Black Mirror Season 4 featured some of the darkest, weirdest, and most disturbing episodes of the show to date. From consciousness transference and mental manipulation, to killer robot dogs and auto-mutilation, creator Charlie Brooker and his collaborators took the viewer through a series of nightmarish near-future scenarios, which were all the more terrifying because they seem so possible. Here's our rundown of the most disturbing moments from the latest season.
1. Deep space death (USS Callister)
While all the nastiest stuff in 'USS Callister' technically exists in the fevered virtual world created by coding whiz Robert Daly, it doesn't make the experience any less bleak for either the viewers or his victims. Determined to torment company co-founder Walton, Robert forces him to watch his son being blown out of the airlock into deep space. Walton knows that if he doesn't bend to Daly's will and play his sick game, his son will be brought back for an even more gruesome demise.
2. No face, no luck (USS Callister)
Daly has absolute control over every person he's trapped within the USS Callister, and can keep them alive for as long as he wants. In an attempt to subdue the rebellious Nanette, he removes her face. She cannot see or breathe, and yet remains alive, trapped in a ghastly state of permanent suffocation.
3. Surveillance surprise (Arkangel)
In 'Arkangel', a concerned mom returns to the tech she had implanted into her now-teenage daughter as a child, which allows her to monitor her every move. Unfortunately for mom, she turns the tablet-based monitor on just as her daughter is enjoying an illicit tryst with her boyfriend.
4. Mom’s gone (Arkangel)
Things go from bad to worse, and the episode ends with the daughter beating her mother nearly to death with the very device that she used to spy on her. The weird digital disruption that mom's head experiences with every blow makes this scene even disturbing.
5. Bath time (Crocodile)
The darkest episode of Black Mirror Season 4, 'Crocodile' is a twisted tale of memory and murder. Fifteen years after she helped cover up a murder, Mia finds herself knee-deep in bodies as she attempts to stop memory-recall tech exposing her crime. The most shocking kill is the husband of an insurance agent, who is beaten to death with a hammer while he relaxes in the bath.
6. Blind luck (Crocodile)
Although the bath murder is the most graphic scene in 'Crocodile', there's an even more disturbing coda. Shortly after dealing with the husband, Mia realises that the couple have a baby, whose memories could also be accessed. Although thankfully the child's death occurs offscreen, we are left in no doubt as to what happened. In a tragic, ironic twist, it is revealed that the kid had been born blind, so the memory recall tech would not have worked anyway.
7. Love hurts (Hang the DJ)
The most powerful moment in the otherwise relatively upbeat dating app satire 'Hang the DJ' has a real emotional punch. Perfectly-matched lovers Amy and Frank have decided not to check the expiry date of their relationship. But Frank can't help it, and in doing so without Amy's knowledge or consent, tragically reduces their five-year relationship down to a few hours. Sob.
8. Terminator mutts (Metalhead)
'Metalhead' is a scary, pared-down thrill-ride set in a bleak future, where humans are hunted down by terrifying robotic dogs. And that's really it--40 minutes of unrelenting, black-and-white scares and tension, as these metallic killing machines chase, kill, kill and chase.
9. Pain and gain (Black Museum)
Season closer 'Black Museum' tells three stories in one, and is packed with unpleasant moments. One of the grimmest is the story of Dr Dawson, who begins to experience pain as pleasure via a neurological implant. Hopelessly addicted to these sensations, he proceeds to cut, slice, snip, and gouge his body in wincingly graphic detail.
10. "Monkey needs a hug" (Black Museum)
Rolo Haynes, the proprietor of this strange museum of cutting edge "criminological artefacts", recounts the story of a man who had the consciousness of his comatose wife transferred into his own mind. When he tires of his wife's presence in there, he has Haynes transfer it into that of a toy monkey. In a sickening twist, we learn that years later, her consciousness is still trapped within the monkey, who now sits alone in the museum.