The second episode of Black Mirror Season 6, titled Loch Henry, takes us to a sleepy Scottish town where a grave tragedy happened in the past. The lives of the people living there had changed forever after that incident. So, let’s find out what was happening in Loch Henry, and whether our protagonists are able to get to the bottom of the truth.
Why Did Davis Come To Loch Henry?
Davis McCardle and his girlfriend Pia came to the former’s hometown, Loch Henry, to shoot their documentary. Pia met Davis’ mother, Janet, and from the very beginning, Janet seemed to be eerily awkward about everything. She was trying really hard to break the ice, but that little bit of hitch was always there in her behavior and voice. Davis and Pia wanted to cover the story of a man who had become a vigilante and used to prevent egg theft in the village. Apparently, for the local police, it wasn’t such a big matter, and that is why they didn’t make any efforts to stop the crime from happening. But Davis and Pia didn’t see the man only as the protector of eggs; they perceived his actions as being the force that was preventing the rampant commodification of natural resources. Janet, Davis’ mother, didn’t understand such complex theories, so she stayed out of them. Pia wanted to make an impression on her boyfriend’s mother, but they started on the wrong foot. Pia commented that the egg protector had to assume the role of a vigilante only because of the corruption, laziness, and inefficiency of the police officers, and Janet didn’t take it well since her own husband also served in the force before his untimely demise. Pia hated herself for making such a comment, and she told Davis that she thought that his mother disliked her, but he told her to be patient and give it some more time before jumping to conclusions.
The next day, Pia noticed a lot of VCR tapes of a 1981 series called Bergerac kept on the shelves, and she came to know from Davis that Janet was a huge fan of the protagonist, John Nettles, who played the character of Jim Bergerac. Pia asked Davis again and again why the entire town was so empty when there were so many picturesque locations that could attract tourists. It seemed like Davis wanted to hide something from her, though soon he ended up spilling all the secrets he knew about the town.
Who Was Iain Adair?
Pia and Davis went to a bar, and the owner of the place, Stuart, happened to be a longtime friend of Davis’. The place was owned by Stuart’s father, but he was not in a mental state to handle anything, and he mostly kept to himself, only coming down at regular intervals for a refill. Stuart took the name of a deceased man called Iain Adair blaming him for the state of things, and though Davis didn’t want to tell Pia about it, he had no option as now Pia was more than intrigued to know about this mysterious man. Davis started narrating the entire story like a true storyteller, and Stuart was happy to hand over the reins to his mate, as he knew that he didn’t know how to build the suspense. Davis told Pia that the village was always filled with tourists until the year 1997, as something happened that time that changed everything.
A young tourist couple, Dawn and Simon Challis went missing all of a sudden, and even after a lot of efforts, the police were not able to find any clue as to where they had gone. Their bags were still at the hotel where they were staying which made one thing clear: they hadn’t gone back and were somewhere in the village itself. Davis’ father found out that it was a localite named Iain Adairhad kidnapped the couple, and he went to his house to confront him. Adair shot at Kenneth, but he managed to escape from the scene alive. Adair killed his parents and then committed suicide in his own house. When the police went to search the area, they found out that Iain had been doing this for a very long time and he had killed a lot of people apart from the Challis couple. He used to torture and abuse these people, and when the news came out in the media, the entire country was shocked to hear what had happened at Loch Henry. As a result, the tourists stopped coming to the place, and the businesses started shutting down.
What Did Pia And Davis Find Out About Janet?
Pia decided that instead of the egg protector, she had to make a documentary about this killer named Iain Adair. Davis didn’t want to be a part of the project at first because it was very personal to him, and he had lost his father because of Iain Adair. But Pia was persistent, and she convinced Davis to come on board. Surprisingly, even Richard, Stuart’s father, was against the documentary being made for some unknown reason. But Pia was in no mood to leave such an opportunity, and together with Davis, she went to meet Kate Cesar from Historik Productions to arrange for the funding and distribution of their project. Kate advised the youngsters to find a personal angle that could potentially become the USP of the film. Pia told them that they did have a personal angel, as Davis’ father was killed by the perpetrator. Kate became interested and she asked them to dig deeper and get her some more unexplored information that was not out in public.
Stuart, Pia, and Davis, in Black Mirror episode 2, Loch Henry, went inside Iain Adair’s house to conduct their investigation. They were coming back from Adair’s house when they met with an accident. Though everybody was saved, Davis was severely injured, and the doctors advised him to stay in the hospital for a few days. Pia went back alone to his house with Janet, and that’s when the big revelation was made. Pia was going through the footage that they had recorded on those Bergerac VCRs that Janet had. The video was playing when she suddenly heard a very unlikely voice. She realized that they were not the only ones who had recorded their stuff on the Bergerac VCR; even Janet and Kenneth had done the same thing in the past. At the same time, Richard, Stuart’s father, went to meet Davis in the hospital and told him that he felt that Iain Adair did not act alone and that there were others who were committing the crimes with him. On the VCR, Pia saw that Kenneth and Janet were the ones who used to kidnap the victims together with Iain Adair, and they used to keep them in Adair’s basement. For years, the truth was hidden from the public, but now, Pia and Davis both knew that it was Kenneth who was the mastermind, and he had killed Adair’s parents and then shot himself in the shoulder to incriminate Iain. Pia ran for her life, knowing that if she stayed at Janet’s house any longer, the woman would kill her. Pia, unfortunately, fell into the nearby pool and died instantly. Janet realised that the truth will come out in the open and so she committing suicide and left all her tapes for her son, so that he could complete his documentary.
Kate Cesar went ahead and made the documentary, now that she had a very strong personal angle. At the beginning of Loch Henry, Davis told his mother that he was against the commodification of nature, but he realized that the content market was now commodifying humans, their grief, their losses, their victories, and everything else they could get their hands on. Davis himself became a commodity, and he didn’t like it at all. We agree that content is king, but in our desperation to sell our product, we often become unempathetic toward the lives of others. Making a documentary or creating content is not bad in itself, but sometimes, the person might not want his private life to come out in the open, and we should know how to draw a line there. In today’s media culture, we are not given that privilege. Violating the privacy of a person with complete disregard for his life has been the normal course of business.
The makers and the producers had created a market where these emotions were sold at a profitable rate, and they didn’t have any qualms about it because legally they were not committing any crime. When David’s own life tragedy became content, he realized the impact it could have on the person on whose expense it was made. Stuart became happy because tourists started pouring into Loch Henry; Kate was happy as she got her personal angle, which helped her market the documentary, but Davis lost everything in the process. At the end of Loch Henry, Davis was just done with the hollow sympathies that came his way, and he didn’t want his life to be a commodity any longer, even if it brought him a huge profit.