April 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Black Mirror “Mazey Day”

Series Six, Episode Four

Um, what?

I think it is safe to say I did not see the twist of this one coming.  Yeah, I often don’t.  That’s part of the overall fun of Black Mirror.  But this one had a twist that is something of a new one for the series.

It may be explained best by pointing out series creator Charlie Brooker, writer of this episode, decided to try something new, referring to this episode and the next one (the last for this batch) to be something more of a Red Mirror than a Black Mirror.  The focus is less on misused tech and more on how people are messed up (he didn’t say “messed”), something that isn’t really a new thing for Black Mirror as it is usually people’s personal obsessions that cause problems for characters on this show.  People can’t bring themselves to give up on something, and the end result is something terrible for that person.

That may be why the “Loch Henry” episode didn’t really have any sort of tech-based misuse at the center of the plot.

Anyway, this episode seems normal enough.  Freelance paparazzi photographer Bo, played by Zazie Beatz, gets photographic proof that a somewhat forgotten TV actor was secretly gay, an act that led to the man’s suicide, so she decides she wants out of that particularly cutthroat business.  Bo, feeling it is at least partially her fault, soon finds herself running out of cash when it comes out there’s a bounty out for a photograph of missing starlet Mazey Day.

OK, so far, so good.  Mazey appeared in the episode, a bit high, when she had a hit and run.  After that, she went into seclusion.  The basic assumption I made (and the audience was no doubt supposed to) is a simple one:  she was involved in a hit-and-run death, decided to hide it, and isn’t taking it very well.  That’s how the episode plays out until Bo figures out how to track Mazie down, something Mazey’s people did the best they could to prevent.  Bo is soon accompanied by another photographer friend, and then two more scuzzier guys who had a tracker on Bo’s friend’s motorcycle.  Mazey is holed up in what Bo was told is a special rehab center for rich folks.  That still fits with the episode as far I can tell.  Yeah, there’s no weird futuristic tech, but there is obsession.  Bo might be something closer to a decent human being, but the other three photographers don’t care whether Mazey wants privacy or not.

And then the twist:  Mazey didn’t kill anyone with her car.  She hit and was bitten by a werewolf.

Yeah, she’s a werewolf.  Full moon comes out, she changes, and the photographers react with varying degrees of fear depending on how scummy they are.  The worse characters hang around longer while Bo and her friend make a run for it.  Before too long, the werewolf has killed, well, a lot of people, with Bo the last person standing as she photographs the young woman’s suicide.

So, Black Mirror pulled out a supernatural twist.  It wasn’t tech.  There was obsession.  But there was a motherfudgin’ werewolf.

Yeah, I don’t know if I like the way this show went with this batch of episodes, but if it is the sort of thing that can give Brooker more inspiration for future episodes, I think this may work out.  Probably a good thing I saw this one here first as the finale for this batch may have a demon in it just judging by the episode title.