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Demon 79 is the fifth and final episode of season six of Black Mirror. It was written by Charlie Brooker and was released on June 15th, 2023.

Short Summary[]

Northern England, 1979. A meek sales assistant discovers she must commit terrible acts to prevent an imminent disaster.

Full Summary[]

At 7:30 AM, Nida Huq wakes to her alarm. She gets up, opens the curtains, brushes her teeth, and packs her lunch. She does her hair and make-up, then leaves for work.

She gets to work and puts on her smock for the day. Then she unlocks the front door to let customers in. She works in footwear, helping people find shoes.

Nida eats her lunch alone in the back room. Vicky comes in and says she has a customer, but Nida reminds her she's on her lunch. Vicky makes a disparaging comment about Nida's lunch smelling and says her own lunch break starts in five minutes, so if she starts with a customer, it'll cut into her break. Nida closes her lunch and clocks back in. She peeks through the curtain and sees Keith Holligan. She tells Vicky he murdered his wife. Vicky says it was manslaughter and the judge said she drove him to it. She tells Nida to go do her job.

Nida measures Keith's foot. He says he thinks he'll need an 11, because he's large for his height.

Nida boxes up Keith's shoes and rings up his purchase. He asks about a discount because he's strapped until the end of the month, but she says they can't do it. She offers to put them aside for him. As she writes down his information, he says he wouldn't mind if she wrote down her number for him. She fantasizes grabbing him by the neck and strangling him. In reality, she hands him his ticket and he leaves. Vicky walks up to her and says she thinks Keith is into Nida's "sort."

At the end of the day, Nida locks up the store.

Outside, she watches as Michael Smart talks about the failings of the current government. She overhears a husband and wife talking about him. The husband thinks he's young, but the wife says he's good. Michael talks about the ways in which the government has specifically failed Ripley, citing litter and crime. He looks at Nida and pauses for a moment. As he continues, Nida goes back inside the shop.

Nida gets fish and chips and then walks back to her place. Two men lean against the nearby wall as she unlocks her gate.

Nida reads and eats while watching a news report about the National Front, a far-right group. She changes the channel to one talking about music. She watches a Boney M music video. She's particularly entranced by Bobby Farrell.

The next morning, as Nida leaves for work, when locking the gate, she sees "NF" sprayed on it with white paint. At work, she opens the front door, which has a poster for Michael Smart taped to it.

Nida puts shoes on a mannequin then looks up longingly at the outfit the mannequin is wearing. Vicky tells her she's dreaming if she thinks she can pull it off. She tells Nida that Mr. Duncan wants a word.

Mr. Duncan says he's learned that Nida has been eating her lunch in the stockroom. Everyone does it, so they don't mind, but what she's eating is an issue. "Normal" food doesn't tend to linger afterward and hers does. It's not fair to her co-workers and it could get into the shoe leather. He suggests bringing a sandwich instead. She agrees to bring sandwiches instead. He's sure Vicky will appreciate that. Nida says she brought a biryani in for the day. He proposes her eating it in the basement. Mr. Possett himself worked down there in the early days. He hands her the key. Nida walks over to Vicky, who is reading a "Vote National Front" pamphlet. Nida fantasizes about grabbing her and banging her head on the counter until the glass breaks. In reality, she tells Vicky she's taking her lunch break.

Nida goes to the basement and raises the cover on an old roll-top desk. As she eats, she glances at an old newspaper article about the opening of the department store, then one about a publican dying, one about a workman crushed by a collapsing wall, one about a woman who disappeared mysteriously, and finally, one celebrating a successful "May Day." She puts her lunch back in her bag and gets up but stops when she sees a small drawer on the desk. She pulls the handle and cuts her finger on it. From within the drawer, she pulls out an old wooden rectangle with a red-painted squared-off "Y" symbol carved into one face, which she puts in her bag before leaving.

That evening, Nida is watching Boney M] singing "Rasputin" on television when she suddenly gets up and pulls the talisman from her bag. She is startled by a man's voice saying "Hello" and she drops it onto the table. She picks it back up and hears Gaap, a demon, introduce himself. He tells her she's anointed the talisman with her blood, so they're bound together. Nida throws it and backs away but can hear him telling her to pick it up. She picks it back up and he explains that she has to carry out three human sacrifices over the next three days to prevent the world from ending. If she wants his help, she has to allow him entry. She just has to say yes. He badgers her until she says "Yes." The talisman symbol changes to have three prongs instead of two, like a pitchfork. She drops it. She turns and sees Gaap, a horned creature who scares her. When he sees how scared she is, he changes his appearance to look like Bobby Farrell, because he learned from her soul that it's a look she finds appealing.

He looks at himself in the television, then tells her she just needs to get over the shock and talk to him. She thinks she's dreaming, but he tells her she isn't. They have to deliver three human sacrifices by May Day or else the world will end. He shows her what will happen if she doesn't succeed. She's suddenly surrounded by fire with no escape. Gaap puts it back. Nida leaves her apartment to get away from Gaap, who is still trying to explain what she needs to do, but he follows her, explaining that it has to be humans and she has to do one per day. He says she should just get the first one under her belt right away. She tells him she won't be killing anyone. He tells her she just has to take the brick in her hand and hit someone. She looks down to see the brick. She tries again to refuse. Tim Simons overhears Nida talking, but can't see Gaap and asks if she's okay. Gaap says Tim will be perfect. There are no witnesses. Nida asks Tim to make Gaap stop, not realizing he can't see Gaap. Tim offers to go call a doctor when Nida says she needs one. Gaap tells Nida that he can see into Tim's soul and he deserves to die. He has an eight year old daughter named Laura and he molests her. He shows Nida what Laura experiences every night. He also tells her that Laura will kill herself when she's 28 because of the pain and shame. Tim suggests that Nida should put the brick down, but she swings it and hits him with it. He falls into the nearby river.

Nida goes back home and vomits. Gaap says it'll take some getting used to, but she only has two more to do. He shows her the talisman, which has one fewer line than before. She has a whole day to pick her next target.

Suzie goes to Len Fisher's office and tells him about Tim being missing. Len doesn't think anything of it as it's been less than a day. Suzie says Tim's wife said the dog came home without him.

Len and Suzie talk to Jean Simons, who is looking for a picture of her husband. It's difficult because they stopped taking pictures of each other in favor of taking pictures of Laura. She finally finds one of him with Laura on his lap. Jean knows something has happened because Tim doesn't stay out. Len takes the picture out of its slip as Laura comes into the room. Laura just glares at them when Jean explains that they're there to help find her dad.

Gaap looks at Nida, who is slumped on the couch and asks how long she's going to sit there. She's late for work and she has to keep going or people will get suspicious. She keeps feeling the crack of Tim's skull. She committed the murder but blames Gaap for it. She thinks she's crazy, like they said her mother was. Gaap tells her she's not crazy. She asks why this is happening. He admits that it's his first assignment, a sort of initiation. She tells him she's not a bad person and he says he knows. It wouldn't work if she were a bad person, so this actually reflects well on her. Nida calls the police to come arrest her. He says if she does that, she won't be able to do the other sacrifices, so the world will end. She knows he doesn't want the blood on her hands, but these three deaths will save billions. The call connects, but Nida hangs up without saying anything. She asks him what to do. He says to act normal, including going to work, and while she's at work, they'll decide who she'll kill next.

Nida goes into the back room. Vicky says she was supposed to be in at 9:00. Nida says she threw up, so she thought she might be ill. Vicky tells Nida to stay away so as not to share her germs and tells her she looks awful. Gaap suggests that Vicky would make a good target. He tells Nida that Vicky steals from the cash register. Nida fits a sweet gran for shoes. Gaap says he loves to do an old one. And this one can't stop thinking about the end of her life, so Nida would be doing her a favor. Nida rejects his claim.

Suzie pokes her head into the men's restroom to find Len who is reading the paper. Suzie says they found Tim's body.

At the river, Suzie and Len examine Tim's remains and realize someone hit him on the head.

Nida watches as Vicky flirts with Rod. She laughs when Gaap feigns gagging over them. Gaap proposes Rod as her next target. He'll lose his hair at 32 and spends the next 29 years taking it out on his wife. He shows her a flash of Rod beating his wife. Nida asks Gaap to stop showing her things. He tells her that Vicky won't be his wife. In fact, Vicky never marries. Gaap reminds Nida that she has to get the next one in by midnight and it's already 5:30.

Nida is watching a show when Gaap asks if she wants the apocalypse to happen. He changes the channel to show politicians talking about nuclear weapons. He says that's where they're heading and she's the only person who can stop it.

Nida searches her drawers for a weapon until she finds a large kitchen knife. Although suitable, he says that she's not a slasher and he has her put it back. When she produces a hammer instead, he says she's a smasher. He says it'll be easier for her this time. She also needs some alcohol, but she has none because she doesn't drink.

Nida enters a pub. When someone in the bar stares at her, Gaap suggests her as the next target. Nida orders a triple scotch from Bob. Gaap cautions her to take it slow because she still has work to do, but she ignores him and tells Bob she'll take two of them with ice when he says people generally take it that way.

Nida cautiously sips her drink while Gaap points out potential targets. A man who burglarizes the elderly. Nida says no. A woman who saw her sister drown when she was 12 and let it happen instead of pulling her out. Nida points out that he could be making this all up.

Julie the barmaid sees Nida talking to herself.

Gaap points to Keith Holligan, who killed his wife when he thought she was cheating on him. Nida knows the case. She makes eye contact with Keith, who licks his lips as he looks at her. Nida finishes her drink and Gaap realizes he's the one. She looks back to see Keith is gone, so she runs out to find him.

Nida follows Keith to the back of the building, where Keith urinates. Gaap says it's the perfect location, with no witnesses. Keith sees her and asks if she followed him. He's read about girls like her. He invites her back to his place.

Nida enters Keith's place, which is messy. He asks if she wants to do it in the living room. When she scowls at the couch, he says the bedroom might be better. Nida follows him up to his room. He rushes to clear things away. He puts in a cassette to start some music. Keith starts to undress. He tells Nida to get comfortable while he has a wash down there. Gaap says she only has six minutes left. When Keith comes back, Nida is holding the hammer up. He realizes she's going to hit him with it. He sits down, resigned to his fate. He knew it would happen at some point. It's what he deserves. He honestly loved his wife, or he thinks he did. He takes off his glasses. As he starts to say he wasn't a bad husband, Nida hits him repeatedly with the hammer. Gaap says she did it with four minutes to spare. Gaap has her pick up her bag and the hammer. She moves toward the stairs but hears the door open. Keith's brother, Chris, is home. She watches him take care of his things. Gaap tells her to get out before Chris sees her. Nida tries to be quiet as she goes downstairs, but she makes a noise and Chris turns to face her, asking who she is. She tries to turn and leave, but Gaap says there can't be witnesses, so Chris has to go. Chris throws things at her and orders her to get out, but she approaches him. He grabs a knife and tells her to just get out. There's a struggle and she finally gets him pinned down in the hall. He manages to get up and grab the hammer, but she grabs his knife and stabs him with it. She apologizes to him as he crawls away from her. She pulls the knife out and he dies. Nida and Gaap leave as the clock chimes midnight.

Back at Nida's, Gaap tells Nida that Chris was an ordinary person. It's not what Nida wants to hear, but it's done. But she got two in one night, so she's done. He shows her the talisman, but only one line is gone, leaving one remaining. He uses Nida's phone to make a call. Once he's off the phone, he tells Nida that Keith didn't count because he was a killer himself. He had her choose bad people because it was easier for her, but that's not strictly how it's meant to go. Tim counted because he never killed anyone, because his daughter's suicide hasn't happened yet. In that sense, they're lucky that Chris showed up before midnight or she wouldn't have made the deadline. Nida is angry with Gaap. She yells that he just has to watch and doesn't have to do anything. He says if he fails his initiation, he'll be cast out into a boundless, cosmic void, doomed to spend eternity in nothingness. She says that sounds like her life. He tells her he's scared. She says they have one more. She doesn't want to do someone innocent, but he says they only have to avoid murderers. She realizes she's a murderer now. She never wished harm on anyone in her whole life. Gaap says she couldn't have summoned him if that were true. She had to be corruptible, not beyond corruption. There's no shame in it. He asks who angered her.

Nida watches Vicky from the back room. Gaap says she should lure Vicky down to the basement, hit her on the stairwell, and tell everyone she lost her step and fell. Vicky finds Nida and tells her she can help a kid find black shoes for her dad's funeral. Vicky would do it herself, but the kid gives her the willies. Nida realizes the kid is Laura Simons.

As Nida fits shoes on Laura, Gaap tells her Laura's not in mourning. She's sad her dad is dead, but glad he's not molesting her anymore. Nida spared her five years of it. She'll need a lifetime of therapy, but she'll have a lifetime. She'll become a mother at 29 and a grandmother at 57. Nida tells Laura the shoe is a good fit.

Mr. Duncan brings Michael Smart to footwear. He tells Nida and Vicky that Michael will be their next MP with a little luck. Mr. Duncan went to school with Michael's father and Michael's been using his weekend cottage as a base of operations for his campaign. He promised Michael a new suit and new shoes for a big speech, so he asks Vicky to take care of him. Once they're gone, Duncan tells Nida to pick up the mess in the department. Gaap tells Nida Mr. Duncan could make a good target.

Michael tells Vicky he hopes he has her vote. She says she's voting National Front. She says she doesn't like how things are changing and looks over at Nida. Her aunt's been in Cheetham for 20 years and now has foreigners living on both sides of her. They don't have enough and she doesn't want to share with people who don't belong. She thinks the National Front will stand up for them. Michael says they won't get elected. They're too overt. He quietly tells Vicky he holds the same views as National Front. He asks again if he has her vote and she says he does.

Gaap tells Nida to pick who to kill because she doesn't have much time left. Nida asks what the future looks like for Michael Smart. She asks Gaap to show her. If he doesn't, she'll go out and confess to everything. She sees Michael being expelled from the tories for being too racist and forming the Britannia Party. He ends up being elected Prime Minister and launches a war on immigrants. Nida decides he needs to go. Gaap says they won't like that, but he said she only have to avoid murderers. He'll be responsible for an impressive number of deaths, but he isn't yet. Gaap says he beats his wife, but he hasn't killed her yet. He killed a dog with a rock when he was 12, but she knows animals don't count. He technically qualifies, so that's her choice. It's him or no one. Vicky peeks in and tells Nida that Michael wants to try an 11. Nida tells Vicky to get them herself, shocking her. Nida leaves the store, taking the jacket off the mannequin as she goes. She gets in her car and Gaap tells her she's changed.

The police photograph Chris and Keith's place. Suzie says there's no sign of forced entry. She tells Len that Keith was no angel. Len sees that the cassette player is on and pulls out the cassette, which is labeled, "Making love." He shows it to Suzie.

Bob confirms that Keith was in the pub last night, as he was most nights. Suzie asks if he behaved differently last night. He says no. He dragged his pints out and left around closing time. He didn't see anyone follow Keith out. There was one odd thing about last night: Nida, but she didn't speak to Keith. He can't describe her beyond saying she's Indian. He asks Julie, who also saw Nida. Julie saw her talking to herself. She's seen Nida around town and knows she works in shoes at Possets.

Nida makes a plan to kill Michael Smart. She wants to follow him in her car. She's interrupted by her doorbell. Len comments on the National Front logo on her door, which she plans to paint over. He asks if he can talk to her. Gaap suggests that Nida kill Len instead. Nida offers Len some tea, but he turns it down. He asks if she was in the pub last night and she says she was. She'd never been in there before, but yesterday was her mother's birthday. Her mother's dead, so it's not easy. She's not supposed to drink, so she doesn't have any in the house. She's not proud of what she did. Len says he's not there to judge. She asks what he's there for. He asks if she's heard about Keith and Chris. Nida claims she's never heard of them. Len says Keith was in the pub last night. Nida can't be sure if she saw him because she doesn't know him. Len has a ticket that shows that Nida served him at work. She says they get a lot of customers. She says she certainly didn't notice Keith at the pub.

She apologizes for not being very helpful as she sees Len out. Gaap is impressed by her lying, but knows Len didn't buy it. She needs to hurry. She gets in her car, but doesn't notice Len following her.

Gaap tells her Len is following her. He was going to have a heart attack next year anyway and has no family to miss him, but she's determined to kill Michael Smart.

Michael makes his speech. Vicky is in the audience and so is Mr. Duncan.

Michael says his goodbyes as he leaves. Mr. Duncan wishes him luck.

Nida watches Michael leave and follows him. Len follows her. Michael drives through a railroad crossing as the gates are coming down, so Nida speeds up to get through as well while Len is stopped.

Gaap tells Nida it's not too late to find someone else. Nida tells him to leave, so he does.

Michael starts to notice that Nida is closely following him. She rear-ends him. They both keep driving. She pulls up next to him and forces him off the road. His car runs into a tree. Nida stops and watches him crawl out of his car. She grabs her hammer to finish the job. She hits him twice, but Len comes and stops her before she can finish the job. He tries to get her to put the hammer down, but she says she has to do it. She asks Len if he's a good man. He says he doesn't know, but he hopes so. Nida says if she doesn't kill him by midnight, there will be war. Len says they'll deal with that if it comes to it. He asks her to put the hammer down. Nida repeats that she can't. She apologizes to Gaap and hugs Len.

Nida watches as the clock ticks towards midnight. Suzie asks Nida about her targeting people who had done something wrong. She admits that Chris just turned up. She's also told them about the talisman and how Keith didn't count. Suzie shows her the talisman, which they found in her jacket pocket, but it looks like an ordinary domino. Nida explains what Gaap looked like and how he changed to look like Bobby Farrell. Nida says Gaap showed her what it would be like if she didn't kill three people. She experienced it. It won't be long now until it happens. She tried to stop it, but she couldn't. She watches the final seconds tick away. She closes her eyes with five seconds left. Then the ticking stops. She opens her eyes to see the clock has kept on working and it's past midnight with no signs of destruction.

Len thinks Nida's mind is gone. At least that's what her lawyer will say. Suzie feels a bit sorry for her, even though she killed three men. Suddenly, they hear a siren in the distance. Everyone goes outside to check on it.

Gaap comes to Nida. She tells him she failed. He did as well. They're casting him out to eternal oblivion. She apologizes. He asks her to come with him. He's been checking the fine print and the rules don't say he can't take a human companion with him. She decides to give it a try.

Len and Suzie watch with a crowd through a window as several bombs are dropped, starting fires that quickly engulf them.

Nida and Gaap leave together, hand in hand.


Notes and Trivia[]

  • Due to the nature of the episode's ending, Demon 79 seems to set itself apart as one of the few stories set outside the timeline and continuity that other Black Mirror episodes have been hinted to exist within.
  • The Universe of Demon 79, specifically the ending seems to be a timeline split from Metalhead. The episode seemingly being the future Gaap showed Nida. It's not clear if Metalhead was a timeline that required the sacrifices.


Episode Stills[]

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