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Black Mirror season 6, episode 1 ending explained

'Joan Is Awful' features Salma Hayek and Annie Murphy fighting AI, and we can tell you exactly what happens in the Black Mirror season 6, episode 1 ending.

What happens in the Black Mirror season 6, episode 1 ending? Black Mirror has returned, and that means Charlie Brooker’s about to tell us exactly why all the modern technology we enjoy sucks.

To be fair, with AI and algorithms going haywire at the moment, Black Mirror episodes have never been more relevant. The opening of Black Mirror season 6, ‘Joan Is Awful,’ is a perfect example, looking at how we’re allowing our lives to be subsumed by streaming services.

As usual, the sci-fi series shows us the extreme dark side, thought comes around to a happier conclusion. To make sure you know what’s going down in the drama series, we’ve broken down the Black Mirror season 6, episode 1 ending. Might want to cover your Alexa’s ears for this one.

What happens at the end of Black Mirror season 6, episode 1, ‘Joan is Awful’?

In the ending of ‘Joan is Awful’, Joan manages to destroy Streamberry’s AI that’s making a show about her life, freeing her likeness from being used for entertainment. But the ending has another, weirder layer to it.

After Salma Hayek and Joan manage to sneak into the Streamberry, they encounter an engineer, played by Michael Cera, who lords over Joan Is Awful. Everything gets funky from here because he explains the reality in which Hayek’s involved is another simulation, and Joan Is Awful is a show within a show.

Black Mirror season 6 episode 1 ending explained

Think of it as a mixture of The Truman Show and Christopher Nolan’s Inception, where a TV series about someone’s actual life is about that person becoming aware they’re being watched by an audience. There’s another Joan, who doesn’t look like Annie Murphy, that everything’s based on.

Don’t worry about it too much – we’re not even sure it makes all that much sense – what matters is that Joan remains undeterred from breaking apart Streamberry’s AI abomination. She steps towards the machine, and although producers and executives try to convince her otherwise, destroys it, freeing her and everyone else from the Joan Is Awful cage.

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We then meet Source Joan, played by Kayla Lorette. She was in corporate management and had a fairly disastrous love life, but this experience taught her to seize the day and find what fulfills her. She opens a small coffee shop, starts dating again, and we see her leaving her therapist’s office much happier than the previous session.

And Salma Hayek? Actually, Annie Murphy (honestly, probably the most confusing twist). She’s become a regular of Joan’s, and credits roll as they share a laughter-filled conversation, wearing ankle bracelets due to their destruction of Streamberry property.

Black Mirror season 6 episode 1 ending explained

Does ‘Joan is Awful’ have a post-credits scene?

Yes, there’s a post-credits scene in ‘Joan is Awful’, and it’s amazing. Murphy wasn’t the only one who got to defecate in a church, Lorette got to join in on the fun as well. We see her perpetrate the diarrheic prank as a means of disrupting Streamberry’s plans.

Perspective switches to people’s phones, making it clear this will all exist when Joan Is Awful has been erased from the internet. But that doesn’t matter because Joan got her life back on her terms, and for now, Streamberry’s greed has been satiated.

We have a guide on how many episodes are in Black Mirror season 6 for more on the show. Check out our guides to the Foundation season 2 release date and the new Star Wars movie for more wild science fiction.