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Black Mirror Season Four Recap

February 7, 2018

Since its Netflix release in 2011, Black Mirror has grabbed the attention of the general public with its dark appeal. Black Mirror can be described as a multi-genre anthology series which commentates on the rapid advancements in technology as can be seen with a reference to technologies such as cell phones and computers in the title. With the season four released in late December, the reach of Black Mirror’s publicity has skyrocketed as well as its praise.

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Episode one of season four, titled “USS Callister” focuses in on Robert Daly — the Chief Technology Officer for a tech entertainment company. Daly is portrayed as an underappreciated nerd type in the work space, however, in the comfort of his home, Daly is commander of the USS Callister in a Star Fleet mod (a clear reference to Star Trek), which he created. The episode then takes a dramatic turn which makes the viewer contract their original view of Daly. Of all episodes in season four, USS Callister is virtually regarded as the best episode of the season with some critics going as far to say the best episode of the show overall.

Episode two, “Arkangel” is about the not-so-distant future of sensor technology. After a terrifying experience with her daughter, worried mother Marie decides to take the next step in protecting her daughter by applying her for an experimental technology which allows access to see, hear, and know where her daughter is at all times. The episode picks up again when her daughter is sixteen, following the inner conflict of Marie and her daughter drawing boundaries between her and her overprotective mother. The episode, directed by famed actress Jodie Foster, drew some minor controversy, but still stands in good light with the public. This episode really forces the audience to ponder how far is too far when looking out for your child. 

Episode three, “Crocodile” narrows in on respected architect, Mia. Her struggle to deal with a well kept secret which is in jeopardy of being released, and the consequences of the actions she takes to ensure the secret is kept captivates the audience. Mia faces the ultimate truth teller — a machine that reconstructs your memory.

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“Hang the DJ”, the fourth episode, opens with the two main characters, Frank and Amy, on a date set up by a new dating technology which determines your perfect match through series of dates ranging from hours to years. Frank and Amy begin to question the technology, and whether or not rebelling is plausible.

“Metalhead”, episode five, is filmed completely in black in white. Set in a dystopian future, three scavengers encounter a ruthless killer robot on their search for supplies. After an agonizing search, one scavenger remains and tries to evade the machine. The focus remains on whether or not humans can outsmart dangerously developed AI. With the constant question of who will win, the robot or the scavenger, the viewer wonders why they would take the risk to venture out into the apocalyptic wasteland to begin with.

The final episode, “Black Museum”, wraps up the whole season. Riddled with Easter eggs from this season and past, an English traveler comes across the Black Museum — a museum of criminal artifacts — on a desolate road. With futuristic technologies and many tie backs and explanations into previous episodes, “Black Museum” ends with a bang and ties up the loose ends of the season perfectly.

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The show overall is an excellent series with twists and turns that keep you clicking, even when things get darker than expected. With the eerie sense that a future involving any of these technologies could be real, the viewer dives deeper into the hole that is Black Mirror.

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