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"Hated in the Nation" is the sixth and final episode of the third series of Black Mirror starring Kelly Macdonald, Faye Marsay and Benedict Wong. It was written by series creator Charlie Brooker and premiered on Netflix on 21 October 2016.

Overview Edit

DCI Karin Parke (Kelly Macdonald) has been summoned to a hearing to discuss her involvement in a case. On May 15th of the previous year, journalist Jo Powers (Elizabeth Berrington) is found dead at home with her throat cut. Powers had recently been subjected to online death threats after she published a column critical of a disabled activist’s suicide. Karin investigates Powers’s death and meets up with new partner, Blue (Faye Marsay), who has transferred from a cyber forensics department. Parke initially believes Powers was murdered by her husband, but rules him out.

Parke discovers Powers had been targeted with the Twitter hashtag #DeathTo, used against people who become public hate figures. Powers’s autopsy reveals an Autonomous Drone Insect (ADI), created to replace the now-extinct bee population, lodged in her brain. The ADIs were created by a company named Granular, and employee Rasmus (Jonas Karlsson) learns that they were locally hacked. He and NCA agent Shaun Li (Benedict Wong) are assigned to the case. The following day, a rapper (Charles Badalona) known as Tusk, who had also become a target of internet hate, has a seizure and is hospitalized and sedated. During a subsequent MRI analysis for the cause of the seizure, an ADI is pulled from his brain by the magnetism of the MRI machine, killing him instantly. Parke and Blue link the deaths to a website promoting a "game" where Twitter users can vote to kill a hated public figure, with the victim selected via the #DeathTo hashtag. Parke and the investigation team try to protect the next target (Holli Dempsey), whom had recently tweeted a disrespectful selfie involving a military war monument, but are unable to save her as an ADI burrows into her brain after forcibly gaining access to a nearby safe house used to protect terrorist informants, however, Parke and Blue remain unharmed. Blue realizes that the ADIs find their targets using advanced facial recognition software, and this can only be possible if Granular had access to government records. Blue confronts Li and he is forced to admit that the government is covertly using ADIs for mass public surveillance, as this was the only incentive to back the project with the funds necessary to make it successful.

Use of #DeathTo grows rapidly after the public learns that the "game" really does kill people. The situation becomes critical as the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Ben Miles) climbed to a "Most Hated" list is the current top target. Parke interviews a former Granular employee who attempted suicide after receiving online hate, who them reveals that her flatmate Garrett Scholes (Duncan Pow), also an ex-Granular employee, saved her life. Parke’s suspicions are confirmed when the ADI found inside Jo Powers’s brain turns out to contain a manifesto written by Garrett. The manifesto further states that he wanted to force people to face the consequences of their actions and not be able to hide behind online anonymity. Garrett had left the country six months previously, but the manifesto includes a selfie taken on his phone, allowing Blue to trace his location at the time.

A raid of Garrett's hideout unearths his disk drive, which contains a system for sending out ADIs. When connected to the ADI system, it downloads a list of everyone who has ever used the #DeathTo hashtag. The list contains the participants' names and faces. Parke quickly works out that Garrett used public figures as bait; his plan was to use the ADIs to kill all those on the list. Blue and Rasmus try to find a way to shut down the system, but Parke thinks that Garrett has led them into a trap and that the "deactivate" function may actually be a command to kill the targets. Against Parke's instruction, Li triggers the system. For a brief time, it appears Granular has regained control of the system, but ultimately Parke's theory is proven correct and the ADIs are sent to kill the 387,036 people on the list.

In the present day, Parke explains at the hearing that Blue went missing and is presumed to have committed suicide. Parke is thanked for her testimony and allowed to leave, as a nervous Li takes her place (presumably knowing he is to be severely reprimaned, if not worse, for triggering the system against advice and causing the massacre). Parke herself becomes a public hate figure because of the case. She receives a text message from Blue, who is still alive and secretly working with Parke to track down Garrett Scholes. Blue has found him abroad and tells Parke they have finally "got him."

Cast Edit

  • Kelly Macdonald – Karin Parke
  • Faye Marsay – Blue Coulson
  • Benedict Wong – Shaun Li
  • Jonas Karlsson – Rasmus Sjolberg
  • Joe Armstrong – Nick Shelton
  • Elizabeth Berrington – Jo Powers
  • Charles Babalola – Tusk
  • Ben Miles – Chancellor Tom Pickering
  • Esther Hall – Vanessa Dahl
  • Holli Dempsey – Clara Meades
  • Vinette Robinson – Lisa Bahar
  • Georgina Rich – Tess Wallander
  • Duncan Pow – Garrett Scholes
  • Cecilia Noble – Dame Patricia Lamarr
  • Katherine Kingsley – Dana Costello
  • James Larkin – Simon Powers
  • Robin Pearce – Harry Barclay
  • Adrian Lukis – Home Secretary Alex Willis
  • Jane Bertish – Head of MI5
  • Anita Anand – News Anchor
  • Thomas Dominique – Roadie
  • Leonie Elliott – Fiona, Clara's Flatmate
  • Reon Smith Marshall – Aaron Sheen
  • Matheus Mirek – Delivery Man
  • Jeremy Booth – Dog Walker
  • Tom Ashley – Paramedic

Trivia Edit

  • When Jo Powers checks her feed, the trending article is 'What if phones but too much?' referring to Mallory Ortberg's (now deleted) tweet and later article where she spoofed Black Mirror episode plots.
  • Although Jo Powers is based upon controversial columnist Katie Hopkins, the article that she gets criticism for ("SPARE ME THE TEARS OVER THIS 'MARTYR'") is referencing a column written by fellow Daily Mail writer Richard Littlejohn titled "Spare us the 'People's Prostitute' routine..." which was written in response to the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich and was criticised for its perceived callousness.
  • Chancellor Tom Pickering appears to be based on Jeremy Hunt, a similarly unpopular figure known for cutting health benefits and introducing unpopular contracts for junior doctors.
  • When Scholes is watching the TV broadcast of Parke's testimony, the rolling news ticker at the bottom of the screen includes a headline about a new game from Shou Saito, the game developer seen in Playtest.

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