Black Mirror season 5, episode 3 recap: Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too

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Six Months Later

Photo: Black Mirror Season 5 production still / Netflix

Rachel still isn’t talking to Jack and Ashley is still in her coma. Using technology, Ashley’s doctor, Munk (Nicholas Pauling), is able to read her mind and pick out the songs Ashley is dreaming of. But having the tunes isn’t enough, so Catherine and her people are using the voice mimicking technology used in the Ashley Too dolls to record the songs.

Ever since Ashley’s coma, the robots have been recalled for battery issues. Seems like the only one remaining is Rachel’s robot, and it goes haywire when it witnesses the news of Ashley. Jack reboots the device and the robot leaps back to life. Now, she’s like a snapshot of the real Ashley, complete with her personality and mind, and this Ashley Too is livid about Catherine’s deception. Ashley left evidence of what Catherine was up to on her laptop, she just needs Rachel and Jack to get her into her house. After much protestation, Jack acquiesces to this plan.

Jack pretends to investigate a rat infestation in Ashley’s home as Ashley’s bodyguard looms over her. Meanwhile, Rachel sneaks Ashley Too into the room where the real deal is asleep on her hospital bed. The tiny robot pulls the plug, seemingly killing Ashley, but the action has the exact opposite result. Ashley wakes up.

Catherine has Ashley in restraints, and the sisters aren’t able to free her before Munk arrives. He calls Catherine, letting her know about the situation, before preparing a serum that will put Ashley under again. Jack and Rachel stop him and free Ashley. Now, the girls need to stop Catherine. But from doing what?

Like a vampire, Catherine is milking every last drop of her niece’s potential, even in her comatose stage. As the girls race to Catherine’s press conference, she is busy launching Ashley Eternal – a scalable, streamable and life-like hologram of Ashley who can perform anywhere and any time. The audience is enthralled before the Goggins mobile crashes the party, and the real Ashley gets out and gives her aunt a piece of her mind.

This gripping episode ends season five of Black Mirror with Ashley embracing her new sound; Jack is by her side, both young women owning the stage in an underground bar. Rachel is reluctantly bobbing to their music, while Ashley Too is enjoying herself thoroughly. Not everyone is a fan of Ashley’s new music, but Ashley loves it!

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The season finale had such a delightfully bright and youthful perspective, but Black Mirror has really pushed the boundaries in this season by exploring the devastating effects of technology if it falls into the wrong hands. Despite it all, I would say this is perhaps one of the more optimistic seasons of the series since it celebrates how people can take back the power and live their best lives.