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Loch Henry is the second episode of season six of Black Mirror. It was written by Charlie Brooker and was released on June 15th, 2023.

Short Summary[]

While filming a nature documentary in a sleepy Scottish town, a young couple catches wind of a juicy local story with ties to shocking past events.

Full Summary[]

Pia Koresh sleeps on Davis McCardle's shoulder as he drives. They arrive at the home of Janet McCardle, Davis's mother, in Loch Henry, Scotland. She was worried because they've arrived later than she expected; Davis took a detour to show Pia the scenic route. It was a wasted effort though because she slept through it. Pia and Janet introduce themselves to each other. Janet starts to question Pia about where she's from and learns she was born and raised in the US.

Pia notices a piano in the house and asks who played it. It was Davis's dad, Kenneth, who has died. Pia taps out "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" on the piano.

Davis tells Janet their plans. They're only staying with her for two nights before they move on to shoot their film about the "rare egg guy." He guards rare eggs to keep people from stealing them. He's like a vigilante. Egg theft is illegal, but the local cops aren't interested or maybe they're just lazy. Pia thinks if someone like her were stealing the eggs, it would be different, presumably referring to her dark skin from her African heritage. Janet says the police are probably just overstretched because it's a very demanding job; she tells Pia that Kenneth was a cop. The ambiance is awkward after that.

As they settle into bed, Pia vents to Davis about feeling stupid for bad-mouthing the police after having seen the pictures of Kenneth in his uniform, and not making the connection. Davis assures her that it's fine, that Janet likes her. She's just sensitive about Kenneth because she misses him. Pia gets that and thinks Davis must miss him, too. Davis says he does in theory, but he was only eight when Kenneth died, so he's mostly existed for Davis in photographs. He was sick for a long time before he died and needed a lot of care. That really took it out of his mother. As Pia cuddles closer, she realizes that Davis sexually aroused, which she says is totally inappropriate. She spots something across the room and asks if it works. When he says it does, she gets up to grab the video camera. There's no tape in it. She hands him the camera and then fellates him.

The next morning, Pia tries to check Twitter but has no internet signal. She finds a shelf full of VHS tapes labelled "Bergerac." When Davis comes in, she asks him about it, and he tells her it's an old TV detective show. His parents were really into it. His mom had a crush on the main actor, John Nettles. Pia says that doesn't want to think Davis' mom coveting John Nettles' ass just as Janet comes into the room, embarrassing Pia. Janet asks if they're going out. Davis says he's just taking Pia to the loch. Janet offers to make them tea, but Davis says that's not necessary.

Pia and Davis admire the view. Pia can't believe they're the only ones there because it's so beautiful.

Davis takes Pia to The Lochside Inn. Stuart King is behind the bar and tells Davis he said never to come back there. Davis knows he's joking and just says hello. Stuart starts laughing and they catch up. Davis tells Pia that Stuart made a model for his short movie. Davis then introduces Pia and Stuart to each other. Stuart offers them complementary pints of beer.

Stuart, Pia, and Davis sit together and talk. Stuart is disappointed that Davis has brought Pia to a dying town. He and the pub, the last remaining one in the town, are barely surviving. It's a dead zone now. He has told his dad that if things don't pick up, they need to pack it in. Just then, Richard comes out of the back room. Davis goes to say hello, but Stuart stops him, saying it's pointless. He only comes down to refill his cup and that he's on his fifth for the day. They watch as Richard leaves again. Pia doesn't understand because the area is so beautiful. Stuart says it's because of Iain Adair. Davis tells Pia that Iain Adair lived nearby. He was quiet and not too bright. But it turned out he'd tortured and killed people. Stuart tells Davis to tell Pia about the "end bit with your dad." Davis says the town used to get a lot of tourists.

In 1997, a couple in their 20s, Simon and Dawn Challis, rented a cottage there for their honeymoon. Vacationing for a week, they even came into the pub a few times. They were supposed to leave at the end of the week, but when the cleaner came to get the cottage ready for the next booking, their car was still parked outside and all of their stuff was inside, but they were nowhere to be found. Kenneth got called in and started asking around but couldn't find them. It became a big story and journalists swarmed to the town. Weeks later, there was still no sign of them. Then Princess Diana died, and attentions moved on to that story.

Until one night Iain Adair was drinking at The Lochside Inn and got very drunk. He saw the missing persons poster on the wall and made comments about Dawn. Richard kicked Iain out and told him he was barred, but Iain didn't listen and threatened to come back and shoot the place up. Richard asked Kenneth to check on Iain and have a word with him to make sure that didn't happen. Kenneth went to Iain's place, but Iain didn't answer the door. Kenneth was walking back to his car when Iain opened a second-floor window and shot him in the shoulder with a shotgun. Kenneth crawled back to his car to call for backup, then he heard three more gunshots from inside the house. The backup arrived and found that Iain Adair had shot his mom and dad and then himself.

The police searched the farm, and in the cellar, they found a hidden bunker; inside was a torture room. He'd been abducting people and keeping them down there for weeks at a time torturing them, then burying the bodies in the fields, including Dawn and Simon Challis. The countryside can be dangerous, so when people sometimes went missing, no one ever put it together. He tortured and killed eight people total, plus did sexual things to them. That's why there aren't tourists anymore. Pia then realizes Kenneth wasn't killed but recovered from his gunshot wound. Davis says he spent a few weeks in the hospital, but he contracted MRSA and ended up dying of the infection. As far as Janet's concerned, Iain Adair killed Kenneth too. Pia asks Davis if they can go see where it happened.

Pia and Davis go the Adair house, where the windows are boarded up. She says it's perfect. She wants to go inside, but he says they can't. She thinks their film should be about that story instead. Davis reminds her that they're meeting the egg guy on Wednesday, but she isn't interested in him anymore. She only kind of liked in the first place, but she loves this story. Production companies will fund it. Pia can set up a meeting with Kate Cezar at Historik and thinks she'll go for it. Davis says people already know the story and doesn't think it's interesting, but Pia finds it irresistible. She promises it'll be a high-end piece, but Davis doesn't want to do it. Pia says very few people will watch the egg man documentary, but people would watch this story. If he doesn't want to make it, she'll make it on her own. Davis says Iain Adair shot his dad. He died there. It's not just content. Pia says they can weave that into the story. Kenneth has been forgotten in all of this.

Pia thanks Janet for a lovely meal. She didn't eat all of it, but enjoyed what she did eat. Once Janet's out of the room, Pia repeats that they'd do the story justice. It would be professional.

Stuart likes the idea. It'll bring the tourists back. He asks what that one Netflix show was called, about the man who killed women. He has to narrow it down for Pia to know it's The Waltonville Claw. He says that half of the show was footage of Waltonville; it looked like a brochure. Stuart's cousin booked a vacation there because of it. Stuart even offers them use of his drone for aerial shots. He has them wait while he goes to get something. Once he's gone, Davis agrees to do it.

Stuart shows them his mother's curiosity box. She was obsessed with the case and has tapes and newspapers all related to it. Pia asks if his mother would mind if they borrowed it and Stuart says she's been dead for four years, so it's all theirs.

Davis hooks up his mother's VCR. There's still a tape in it. It's an episode of Bergerac. They take that tape out and put in one of Stuart's mom's tapes. A reporter describes the case and the search for the Challises. Davis recognizes his dad as one of the cops in the background. Richard also comes on and talks about the case.

Richard tells Stuart he should have asked before giving them the tapes. He doesn't think they should be making movies about that case. Davis practices using the drone. They get footage of the loch and start putting the film together, recording over the old Bergerac tapes and watching all of Stuart's mom's tapes.

Stuart talks about the case while Pia films him. They're interrupted by yelling coming from upstairs. Richard has fallen on the stairs but doesn't want their help. He tells them to stop digging around because the case is over; they're just dredging it all up for awards and praise.

Pia is reviewing the footage from Stuart's interview when she notices that Davis seems off. She tries to check in with him, but they are interrupted by Janet coming in. She says if they're staying for a few more days, she could make a shepherd's pie. But she's not sure if Pia eats meat; Pia says she does. Janet recognizes Stuart on Pia's computer screen and asks what they're working on. Davis explains that they're making a documentary about Iain Adair. She asks if they'll explain what he did to Kenneth. Davis says that they will only if she wants them to, which she does. Everyone should know what happened to Kenneth. If Iain Adair were still alive, she would kill him herself with her bare hands. They were happy until he ruined everything for them. She offers to help them with anything they need.

Janet sits down in front of the camera. Davis says he'll ask her questions and she just has to answer them as herself. She says that the last time she was in front of a camera, it was Kenneth's, but his setup wasn't this fancy.

Later, Pia and Davis pitch their documentary to Kate Cezar. She likes it, but says they need to find a hook in order to get someone to buy it. Pia says that Davis's dad was one of the victims, which gives it a personal angle. Davis explains what happened to his father. Pia says their documentary gives him a voice. Kate says they can explore the personal angle and see what's there. However, she wants them to get new material, something that hasn't been seen or explored before. Pia lies and says they have access to the Adair house, including the torture room.

Stuart, Pia, and Davis put on white Tyvek jumpsuits as they prepare to enter the Adair house. Stuart asks why they're using the old camera and Davis explains that the police shot footage on tape back then. Pia also likes the atmosphere they get with old technology.

Stuart pulls the boards off a window, making a lot of noise. Davis asks him to do it more quietly; Stuart mockingly says that he'll set the prybar on "whisper mode." Once there's an opening, they all go inside. They have headlamps to light the way. Pia realizes the camera's not recording. When Davis investigates, he sees that the write-protect tab has been punched out. He gets a piece of tape to fill the hole and promises Pia his mom won't notice that they're taping over Bergerac. Stuart comes around a corner and scares them. He says he found the door to the torture room.

Stuart leads the way into the bunker. He pulls out a bottle of lemon juice, which shows under black light. He squirts some lemon juice on a nearby surface to create the impression that Iain Adair ejaculated there. When they turn off their white lights and illuminate a UV flashlight, they find stains far beyond the one Stuart made, even on the ceiling. Stuart realizes they don't need the lemon juice to enhance the scene. They set up to work.

On their way back, Pia says that was creepy, but Stuart found it relaxing. He says it could be a draw for tourists in itself to come spend the night in the dungeon. While driving on the single-lane road, they make up a song about being in the dungeon, to the tune of "In the Navy". While they are laughing over that, Davis fails to notice a truck coming around a blind curve and they crash into it head-on. In the hospital, Davis apologizes to Pia for not looking where he was going. He has a brace on his neck. The doctor says he probably has a concussion, so he has to stay overnight for observation.

Stuart talks to Richard, who was driving the truck they crashed into. Stuart's wrist is injured as well as Richard's leg. While Stuart talks, Richard stays silent, and Stuart eventually gives up and goes to ask Janet for a ride home. She tells Davis to rest up, then she, Stuart, and Pia leave. Davis settles into bed with his phone to play a game.

Back at home, Janet tells Pia she'll make the shepherd's pie. Pia says she has things to digitize, but Janet says she needs to eat. Pia looks around outside before entering the house. Janet is cooking in the kitchen while Pia reviews the tape from the dungeon.

While Davis plays Mario Kart on his phone, Richard leaves his hospital bed. He goes to Davis' bed. He sits down and tells Davis he has to stop his film. When Davis asks why. Richard says he doesn't have any proof, but he thinks he's always known. Davis asks what he knows.

After today's video footage Pia ends, the previously-recorded Bergerac plays. When the Bergerac episode ends, another previous recording begins: Iain Adair. Pia watches as the camera pans over to Dawn and Simon, who are tied up in their underwear. The camera then pans to Kenneth. Kenneth tells Simon and Dawn that "the mistress" is going to have fun with them today. Kenneth calls Janet into the room. He turns on music as she comes in and puts on a distinctive red Mardi Gras-type mask. She has a drill in her hands. She obscures the camera as she runs the drill and Simon and Dawn start to scream. Pia slams the laptop shut as Janet comes in to tell her that the shepherd's pie is ready.

Janet and Pia eat silently. Over Janet's shoulder, Pia startles, noticing the mask hanging on the wall. Janet says that Kenneth gave it to her. They always had such fun together. Pia excuses herself, saying she needs to use the bathroom. In the bathroom, Pia frantically tries to call Davis, but has no signal. Pia tries to sneak out of the bathroom, but Janet comes to her and asks if she's okay. Pia says she's just going to go for a walk to get some fresh air.

Janet goes to the bedroom just as the tape auto-ejects from the VCR. She looks horrified when she sees the label on the tape.

Pia walks down the lane trying to get a signal to call Davis. She sees headlights behind her and then Janet pulls up. Janet tries to get her into the car, saying she'll catch a cold, but Pia insists that she's fine. Janet gets more insistent, so Pia takes off running the other way. Janet pulls off the road and gets out of the car with a large flashlight. Pia hides as Janet looks around. Janet says she won't hurt her. Pia scrambles down an embankement and tries to cross a stream. She slips and falls and hits her head, then gets pulled under the water. Janet gets angrier, yelling explicatives. After a few moments, she calms down and gets back in her car.

Janet returns to the house. In her bedroom, she retrieves a box out of a drawer under the bed. Inside are various Polaroid photographs of Kenneth and various victims, including the Challises. Janet laughs as she looks through them. Janet stacks the Bergerac tapes on the table next to the box. She writes a note and leaves it on the box. Janet gets a rope out of a drawer. She puts on her mask, then she climbs on a stool and hangs herself.

Much later, Davis has his make-up done and gets a microphone attached to him. The interviewer asks him to talk about the film he was making.

A promo plays for Davis's documentary, which has been produced by Streamberry. Richard talks about spending a night with Janet and Kenneth and getting pulled into adult stuff, like sex games. That night made him think that Iain Adair hadn't acted alone. Clive Myrie reports on the murders and another report says that Iain was acting under the guidance of Kenneth and Janet. And it was Kenneth, not Iain, who killed the Adairs. He shot himself to cover up his role in the crime. Janet then killed herself and left the tapes of the murders behind for Davis to find.

Stuart calls for quiet in the full bar as he watches the broadcast. Kirsty Wark is introduced to present an award. She presents the BAFTA for best factual series to Loch Henry: Truth Will Out. Stuart and the other patrons cheer the win while Richard sits quietly in at a table by himself. Kate Cezar accepts the award and thanks Davis for allowing them to tell his story. Out-of-place, Davis poses for pictures with the rest of the award recipients.

At the after-party, Kate Cezar points out an actress to Davis, criticizing her show. However, when the actress comes over, she tells her that she loves it. The actress praises Loch Henry in turn. Kate Cezar steps in an accepts the praise, telling the actress they're developing a drama based on it. She indicates that the actress might be good for the role of Pia.

Back in his hotel room, Davis settles-in with a glass of champagne. He takes a phone call from Stuart, who congratulates him. Stuart tells him the bar has been packed for weeks. Davis hangs up on him. He pulls a note from his pocket. It's the one that his mother wrote: "For your film. Mum." He starts to cry as he looks at the award.

Cast[]

Notes and Trivia[]

  • The streaming service Streamberry, notable for playing a huge role in the episode Joan Is Awful makes a return as the streaming service that came to produce the Loch Henry: Truth Will Out documentary via the same production company Historik. In the episode Joan Is Awful, the Loch Henry documentary is shown to be apparently already available on the streaming service, thus setting Loch Henry at some point prior to Joan Is Awful.
  • Several of the old newspapers retrieved in the bar talks about Prime Minister Michael Smart from Demon 79, who was apparently kicked out of the Tory Party after a 'racist' speech to Tipley voters in 1997, and then urged that he would begin his own political party.
  • The Sky News report shows several news tickers referring to other episodes. One headline says 'US Tourist found dead at SaitoGemu HQ' which seems to reveal that the events of Playtest have largely occurred simultaneously with the last section of Loch Henry. Another ticker reads 'Toon Politician Waldo romps to victory in Italy' which references The Waldo Moment. Another ticker reads 'Hot Shot auditions open in Sydney', referencing the tv show from Fifteen Million Merits.
  • A headline at the end is shown to be 'Robot dog unveiled by London Police' with the article showing a photo of the robot dog from Metalhead with the article talking more about the innovations behind the invention. Just seconds before a news ticker on the Sky News report shows a headline saying, "Michael Smart unveils Met Police 'robot dog'".
  • One newspaper headline reads 'Whatever happened to Michael Callow? Now he runs a ZOO!", a tongue in cheek reference to The National Anthem and the act that Callow was forced to perform.
  • One of the newspapers at the very end is dated July 18, 2019.
  • A Scottish Daily Express newspaper contains an article about the "Egg man of Rum", a protector of rare bird's eggs about whom Davis and Pia were initially going to make their documentary.
  • It is mentioned that one of the competing contenders for the award is a documentary called Suffer the Children: The Tipley Pedophile Ring which is another reference to Demon 79. Another contender is Euthanasia: Inside Project Junipero which references San Junipero.
  • While Davis and Pia are editing their documentary, multiple stickers referencing past episodes can be seen in Pia's laptop, including: Arkangel's monitoring system, White Bear's symbol, Tuckersoft logo (the Bandersnatch company) and Waldo, from The Waldo Moment.

Gallery[]

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