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S04.E06: Black Museum


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"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."  In this case, two women.  Poetic justice and all that.  Figured there was a relation when he got to the last story.  Although, the British accent did obscure it at first.  Much like Arkangel with the implant, I knew putting his girlfriend/wife in his head wasn't going to turn out well.  Black Mirror is bringing it with these shows.  Only wish they were more episodes to a season.

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Man this season was really heavy on the digital copies of minds. Three out of six episodes. Wondering if it had something to do with the reception of San Junipero last season.

I think I got the twist as soon as you could get it. The Moment the guy mentioned the alleged murderers family at around 51:55 I said out loud "oh she's his daughter", since I remembered her saying she was in the area for her father at the beginning, and I was sure that she had poisoned the guy.

I kinda hope she smashes monkey or transfares her conciousness to San Junipero somehow, since that seems to be in the same universe from what they said. Anything is better than being stuck in a toy that can't move or talk, really. Although she has partly herself to blame. I don't begrude her wanting to get out a comatose body, if she really was fully concious, but sharing the mind of your romantic partner was a dumb idea in the first place and then she just wouldn't stop nagging. I mean that man loved you so much he let you into his brain to save you from being a vegetable and you won't even allow him a bit of happyness, like checking out a womans ass? I also hope that the arrangement of the girl in the A-Plot and her mother is temporary, for the purpose of the revenge plot. Ideally the mother will be transfared to San Junipero, too.

A lot of episodes seem to be in the same universe, from the artifacts we saw in the museum and the mention of cookies.

Another villian has gotten his comeuppance this episode. That's four out of six and the other two had no obvious villians. I'm actually accustomed to black mirror to have a bit more ambiguity and not have obvious villians, like in the two remaining episode, and if there are villians for them to get away with it, but this was kind of a nice change of pace.

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This is the only one I saw the twist coming from a mile away. I was suspicious when she parked so far away. I know it’s a gas station but she needed nothing from there to charge her car. From the moment he drank the water, I was sure. 

7 hours ago, QQQQ said:

Me neither. The doctor who hacked on himself reminded me of Stephen King's short story, "Survivor Type." Both grossed me out.

This! As soon as he started, I thought the same thing!  

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I loved this episode. It did have a happy ending, but it worked here since it was bittersweet and we got to see a lot of horrible stories too. I felt bad for everyone except the main villain. The doctor was crazy, but that was due to the device in his head. It's interesting that he started off as having a low saving record, so he was recruited into the pain machine thing and became a great doctor. Only for it to backfire and he became a murderer. It reminded me of this episode of RadioLab where a guy got brain surgery and it changed his behaviour to the point where he was caught checking out child porn. The act is wrong, but it's due to outside interference.

The second story was another person who was in a painful situation and got exploited. It's never a good idea to have someone in your head like that, it's unethical and would play out exactly like this. I feel bad for the wife, but she was a major pain. At least he was still a good guy and didn't delete her. But wow.

When I first saw Clayton lying there in the cell, my first thought wasn't, "Oh damn, why do you have to take White Bear to the extreme?" it was, "Wow, that guy looks like Kobe. That's not Kobe, right? Kobe in Black Mirror?" I'm glad it wasn't him, but when he mentioned celebrities I was a little worried. Maybe I'm bias, but there's so many cases of black men and women being held indefinitely for crimes they didn't commit, so I don't think he was guilty at all. For so many people to come and enjoy his suffering. I kind of wish the Hate in the Nation guy went after them too.

This was a great end to the season.

8 hours ago, Miles said:

I kinda hope she smashes monkey or transfares her conciousness to San Junipero somehow, since that seems to be in the same universe from what they said. Anything is better than being stuck in a toy that can't move or talk, really. Although she has partly herself to blame. I don't begrude her wanting to get out a comatose body, if she really was fully concious, but sharing the mind of your romantic partner was a dumb idea in the first place and then she just wouldn't stop nagging. I mean that man loved you so much he let you into his brain to save you from being a vegetable and you won't even allow him a bit of happyness, like checking out a womans ass?

I was annoyed by her too and completely understood why he was so frustrated. Let him breathe! But at the same time, if he's the only one she can talk to and she has nothing to do in there then I get it. We all make comments while watching TV and that's pretty much what she was experiencing. The only difference is that the TV could respond back to her.....

 

Hmmm, what if there was a reality show where the people on the show could hear what everyone watching said. So it's like Keeping up with the Kardashians or Survivor or Bachelor, but the audience is always heard. Every good and bad thing is being streamed to your head while you are competing or just going about your daily life. It would probably drive the contestants crazy, but it would make for great television.

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I guess I'm the only one who felt like the guy who had his wife in his head was a giant douche. Yeah, I get that it would get annoying to have someone in your head all the time, but Jesus. Pausing her for 8 weeks? Only allowing her to be there on the weekends? I get that she was annoying, but I don't know. I feel like there could have been more of a compromise. 

I didn't understand why his new woman would want to be with someone who was willing to put his dead GF that he supposedly loved so much into a toy. If he did it to someone else, he'd do the same thing to her too. I'd be out of there soooo damn fast.  She seemed like a terrible person anyway, so I guess the two of them deserved each other. 

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14 hours ago, CheezyXpressed said:

I was annoyed by her too and completely understood why he was so frustrated. Let him breathe! But at the same time, if he's the only one she can talk to and she has nothing to do in there then I get it. We all make comments while watching TV and that's pretty much what she was experiencing. The only difference is that the TV could respond back to her.....

There is commenting and then there is incessant nagging. I mean at some point he wouldn't even jerk off anymore and it's not like she was his sister. She was his girlfriend. She could have actually helped him with a bit of dirty talk: "Yeah, your dick feels so good in our hand!" or something like that. Instead she nagged until he wasn't comfortable doing it in front of her anymore.

Same with the woman he checked out. She could have been "man that's a fine ass" instead of berating him for finding somebody attractive. I mean I'm a gay man and even I can see, that woman had a nice badonkadonk.

Edited by Miles
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Black Mirror pulls it out in the end.

i thought the last couple episodes were rather dull but I thought Black Museum was down right wonderful.  I am having a difficult time now deciding if I like it better then USs Callister.  I thought the multiple stories that all ended up fitting together were very well done and ultimately turning it into a revenge fantasy was fabulous.  All the stories had the proper amount of “yeah I can see why someone would agree to this” and then the “yeah I can see it going wildly out of control”.      

 

Ok ok let’s do this my final list:

USS Callister

Black Museum

Crocodile

Arkangel

Metal head

Kill The DJ

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1 hour ago, Chaos Theory said:

Black Mirror pulls it out in the end.

i thought the last couple episodes were rather dull but I thought Black Museum was down right wonderful.  I am having a difficult time now deciding if I like it better then USs Callister.  I thought the multiple stories that all ended up fitting together were very well done and ultimately turning it into a revenge fantasy was fabulous.  All the stories had the proper amount of “yeah I can see why someone would agree to this” and then the “yeah I can see it going wildly out of control”.      

 

Ok ok let’s do this my final list:

USS Callister

Black Museum

Crocodile

Arkangel

Metal head

Kill The DJ

I would switch Crocodile and USS Callister, but other than that my list would be the same. :)

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Definitely another REALLY dark episode but I was pleased at the twist at the end, which really worked for me.  I was glad to see Rolo get what he deserved.

Having the wife in his head though...that just seems like a terrible idea from the start and would be bound to drive both of them crazy.  Still, that was terrible what him and the new girlfriend did to hear at the end.  

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The credits said the doctor segment was based on a story by Penn Gillette. 

It would never be a good idea to have someone else in your head, especially a lover/spouse or a parent. Nish will get tired of Mom in her head really soon!

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My only problem with this is episode the abrupt twist of Rolo's character into "unreliable narrator" just before the end. He said that Clayton's family didn't care about him, and we immediately saw a flashback of his wife to reveal that wasn't true. I didn't like that timing. Either start introducing earlier in the episode that his stories aren't 100% true*, or else let it go another minute and have the daughter reveal to the audience that he was lying. Putting it there undermined the climax without being early enough for proper foreshadowing.

* Unless of course they actually did do that and I didn't recognize it as such. I mean he was obviously being a carnival barker when he talked about "beating the crowd" and such, but I didn't see anything to disbelieve about the pain addict or monkey stories.

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How did Rolo get his hands on the monkey again? I have a hard time believing that the father would just allow his son to discard the toy like that. I could see them placing the monkey away somewhere and bringing it out on special occasions such as birthdays and graduations. Especially once Parker got older and understood what happened. I can't blame the father for wanting to move on, but I just don't believe he would allow for her to totally be discarded like that.

If I were the mother's cookie,  I would have been happy to be muted. I wouldn't want to live in my former guy's head 24/7 and I wouldn't want to hold him hostage from moving on. Just give me my time with my kid and mute me when you go about your business.

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3 hours ago, Amarsir said:

My only problem with this is episode the abrupt twist of Rolo's character into "unreliable narrator" just before the end. He said that Clayton's family didn't care about him, and we immediately saw a flashback of his wife to reveal that wasn't true. I didn't like that timing. Either start introducing earlier in the episode that his stories aren't 100% true*, or else let it go another minute and have the daughter reveal to the audience that he was lying. Putting it there undermined the climax without being early enough for proper foreshadowing.

* Unless of course they actually did do that and I didn't recognize it as such. I mean he was obviously being a carnival barker when he talked about "beating the crowd" and such, but I didn't see anything to disbelieve about the pain addict or monkey stories.

I thought Rolo was an unreliable narrator when they showed the woman being plowed into at high speed by a van then showing her body fully intact in the hospital. No way would she not be smashed to bits by that impact!

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6 hours ago, Amarsir said:

My only problem with this is episode the abrupt twist of Rolo's character into "unreliable narrator" just before the end. He said that Clayton's family didn't care about him, and we immediately saw a flashback of his wife to reveal that wasn't true. I didn't like that timing. Either start introducing earlier in the episode that his stories aren't 100% true*, or else let it go another minute and have the daughter reveal to the audience that he was lying. Putting it there undermined the climax without being early enough for proper foreshadowing.

* Unless of course they actually did do that and I didn't recognize it as such. I mean he was obviously being a carnival barker when he talked about "beating the crowd" and such, but I didn't see anything to disbelieve about the pain addict or monkey stories.

In the pain addict story, he portrayed the doctor as being in a coma with a massive boner. He admitted to the visitor at a minimum it wasn't true that the doctor had that boner. 

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Did y'all catch Tommy's Lollipop (along with the DNA collector tray thingie from the Callister episode) from was on display in the museum? 

Also the magazine Parker's Dad was reading- was about 15 million merits (starring the same actor) if I am not mistaken. 

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6 hours ago, emilysmom said:

Did y'all catch Tommy's Lollipop (along with the DNA collector tray thingie from the Callister episode) from was on display in the museum? 

Also the magazine Parker's Dad was reading- was about 15 million merits (starring the same actor) if I am not mistaken. 

Saw the lolly, curious if that means they think real!Nanette was the perpetrator of a crime more serious than breaking and entering, or how the authorities puzzled things together.

Parker's dad is played by a different actor than the one in "15 million merits." Aldis Hodge played hacker Hardison on the con-caper show "Leverage." One of his partners in crime (and eventually in the bedroom) there was named Parker, so I take that as a shout-out.

On 12/31/2017 at 8:48 PM, benteen said:

Definitely another REALLY dark episode but I was pleased at the twist at the end, which really worked for me.  I was glad to see Rolo get what he deserved.

Having the wife in his head though...that just seems like a terrible idea from the start and would be bound to drive both of them crazy.  Still, that was terrible what him and the new girlfriend did to hear at the end.  

Grief plays a lot of tricks with your ability to reason.

I lost my mom a little over a month ago. Even independently of the episode, I know it would be terrible to be around her or anyone 24-7. And the show highlighted some of the more negative consequences that could arise. But if I had the opportunity, I might still take that Faustian bargain of having her around when I need/really, really want her.

On 12/31/2017 at 0:06 AM, Zima said:

I guess I'm the only one who felt like the guy who had his wife in his head was a giant douche. Yeah, I get that it would get annoying to have someone in your head all the time, but Jesus. Pausing her for 8 weeks? Only allowing her to be there on the weekends? I get that she was annoying, but I don't know. I feel like there could have been more of a compromise. 

I didn't understand why his new woman would want to be with someone who was willing to put his dead GF that he supposedly loved so much into a toy. If he did it to someone else, he'd do the same thing to her too. I'd be out of there soooo damn fast.  She seemed like a terrible person anyway, so I guess the two of them deserved each other. 

It's a matter of perspective. If one thinks of what's in Jack's head as an actual person, then it seems rough to do what Jack did. If one thinks of what's in Jack's head as a sophisticated computer simulation, then not so much IMO. 

As for the new girlfriend, I think there are a few things. First, the girlfriend could think "Hey, this is an issue with Carrie being controlling/annoying, and that's different from how I am." In much the same way as people who cheat can rationalize that their cheating significant other would NEVER cheat on them. Second, she could see the digital version as different from herself.  Third, she can probably rest assured that Jack is not putting any more consciousnesses in his head after his experience with Carrie. No real reason to do that knowing how the experience with Carrie turned out. 

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This was actually a pretty solid episode. After an inconsistent season, it was nice to end on a high note, something sort of Black Mirror-esque. This season has definitely been a season where the villains have gotten karma biting them in the ass.

I thought the first story with the doctor was interesting, although highly disturbing. I was just looking up the cast for Black Mirror and totally didn't realize that Peter Dawson is played by Daniel Lapaine, an actor who also played in a previous Black Mirror episode, The Entire History of You. Anyway, I start noticing that Rolo wasn't an entirely reliable narrator at some point during this story. I'll have to go back soon to pinpoint exactly when he started showing signs of not being reliable. I think it was even before he exaggerated on the boner. 

Actually, I might go back and rewatch to catch details I would have missed. I think there were a lot of little things here that could easily have been missed.

I didn't figure out the twist until it was revealed, sad to say. I knew Rolo was not a good person, especially as the stories got more and more twisted, but I couldn't figure out how Nish was important. As for the stories, I liked them in different ways. 

I knew the guy having his wife in his head would be bad, especially after a few weeks and then if he ever moved on, which he did. Though that new girlfriend of his was a real bitch. Sure, it's no fun to have a third party sticking around, so I don't blame her for wanting her out of his head, but it didn't seem like the two had been dating for very long and she was getting annoyed with the mere mention of Carrie. She was getting on my last nerves when she threatened Monkey Carrie. Sure, she was annoying as hell at times, but she was coming from a place of love. And I have to say that I'm happy for Jack insisting to find another way that wasn't deletion. Though how did Monkey Carrie get from Jack's place to Rolo? Did Rolo eventually come to visit and picked the monkey up? Or did Jack and his new girlfriend deliver Monkey Carrie to Rolo to take care of?

Jack was kind of a douche, but he obviously didn't think through things when he agreed to have her uploaded into his mind, and I guess it makes sense. He was picked because of desperation, that he'd do anything, but once the dust settled, he realized things were not going to be easy, especially as new situations kept popping up. However, yeah, the 8 week pause was rough and then he kept her paused during the week and then on weekends except for an hour? Dude. Carrie obviously didn't want to die, much like Jack didn't want her to, which is why they both agreed, but she didn't know the full terms of what that would entail and at the end of it all, she had no control whatsoever. She was just living in a body, being able to hear, touch and see everything, but still basically being comatose. 

Of course, Rolo's unreliability started getting more clear during Clayton's flashback. I mean, I do think it took some convincing for Clayton to agree to have his consciousness uploaded. Rolo made it seem like it was no big deal, but bribing him with his family being compensated, and then that most likely not even happening, was pretty big. 

I do like the twist at the end. I think they tossed too many elements of the stories together, but I think the overall episode worked fairly well.  

I'm going to take some more time to process and see what I might have missed or misinterpreted upon the first watch.

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On 12/30/2017 at 1:52 AM, Miles said:

I don't begrude her wanting to get out a comatose body, if she really was fully concious, but sharing the mind of your romantic partner was a dumb idea in the first place and then she just wouldn't stop nagging.

I was figuring she'd want Hardison to hook up with someone else so she could have sex again from a whole new pov. 

On 1/1/2018 at 0:07 PM, AgentRXS said:

I can't blame the father for wanting to move on, but I just don't believe he would allow for her to totally be discarded like that.

I could see the new gf getting to a point where she encouraged him to move on for real. She was in favor of deleting her outright, and in the final scene she was the one that closed the door on the monkey.

I liked how right at the end when the daughter took the monkey outside and was getting ready to break the air conditioning she let out a "monkey loves you!"

They could have gotten rid of Metalhead and expanded this into a two parter. These stories could have been expanded much more. I would have liked to see some foreshadowing that implanting the gf would be a problem, or more about the case of the alleged murderer that pointed to his innocence, and maybe Rolo manipulating the whole situation.

Or, Rolo just more of a malevolent factor in the vignettes. 

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Wow, that was awesome. I figured out the twist around the time she mentioned a documentary about possibly proving the mans innocence, but I loved the way it played out. It was certainly dark and twisted, but at least Clayton and Carrie were freed, and Rolo was given a horrible, BM style punishment. 

Lots of references to past episode here, which makes sense, considering the nature of the museum. I saw the tablet from ArkAngel that Marie was beaten with, the DNA thing and lollipop from USS Callister, a wasp from Hated in the Nation, possibly the bathtub the second murder was committed in during Crocodile, and I thought I saw Victoria from White Bear on the wall, and the guy from playtest as well. Plus they continue to talk about cookies, references old people being downloaded to the cloud, and Jack was reading a graphic novel of 15 Million Merits. Maybe there were more I didn't notice too, there was a lot in that museum. 

I liked the individual stories too. I think the doctor one was my favorite, it was seriously creepy. I actually had to look away a few times when he was hacking his face up, and when he attacked the homeless guy. I know he went nuts and hurt people, but I still felt bad for him. He did this weird thing to help people, and because he didn't really think it through and something strange and tragic happened, he totally lost his mind. I think I had already started suspected that Rolo was a bad guy by the end of that story, as he seemed to show no real remorse over the part he played in someone being killed, and someone else becoming a vegetable. 

The second story was certainly interesting, although I felt like the conflict between the couple escalated quite quickly. I felt worse for Carrie (especially when it was revealed she was still stuck in the monkey) but I had some sympathy for her and Jack. As Rolo said, he had no privacy, and she had no agency. She nags him a ton more than necessary, and he kept just turning her off when annoyed, and ended up apparently giving her to some carnival weirdo. Living in your spouses head is just a terrible idea on every level. I think they both tried to make it work, but it just never was. The new gf was a bigger asshole than either of them. Talk about a lack of empathy. At least Jack seemed to feel bad about the situation, the new gf just seemed pissed all of the time, even when she knew she was dooming another person to a horrible fate. At least Carrie is out now, and hopefully Nish can upload her to San Junipero or something. 

I really didn't see Nishs mom living in her head coming! I do hope there is an option for her to leave though at some point, because otherwise, they are going to have problems one day! I think we`ve all learned that lesson! 

In many ways, its a very meta episode, basically watching an episode of Black Mirror without an episode of Black Mirror. A person comes to hear tragic, cynical, often nihilistic tales of technology gone wrong (complete with the audience surrogate always being ready for every story to have a dark twist ending), with Rolo as a self mocking version of Charlie Brooker, giving "technology is evil" stories filled with horror and death to a shocked yet fascinated audience. Its even called the Black Museum. Interesting way to close out the season. 

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Great episode. I was on tenterhooks the whole time. It really captured the sinister feeling that something was about to happen, something was lurking around the corner.

My favorite story was the first one of the doctor with pain addiction. What a fascinating concept. I feel like that whole story needed it's own episode.

I can't believe how much that wife was nagging her husband who basically brought her back from coma. I would think she would be in a constant state of indebtedness.

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"Monkey loves you." I liked that bit at the end. And that she put him through the same torture that the others went through at his hands, although limited - unless that consciousness lives on in her memento, after she shocked him. 

I miss my mum, and would ask her what she wanted. If she would want that, and what she would want to be put into. She wouldn't have wanted to be in my head (I see the connection to arkangel there, only her access was through a tablet). I wouldn't want anyone in my head, but I would love to be able to talk to my mum every day. She's been gone seventeen months now, and I still have trouble with that. 

I don't know that I would want to live on in something or someone. Maybe it would be okay if I agreed to be paused during personal moments, but get to watch TV and observe anything out of the house - shopping. I was going to say I would miss certain things too much, like eating, but remembered that he tortured her with eating sardines or something, when she wouldn't be quiet. I wouldn't want to stick around and see my partner move on, if I had one. That would be torture. 

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1 hour ago, Anela said:

I miss my mum, and would ask her what she wanted. If she would want that, and what she would want to be put into. She wouldn't have wanted to be in my head (I see the connection to arkangel there, only her access was through a tablet). I wouldn't want anyone in my head, but I would love to be able to talk to my mum every day. She's been gone seventeen months now, and I still have trouble with that.

I am sorry for your loss. :(

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2 hours ago, catrox14 said:

I am sorry for your loss. :(

Thank you. I know someone who lost her mum a few weeks after I lost mine, and we both said last night that we'd give our own lives just to spend five more minutes with our mums. 

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Just now, Anela said:

Thank you. I know someone who lost her mum a few weeks after I lost mine, and we both said last night that we'd give our own lives just to spend five more minutes with our mums. 

I understand. I lost my mom almost 3 years ago and every day I try to talk her in my head. I'll keep good thoughts for you both.

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The most terrifying aspect of this and other similar episodes is the scary notion of someone being able to remove my consciousness from my body and placing it wherever and it still works.  Being aware and responsive yet not having a  body to control, being in a stuffed toy or whatever... it's claustrophobic and  scary. Ugh!  I'm glad I won't live long enough to be in a future where this is possible.

The one thing we have all for ourselves is our thoughts.  The idea of them being open and available to others brings me out in a terrified sweat.

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This one was kind of fun and reminded me of the old shows like Tales from the Crypt where they had several stories and it was always about the bad guy getting his just desserts in the end. Interesting to see that Penn Jillette wrote the story about the pain addict (but not surprising-I have long thought that Penn is a weird fellow in a lot of ways). I also found it scary that someone could remove our consciousness and put it into an object. I think I would rather just be gone.  I didn't entirely guess the twist at the end, but knew if would end in a fitting revenge story once they showed the guy being electric chair.

Edited by Madding crowd
Changed wrong last name!
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On 1/2/2018 at 6:47 AM, Chicago Redshirt said:

Grief plays a lot of tricks with your ability to reason.

 

This was a major theme in this episode, and the season, the way companies that have experimental tech they want to try take advantage of people in emotional places to get them to agree to something that's not a great idea. 

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Rolo seemed unreliable from the start, at least he did to me as soon as I thought "this actor reminds me of John C Reilly" :D

I'm not saying he was lying about everything so much as his lack of empathy meant that his characterization of people would be suspect. Was Carrie really that shrew-like? Probably not, but Rolo wouldn't characterize her any other way. Rolo is a monster but he's a human monster, and even the worst of humanity need their rationalizations (like telling himself Nish's dad was guilty). 

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Really liked this ep overall, and I agree about the pulpy Tales From The Crypt/Tales From The Darkside vibe. The tie-ins to previous eps were interesting as well, but I'm guessing a lot of viewers missed those since they can be watched out of order.

The doctor's story was indeed disturbing (and the pulpiest), and the digital copy of the electrocution in the key chain was dark, even for Black Mirror. But yeah, I'd like to know how Rolo got his hands on all those crime artifacts. Due to the sort of "episode within an episode" vibe of this one, I won't question it too much.

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On 12/29/2017 at 6:01 PM, QQQQ said:

Me neither. The doctor who hacked on himself reminded me of Stephen King's short story, "Survivor Type." Both grossed me out.

I kept thinking "lady fingers" while watching that bit. I'm twisted so I laughed quite a bit about it.

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On 1/3/2018 at 11:04 PM, Anela said:

Thank you. I know someone who lost her mum a few weeks after I lost mine, and we both said last night that we'd give our own lives just to spend five more minutes with our mums. 

:(  Both of your moms would probably never want you to do that... 

(...said by somebody who lost her mom at a young age 19 years ago and still misses her very much). 

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I’m a little surprised (actually, I’m not) at reviews of this episode from major publications completely bypassing the impact of race on the last act. The holograms of Clayton and the supremacist audience toward the end of the story were an incredibly grim and powerful depiction of a modern day lynching (with souvenirs...) that kept happening and happening again. How is this not being mentioned?!?!

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On 2018-01-02 at 2:14 AM, emilysmom said:

Did y'all catch Tommy's Lollipop (along with the DNA collector tray thingie from the Callister episode) from was on display in the museum? 

Also the magazine Parker's Dad was reading- was about 15 million merits (starring the same actor) if I am not mistaken. 

Not the same actor - Daniel Kaluuya starred in 15MM, and went on to star in Sicario and Get Out.

Anela, Catrox14, Duke2801 - my sincere sympathies for your losses ❤️

Edited by Capricasix
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Quote

Man this season was really heavy on the digital copies of minds. Three out of six episodes. Wondering if it had something to do with the reception of San Junipero last season.

Yeah, I commented about this in the USS Callister thread. I'm not sure why they keep going back to this well. I can see that it's appropriately scary and nightmare-inducing, imagining being trapped in some virtual hell-scape, but realistically, is that ever going to be a thing? We're certainly nowhere close to having that technology. The whole point of Black Mirror, so far as I can tell, is sort of a warning about where we're headed with technology. That's what I get out of most of them, especially the original three. This premise feels like a step beyond that. It's not as if I object - it's certainly compelling. I just don't necessarily get why they keep using this as a premise. 

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A depressing thought is that the extremely limited and terrifying existing in the teddy bear still offered slightly more than when she was in a coma (she could see as well as hear; she didn't need to remain in a hospital, which means she could be taken places, as well as making it easier for loved ones to be with them). There have been cases of people in comas for years, who were able to communicate through their brainwaves in a limited yes/no fashion, and show that they had full awareness.

In terms of the episode, things were worse for her in the bear, but more due to changed circumstances - in theory that could still happen to coma victims (he's no longer able/willing to visit so often, he could have still met someone else). I suppose there's a risk though that it would be easier to see the bear as just a toy, and no longer a person. Plus she might never die.

One thing that didn't make sense was why the teddy bear was so limited - if you can simulate human-level AI along with their actions, you can output more than two options. There's no reason why her speech couldn't be output in full, as well as letting her have a full virtual keyboard etc. Even the most simplest of pattern-recognition neural networks will output multiple values!

Unless it was just intended as a toy for a child, with no thought given to the rights of the AI consciousness (similar to the White Christmas "home" cookie). That still doesn't make sense, since the solutions were put to them in order to help her (and San Junipero where he worked was clearly doing this from the point of view of benefitting the AIs, since we know what they ended up creating). What about the Androids in Be Right Back? Maybe he was just being an arsehole, and didn't offer solutions that might have been better for her.

4 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Yeah, I commented about this in the USS Callister thread. I'm not sure why they keep going back to this well. I can see that it's appropriately scary and nightmare-inducing, imagining being trapped in some virtual hell-scape, but realistically, is that ever going to be a thing? We're certainly nowhere close to having that technology. The whole point of Black Mirror, so far as I can tell, is sort of a warning about where we're headed with technology. That's what I get out of most of them, especially the original three. This premise feels like a step beyond that. It's not as if I object - it's certainly compelling. I just don't necessarily get why they keep using this as a premise. 

I have mixed feelings about this. I do love the ideas revolving around AI and consciousness; also whilst plenty of shows have explored AI and robots, it seems less common to explore the idea of purely virtual conscious AI. On the other hand, it is turning into a bit of a predictable plot-generator. "This new music player, it's actually got simulations of all your favourite artists who are enslaved for eternity!"; "San Junipero gets hacked and our loved characters get repeatedly copied and tortured over and over for a ransom"; "A future society decides to punish criminals by punishing AI simulations, and then implanting the memories of their experience back into the original (it's deemed more humane because surely no one really 'experienced' it, leading to it being accepted to simulate all sorts of awful tortures)". There's half of season 5.

It's an open question as to whether we'll achieve human-level AI, or how long it might take - I think it's plausible enough to consider for Black Mirror though, and we've had other future technologies that seem decades in the future too (e.g., the various eye computer/implants episodes). But yes, I do love the episodes that feel like they could happen now or in the very near future, which adds an extra level of fear (National Anthem, Waldo Moment, Shut Up And Dance). To be fair, it's harder to remain original when a TV show goes for several series.
 

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I was under the impression that the AI technology was in a less sophisticated state than in San Junipero, and so transferring Carrie to something like that was probably not an option.

But even conceding that the technology was sophisticated enough to allow more variety, it seemed like neither the company nor Jack and his girlfriend wanted that. I think it was supposed to be a prototype to see how a parent's consciousness could continue to exist next to a child.  It seemed, though, that they limited it to binary and soft-pedaled responses on purpose. Because if Monkey had Carrie's full range of expression, there's no telling what it would say. "Monkey loves you" and "Monkey needs a hug" are way better than "Monkey thinks your dad's new girlfriend is a bitch!" or whatever.

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Oh, I know that it was likely at an earlier time to the San Junipero episode, but I mean there was still no technological reason to restrict her to two outputs. I agree the teddy bear plan might not have been intended to benefit her - it makes it a sinister u-turn from when the hospital was offering options that were meant to be for her benefit.

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I'm not sure if it has been mentioned but wasn't that ski hooded figure in the Museum from White Bear? I saw the other items from prior episodes mentioned by other posters earlier but don't recall anyone mentioning the ski masked guy (as a mannikin?) with the shotgun from White Bear mentioned yet. I'll need to re-watch Black Museum to see if I recognize other items not yet commented on in this thread. This almost feels like a series finale (I hope not) since it shows some many items from earlier episodes. I wonder if there is an item (or a reference) for all prior Black Mirror episodes in the Black Museum.

 

edit: I understand revenge on the villain but two wrongs don't make a right imo and so I didn't like that she made a digital copy of his suffering for her keychain of him. Yes, he did it over and over to her father but that doesn't make it right for her to do it to him. However I understand why she did it (revenge).

Edited by Vicky8675309
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On 1/1/2018 at 1:33 PM, Amarsir said:

My only problem with this is episode the abrupt twist of Rolo's character into "unreliable narrator" just before the end.

I thought he was an unreliable narrator from the moment he appeared--a smarmy, sleazy carnival barker. When he was making Nish go through the security check, including taking stuff out of her bag, I thought he was going to take something that he could use to hurt her later in the tour. When he drank her water bottle, I thought he might put something in it or maybe even get her DNA from it. I was expecting the ending to be him killing her or maybe making her part of an exhibit. It never occurred to me that Nish could be the one pulling the strings.  

I felt bad for Carrie and Jack because they were grieving and desperate, and clearly neither one of them could have known what the long-term consequences would be with the initial consciousness transfer. But I did blame Jack for going along with the monkey transfer, because if he thought about it even a little (instead of giving in to his girlfriend and the carnival barker) he would have realized that stuffed animals get discarded and forgotten by young children as they get older, so eventually Carrie would be abandoned and trapped eternally.

On 1/1/2018 at 2:07 PM, AgentRXS said:

How did Rolo get his hands on the monkey again?

I'd bet that the girlfriend (or new wife) gave it to him. She might have put it in a closet for a while until she was sure Parker and Jack wouldn't ask about the monkey anymore, or she might even say that Parker must have lost it (believable since he was already losing interest).

I was especially disturbed by the ending because, even though Nish called it a double mercy killing, she had to torture her father in order to kill him. Plus, it's not clear if his consciousness lives on in agony in the "fun-size" souvenirs that thousands (or more) previous tourists still have. I also felt that Rolo was not punished enough, because he was only killed once (although if his consciousness lives on in Nish's souvenir, I guess that's a little more satisfying--OTOH, she can't take too much pleasure in this because it would have to remind her that her father is still suffering that way).

As she drove away I thought her mother was in the monkey and couldn't figure out how that happened. I see now from other comments and reviews that her mother was in her head, but how did she get her in there? It wasn't clear whether the consciousness-transfer device used on her mother was the one we saw used on Carrie/Jack or the one used on Nish's father--in the first case Carrie had to be alive for it to work, but in the second case it happened at the moment of death or right after. Didn't Nish say she found her mother dead? Even if the technique worked on someone already dead for a while, did Nish just happen to be carrying the necessary technology?

Despite these nitpicks, and contrary to the reviews, I thought this was the best or one of the best episodes this season--kind of a perfect commentary on what happens when you mix limitless technological advances with our human limitations. I also enjoyed the callbacks to previous episodes and seasons.

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6 minutes ago, Paloma said:

But I did blame Jack for going along with the monkey transfer, because if he thought about it even a little (instead of giving in to his girlfriend and the carnival barker) he would have realized that stuffed animals get discarded and forgotten by young children as they get older, so eventually Carrie would be abandoned and trapped eternally.

To be fair, the gf wanted to delete her outright, and he wasn't ready to do that. But having her in his head clearly just wasn't sustainable. Obviously, the subtext is about being able to move on. I don't know if blame is the right term to use though.

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I'm not sure how I feel about Nish's mom being in her head. It seems like a terrible mix of what happened to Carrie/Jack and the mother/daughter relationship in ArkAngel. On the other hand, unlike with the cookies in White Christmas who had to sit around and do nothing while waiting, Carrie didn't seem to know how long she was paused. So Nish could keep her mom permanently on pause except when she wanted to talk to her or when she wanted to share an event (like getting revenge on Rolo). As long as her mom isn't stuck sitting in the chair unable to do or see or feel anything when she's paused, it doesn't feel too weird. But I also wonder if Nish is going to upload her mom and Carrie into a virtual reality now that they got their revenge. 

The key chain hanging from her rearview mirror is horrible, mostly because to me it would be a constant reminder that while I was able to save the original copy of my dad from being tortured, there are hundreds or even thousands of copies of my dad being tortured forever hanging from other people's rearview mirrors. And there would be no way for me to find and destroy them.

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I really liked this one and thought it was a strong finish to the season.  I only wish there were more episodes (maybe ten episodes next time, Netflix, or at least eight?)  Very similar in structure to White Christmas.  I agree that they really emphasized digital consciousness this season, but I like the theme so it's all good to me.  That poor woman stuck inside a stuffed monkey...couldn't they at least have put her in a doll, lol.  And the limited yes/no communication options felt like BS to me.  She obviously was able to communicate fully and naturally to her partner, why couldn't they have hooked her up to a tablet and have her thoughts presented in text or digital voice?  But it was a good exploration of the moral and ethical issues of storing consciousness and the rights of person whose consciousness it is.  Her partner having the power to turn her off is pretty horrible and abusive.  The doctor segment was both creepy and believable.  As for the souvenir of the execution, I have to believe that is just a recording of the event, or at most a captured memory of that moment, not an actual consciousness.

Overall I give this season an A-.  The only episode I had some problems with beyond nitpicks was Crocodile.  The other five were great.

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