Hey folks, Jesse here, I am continuing my look at Black Mirror Season 4. This time around I will be taking a look at episode 3, “Crocodile”. This episode gets pretty dark so be sure to have a favorite Gilmore Girls episode all ready to watch once you’re done this one.
Crocodile opens with a couple. We see them partying and enjoying a carefree night at a club. The music is loud and things are sweaty. It didn’t look like much fun to me but I’m old and tired most of the time. The party ends and next, we see the couple driving home. This episode was shot in Iceland and a lot of the opening scenes have some amazing shots of the beautiful countryside. It’s a place that I always think I’d really like to visit but then I remember here in Maine I’m already in an ice-land. There aren’t really a whole lot of cliffs here though. Some cliffs in Iceland are almost 1500ft high! That’s over a quarter of a mile! That’s to the nearest Starbucks! If you fell you’d definitely have time for a few final thoughts. The dawn light on the icy fields and rocky cliffs makes everything look that much more stark and desolate.
The free spirits are headed to find adventure in points unknown when the distracted driver unexpectedly hits a guy on a bicycle. They pull over to the side of the road to investigate and discover that the worse has happened. The driver of the bicycle has died and they now have to decide what they are going to do now. The immediate, rational response would be to call the proper authorities and deal with the consequences as they present themselves. There is also the option to throw the body off a cliff and totally act like nothing happened.
Well, 15 years go by and Mia (Andrea Riseborough) has been doing well acting like nothing happened and seems to have moved on with her life. She is married with a son and seems to be doing well in her career. One night after a work event she gets a visitor. An old friend, Rob (Andrew Gower) has come back to talk to her about their dark secret. Rob looks desperate and tired. He has plans to inform the widow of the man he ran over all those years ago. He wants to tell her where the body might be so she can finally have peace. It’s been eating away at him all these years and he wants peace of his own.
Mia disagrees, so he tries to convince her further. She then strongly disagrees by choking him to death. Shocked and stunned by what she did she stares out the window of her hotel contemplating her life choices when she witnesses an accident out on the street. A man is hit by a driverless food delivery truck (Just after seeing this episode I saw that Pizza Hut is doing driverless delivery). This snaps Mia out of her stupor and she begins work cleaning up. She orders a porno on the hotel’s TV to establish an alibi. She cleans up well but it’s going to get a lot harder ignoring her past.
The story switches now to find out more about that accident on the street Mia witnessed. In the future insurance companies and other agencies are able to use devices called Recallers. Recallers are able to make an on-screen visual of one’s memories. It is a legal requirement to agree to do a check of your memories. A technician will help the process with verbal prompts and sometimes even replicating smells can bring out stronger memories. We now meet one such technician. Shazia (Kira Sonia Sawar) is assigned delivery truck accident case and she begins her investigation. It’s clear Shazia is very clever and good at her job. Each person she talks to leads her closer to the truth and she seems to have a strong command of how to help people remember. I liked this character right away. She had a strong presence while also seeming very kind and gracious.
Through the Recaller she finds new witnesses to ask when finally one leads her to a woman staring out a hotel window, directly at the accident. Shazia questions the hotel staff for a few details and gets the necessary info to find the person who can give her the perfect view. Unfortunately for Shazia, her efforts have led her directly into the jaws of a crocodile. She drives out to see Mia.
Mia isn’t very accommodating when Shazia arrives at her door. She is visibly shaken by Shazia’s presence but Shazia thinks it because of the porn movie she ordered from her hotel. Mia agrees finally after she decides she can beat the Recaller. She does ok but eventually can’t fake it and resorts to a heavy wooden log as a short-term fix. Mia continues her spiral downward, covering up her tracks by visiting Shazia’s family or anyone else might that might be aware of where she went. After a higher death count than most Black Mirror episodes, Mia is finally able to rest. She attends her son’s play like it was a normal Thursday but begins to sob while sitting in the audience. The police are investigating the trail of dead left by Mia when they find an unconventional witness to her crimes.
I found this episode to have some of the darkest tones so far this season. The score was intense and reminded me of the score in Psycho. It really helped build the tension. The murder scenes are slow paced and Mia isn’t the best at finishing the job. Even without a lot of bloodshed on screen, they may still have you covering your eyes. It ends up being more similar to being a modern-day Alfred Hitchcock story. Overall I liked this episode but I think it’s time to watch some episodes of Gilmore Girls.
Thanks for stopping by again and check back soon.We’ll take a look at Black Mirror’s lighter side with, Hang the DJ. Get started watching Black Mirror today on Netflix.