The first real sign of Season 6’s supernatural turn came right from the premiere, when Joan is about to destroy the machine that’s creating the TV show about her. Streamberry’s CEO warns her against this, describing the machine as so advanced and powerful that it’s “fundamentally magical”. She’s not exactly lying: once the technology reaches a point where it’s as advanced as what we see in “Joan is Awful,” is that really all that distinguishes itself from the supernatural? The only difference between a werewolf and a cell phone is that there is a scientific explanation for how cell phones are made, but do most of us have any real understanding of that scientific explanation? Not really.
To the average person, what makes computers work is just standardized magic. Even with ancient instruments, the explanations for the technology are still a bit confusing: it’s hard to watch a video of a 1903 phonograph in action, where sounds are recorded only through scratches on a spinning wax cylinder , and not to think of it as supernatural. . Even with such simple technology, the fact that it works still seems otherworldly.
With that in mind, is it really that shocking that “Black Mirror” is going completely supernatural for its final two episodes? Do we understand Gaap of Misophaes, the titular demon of “Demon 79”, no less than we understand how Robert Daly in “USS Callister” was able to download people’s entire consciousness onto his computer just from a fragment of their DNA? It’s understandable that anyone would have a hard time adjusting to Season 6’s genre shift, but the fantasy elements don’t really work any differently than the show’s usual sci-fi locales.