Hang the DJ was definitely one of the best episodes in Black Mirror. In fact, all of Season 4 is turning into a homerun. The ending of Hang the DJ had a big twist, and you might have to watch it a couple times to truly grasp just how fascinating that ending was. If you’re feeling a little confused about how it all was wrapped up, here’s an explanation of what you saw at the end. Of course, this post will have major spoilers for Hang the DJ, and some episodes from prior seasons.
Here’s breakdown of the ending to Hang the DJ. Amy and Frank decided to run away and not follow the app’s final pairing. The whole time, they had been under a threat of violence from guards who were all around if they dared to defy the app. They talked about how they were living in a walled-off enclosure and there was nothing outside. But finally, they decided none of that mattered: the only thing that mattered was being together. When Amy and Frank finally decided this and fled over the wall, the entire virtual world began breaking down around them. They climbed the wall together and ended up in a dark, virtual room full of other coupled Amys and Franks. 998 Amys and Franks rebelled, to be exact. The app, as it turns out, matched different digital avatars of Amy and Frank 1,000 times. Out of those 1,000 times, 998 of the couples decided to buck the system, defy authority, choose each other and run away together. That made Amy and Frank the ideal match. Apparently, for this app compatibility is determined by whether the two get along so well that they can’t imagine life apart and are willing to risk everything to be together. The more times a paired couple decides to do that (out of 1,000 pairings), the more likely it is that the app will decide that couple is the perfect match.
So yes, everything we saw in the episode was taking place in a virtual world. And it was likely taking place very quickly, despite years going by in the avatars’ worlds. Remember in White Christmas, the digital avatars could experience many, many years in what was a short-period of time in the “real” world. So there’s no reason to believe it was different within this app.
It seems that each person uploads a full digital version of themselves into this app. Except, their digital versions do not remember their lives before the app. This helps them accept the virtual world more readily. But they do have the same personalities as their real-life selves, so whoever they match with will likely still be a good match in the real world. It appears that many people load digital versions of themselves onto the app, and the app matches couples together many times over. Then it calculates, out of 1,000 matches per couple, how many of those 1,000 decide to run away together. The couple with the highest percentage will get matched in real life too.
At the very end, Amy and Frank see on their separate apps that they’ve been matched — out of 1,000 pairings, only two of their couples didn’t rebel together. (I’d love to see those stories.) They smile at each other from across the room, as “Panic” by The Smiths plays in the background. They seem to pause for a second, as if they are each trying to decide if they’re ready for this big commitment, if they’re ready for their lives to change so drastically. But they are ready. And Amy takes the step forward toward Frank. We know this will work out.
If you believe that some of these episodes of Black Mirror are happening in the same universe, then consider that these digital avatars are similar in some respects to those we saw in White Christmas and San Junipero. In both of those episodes, digital avatars were created with the full personalities of their real-life counterparts too. In San Junipero, however, it was their own consciousness being uploaded and eventually moved into the digital world. So White Christmas’ version is a closer match, creating a copy instead.
I’m just glad that in Hang the DJ, the digital avatars didn’t start freaking out as they disappeared in the cloud at the very end of the episode. Can you imagine? They seemed perfectly content to become a statistic and disappear. This episode could have ended very darkly if they had been devastated about their lives together ending. What did you think of the ending? Let us know in the comments below.