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Creator – Charlie Brooker
1. USS Callister – Director Toby Haynes
An evil tech genius creates his own video game with dna scans of his coworkers trapped inside. As one of the coworkers realizes she is trapped in a virtual reality, she convinces all the other characters to overthrow the creator from power. The call backs to Star Trek are incredible with the unsaturated look and the character Robert Daly looking like a clone copy of William Shatner. The teleportation scenes were cool as well as the big monster spider. This was definitely one of the best Dark Mirror episodes ever and a great way to start off the new season.
2. Archangel – Director Jodie Foster
After a mother almost loses her daughter, she implants her child with a technology to where she can see what her at all times on a tablet. As the child gets older the mother can see her daughter experience in drugs and sex. As the daughter finds out however she brutally beats the shit out of her mom with the tablet and runs away. Some cool shots include the moving colors during the daughters paintings and the blur focus as the mom is throwing up sequence.
3. Crocodile – Director John Hillcoat
Mia and her friend Rob commit a hit and run on a biker killing him. They cover up the deed and dispose of his body in the ocean. Years later Rob wants to confess so Mia is forced to kill him as well. Shortly after Mia witnesses a car accident and is interviewed by an investigator who has a device to recall Mia’s memories including the murders she committed prior. Set in Iceland, this is a chilling background for this cold mystery.
4. Hang The Dj -Director Tim Van Patten
Another stand out episode where an app tells couples how long they will date. After a couple dates for the short amount of time the app tells them to they believe there is something wrong with the app because they really like each other. After they each go their separate ways and have different partners they realise they are meant for one other. They run away together defying the program and the guards of the app that ensure couples follow the rules. I hear many calling Hang The DJ as this seasons attempt at masterpiece episode San Juanipero. I don’t see the comparison other than it is a love story. The skipping the app in the swimming pool shot was cool. I just did not care for the ending with their being 998 versions of each person and if each duplicate picks the same person each scenario then the couple were meant to be. I think they really only needed on couple to disobey the app in order to achieve this.
Metalhead – David Slade
Unpopular opinion but this was my favorite episode of the season. This episode takes place in a world where rabid robotic dogs have taken over the planet. A young woman tries to survive during the apocalypse. This was the best cinematography of the series as a whole as well as being the first Dark Mirror episode to be shot in black and white. There were sweet night vision shots as well as car angles in the back and rearview mirrors during the chase scene. This episode had so much mystery and intrigue with little background on how the world became taken over by Metalheads anyway. The final sequence displaying teddy bears in the warehouse was moving to me. In the first scene characters were breaking into this warehouse and were killed by Metalheads in the process.
Black Museum – Director Colm Mccarthy
A young woman encounters a museum attraction in the middle of nowhere. The owner takes her on a tour showcasing different memorabilia and tells three stories. One of a doctor who created a device to feel his patients pain to better help cure them. Soon the power of his invention takes over and he develops a huge addiction to pain. This includes the sickest Black Mirror sequence ever where the doctor pulls out his own teeth with pliers. Next there is a couple with a young child where the mom is hit by a car placing her into a coma. A doctor has a device where her mind can go in her partners brain so she can still live and see her child grow up. Things take a turn for the worst when suddenly he wants to move on and can’t take her in his mind. Finally we come across an innocent projection of a man who is being held prisoner in the museum. He serves as an attraction where people can come and kill his soul in an electric chair over and over again for amusement. We come to find out that the girl in the museum is actually the daughter of the imprisoned man and is there to seek vengeance. She traps the museum director in the hologram and electrocuted him for satisfaction. She then burns the entire museum to the ground.
Technology is such a powerful tool and the curiosity of innovation is so much at times society may not be ready for it. Even though some of these concepts seem so farfetched with the amount of applied science that continues to evolve it makes the plotlines in Black Mirror more conceivable. This season was by far the most graphic yet. The theme of getting revenge in a gruesome fashion after being wronged in some way was displayed throughout. I thought the symbolism of teddy bears was excellent as it served as a contrast to all of the technology we have today. There was a time that people found such enjoyment from an innocent stuffed toy. USS Callister is a colorful standout with amazing imagery and clever ode to Star Trek. This was the only episode I look at and think that this could have actually been a feature film as opposed to just an episode. Metalhead was my favorite piece and kind of scary considering we have versions of those mechanical dogs being evolved by Google now. How long does it take before those robots evolve and they get a mind of their own? We also get the revelation that Black Mirror episodes do take place in the same universe where items from past shows are exhibited in the Black Museum. This was a concept that initially creator Charlie Brooker claimed was not possible but either decided it does make sense or was just trolling us all to begin with. I do wonder what the future holds however since the Black Museum was destroyed at the end and would like to see more of it. The six episode latest season of Black Mirror does not disappoint and displays the horrors of technology and its relationship to culture. I don’t see Black Mirror ending anytime soon because as long as technology continues to advance so does the opportunity for clever storytelling.
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