Black Mirror 4.3. Crocodile


Values: Engrams

In the episode 4.3 we are again shown a completely new digital device. It is the so-called Recaller with which it is possible to retrieve the memories of a person from the outside. This makes it possible to bring all that a person remembers right now to a display.

A device that is highly interesting for today’s police and for the criminalists of the future. Criminals and innocents can be declared exactly. The device works so well, apart from the technology, because a person can not “remember”.

Memories are traces in the memory that life leaves behind. Neuronal, these are the connections in the brain (axons, dendrites), as well as the associated synaptic weights. An experience is stored the more intensively, the more emotionally it is experienced and the more sense organs were involved.

Retrieving the memory can either take place consciously, because one thinks about something or unconsciously, because one just thinks of something. Such sudden memories are triggered by current sensory impressions. These can also be synesthesia. You get a picture in the brain, which was triggered by a certain noise. These two – image and sound – have no causal connection.

Exactly this phenomenon is used when working with the Recaller. Insurance expert Shazia Akhand uses a beer bottle, has clients smell it, and expects the memory of the accident to be triggered. Shazia is assigned to investigate a fatal traffic accident with a self-driving car. Among other things, she finds Mia Nolam who should have seen the accident pretty closely. As part of the recall process, Mia also remembers her grim past. She had already committed two murders that were not cleared up and popped up in the memories and thus were transparent.


Mia, a very ordinary girl from Iceland (surrounding area), was in a disco with her boyfriend, where they had a lot of drinking and drinking. On the way home in an intoxicated state her friend hit a cyclist deadly. Reluctantly, she has agreed to dispose of the body. That worked fine for 15 years. Suddenly her friend reappears and wants to confess to the murder. This is impossible for her because she now has a successful career (values). From this understanding of the world she derives her attitude and is convinced that “everything is feasible”. In order not to jeopardize everything, she murders her former discotheque. Not only the career is important to her, but also the family. This has the highest priority.

Because of the Recaller’s detections, the insurance agent knows about Mia’s past. So, and consequently, it needs to be disposed of as well. Morden apparently belongs to the behavioral repertoire of Mia. There are two more murders and so turns a girl from a simple milieu by a disco visit a fivefold murderess. All that is stored in her memories, the engram.

The term engram should not be confused with enneagram. The latter is a typology that became known in the 19th century. It is an esoteric typology that probably dates back to ancient times. People are divided into nine different personality types. In the Christian West, this doctrine became known through the books of Richard Rohr. But have become very flattened in recent times again. The relationship between the engram and the enneagram is that personalities develop on the basis of their milieu and their genetic disposition. Enneagrams are thus reduced and categorized engrams.

The title crocodile is nowhere to be found in the episode. It is believed that this refers to the personality of Mia. Cold-blooded, thick-skinned and yet she cries crocodiles tears.

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