With much success from the first 3 seasons, Black Mirror finally released their fourth season. Similar to the previous season, the new season comes with 6 episodes. This should come as good news for all Black Mirror fans.
I was able to binge-watch the entire season in two days. Some episodes were home runs while other episodes felt a bit lacking. If you only want to watch the quality episodes, you’re in luck because I’ve ranked the 6 episodes from my least favorite to the most enjoyable.
Ever wondered what it’d be like to have the government allow organizations to access your memories if they deem it necessary to do so? In this episode, an insurance employee travels around interviewing different people to uncover the truth regarding an insurance claim.
Black Mirror is known to include clever plot twist towards the end of their episodes. Although “Crocodile” does have a plot twist of some sort, it felt random and out of nowhere. The screenwriters did a decent job explaining the concept of accessing memories with a special device, but there was a certain event in the episode that didn’t truly follow the concept without the use of a deus ex machina. This takes me out of the story and makes me question the entire concept. Because of this, it brings down the overall quality of “Crocodile.”
“Metalhead” follows a woman trying to survive in a dystopian land filled with murderous “dogs.” This episode is entirely in black-and-white so it has an old-school feel to it. There’s not much dialogue compared to the other episodes as it relies heavily on sound effects and background music to communicate the mood.
The episode does a good job in taking the viewers on a thrilling ride as they wonder how the woman is going to escape from the dogs. If you’re a fan of action and a little gore, you’ll definitely like this episode.
Aside from the action and gore, you’re not going to get much else from “Metalhead.” It fails to fill the viewers in on how the world ended up in a dystopian state. It gives no hints as to why the woman is doing what she’s doing. It doesn’t even explain who she’s talking to on the walkie-talkie.
It’s annoying to have so many important questions left unanswered even after watching the entire episode. If “Metalhead” actually took the time to give a background story and develop the characters, it might’ve jumped a ranking. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and that’s why it’s ranked 5 on my list.
In this episode, a mother allows a company, Arkangel, to implement a brain implant into her young daughter. This brain implant allows the mother to see a livestream of what her daughter sees through a tablet device. Other features, like health monitoring, location tracking, and visual filters can also be activated through the tablet.
“Arkangel” gives us a glimpse of how advanced technology might be used to enable helicopter parenting and the dangers that may come with it. The way the Arkangel company describes the benefits of the implant seems like any loving parent’s dream, but you can see the repercussions slowly reveal itself as the daughter grows up. All in all, the concept behind “Arkangel” is an interesting one and I’m glad they turned it into an episode.
The thing that bugged me about this episode was how predictable it was. The “twist” wasn’t much of a twist if you were paying attention at all. It’s unfortunate that it was so easy to figure out where the story was going as I look forward to Black Mirror surprises.
3. “Hang the DJ”
Combine online dating with a smart assistant and you’d get the concept behind “Hang the DJ.” In this episode, two people are matched up via a matchmaking smart device to go on a date with one another. The device informs them the amount of time it predicts they’d stay together. When the time runs out, they move on to be matched with other people.
I thoroughly enjoyed “Hang the DJ.” It reminds us that modern (and future) dating isn’t just about matchmaking algorithms and shallow interactions. For those who are looking for something deeper, it’s about proactively seeking rather than blindly following recommendations from an app.
My minor gripe with this dating episode was how predictable the twist was. If you can see past that, then this is a pretty well-executed and creative episode.
2. “USS Callister”
“USS Callister” follows a captain and his space crew on their space adventure. A new recruit has been added to the crew, but she finds out that nothing about the spaceship and its crew is as they seem.
I had no idea what to expect from this episode other than the fact that people kept saying it’s a parody of Star Trek. It did have little elements of space adventure in it, but the main focus of the episode is on something entirely different. However, going deeper into what the main focus is about will just spoil the entire episode.
Overall, “USS Callister” was an entertaining episode that takes its viewers on an exciting ride. The space adventure turns into something completely different. This is a must-see episode if you want to find out!
1. “Black Museum”
In this episode, a lone traveler decides to pay a visit to the Black Museum, a gallery that holds various artifacts from the Black Mirror universe used to commit a crime. The museum owner takes in a single guest and guides her through the various exhibits. We learn a little more about the owner as he educates the guest (and the viewers) on each of the artifacts.
Writing anymore about this episode will spoil the story. All I can say is that this is an extremely well-written episode with a well-executed and completely unexpected twist. If you’re a fan of Black Mirror, you’ll definitely like this anthology episode.