‘Black Mirror’ Season 6 Episode 3 ‘Beyond the Sea’ Ending Explained

Here is the ending explained to 'Beyond the Sea' episode 3 of season 6 of Black Mirror.

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Black Mirror Season 6 Episode 3 beyond the sea Explained

Picture. Netflix

For anyone confused about the ending to the third episode of season 6 of Black Mirror then allow us to try and help! We’ll also be covering the remaining episodes of Black Mirror season 6, but here is the ending explained to Beyond the Sea.

Beyond the Sea is the third episode of Black Mirror’s sixth season, directed by John Crowley and written by Charlie Brooker.

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Here’s the basic premise of the episode:

“In an alternative 1969, two men on a perilous high-tech mission wrestle with the consequences of an unimaginable tragedy.”

Beyond the Sea Ending Explained

After the death of David’s family and the destruction of his cloned body, he is forced to remain on the spacecraft. With an unknown period of time passing, David has spent too much time alone and away from Earth, taking a toll on his mental health.

rory culkin Black Mirror Season 6 Episode 3 beyond the sea Explained

Picture: Rory Culkin as Kappa – Netflix

To help David, Lana, Cliff’s wife, suggests that he let David have access to his link, giving him time to spend on Earth. Reluctant at first, Cliff comes around and allows David access to his clone. While on Earth, David begins painting Cliff’s home and spending time with Lana.

aaron paul kate mara Black Mirror Season 6 Episode 3 beyond the sea Explained

Picture: Kate Mara (left) and Aaron Paul – Netflix

Cliff is anxious to return to his body, meanwhile, in his spare time, David begins to draw Cliff’s wife. She is also reading the books that he recommends. David finishes his painting and the pair dance to the same music that Cliff had been intimate to with his wife. Lana and David share their own intimate moment, but she rejects his advances. Meanwhile, Cliff’s son, Henry, after witnessing the pair, attempts to ruin David’s painting and is disciplined by the man using his father’s body.

Lana attempts to distance herself from David, meanwhile, Cliff snoops through David’s possessions and finds his drawings of Lana. Cliff brings David back early to confront him over the nude drawings of Lana, punching him in the face. David accuses Cliff of not appreciating his family, and that he is jealous of everything he has, while he has lost everything.

aaron paul david 2 Black Mirror Season 6 Episode 3 beyond the sea Explained

Picture: Aaron Paul as Cliff

David confronts Lana over the drawn pictures, accusing his wife of cheating, but she strongly opposes the accusations. Lana admits her feelings to how lonely she has felt since moving to their new home and misses the intimacy she used to receive from her husband. Cliff hugs Lana and apologizes.

David attempts to clear the air, but it results in Cliff making it abundantly clear that he will never allow David access to his link again.

josh hartnett cliff Black Mirror Season 6 Episode 3 beyond the sea Explained

Picture: Joh Hartnett as David (left)

David recalls Cliff after reporting damage to one of the coolant systems. Cliff suits up and discovers there is no damage, to which he tries to notify David, but David is not responding on the intercom. For a brief second, it looks like David has locked Cliff out, however, he does return and lets his co-pilot back on board.

aaron paul david Black Mirror Season 6 Episode 3 beyond the sea Explained

Picture. Aaron Paul as Cliff – Netflix

While getting back into his uniform, Cliff notices that his link is missing. Reluctantly, David pulls it out of his pocket and returns it to Cliff. Immediately knowing something is wrong, Cliff runs to his bed and plugs in his link, only to discover that David has violently murdered his family.

Upon his return, Cliff finds David waiting for him anxiously, with the latter pulling up a chair for his co-pilot. Both astronauts have lost everything dear to them, and with no families to return to, all that is left is their mission and the cold abyss of space.

Why didn’t David kill Cliff and take control of his link?

In order to survive their mission, the spacecraft requires two men to pilot it. If David has any hope of returning to Earth safely he cannot afford to kill Cliff. Even if David was in control of Cliff’s body at the time, if anything happened to the spacecraft, the likelihood is David’s link to Cliff’s body would be severed, and he would die.

The same can be said for Cliff. No matter how wrathful he feels in this moment, if he wants to return to Earth he cannot afford to kill David.

What will happen when they return to Earth?

As the murder of Cliff’s family was committed through Cliff’s clone, the authorities will assume it was Cliff that committed the crime.

With no security cameras on board, and NASA never alerted to what was going on there is no evidence that David has ever taken control of Cliff’s body. If David chooses to reject any accusations of murder, Cliff would need to find a spectacular lawyer to help keep him from prison.

What did you think of the Black Mirror episode Beyond the Sea? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jacob joined What's on Netflix fulltime in 2018 and serves as one of the lead writers. Jacob covers all things Netflix whether that's TV or movies but specializes in covering anime and K-dramas. Resides in Norwich in the United Kingdom. Contact: jacob@whats-on-netflix.com