Black Mirror is a show about our realistic technological future, and it often projects these possible futures in a negative light. Black Mirror season four opens up with an episode called “USS Callister.” The plot involves a man (who looks freakishly like Matt Damon) who works for a video game company that’s developing advanced virtual reality gaming software.
I did like this episode; the premise and the episode itself were done really well. However, the semantics of what happened got on my nerves quite a bit. I thought that the hopeless inhabitants of the man’s modified form of his video gaming software would also be hopeless to combat him. I thought that if he was truly their “god,” then the copies wouldn’t have had any way to overcome him. They were in his computer after all. I’d rank this episode as the fourth best of the season.
Episode two of Black Mirror season four is called “Arkangel.” This one is certainly one of my favorites. The idea of a parent implanting an engram to block out all the bad things from his/her child’s life and being able to always know where they are and even see through his/her life is something I could genuinely see happening in the real world. The psychological wear and tear of never seeing anything bad, and never being truly alone ever, is portrayed incredibly well in this episode. This episode was my favorite episode of the season.
The third episode, called “Crocodile,” was absolutely exhilarating. The story arc was very well thought out. The futile murder rampage to cover her tracks is also something that I could see happening in the real world for someone who’s spent so long hiding a dark secret. I have two negatives about the episode: one being that they used the guinea pig to find her, which didn’t make sense to me because guinea pigs don’t really retain memories like that. A guinea pig is like an etch-a-sketch that you shake every hour. They don’t have emotional attachment to memories like we do and cannot easily recall information at will. Also, the episode ended before we could see justice be done. I felt like the audience deserved to watch her go down, yet the episode just sort of ends. I think this episode was my fifth favorite.
“Hang the DJ” was almost a perfect episode. The stories were so well done, and the whole time you think the main characters must be stuck in some futuristic dystopian mating scenario that has way too much control. However, right at the end you realize everything that happened was basically just a Tinder app finding a match. This episode was a close second behind “Arkangel.”
Episode five titled “Metalhead” was pretty cool. It wasn’t horrible, but I simply couldn’t take the episode seriously. Every shot of the weird “dog” they call the robotic evil in the episode made me laugh. This episode was my least favorite of the season. However, the cinematography was gritty and cool. I did appreciate the episode being shot in black and white.
The final episode of season four was completely unexpected. “Black Museum” is basically the reveal of a face behind all of the technological madness. I feel like the stories that were told were of Black Mirror episode ideas that didn’t make it to full episodes. The stories were really mind-boggling, and I think the final story was going way too far on the infinite terror and hell of being a slave copy of your original self. Then the whole “microcopy” that individuals would get after pulling the lever on the poor convict was just going too far. I kept wondering while watching, “Would people actually participate in this?” The episode was a wonderful idea, and like I said, I did appreciate the stories. However, I think it went over the top. I’d rank this episode as being my third favorite episode of the season. All in all, season four of Black Mirror was quality television and is highly recommended despite its sometimes overbearing qualities.