Black Mirror Reflection: Chromosomes

By Catherine Jeffers

Today, there are companies like 23andMe and Ancestry that allow you to send in a sample of your DNA to trace your lineage. In the near future, these types of companies and products will become highly advanced, pushing towards a more invasive industry with ulterior motives.

This “Black Mirror” episode titled “Double Down” will follow the life of a 23-year-old young woman who wants to discover the background of her grandparents and great grandparents after her parents hid their identities from her throughout her life.

After secretly submitting a DNA test to a high-tech company that promises “clean and fast results,” she goes about her weekly routine. When she doesn’t receive her results within a week, she begins to worry. She calls the DNA company and complains that she has not gotten her packet with the results. They urge her not to worry, that there has just been a major influx of people seeking their ancestry results.

As the episode progresses, we discover that the young woman has been arrested by the police and taken into jail with concrete DNA evidence against her for a double murder. She gives a clean alibi and completely refuses the notion that she’s guilty.

She claims she has no idea how her DNA reached the crime scene and that there is no way she could have possibly murdered two people.

It is soon revealed that the DNA Company she sent her results to is actually an undercover evidence planting lab that works for the highest ranking government officials. They find crimes that government members committed and use unsuspecting individuals DNA samples to cover them up.

The police do not accept her not guilty plea and sentence her to life in prison. Her parents take the police’s side in the investigation, as they do not believe she sent in a DNA kit, since she did it in secret. They completely disown her and leave her to rot in prison.

This episode serves as a possible future reality when it comes to dangerous and mischievous government officials that have access to high tech companies and a lot of money to make things happen.

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