The day is finally here! The anticipated 4th season of Charlie Brooker’s technology/sci-fi/thriller series Black Mirror is available to stream on Netflix and the fans have been buzzing about the well received new season all day.
Black Mirror quickly became a trending topic as soon as the clock hit midnight on the east coast, but of course viewers had to wait until the dreaded time difference was in sync making it Friday on both coasts in the U.S. The 4th season brought 6 new episodes with a leading lady rainbow of color, literally, in each episode. This season touched on the idea of online dating, morality, love, vengeance, levels of power, and much more. Black Mirror is the Game of Thrones of the sci-fi world and season 4 didn’t disappoint.
WARNING: If you HAVE NOT watched season 4 of Black Mirror I urge you to proceed with caution. This post is filled with spoilers to give a full commentary on each episode. The episodes are listed in order of the season, so if you wanted to read each recap as you watch along be my guest. Each recap will give my thoughts and feelings about each episode summed up with a GIF to get you in my mindset. Let’s get into it!
1. USS Callister
Back in early December I wrote a post ranking where I thought the episodes of this season would fall based on the trailers. I placed USS Callister at the bottom of the list and boy was I wrong. What a way to start the season. The episode kicks off in a colorful and seemingly idealistic Star Trek-esque ship. The crew all hail their captain, Captain Daly, as he defeats his enemy yet again. After the mission we see Captain Daly in real life as Robert Daly, a co-partner at a tech/gaming company. We see many of the people who appeared in the earlier part of the episode as workers in the office all ignoring Daly. He’s a timid, pushover very unlike his boastful and degrading Captain Daly counterpart.
We later find out that Daly basically trapped his co-workers in the game by using their DNA that he stole from items trashed in the office. But when the newbie Nanette gets placed in the game she refuses to play along and convinces the others they have to break free. Now this is where I get confused a bit because the gaming personas are basically “cookies” right? And I’m not too sure I understand what “cookies” are in this Black Mirror universe. The “cookies” know they’re “cookies” but how does the real person still exist and not know anything about the “cookie” world? Please help me out if you see what I’m trying to say. Overall, GREAT episode and Daly got exactly what he deserved for being a creep.
This episode is a prime example that you shouldn’t cyber stalk in any form no matter who you are. In Arkangel single mom Marie has a scare when her young daughter Sara runs off in the park during an outing and goes missing for a bit. She takes her to Arkangel, a beta company that places an implant in a child that remains in her forever so the parent can see everything, and I mean everything, their child does and exactly where they are at all times via an iPad-esque monitor. It’s basically a GPS 2.0. The device can be altered to block certain images and “upsetting” surroundings for the child. As Sara grows, Marie decides to loosen the reigns a bit and not watch Sara’s every move, but things change when Marie catches her teen daughter in a lie.
Marie now is obsessed with watching her daughter’s life even though they had an agreement that she wouldn’t. Marie views her daughter having sex with an older, but not that much older boy. She watches her do coke, and overall behavior erratic so she puts a stop to it. She forbids Sara’s bae from seeing her and places a Plan B pill in her morning shake. Once Sara catches on to how her mother has been spying on her life she goes OFF. Knocks the living daylight out of her with the iPad monitor thing and basically left her for dead as she packed up and hitchhiked out of her overbearing mother’s life. I can’t feel bad for Marie. She should have just minded her business and left her coke sniffing, pregnant daughter live her life. No more cyber stalking for me.
By far the most effed up episode of the season. I’m still in utter shock at how messed up this one was. Crocodile, still not sure how this title is relevant, centers around Mia who gets into a car accident with her then boyfriend, I forget his name, resulting in a death. The boyfriend is under the influence and convinces Mia that they say nothing and get rid of the body. Complying, years later the guilt still haunts Mia, who has moved on to become a wife, mother, and a successful architect. Meanwhile we also meet Shazia, an insurance agent who goes to interview people about their claims using a device that can access memories.
Later Mia goes out-of-town for a speaking engagement and meets up with her old boyfriend in her hotel. They are shooting the breeze when the boyfriend says he wants to confess what he did anonymously to the widow of the man he killed. Mia doesn’t want her new, perfect life compromised so in a fit of panic she kills the boyfriend. She goes through elaborate hoops to get the body out of the hotel and get rid of it. Can we talk about how strong Mia is to carry that man all alone. Now this is where it gets crazy! Shazia and Mia meet because Shazia is tracking down witnesses for an accident that happened outside of Mia’s hotel. Shazia saw Mia in one of the witnesses memories so she simply wanted to talk to her for that. Super paranoid, Mia’s memories of killing the boyfriend and her part in the man from the beginning come through in her memories recalling the accident outside the hotel. Super, duper paranoid, Mia is convinced Shazia will tell the police so she takes her hostage and kills her! BUT WAIT! Mia goes super savage and finds out where Shazia lives, goes there and kills her fine husband and beautiful BLIND BABY to tie up all loose ends.
But she should have killed the family hamster too, because the police get wind of the murders and use that memory machine on the hamster and the police track Mia’s heartless self down damn near in shambles at her son’s play. Serves her right. We can only imagine what happened to her, but I’m hoping for some White Bear redemption.
4. Hang The DJ
THIS.WAS.EVERYTHING. I’m talking San Junipero level cuteness. In a world where a new dating app sets you up on a series of dates based on compatibility for a certain amount of time each match, Amy and Frank are paired for 12 hours and seemingly hit it off. They hesitantly say goodbye after their time is up and go on individual dating experiences with the app. First Amy is paired with a guy she’s physically attracted to for 9 months, but the sizzle wears off quick when his annoying heavy sighing bugs her. Frank is paired with a woman who despises him for an entire year. Each match must remain together for the allotted time or “something bad happens.”
After Amy’s 9 month relationship is up she goes from meaningless match to meaningless match until Frank is single again and the two are paired together once more. Yay right?! No, because Frank messed it up. The two agreed to not look at their “time” and just enjoy one another, but Frank gets curious and looks alone. A big no-no because matches are supposed to look together. Amy and Frank had 5 years together, but since he looked without Amy their time gets recalibrated to only 20 hours. Bummed, Frank becomes stand offish until he tells Amy what happened. She gets upset, their last hours are ruined and they part ways again. They both get notified that they are to met their true perfect match and are allowed to see one person before they do. They pick each other and decide the app is BS and they will run away together to the other side of the wall. Very Jon Snow and Ygritte. Once on the other side, Amy and Frank see a bunch of numbered “them.” They rebelled against the app 1,000 times and chose each other every.single.time! In another universe, they meet again to fall in love all over again. *Swoon*
Each season I’m left with at least one episode that I really didn’t like. Metalhead is that episode. In a post-apocalyptic landscape we meet Bella, Clarke, and Anthony. They are on a mission to get something out of a warehouse and avoid these ominous “dogs.” When they stumble upon a “dog” it attacks, shoots, and kills the men, while Bella escapes but has a tracking device lodged deep inside her.
The rest of the episode is Bella trying to clean herself up and get back to the other people she is grouped with, although we never see or hear them. The “dog” is hell-bent on killing Bella and tracks her down yet again and shoots more tracking devices inside her before she kills it. Knowing the devices are too deep and she can’t take them out this time she messages the unknown group and said her goodbyes. So what was the top mission that these three went on and risked their lives? The episode ends with a turned over box of teddy bears with the lot number Bella written down. Really? Teddy bears. NEXT.
6. Black Museum
Last and kind of least, don’t forget to hit the snooze button on Black Museum if you fall asleep. You really have to be careful not to judge a book by its cover because I swore this would have been my favorite episode based on the trailer. Nish strolls up to a deserted gas station and stops to charge her car. While she waits she takes a visit to Rolo Haynes’ Black Museum, an exhibit filled with criminal artifacts.
Rolo tells Nish a few tales about some of the artifacts in the museum including a device that allows a person to feel the sensations, good or bad, of another, and a teddy bear that inhabits the consciousness of a once comatose woman who use to live inside her husbands mind. You got to watch it. Rolo then takes Nish to the main attraction, a digital likeness of a convicted murderer. The digital exhibit has become a main attraction for visitors to come and make the murder relive a painful execution at their leisure. The whole visit was a catfish though because Nish came to get revenge for her daddy who is the digital murderer. I liked the twist. I wasn’t expecting that, but the episode overall was kind of boring.
So that’s my breakdown of season 4 of Black Mirror after my first viewing. New episodes are streaming now on Netflix. If you checked out the episodes let’s chat! Do you agree with my assessment? Which episodes were your favorites. Let me know in the comments below.
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