Black Mirror Season Four
All praise Charlie Brooker and his crazy mind for another season of Black Mirror. We got 6 more episodes right before the new year and like the crazy fan I am, already binged, digested, and pondered each episode. Now, here's my spoiler-free thoughts on each episode. Don't worry, they're pretty brief.
"USS Callister": The closest thing to a Star Trek-esque episode we will probably get as this perfectly encapsulates how a fan can take what's good and make it quite disturbing. I love that it takes from real life and inserts it into a fantastical dream. Fans will get a kick out of the fun, innovative ending and the similar thought process of the antagonist. Power can definitely go to your head.
"Arkangel": An episode only a mother could love, and a mother's love can be killer. While not necessarily about the technology, it does delve into honesty and openness between an mother and daughter. It's what happens when you depend on technology instead of an open communication. It's quite interesting that this episode was directed by Jodi Foster.
"Crocodile": This one goes way off the rails as an investigator woman discovers more than a simple accident insurance claim. This is the seedy underbelly in the world of Black Mirror it takes a previous concept and drags it to a terrifying conclusion. In a world where everyone can see everything and have access to everything via our memories, it's quite a conundrum that anybody can hide anything in this world.
"Hand the DJ": This one is about as basic as can be in the world of Black Mirror. The twist is easy to see, but the execution is where it's at. Everybody dates and evolves from each relationship, and this is life in the fast lane as the dates come fast, or slow, but just like in real life, we all learn from them. This episode is probably the most people will resonate with.
"Metalhead": In an homage to Alfred Hitchcock and the suspenseful thrillers of years gone by, this black and white episode keeps you on the edge as the fight for survival between man and machine fight again. This one will probably be overlooked as one of the better episodes, but the fact that you can care with very little dialogue and yet still understand everything that's going on is great storytelling.
"Black Museum": The concept is a retread of the episode "White Christmas", this chilling anthology tells of the origin of Black Mirror's technology and the first couple of experiments gone wrong. This has become one of my favorites not only because of the inter-connectivity of the stories, but I also like origin stories and slow revelations. If this episode ends up being the final episode, then I can only say that they ended everything at their best.
Overall, this season feels like a several retreads of previous stories, but they all work on several levels on intrigue. Due to some repeat story lines, they can feel a bit tiring. Black Mirror hasn't lost it's edge and isn't going anywhere anytime soon. There are several gems of ideas and well executed story lines that take this show to a darker place and all while retaining the same charm and mysticism that first captures our imagination.