The full motivation behind the basis of Needa’s visions around real events becomes clear in the episode’s final act, when Needa fails to kill Smart and ensures the end of the world. There’s a brief period where it seems like she’s having a real nervous breakdown and never needed to go on this murder rampage in the first place, but then the nukes start going off in the distance. It looks like a total disappointment of a final, but it’s not. Needa, at least, has the comfort of knowing she was murdering people for a legitimately good reason, and when she and Gaap go into oblivion together, it’s almost kind of sweet.
The surprisingly peaceful ending feels like a reflection of Needa’s growing belief that this world isn’t worth saving. Even if the apocalypse didn’t happen that night, Michael Smart’s rise to power would still happen. Armageddon would still happen, decades later. That sense of acceptance in the episode’s final moments is rooted in the idea that burning it all down may be a better option than letting fascism take over. It’s a pretty grim resolution, but from a show like “Black Mirror,” we’d expect nothing less.
Season 6 of “Black Mirror” is now streaming on Netflix.