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Fridge / Black Mirror: Be Right Back

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Black Mirror Fridge
Series Two
Be Right BackWhite BearThe Waldo Moment

  • In Be Right Back, why didn't Martha just call the company that made Ash and have him taken away, rather than telling him to literally jump off a cliff?
    • Grief does strange things to the human mind.
    • Given the theme of the story, which seems to be a send-up of "The Monkey's Paw", it's likely it's non-refundable.
    • In fairness, she's clearly gone a little bit mad with grief at that point, and obviously isn't thinking very rationally.
    • Everyone's missing the obvious answer — the problem is that Martha is unwilling to lose Ash a second time. It doesn't matter if she has him returned or has him jump off a cliff, the point is that she's unwilling to let him go at all. But since she's unable to accept the Ash replicant, she compromises by stashing him in the attic instead.
  • Why is the Ash replicant hidden in the attic in Be Right Back? Because that's where Ash said his mother would hide the belongings and anything that reminded her of the family members she lost until she was able to cope with their death. Martha simply took the last story Ash told her, and did it to the replicant when she couldn't get rid of it. And judging by the presence of her daughter, she's been holding her grief for Ash's death for years.
  • A bit of Fridge Horror in Be Right Back is that it's possible that the replicant has emotions. He's shown being much more argumentative when he has to stand outside all night... Which makes this episode much more horrifying if you imagine it from the Fake Ash's point of view. A man who only wants to make his beloved happy, but is incapable of doing so, and he can't fight back in any way due to his programming because he has to do what he's told... And then he has to stand in an attic for YEARS doing nothing than occasionally talking to a daughter that is implied only visits him on the weekends.
    • Or at least that the AI powering him is sufficiently advanced enough to simulate spontaneous emotional responses, in which case is there any difference?
      • Yeah, a huge one. If it actually has emotions and true awareness, then it is a person. If it is only simulating emotions, then it is as lifeless as a rock.
  • Close to Fridge Horror: the episode bears similarities to Frankenstein, suggesting that — like Frankenstein in the book — humans are never going to learn from people telling them not to do things and exploit new technology.
  • There is a reason why Ash seems like "half the man" to Martha: after she first gets an e-mail from the Ash copy, her friend says that he was created from his social media profile and that could be expanded by allowing him access to his private e-mails. However, we never see her do that. We see her block him, then unblock him, begin text chatting with him before she uploads samples of his voice to talk to him over the phone. We never see her allow him access to the personal e-mails, meaning his personality was still base solely on the public social media postings. Who you are in public postings isn't the same in private e-mails, so that means he is literally just the public version of Ash, making him "half" of a person and doomed to fail from the start.