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Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too is the third episode of Season 5's Black Mirror. It aired on 5 June 2019.

PlotEdit

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For her 15th birthday, Rachel Goggins (Angourie Rice) receives a new AI doll named "Ashley Too", which has a personality modeled after Rachel's favorite pop singer, superstar Ashley O (Miley Cyrus). Rachel begins to confide in Ashley Too about her mother's death, treating her as a friend rather than a toy, to the annoyance of her older sister Jack (Madison Davenport). One night, while Jack is playing guitar, she is surprised when Ashley Too shows interest in her style of rock music, especially when Jack reveals that it was her mother's favourite type of music.

Ashley Too convinces Rachel to dance to Ashley's song "On a Roll" at a school talent contest and Jack secretly watches Rachel rehearse to the song, appearing jealous. On the night of the talent contest, Jack watches Rachel perform the routine, which ends badly when Rachel falls off her stool midway through. Claiming that the doll did nothing to help Rachel, Jack hides Ashley Too in the attic and tells Rachel that she threw the doll away. An angry Rachel accuses Jack of being jealous of Ashley Too and being unable to express herself by performing her own music in public, and storms out.

Meanwhile, the real Ashley feels unfulfilled and frustrated by the bubblegum pop image she is forced to convey and dreams of playing as a rock musician in underground clubs. She writes songs that her manager and aunt Catherine (Susan Pourfar) believes will undermine Ashley's growing success. Catherine discovers that Ashley has not been taking medication intended to counter her darker moods. At dinner, Catherine laces Ashley's food with a large dosage of this medicine, inducing a coma. Catherine blames the coma on a severe allergic reaction to shellfish to explain the pop star's absence.

Upon hearing the news about Ashley, a remorseful Jack gives Ashley Too back to Rachel. Six months later, Ashley Too is accidentally activated by a news report. She learns of her real self's coma, and that Catherine has been extracting music from Ashley O's dreams for a new album, coupling scans with the voice recordings made for the Ashley Too dolls. Overwhelmed with all this information, Ashley Too malfunctions, so the two girls hook her up to their father's computer and unknowingly remove a "limiter" mechanism. Without the limiter, a now sentinent Ashley Too, who has a full digital copy of Ashley O's mind, warns the girls of Catherine's intentions, although Jack is reluctant to believe her.

The doll convinces the two girls to take her to Ashley's home to collect digital evidence from her real self's laptop. Rachel and Jack manage to bluff their way into the house past Ashley's bodyguard, only to have Ashley Too disconnect what she believes is Ashley's life support, having intended to euthanize her to end her suffering. However, instead of killing her, Ashley wakes up as it turns out the equipment was keeping Ashley in an induced coma.

Rachel and Jack hide as a corrupt doctor Catherine hired returns to Ashley's room. He calls Catherine to warn her, and she demands he put Ashley back in the coma. However, Jack attacks him as he is trying to do so, and Rachel puts him in a coma instead with his own drug needle. With Ashley Too's help, the two girls release Ashley from the restraints of her bed and Ashley Too proves herself to Ashley as a copy of her mind, remembering a past memory of Ashley's and her hatred of Catherine.

Desperate to stop Catherine's evil plans, the four race to the venue where Catherine is presenting Ashley Eternal, a holographic replacement for Ashley O that can perform at music tours. Chased by the police after running a red light, they crash onto the stage. Ashley steps out in front of the astonished audience and Catherine realizes her plan has failed.

Some time later, Ashley is shown performing with Jack as an alternative rock musician called "Ashley Fuckn O" in an underground club while Rachel and Ashley Too watch happily in the audience. Two of Ashley's former fans walk out in disgust at their idol's new direction.

CastEdit

  • Miley Cyrus as Ashley O
  • Angourie Rice as Rachel
  • Madison Davenport as Jack

TrailerEdit

TriviaEdit

  • One of the hashtags shown in the previous episode Smithereens is #AshleyOWembley.
  • A news segment briefly references Tusk embarrassing himself on a British talk show, possibly even his final interview from the episode Hated in the Nation.
  • The director of the episode, Anne Sewitsky is referenced as the director of the music video playing at the start entitled "On a Roll".
  • The two songs Ashley sings in the episode are lyrical reconstructions of Nine Inch Nails songs - the first song, "On A Roll", is a reconstruction of "Head Like A Hole", while the second, untitled song is a reconstruction of "Right Where It Belongs". The credits screen that shows the song rights is subtitled at the bottom with "Many thanks to Trent Reznor".
    • When we first hear Ashley start writing the second song, the lyrics are practically unchanged, save for using "her" in place of "his". This sets up just how thoroughly Catherine doctors Ashley's songs.
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