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Mia Nolan is the villain protagonist of the Black Mirror Season 3 episode "Crocodile". A prominent architect with an idyllic home life, Mia's spotless exterior hides a shady past, and despite her efforts to move on, the events of the episode threaten to bring the crime she and her boyfriend committed into the light - prompting a desperate attempt to silence anyone who might know of her secret.

She was portrayed by Andrea Riseborough.

Personality

Prior to the events of the episode, Mia was a seemingly free-spirited party girl who enjoyed getting drunk and high with her boyfriend. However, everything changed when Rob accidentally ran over a cyclist on the way home from a party; immediately upset and horrified by the death, Mia was the more law-abiding of the two, recommending calling the police. Ultimately, she had to be brow-beaten into following Rob's solution of hiding the body and was left clearly traumatized by the event.

Fifteen years later, Mia has developed into a serious-minded professional businesswoman with a highly-successful career, showing no signs of the rebellious girl she once was; now happily married, she loves her husband and son, and has no desire for either of them to learn of her shameful past. This soon becomes all too apparent when Rob reappears with the aim of confessing to his crime, and Mia's terror over losing everything leads her to murder him in cold blood.

Deeply shaken, Mia only grows more and more unhinged as she continues her efforts to cover her tracks. Merciless in her attempts to avoid discovery, Mia is prepared to do anything in order to keep her secrets concealed, including the murder of complete strangers and even children; immediately after, though, she is often stricken by grief and remorse, and can be seen vomiting and crying in numerous scenes following such murders. As her stress mounts, she also resorts to drinking in order to steady her nerves, at first merely helping herself to glasses of wine during the day, then indulging heavily offscreen following her final murders - to the point that her husband jokingly asks if she's eaten an entire vineyard.

By the end of her killing spree, Mia has been left emotionally deadened by the things she's had to do in order to preserve her happy life, and can barely bring herself to react as the consequences of her actions finally catch up with her.

History

15 Years Ago

After a night spent at a rave, Mia and her boyfriend Rob are driving down a lonely highway in the mountains, both of them under the influence of alcohol and party drugs. Distracted by singing along to a song on the radio, Rob accidentally crashes into a cyclist, killing him instantly. After returning to survey the situation, Mia wants to call the police, but Rob stops her at the last minute and claims that doing so would result in him going to jail for manslaughter.

Despite Mia's objections, Rob is eventually able to force her into taking part in a desperate plan to avoid discovery: wrapping up the cyclist's corpse in a sleeping back, the two of them weigh it down with rocks and dump it in a nearby lake, followed closely by his bike. With no remaining evidence of the crime left apart from the crack in their car's windscreen, the two are free to drive away without suffering any repercussions - though both are clearly traumatized by what they've just done.

15 Years Later

A decade and a half after the accident, Mia is now a successful architect, happily married and enjoying an affluent lifestyle with her husband and son. Lauded as an architect of communities as well as buildings, she has apparently been successful in suppressing her guilt over the events of the past, having completely reinvented herself as an individual since then.

During a business trip, she is visited at her hotel by none other than Rob, for though the two haven't seen each other for three years, Mia's fame allowed him to track her down relatively easily. Since their last meeting, Rob has also reformed, having been sober for nine months, and is now intent on making amends for the damaged he caused while still an alcoholic. However, he believes that this means confessing to the manslaughter of the cyclist: having learned that the wife of the unfortunate victim is still looking for her husband, he intends to write an anonymous letter to her revealing everything - though he promises to keep Mia's name out of the letter.

In a dramatic change of the dynamic they exhibited fifteen years ago, Mia tries to talk Rob out of it, fearing that the police might be able to trace the letter back to its source and learn of her involvement. In the ensuing argument, Mia brings out every possible tactic to make Rob reconsider: she tries to twist his newfound code of conduct into doing right by her, she attempts to guilt-trip him by reminding him that it was his idea to dispose of the body, and she even begs him not to risk destroying her family. But Rob refuses to give up, prompting his ex-girlfriend to take drastic action.

As he attempts to leave the room, Mia appears to hug him - only to unexpectedly slam him against and wall and drag him to the ground. Though clearly the taller of the two, Rob's years of drinking have left him haggard and out-of-shape; combined with disorientation from the impact and Mia being much fitter than he is, Rob is left virtually helpless as Mia slowly throttles him to death.

Distraught, Mia is left staring blankly out the window for some time, accidentally witnessing an automated pizza truck colliding with a pedestrian in the process. Once she has had time to recover, she comes up with a plan to dispose of the body: ordering room service, she then rents a pornographic movie on the TV - both to give her an alibi for her activities that evening and to disguise the sounds of her moving Rob's body onto the room service cart. Towing the cart downstairs to the carpark, she then loads the corpse into her car and drives off to one of her company's construction sites, where she successfully dumps Rob's body.

The Recaller

The next day, insurance agent Shazia Akhand is interviewing the young man who was hit by the truck; hoping to give her company grounds to pursue a highly-lucrative negligence claim against the owners of the truck, she makes use of a device known as a Recaller to study the memories of both the claimant and any witnesses of the event. Though memory being acknowledged as often unreliable, she is able to gather a significant number of clues concerning the event - though none of her witnesses actually saw the crash, and the CCTV camera outside was nonfunctional due to vandalism.

However, her final witness happened to catch a blurry glimpse of Mia standing at her hotel window at the time of the accident; after cleaning up the image and confirming her identity, Shazia decides to pay a visit to the architect while her family is out. Though reluctant to admit the visitor, the reminder of legal requirements ultimately forces Mia to consent to an interview; mistaking Mia's nervousness for embarrassment over the porno movie she paid for, Shazia connects her up to the Recaller and begins her examination.

Despite her best efforts to focus on the events of the accident and nothing else, Mia's memory betrays her, and the insurance agent ends up witnessing her recollections of both the road accident and the death of Rob. Realizing she's just seen evidence of a murder, Shazia makes her excuses and leaves, with Mia frantically trying to offer alibis for what she remembered; however, when the agent's car stalls while attempting to escape the property, Mia takes the opportunity to incapacitate her with a brick.

Stealing the car, she drives it to an isolated shack in the wilderness, where she ties Shazia up. As soon as she regains consciousness, Shazia promises to delete the Recaller's records and never speak of what she witnessed, but Mia is unconvinced. She then asks if anyone knows of the kidnapped insurance agent's precise location - and for good measure, uses the Recaller, and discovers that the details of her day's assignments were shared with her husband Anan.

Tearfully realizing what she's going to have to do next in order to keep her secret safe, Mia beats Shazia to death with a piece of wood.

Crocodile

Despite having to attend a performance of Bugsy Malone at her son's school that night, Mia decides to take a detour on the way in order to ensure her freedom: using the GPS on Shazia's car to find her home address, she arms herself with a hammer and sneaks inside; finding that Anan is taking a bath, she is able to creep upon on him unseen - only for her phone to ring at the last minute. In a panicked frenzy, she beats him to death with the hammer, forced to make eye contact with him as he dies. Overwhelmed with remorse, she is reduced to tears, and has to cover the corpse with a towel.

Just as she is about to leave the house, she happens to hear a baby crying, and realizes that Anan and Shazia's son has apparently seen her. Unable to risk the police using the Recaller on the baby, she kills him as well. Tragically, it's later revealed that the baby was born blind and would have been unable to identify her even with the help of the device, making the murder completely pointless. For good measure, the family guinea pig was in the same room, and thanks to the Recaller, the police are able to extrapolate just enough data to confirm that Mia was in the house.

Later that evening, while watching her son's school perform Bugsy Malone, Mia tries desperately to keep up her happy facade, but only manages to appear emotionally numb to everything. As the show comes to an end, the police arrive on the scene, presumably intending to arrest their newly-identified suspect; finally cornered, Mia is last seen applauding with the other parents, tears running down her face.

Trivia

  • Mia is similar to the serial killer Paul Michael Stephani, also known as the Weepy-Voiced Killer, a serial killer known for killing women and then calling the police himself and confess while crying feeling sorry for what he did but also claiming  "I can't stop myself". Mia also is shown to feel sorry for her victims but he is determined to kill as necessary to remain free, also she always cries after killing someone, just like Stephani.
  • In the later episode "Black Museum", the bathtub were Mia murdered Anan appears in the museum still stained with Anan's blood, along with other objects related to other villains from the series, such as Robert Daly 's cloning machine he used to clone his coworkers into a game and torture them in the episode "USS Callister" and an ADI bee used by cyber-terrorist Garrett Scholes in the episode "Hated in the Nation", all of them now owned and exhibited in Rolo Haynes' Black Museum.

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Arquette | Catherine Ortiz | Dogs | Dr. Haynes | Garrett Scholes | Jerome F. Davies | Kenny | Mia Nolan | Matthew Trent | Pax | Peter Butler | Robert Daly | Rolo Haynes | Stefan Butler | The Hackers |

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