This Black Mirror Season 6 Episode Is the Most Disturbing in the Whole Series – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

This Black Mirror Season 6 Episode Is the Most Disturbing in the Whole Series

Black Mirror has always been known for its ability to deliver disturbing stories, and the latest season is no exception. Season 6 delves into various themes, including true crime, the streaming industry, and AI, all while critiquing modern technology and the human condition. However, one episode stands out from the rest: “Beyond the Sea.”

Set in an alternate 1969 America, “Beyond the Sea” follows two astronauts, Cliff and David, who are replicants. Their original bodies are onboard a spaceship in space, while their replicated bodies are on Earth. When David and his family are attacked by a cult, it becomes clear that replicants are not accepted by society.

The episode’s bleak ending sees David murder Cliff’s wife and children, and Cliff himself is left trapped in space with David, the man who murdered his family. The episode’s twist is not only shocking but also highlights how technology can unlock the darkest corners of the human mind.

Throughout the episode, there is a feeling of inevitability, as the characters slowly approach their tragic fate. The episode’s twist makes it one of the best of the season and the most disturbing of the entire series. It’s a reminder that technology’s advancement can have negative consequences, resulting in a loss of family and self, and a future spent lost staring into the abyss.

When it comes to disturbing stories, Black Mirror does it better than most. We have seen all sorts of technology-related horror stories in the Netflix anthology series, and Black Mirror season 6 has added some even more disturbing ones. In this season, Black Mirror explored things such as true crime, the streaming industry, and AI. As usual, there was a critique of modern technology and its possibilities, but there was also a critique of the human condition.

However, one episode stood out from the rest: “Beyond the Sea.” Here’s why it was the most disturbing.

Cult Home Invasion

Beyond the Sea - Black Mirror episode


Set in an alternate 1969 America, Cliff, played by Aaron Paul, who delivered one of the best Black Mirror performances, and David are both astronauts. However, we quickly learn that these are not the real versions of them. They are replicants whose original bodies are onboard a ship in space. This instantly adds a strange feeling to the episode. The idea that replicants could exist, not living in your own body, the type of issues it could cause. And it doesn’t take long until we are introduced to the kind of trouble it could bring about.

At the beginning of the episode David and his family go to the cinema, where he is approached by curious members of the public who are in awe of how real his replicant looks. But soon after the family goes home, a group of cult members breaks into their house while David is still in the replicant’s body.

It becomes clear quite early that they are not just there out of curiosity. David tries to fight them off but finds himself restrained. The cult leader, played by the terrifying Rory Culkinchops the replicant’s hand off to see machinery and an oil-like substance. After, David is knocked out with a hammer. He then wakes up in his original body on the spaceship and frantically uses his key tag to return to the replicant body.

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When he wakes, he is tied up. And his family is being held hostage. The leader of the cult gives a speech about how the replicant is unnatural and an abomination. But he doesn’t stop with just David’s replicant. In his eyes and the eyes of the cult, the family is just as guilty in allowing this unnatural replicant to walk the earth.

So, David is forced to watch as the cult members murder his wife and both his children. Resulting in David being trapped in space, no way home, years left on his mission, and traumatized by the events he was forced to witness.

This early twist is one of the most disturbing scenes in the whole Black Mirror series. Not only was it harrowing to witness the murder of a family. It was a look at crazed members of society rejecting modern advanced technology. Something that is close to our reality but to a lesser extent. And maybe something we could see in the future as technology progresses. It was a moment that showed exactly what Black Mirror is about.

The Bleak Ending

Aaron Paul in Black Mirror Season 6

David’s mental state deteriorates rapidly after the tragic loss of his family. Cliff becomes worried since he is the only person in space with him. And it is a two-man job. Cliff’s worry causes him to come up with the idea of allowing David to use his key tag and replicant to get a break from the solitude of the spaceship, hoping that seeing the real world and real people can get David to come around a bit. Of course, this sets alarm bells ringing for the viewer. It almost feels predictable what will happen.

From this moment on, it seems inevitable that David will take Cliff’s life. Earlier in the episode, we see that Cliff and his wife, Lana, are a bit cold towards one another. There is no spark. No common ground. But as David gets more comfortable in Cliff’s replicant, we see chemistry develop between him and Lana.

David appears to be everything Cliff isn’t. He has an interest in painting, reading, and music. He is just a more charming man overall. Lana notices and allows herself to enjoy it. There is even some flirting. But once David makes a move, Lana comes to her senses and rejects him.

However, Lana keeps this from Cliff. But tries to tell him that she doesn’t want David to use the replicant again. Cliff shuts her down, thinking that David needs this to be stable and perform his duties in space. It isn’t until Cliff sees the drawings that he understands why his wife doesn’t want to see David again. David took to drawing his infatuations of Lana. And Cliff finds these while he is on board the ship alone.

An argument arises between the pair, and Cliff punches David. David goes on to say how he has lost everything and how Cliff doesn’t know how he feels. He also suggests that Cliff doesn’t appreciate the wife and family he has. Cliff returns home and, at first, thinks something went on between David and Lana. But they end up having a deep conversation that addresses their issues. David’s words triggered a realization in Cliff and ultimately brought him closer to his family.

Related: Black Mirror’s Charlie Brooker Tried to Used AI to Write an Episode for the Show

When Cliff returns to the spaceship, he makes it abundantly clear that David will never get to use his replicant again. And adds that Lana is disgusted by him. So, when Cliff had to go outside the ship and leave his belongings behind, most important of all, his key tag, it seemed predictable what would happen.

But Black Mirror had one final twist. As Cliff was outside the ship looking to see what damage had been done to it. Damage that David reported. We see the ship is fine. Cliff calls out to David but doesn’t get a response, leading us to believe David isn’t returning. In a panic, he bangs on the ship’s hatch door, and eventually, David answers.

David says he went to the bathroom and hands out the tray with Cliff’s belongings. But the key tag is missing. After a delay, David takes the key from his pocket, and all Cliff can do is ask him what he did. Cliff rushes to use his key tag to get back home and wakes up with blood on his replicants hands. The walls of his house are stained with blood, just like David’s was. His wife and child had been murdered, just like David’s.

Cliff returns to his real body on the ship, the only place he can go. Trapped with the man that murdered his family. David kicks a chair out for Cliff to sit down, finally making Cliff feel the pain he felt.

Throughout the episode, there was a feeling of inevitability about what would happen. Like watching a car crash in slow motion, we watched these characters slowly approach their tragic fate. But the shocking twist delivered one of the best episodes of season 6 and the most disturbing episode of the whole Black Mirror series. It showed how instead of advancing humans, technology has the potential to unlock the darkest corners of a human’s mind, resulting in a loss of family, a loss of self, and a future spent lost staring into the abyss.

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