of technology wouldn't just be limited to insurance claims. I don't recall them saying anything about it in the episode, but perhaps the tech can only access memories that are fairly recent, like within a couple of years? The accident happened more than a decade earlier, so perhaps harvesting the memories wouldn't have worked as well. But you're right - it is a plot hole - no explanation was offered.

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10 minutes ago, Cheezwiz said:

Good point! I'm assuming that sort of technology wouldn't just be limited to insurance claims. I don't recall them saying anything about it in the episode, but perhaps the tech can only access memories that are fairly recent, like within a couple of years? The accident happened more than a decade earlier, so perhaps harvesting the memories wouldn't have worked as well. But you're right - it is a plot hole - no explanation was offered.

Oh that could be about the recent memories.  Did the tech exist when the first accident happened? I can't remember.

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23 minutes ago, catrox14 said:

 

It was filmed in Iceland according to IMDB :)

Iceland, right. I was thinking that, due to that geothermal activity in the background. Don’t know why I typed “Finland.”

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Just now, catrox14 said:

Oh that could be about the recent memories.  Did the tech exist when the first accident happened? I can't remember.

They didn't mention how old the technology was either - so, we as the audience are not sure it existed when the accident happened. A couple of tweaks to the script would have fixed that.

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Even if they has used the technology to determine that the boyfriend was the driver and had persuaded her to cover it up she would still have been in trouble. Even if she had gotten a relatively light sentence for covering it up she would become a pariah once people knew what she had done. She would have lost her cushy life and her kid. 

She was young, she was drunk and she wanted to protect her boyfriend and herself but she kept that secret for years. She didn't sober up and think about what that man's family was going through. She had years after it happened to do the right thing and she never did. 

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7 hours ago, catrox14 said:

For me there is a big plot hole from the get go, and that is why, once the ex showed up to tell her of his plans, why didn't she just contact the authorities to have them use the memory thing on him to prove her innocence and his guilt from the get go. 

Err... she wasn't innocent..?

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8 hours ago, catrox14 said:

For me there is a big plot hole from the get go, and that is why, once the ex showed up to tell her of his plans, why didn't she just contact the authorities to have them use the memory thing on him to prove her innocence and his guilt from the get go.  And then she could have been under their protection, right? That bugged me throughout the whole thing. Or did they address why she didn't do that?

She was guilty of being an accessory after the fact. She helped ex cover up the accident and kept silent about it for years. 

Even assuming that she would not be found criminally guilty somehow (say a plea deal to get the ex), her reputation would take a humongous hit. No more invitations to swanky presentations after she was demonstrated to have colluded to cover up a killing.

Edited by Chicago Redshirt
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1 hour ago, Zaku said:

Err... she wasn't innocent..?

. If you like a word different than 'innocent' that's fine. She's not guilty of the murder of the cyclist because she wasn't the driver. She didn't kill the cyclist. IIRC, she even tried to get him to call the police in the first place.

My point is not defending her actions  rather it's  more that the writing itself failed by not addressing if she herself, could have used the tech to show that her role in the coverup of the death was her being intimidated by him initially.  Or given us a better look into each of their memories presented to show how her memories may have been different than his memories of the event and how would a court of law treat that difference. Would they have had the same guilt level. 

I dunno, upon rewatch I don't think it's really well constructed from the jump.   For me, sending Mia down this path was not well set up at all if the point was that the memory tech leads to more selfish behavior. Or was it to show that Mia was just the most selfish from the beginning? Or did her guilt over the coverup keep her drinking for years like the ex? The ex wasn't really any better for wanting to write an anonymous letter to assuage his own guilt when he wasn't going to likely be found out.

I think the writing didn't really work here other than to put her character into the child murderer position for shock value. Meh.

Edited by catrox14
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9 hours ago, Cheezwiz said:

Good point! I'm assuming that sort of technology wouldn't just be limited to insurance claims. I don't recall them saying anything about it in the episode, but perhaps the tech can only access memories that are fairly recent, like within a couple of years? The accident happened more than a decade earlier, so perhaps harvesting the memories wouldn't have worked as well. But you're right - it is a plot hole - no explanation was offered.

It seems like the tech can access whatever memories are the most vivid. In this case, Mia's ex did mention that he replayed the accident over and over, and Mia also stated that she remembered quite well. Now, how well those memories are really in tact is another question. But we also know they use the tech for more than insurance claims, as evident by the guinea pig being hooked up to the tech at the end. I don't even think that they would use the tech to recall memories that happened 15 years ago. It would be too unreliable and the court would probably not use that as official evidence. So, in reality, Mia probably killed her ex for no reason at all. 

1 hour ago, catrox14 said:

If you like a word different than 'innocent' that's fine. She's not guilty of the murder of the cyclist because she wasn't the driver. She didn't kill the cyclist. IIRC, she even tried to get him to call the police in the first place.

My point is not defending her actions  rather it's  more that the writing itself failed by not addressing if she herself, could have used the tech to show that her role in the coverup of the death was her being intimidated by him initially.  Or given us a better look into each of their memories presented to show how her memories may have been different than his memories of the event and how would a court of law treat that difference. Would they have had the same guilt level. 

I dunno, upon rewatch I don't think it's really well constructed from the jump.   For me, sending Mia down this path was not well set up at all if the point was that the memory tech leads to more selfish behavior. Or was it to show that Mia was just the most selfish from the beginning? Or did her guilt over the coverup keep her drinking for years like the ex? The ex wasn't really any better for wanting to write an anonymous letter to assuage his own guilt when he wasn't going to likely be found out.

I think the writing didn't really work here other than to put her character into the child murderer position for shock value. Meh.

She's not guilty for murdering the cyclist, but she is guilty for covering it up and not coming clean for 15 years. She wouldn't have gotten as bad of a sentence as her ex, but she still would have gone to jail for quite a few years for being an accessory to murder, covering it up, and probably other charges. Her ex was trying to leave her out of the accident portion, but who knows if they would have used the recall tech to find out the details of the accident. 15 years is a long time for memories to be altered or changed; sure, Mia remembers what happened generally on that day, but I doubt she recalls all the specifics. So it would still probably take the police weeks or months to find the cyclist's dead body, even when it's been decomposed. 

I don't think the lesson was necessarily about the tech being evil in this episode. For once, I think it had more to do with the main character. I think the tech was the gateway for Mia to be selfish enough to cover up her crimes by committing more crimes, but it was her own paranoia, selfishness, and protection for her family that led to her actions. Even as we saw with Shazia when she was using the tech on witnesses, she still needed to give them cues to activate their memories, and even those cues were not always reliable (the yellow coat, for example). 

I still don't like this episode, and don't think it hit the mark like other episodes. I just felt nothing when Mia went to her son's talent show and was crying during it. She killed people to protect her family, only to end up hurting her family worse than what would have happened if it had just been the accident 15 years ago. Now her child's going to have to live with the memory that his mom killed four people, one on their own property. 

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I didn't think it gave enough background on Mia and the ex's relationship. I guess it seems like there is a big piece missing for me to explain why she would go from wanting to call the police initially and refusing to participate in the actions to going along with it.  Was she terrified of him more than we know? Was it an abusive relationship that took her down that path and we never saw that aspect? Did her inebriated state make her more afraid of him? Did she start realizing her own penalties during the process? Did she fall into a panic mode along with him?

I guess for me, there was not enough focus on their relationship, the initial crime and why she changed. Like to me maybe they could have examined if the trauma of her participating in the cover up changed her. Or the advent of the memory tech, changed her approach.

Just not enough for me to feel like I can buy into the premise that she was either always a psycho, became one for helping him or what.  Or just flipped out in the moment when he showed back up and then it escalated. It felt both too deeply emotionally disturbing and yet also too superficial at the same time. 

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14 minutes ago, catrox14 said:

I didn't think it gave enough background on Mia and the ex's relationship. I guess it seems like there is a big piece missing for me to explain why she would go from wanting to call the police initially and refusing to participate in the actions to going along with it.  Was she terrified of him more than we know? Was it an abusive relationship that took her down that path and we never saw that aspect? Did her inebriated state make her more afraid of him? Did she start realizing her own penalties during the process? Did she fall into a panic mode along with him?

I think it was due to shock but also partially because she was under the influence. She was too much in shock to really put up a fight about telling the police about what happened, so she ended up just numbly going along with what her ex was saying. I think their relationship was superficial, probably not all that serious, and they mostly went out to party and do drugs together. 

She seemed to be repressing what happened for 15 years and the thought of it being resurfaced and her losing her family, job, and overall freedom was what terrified her. Though I agree that going around to kill everyone who could expose her was stupid. Only a psycho would actually go through with killing people to cover up a crime. What, did she suppress this side of her for this long and it only resurfaced at the mention of her ex wanting to confess anonymously? 

The episode really wasn't thought out as well as they wanted it to be. There was just no ambiguity; I don't even fully understand what they were going for. I get why they chose Iceland as the setting for the episode, but that's about as far as my understanding of the episode's purpose. 

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2 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

She's not guilty for murdering the cyclist, but she is guilty for covering it up and not coming clean for 15 years. She wouldn't have gotten as bad of a sentence as her ex, but she still would have gone to jail for quite a few years for being an accessory to murder, covering it up, and probably other charges. Her ex was trying to leave her out of the accident portion, but who knows if they would have used the recall tech to find out the details of the accident. 15 years is a long time for memories to be altered or changed; sure, Mia remembers what happened generally on that day, but I doubt she recalls all the specifics. So it would still probably take the police weeks or months to find the cyclist's dead body, even when it's been decomposed. 

I know it's a long time but there is evidence like with PTSD that the trauma lives forever as clear as if it happened yesterday or in the moment people can relive those memories and have emotional reactions to those memories.  So it seems to me that an event like killing a person or being closely tied to that event would be just as vivid as something 10 minutes ago. Maybe even more vivid because it's not just being remembered but re-experienced over and over. To me it seems like it would be worth a shot for the police to try and use it.

Also, did they say if they can access memories of a dead person? Or someone recently dead. Or do the memories cease to exist because of brain death?

Oh this makes me think of the Torchwood episodes which used the Resurrection gauntlet to resuscitate dead people to access their memories.

spoilers for the rest of s4

 

Quote

Which kind of ties into the events of Black Museum.

Just now, catrox14 said:

To me it seems like it would be worth a shot for the police to try and use it.

ETA: Not that I want this to be a thing IRL. Just saying why I think it was worth a try  in this fictional story.

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Re: the memory technology, it’s really extreme to compel someone to undergo something so intrusive over a private insurance matter. Would you want your brain probed just because you were walking down the street and may or may not have seen something? 

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They probably still would have covered up the death anyway but I got the impression that Mia's boyfriend was particularly worried about confessing to the cops because he was likely drunk or stoned.  Mia was likely as well.  Regardless, Mia is at least an accessory after the fact for disposing of the body and tampering with the crime scene.  There's a legal price to pay for that.

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14 hours ago, catrox14 said:

For me there is a big plot hole from the get go, and that is why, once the ex showed up to tell her of his plans, why didn't she just contact the authorities to have them use the memory thing on him to prove her innocence and his guilt from the get go.  And then she could have been under their protection, right? That bugged me throughout the whole thing. Or did they address why she didn't do that?

It was filmed in Iceland according to IMDB :)

You are thinking to logically often like someone after the fact who has been told a harrowing story.  Why didn’t you just do this? 

She was terrified that her life would be destroyed by something that happened a decade earlier.  If she had taken a step back and maybe took a day to think about it she might have done all that.  However with her ex saying he was going to leave and pretty much mail the letter the minute he walked out the door.  She panicked.   If she hadn’t panicked in that one moment we’d have an entirely different story.

The episode was entirely Mia in panic self survival mode.  

Edited by Chaos Theory
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1 minute ago, Chaos Theory said:

She was terrified that her life would be destroyed by something that happened a decade earlier.  If she had taken a step back and maybe took a day to think about it she might have done all that.  However with her ex saying he was going to leave and pretty much mail the letter the minute he walked out the door.  She panicked.   If she hadn’t panicked in that one moment we’d have an entirely different story.

The episode was entirely Mia in panic self survival mode.  

LOL HOW DARE I have logical thinking about the writing of this episode!

I don't  agree that she was in panic mode the entire time. 

I do think she and he were in a panic mode during the original crime. And then maybe when she killed him at the hotel room. However, she was clear headed enough to make the point that the letter could be traced. So if she had that clear thought, why didn't she also have the thought about the memory thing before she decided to kill him. I mean she was already thinking of a way for them to avoid prosecution and ruination of their lives.  She could have let him leave, called the police and said, "My ex boyfriend came back about this death. I want to tell my side". Or waited until the letter was published and the called the cops about it to save her own ass as much as she could. Heck I would have accepted her realizing after the fact that she could have done that.

Heh, even at the very end a good twist could have been her thinking, "Oh gods. I could have spun it this way and gotten a lawyer to help reduce my penalty. Maybe I could have gotten off with a shortened sentence and community service etc etc." . Better yet, show her in custody after all the murders and have the DA or whomever say "You realize all this didn't have to happen. Your memory download showed us your version and that seemed reliable enough along with you coming forward, we could have offered you a reduced sentence, etc etc."

I was looking for something in the narrative that addressed that she really did have the option to use that device and law to her benefit before she killed anyone else.

That said my comment, again, was  not about the character not doing that but that the writing didn't present it as a option for her at all. That is what seems to me to be a plot hole in the writing which is why the premise ultimately fails for me.  YMMV

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