- Netflix’s They Cloned Tyrone reveals a neighborhood’s dark secrets, including government experiments and a mind-control drug.
- The experiments in the film aim to create radical peace by altering the genes and appearance of black residents.
- The movie draws parallels to real-life government experiments like the Tuskegee Experiment and CIA’s Project MKUltra.
Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Netflix’s They Cloned Tyrone.In its runtime of two hours, Netflix’s They Cloned Tyrone introduces several multilayered mysteries surrounding a neighborhood’s conspiracies, government experiments, and a mind-control drug. Directed by Juel Taylor, They Cloned Tyrone revolves around the misadventures of Fontaine, Yo-Yo, and Slick, who set out on a mission to unearth the mysteries of their neighborhood when they realize that Fontaine has somehow returned after dying. As an avid Nancy Drew reader, Yo-Yo initially believes there will likely be a simple explanation for all the strange things happening around them.
However, the closer they get to the truth behind their neighborhood towards They Cloned Tyrone‘s ending, the more they realize that its conspiracies are bigger than they initially realized. From secret government laboratories to mind-controlling drugs, they discover it all during their mystery-solving endeavors. Since all these revelations from They Cloned Tyrone can be a little jarring, here is a detailed breakdown of the key concepts, questions, and details from the movie.
Why The Glen Was Chosen For Experiments By The Government & What The Ultimate Goal Is
The Glen was chosen for the experiments in They Cloned Tyrone because, as Nixon says, it provides the perfect control setting for them. Because of its high crime rates and corrupt governance structures, no one truly takes accountability for anything. Not to mention, because of how dangerous The Glen can be for outsiders, the place cannot even be gentrified. This proves to be an ideal setting for the experiments because The Glen is cut off from the rest of the world and allows scientists to freely conduct immoral experiments on unsuspecting residents without being concerned about the ethics and laws that govern the more privileged parts of the world.
The ultimate goal of the experiments in They Cloned Tyrone is to bring radical peace to the United States. To achieve this, the scientists involved in the government experiments at The Glen are not only cloning black residents and attempting to control their minds but also seeking to alter their genes over generations and change their appearance. As the OG Fontaine explains, they do this because they believe the world will be a more peaceful place if everyone is similar in appearance. Even the mind control experiments are driven by similar motives since they use them to make the black subjects of their experiments more obedient and compliant.
Nixon and OG Fontaine try to justify these experiments by claiming that they serve the greater good. Little do they realize that by physically exploiting and psychologically manipulating the black people of The Glen, they are enforcing harmful racial biases. Through their skewed ideas of bringing peace to the world by homogenizing appearances, they are negating the importance of racial diversity.
Which Characters In They Cloned Tyrone Are Clones & Why They’re Chosen
Among They Cloned Tyrone‘s three main characters, Fontaine, Yo-Yo, and Slick, only Yo-Yo is not a clone because she does not respond to Nixon’s control phrase. The reason why Fontaine, Slick, and other outlaws from The Glen were chosen is that they help maintain the ideal control setting for the underground labs to exist. Through their criminal activities, they keep the neighborhood dangerous for outsiders and prevent it from getting gentrified. This explains why every time one of them dies, the underground labs send a cloned version of them to the surface to ensure that the neighborhood remains the same.
They Cloned Tyrone’s Hallucinatory Mind-Control Drug “Compound H” Explained
In They Cloned Tyrone, Slick discovers the Compound H drug in the first underground lab he visits with Fontaine and Slick. He even tastes it and learns that the drug makes a consumer laugh uncontrollably. Later, when he sees Fontaine laughing for the first time after taking a bite of Got Damn Chicken Fries’ fired chicken, he connects the dots and realizes that Compound H is the secret ingredient in the chicken. With this as a lead, Yo-Yo goes to Got Damn’s branch manager’s office, where she finds a tape that describes the symptoms and the side effects of Compound H.
The tape reveals that the drug has “pleasure-inducing effects” that appear 44 seconds after consumption. These effects are “expressed through extreme laughter and agreeability.” The tape further adds that 25% of the test subjects in the experimented population also “experienced side effects of sporadic muscle contraction.” This explains why Slick involuntarily shoots his gun and kills a scientist after he first consumes Compound H.
After following more leads, Fontaine, Slick, and Yo-Yo also learn that other popular consumer products in The Glen, such as a hair-conditioning cream called 2 Clean Perm Cream and a beverage called Grape Fruit also have traces of Compound H in them. As the tape from Got Dam revealed, the drug makes the black population of The Glen more agreeable, compliant, and easy to control. This allows the government to maintain control over their day-to-day activities, ensuring the sustenance of the right environment for the underground experiments to continue.
What They Cloned Tyrone’s Control Phrase “Olympia Black” Means
When Nixon utters the phrase “Olympia Black,” Slick and Fontaine suddenly lose control over their bodies and start conforming to all of Nixon’s commands. This moment in They Cloned Tyrone proves that all clones have been pre-programmed to conform when someone says, “Olympia Black.” While They Cloned Tyrone does not reveal the exact meaning of the phrase, it seems to echo the true motive behind the government experiments. “Olympia” was the name of Zeus’ Greek sanctuary where the Olympic Games were held. It stood as a symbol of peace, harmony, and unity.
Owing to They Cloned Tyrone‘s themes, “Black” likely refers to people with African heritage. Together, “Olympia” and “Black” seemingly highlight how the government wishes to achieve a distorted ideal of peace and unity by manipulating United States’ black population. Olympia Black could also be the name of the overarching organization that governs and conducts these underground experiments in They Cloned Tyrone.
They Cloned Tyrone’s Similarities To Real-Life Government Experiments Explained
The racial undertones in They Cloned Tyrone‘s central experiments seemingly allude to the real-life Tuskegee Experiment. Conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) from 1932 to 1972, the experiment’s purpose was to observe the progression of untreated syphilis. 600 African American men were recruited for the experiment, of whom 400 had syphilis while the rest served as a control group. Throughout its four-decade span, the men involved were never informed they had syphilis and were not even given medications such as penicillin despite their availability. Toward the end of the experiment, participants faced severe health problems, including mental health issues, blindness, and even death.
The mind-control element in They Cloned Tyrone‘s central experiments also shares similarities with the CIA’s Project MKUltra. Ensuing from 1953 to 1973, the illegal experiment’s goal was to conduct mind control and behavior modification experiments on subjects. Like They Cloned Tyrone‘s underground labs use psychedelic substances like Compound H for psychological manipulation, the governing forces involved in Project MKUltra used drugs such as LSD and other substances to alter human behavior and deduce ways to establish control over subjects.