March 2, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Black Mirror “White Christmas”

Series Two Christmas Special.

If Black Mirror is having a Christmas special, the one thing we really need to know is it won’t be a happy one for anyone involved.

How does a show like Black Mirror celebrate (if that is the right word) the holidays?  Well, with a short anthology of three interlocking tales.  Two men, Matt (handsome American John Hamm) and Joe (average-looking Englishman Rafe Spall) are in a cabin in the middle of nowhere and have been for five years.  Joe hasn’t said much in that time, but Matt is working on that since it’s Christmas.  Matt starts by relating how he got there.

It seems in the future there’s a technology called the Z-Eye that allows people to link up their optic nerves or something.  Matt was using his to help shy guys score with attractive women by playing some sort of modern Cyrano de Bergerac.  Oh, and the guy’s friends are also listening in.  One goes by the screenname “I AM WALDO”….huh.

Anyway, Matt and his friends coach nervous Harry into what looks like a one-night stand with standoffish Jennifer (Harry Potter/Game of Thrones actress Natalia Tena).  She sounds like she wants to make a leap, mentions being on drugs for the last Christmas party she attended, and when she catches Harry talking to the other guys, doesn’t freak out since she only sees and hears him talking.  Instead, she takes Harry home and then, well, poisons him.  She’s schizophrenic, and assumes Harry is too, and she wanted some company for her suicide.  Matt and the others, in a panic, disconnected and tried to destroy the evidence.  The problem is Matt got caught by his wife who quickly “blocked” him.

See, Z-Eyes can allow you to block people so you can’t see or hear them, and and they can’t see or hear you.  It even works on old photos and such.

But Matt wasn’t running a dating service.  His job was breaking cookies.  What are cookies?  Well, we see the job when Matt does so for a cookie based off a rich woman’s mind (Game of Thrones actress Oona Chaplin).  See, a chip is implanted in a person for a week.  The chip picks up a person’s personality and is then transferred to a computer as a sort of program that doesn’t quite realize it isn’t the real thing.  Matt talks them into running the house for the real person since the whole house has computers running everything.  Since cookies can be given experiences of solitary loneliness and nothing to do for long periods of time while very short periods happen in the real world, it takes some talent since completely breaking the cookie makes them worthless.  They just need to be able to accept their lot in life.

Anyway, that’s why Matt’s in the cabin and what he did for a living.  What’s Joe’s story?  Well, he was dating a woman, Beth. who suddenly got pregnant and after a short argument blocked him.  The block works on offspring as well, so Joe couldn’t see his child’s face, and if he got too close, he could get arrested.  He really wanted to see the child he eventually figured out was a daughter.  When Beth died in train crash, Joe wrapped a snow globe up to finally see his daughter for Christmas.  She was staying at her grandpa’s cabin.

And, well, the girl wasn’t Joe’s.  She was clearly the child of Joe’s Asian friend.  After a brief argument with the old man, Joe clubbed him with the snowglobe and left him for dead.  Joe eventually tells Matt that the girl died the next day when she went out in massive blizzard looking for help.  So, two deaths are the reason Joe’s in the cabin.

Except, well, Joe isn’t.  See, it isn’t really Joe.  It’s a cookie of the real Joe who isn’t talking.  The cookie’s talk is good enough for a confession and Joe is going away for it.  Matt, on the other hand, was in trouble himself.  He didn’t make up that bit about Harry.  Peeping Tom actions and not reporting a murder means Harry is free to leave, but he’s been blocked.  From everybody.  And they see him as a red blur, probably telling them he did some sort of sex crime.  And the cookie is put on a setting with nonstop Christmas music where every minute in the real world represents a thousand years.  I’m not sure why they need to torture a computer program, but there ya go.

No one gets a Merry Christmas on Black Mirror.