Black Mirror, Episode 4×06: Black Museum

Black Mirror S04E06 - Black Museum.png

In what feels like a series finale–and thankfully isn’t–Black Museum tries to be all things and winds up being contrived and bloated.

A black lady named Nish (played delightfully by Letitia Wright) comes across the Black Museum which is a hundred miles from the middle of nowhere. The proprietor used to be a neurological research recruiter, and (surprise!) he helped promote a lot of the technology we’ve seen in previous episodes, though we are introduced to three new technologies here presented in separate vignettes. While they’re all mildly interesting (my favorite being the doctor who can feel what his patients feel, but becomes addicted to their pain, with obvious ramifications), they only serve to demonstrate the callousness of the proprietor.

This all leads to obviously evil guy showing off a prison cell where he keeps a real tortured dead soul (complete with holographic projection) and electrocutes the soul to get money off of sadistic tourists. And, again, totally not predictable and not foreshadowed at all, Nish turns out to be the daughter of the soul and uses Black Mirror magic to free her father and torture the proprietor.

I agree with a review from the Economist where they assert that this episode’s main point is that humans will be needlessly cruel to one another given the opportunity. And while that has proven to be true to a point, Black Mirror takes it to ridiculous lengths. That this Black Museum at one point was bringing in hordes of tourists every day is laughable. Black Mirror is best when they show well-intentioned people having complex interactions with new technology, not relying on torture porn (and easter eggs) for material.

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