If you have Netflix, odds are you’ve seen House of Cards, Stranger Things, Daredevil, Punisher, and more. Another gem in Netflix’s programming is the anthology series Black Mirror created by Charlie Brooker. Focusing on technology and their potential unforeseen consequences, Black Mirror has raised ethical questions with many episodes showcasing dark moments for those on the wrong said technology. This usually results in real tragedies for the main characters or supporting characters. For our list, we tried not taking multiple moments from a singular episode, which was hard with an episode such as “Black Museum.” This is our list of the 3 most tragic moments in Black Mirror Season 4.
1. The End of Dr. Lawson’s Story
In the season 4 finale titled “Black Museum,” we receive a tour showcasing various pieces of technology. The first piece given attention is the implant & interface provided to Dr. Peter Lawson. The purpose of this implant was to allow him to feel the sensations others felt, which could be useful for diagnosing what’s wrong with a patient. However, after experiencing death, his brain’s ability to interpret sensations such as pain & pleasure become switched. This reaches a dangerous peak when he has to be physically removed from a dying patient as he’s “getting off” from the upcoming flat line. Dr. Lawson’s actions after this showcase the danger of this technology, as he begins self-harming in extreme ways while eventually needing to feel others fear & their deaths. It’s truly haunting and the moment Dr. Lawson realizes he feels pleasure from self-harm is disturbing, it’s similar to a drug addict getting hooked on a new drug. Even more disturbing is the aura of pleasure and moment of bliss around him during his murder of a homeless man. What makes this moment so dark is how much he enjoys it rather than having a sense of regret over his actions. Out of the various stories told in “Black Museum,” this was selected as Dr. Lawson was a victim during the whole ordeal when he only wanted to help save lives, which truly makes the last moment of his story tragic.
2. The Fall of Mia Nolan
Mia Nolan in the third episode of season 4 (titled “Crocodile”) is a successful architect, loving mother, and happy wife. Everything is looking up for her until an old friend comes by reminding her of their involvement in a hit-and-run murder. Afraid of losing what she’s gained in life, especially her family, she ends up killing her old friend which begins a snowball effect as one cover-up leads to another cover-up. This episode approaches its lowest moments when an insurance agent uses technology on Mia that allows the recollection of memories. This results in Mia killing the insurance agent and learning she told her husband of her whereabouts. Mia journeys to the insurance agent’s house where she murders her husband & baby son. This was the darkest moment of the episode as it’s revealed the baby was blind, therefore unable to have given the authorities any information with memory recollection technology. The tragedy of Mia’s actions is that she tried covering her actions to keep the life she had made with her family, mirroring the insurance agent’s reasoning for trying to solve the insurance claim. She went from being an unwilling accessory in a crime to a mass murderer all out of her fear of losing her family & life.
3. Sara Leaving Her Mother
The third most tragic moment was present in the episode titled “Arkangel,” when Sara’s mother Marie secretly gives her emergency contraception pills. Realizing her mother couldn’t have snuck these pills into her breakfast without spying on her she searches for & discovers the Arkangel tablet. For those that haven’t seen the episode yet the Arkangel tablet is a device that allows a parent to monitor the vitals, become a backseat driver regarding their child’s visual & auditory senses, & even censor what their child can see or hear. It’s a huge violation of privacy for Sara which prompted her mother to stop using it along with a fear that censoring everything around her daughter would harm her development. It’s worth noting that the reason she obtained the device due to her losing her daughter when she was younger, a fact that seems to have become lost to Marie. What makes the end of the episode tragic is when Sara rebels against her mother, attacking her mother and breaking the tablet. Running away after this she becomes lost again, prompting her mother to search for her in a way reminiscent of when she was a child. That’s where the episode became tragic, as the mother ends up creating a twisted self-fulfilling prophecy by becoming obsessed with monitoring her daughter. It’s ironic how it ends but very tragic from the point-of-view of Marie, who technically by using it was helping her daughter in a sense.