Times Black Mirror Went Too Far
9. Chop or Bury? (Bandersnatch)
“How many times have you watched PAC-Man die?” muses Colin Ritman, “He doesn’t seem to mind.” That idea is played in spades in this time-warping Black Mirror film where many of the possible outcomes lead to Stefan killing his father with a glass ashtray, followed by the choice 'Chop or Bury?'. If you want to get to the secret ending, you have to watch Stefan chop up his dad’s body three times in a row.
8. I Hear Voices Too (White Christmas)
'White Christmas' tells the story of Matt and Joe and how they got arrived at a cabin at Christmas. The first story Matt tells is about an online group who watch each other have sex with women. Through Harry's 'Z-Eyes', Matt can speak in his head and see what Harry sees. Harry crashes an office Christmas party and approaches two girls. He proceeds to tells them fabricated anecdotes. Overhearing Harry talking to Matt in his head, one girl invites him back. In her bedroom, she makes Harry drink something. As she explains that she also hears voices in her head, Harry begins to cough and splutter. She drinks a mouthful of the liquid and forces the rest into Harry with a funnel. The two die as we watch the whole thing first hand from Harry’s point of view.
7. Burning Down The House (Black Museum)
It’s gratifying when bad people get their due, but at what point does the vigilantism make us no better than the criminals? Nish gets revenge for her father in this episode when she sabotages Rolo Haynes’ museum and tricks him into drinking poison. Nish takes it past murder and into torture as she places Haynes’ consciousness in the virtual electric chair and leaves the switch on. This fries his consciousness, but spits out a token souvenir of his eternal pain. Not content with stopping there, Nish also burns the building down.
6. Grain Sex (The Entire History of You)
Liam meets his wife Ffion at a dinner party with friends and finds her talking to a man he does not recognize named Jonas. As the party continues, Liam becomes concerned that Ffion seems fond of Jonas, laughing at his crude jokes. When Liam and Ffion return home, he goads her into talking more about her history with Jonas. She admits that she used to be in a relationship with him before meeting Liam, who finds that Ffion’s accounts regarding the length of their relationship are inconsistent, so he becomes paranoid. The conversation turns heated and they get into a fight. Eventually, Liam backs down and apologizes to his wife. They proceed to have sex, both of them watching re-dos of previous and more intimate sexual encounters. In ten seconds, we see how lifeless their relationship has truly become.
5. Mom (Playtest)
Cooper leaves his home in America to travel the world, but ends up stranded in England after a banking error. He avoids calling his mother for help, as he has been unable to connect with her following his father's death due to early-onset Alzheimer's. While staying at the house of a girl he had slept with the previous night, Cooper offers to participate in a playtest of an augmented reality video game. A gadget with the ability to layer lifelike images and sounds into his perception is implanted at the back of his neck, though a phone call from his mother causes an interference during the initialization process. After we watch Cooper play out the game and return home, we see the truth - Cooper died 0.04 seconds into the playtest.
Related: 10 Best Episodes Of Black Mirror
4. Child Killer (Crocodile)
This episode centers on Mia, who is distressed about having helped her friend Rob cover up a hit-and-run death. Fifteen years later, Rob wants to confess their crime, leading Mia to kill him and dispose of his body. Shortly after, Mia witnesses a road accident between a pedestrian and self-driving vehicle. Meanwhile, a woman named Shazia is hired to investigate the accident and uses a Recaller device that allows her to see the recent memories of those she interviews. Her secret is revealed and Mia kills her and then drives to her house to kill her husband. Just when she thinks there are no loose ends, we see that Shazia has a baby. Mia has many options here that don’t involve killing a small child, but this is Black Mirror, and there is only one way this could end.
3. The Pig (The National Anthem)
British prime minister Michael Callow is woken during the night to learn that Princess Susannah, a much-loved member of the Royal Family, has been kidnapped. For her safe return, the kidnappers demand that the Prime Minister must have live sexual intercourse with a pig on national television, following a list of technical specifications designed to make it impossible to fake. As events unfold, it becomes increasingly clear to the Prime Minister that there is no way to avoid this act of bestiality. But for the audience’s sake, do we have to see the actor’s face as he’s doing the dead? The whole situation is awkward enough without being forced to picture everything.
2. Vigilantist’s Glee (White Bear)
This is how you end a Black Mirror episode. Just when we think we’ve figured it all out, the curtain is lifted and we see that the main character is a convicted child killer sentenced to the daily punishment she has just experienced in the 'White Bear Justice Park'. Shea is driven back to the compound past a crowd who are baying for her blood and returned to where she awoke. As she is shown footage of her victim and has electrodes placed on her head, wiping her memory of the day's events. Over the end credits, the new day's events are seen from the point of view of the park staff and the park visitors who play the part of those filming Victoria. Their glee is painfully palpable.
1. Child Pornography (Shut Up And Dance)
Any teenager who sneaks away to masturbate to pornography to going to try and hide it from the world if threatened by hackers. This is what the audience thinks and goes along with for 99% of the episode, until we are told that the main character Kenney was actually watching child pornography. While appalling, it was necessary for Hector’s plotline to make sense. He’s an adult, he would need those stakes for the hackers to have leverage. Kenny just needed something embarrassing. There was no need to take things that far.