Black Mirror – Season 4 – Review

black-mirror-logoBlack Mirror was one of the shows that I didn’t quite understand until I watched the first few episodes. My brother continually told me to try it and when I finally did I became obsessed. I love shows like The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror because of the twists and the way they keep you on your toes. You never quite understand what is going on and never quite know where the show is going to turn.

Black Mirror is a show that prays on our fear of technology and what it can do. Since the beginning of computers and machines people have had fears about them taking over and destroying our lives. Black Mirror brings out those anxieties and wraps you up in that fear. This season centered on a number of different ideas.

I am going to rank the episodes in the order of my least favorite to my favorite. Some episodes this time weren’t as thrilling as others, but I did enjoy them all in some way or another. There are minor spoilers but nothing that ruins the episodes.

6. Crocodile

BM_CROC.0Crocodile is about a woman trying to hide a mistake made in her past. In her desire to hide what she did, she destroys lives and hurts people.

This episode was interesting, and suspenseful. I wanted to know how far this woman would go to keep her secrets hidden. I was surprised how far she truly went. The end was also surprising and ironic. I did enjoy that aspect.

The reason it is last on my list is because I felt like the technology angle was only there because of the idea behind this show. It wasn’t absolutely necessary to the plot. Black Mirror is about what technology can do if left unchecked. In this episode I felt like the whole story would have been the same with or without the technology. I wanted a bit more twist from it.

5. Metalhead

imagesThe episode surrounds a woman who is trying to bring something back to her community in an apocalyptic wasteland. She is followed by a robot dog and has to decide how and if it is possible to escape.

I saw that this one was liked a lot on Twitter. It was definitely suspenseful. It felt like an early episode of The Walking Dead. It was full of action. I was always afraid, waiting to see if the protagonist was going to get away or not. It was a constant ride, moving at a quick pace. I enjoyed the ride but I wanted more from it.

I felt like it would have been improved if there had been more details about what was going on in this world. I wanted to know who created the robot guard dogs and why. I wanted to know why the world was in survival mode. I felt like it was only this running and hiding episode. I have seen that. I watch this show for something that I haven’t seen before and this episode just wasn’t that for me.

4. Arkangel

black-mirror-s4e33

Black Mirror

A woman almost loses her daughter when she is young. As a way to ensure she will never lose her again, she enters her into a trial for a new technology. This technology implants a chip in a child’s head and allows you to use an app to watch their every move. Not only is there GPS to track them but you can see what they see, hear what they hear and get up-to-the-minute notifications about their health and safety. As the child grows, the mother learns that constantly watching your child can have its downsides.

I enjoyed this episode. It was a cautionary tale about helicopter parenting. I liked the technology. I felt like this was something that I could actually see happening. We already can track people’s phones. The more advanced our phones get the more we are going to be able to follow everyone. And while I understand the desire to know what is going on with you chid, there is a way to take it too far.

I also really liked how the beginning of this episode paralleled the end. It was a great way to end it. I was extremely satisfied by the end and how they used the fear in the beginning and twisted it for the end.

While this was a good episode, I did feel like I could predict much of it. One of my favorite aspects of Black Mirror is not quite knowing where things are going to go, and I was almost spot on with my predictions for this episode.

The episode also felt like it had two storylines at first. The storyline when the girl was a child was interesting and I wished they had pursed that for the whole of the episode. It diverged and went into a pretty simple storyline as she got older. In the end I think this would have been higher on my list if they had taken it in the first direction instead of the second.

3. Hang the DJ

MV5BN2UyMDQyMmQtNDVlNC00ZDU0LTlkMGItNWMwYTNiOTJmZTMxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyODE1NDk0NzQ_._V1_.0Two people are set up on a date. At first it seems like a blind date and then it feels more like speed dating. You learn that they are using an app that sets them up, and determines a pre-set amount of time for them to be together. They are given a number of relationships to try until the app has enough information to find them their perfect match.

I really loved this episode. I know people have been comparing it to San Juniper from last season and saying that it was just not as good. I can see the comparison but I felt like this was a different story and was just as sweet.

This is one of the few episodes in this show that has a hopeful ending. It is rare to be smiling at the end of a Black Mirror episode. I liked the idea of the app doing all the work of not only setting you up but also of breaking you up.

I also loved the relationship between the two main characters. I thought their relationship was sweet and felt very real to me. I kept watching, hoping things would work out for them. When I watched the end I was excited. I loved the way the app worked, it was clever.

My only issue with this episode was that I felt like this undertone of something sinister was not well developed. You have an idea of it in the beginning then it fades away until the end. I felt like if it had been better spread throughout the episode you would have felt more urgency for the two to get together. Also the end may have had a bigger impact if that feeling was better used.

2. USS Callister

landscape-1508343510-screen-shot-2017-10-18-at-171757The episode begins with a cheesy over the top seeming episode of a space type opera. The crew defeats a villain and everything is awesome. Then you transition to the real world and see the man who played the captain is at work where he is barely noticed let alone respected. It becomes even more tragic seeming when you find out he owns the company but no one seems to care about him.

We learn that the beginning was his own version of a virtual reality game he developed. He has this version of his life where he is respected and loved, a stark difference to his real life. We quickly learn though that his little world is much more sinister then it appears.

This was the first episode of the season. I loved this episode. I loved the twist and the commentary on some important topics. I loved that the episode didn’t make you wait long for the twist, it put it early and then gave you a journey to go on.

It looked at the way women and minorities are treated. I looked at toxic masculinity and how someone can think they deserve more than they really deserve just because of their name and position. I liked how it explored power dynamics. It felt relevant. I did what I loved this show for doing; it took our everyday lives and showed how technology can twist it to make it worse if we let it.

This episode also showed us what happens though when we fight the injustices. It showed that that fight is possible and if all those who are marginalized come together then something can be done. I think this was a very important episode for our current time. It left an impact and made me think hard about it afterward.

1. Black Museum

black_mirror_black_museumA young woman stops to charge her car. While she is waiting she sees a museum and decides to check it out. She learns that it is a museum of criminality. Everything in it was used for a crime. It is a dark place. She talks with the curator and learns the dark history behind some of the artifacts. It turns out she knows more about this place then she lets on.

I absolutely adored this episode. It was the perfect way to end this season. It was intriguing and interesting from the first minute. I loved all the easter eggs hidden throughout this episode. If you have not watched all the other episodes of Black Mirror, watch those first then come back to this one. You will appreciate it so much more.

I liked how this episode literally centered on the evil that technology can do if used wrong. It shows what happens when we are given too much power, when we think we can control it but learn that we can’t. It is almost like a preview for this whole series.

The atmosphere was dark and forbidding for the beginning. You know that this place is not good, you know that things are not going to end well here. I was worried the whole time for what was going to come.

The two vignette stories before the end were interesting and highlighted interesting technology. I thought I knew where it was leading but was wrong and I love when I am wrong. I was surprised when I watched the end but I was also very satisfied. It was the ending this episode deserved. It explored some tough topics and we are again forced to reflect not only on how we let technology work in our lives but how we exploit and use certain people because we think we are higher than them.

This season was good, not my favorite but it still made me think and reconsider things around me. I think these episodes  weren’t my favorite because the technology wasn’t as front and center as it usually is. I think they tried to tell some other type of stories this time, which was alright but veered away from what I am used to.

In the end this season was fascinating and a fun ride as usual. It still makes you rethink how you use your phone and computer and what it can do to you.

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Posted on January 6, 2018, in Tv Shows and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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