Take a look at our review for ‘Black Mirror’ season 4 that just dropped on Netflix…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
‘Black Mirror’ — the show that takes a technological twist on the best parts of ‘The Twilight Zone’ in an anthology format’ — returned with six brand new episodes that just dropped on Netflix this past weekend.
The series created by Charlie Brooker has been praised as one of the most creative shows on television as he explores dozens of different stories all with a technology based theme in each particular episode.
Every season of ‘Black Mirror’ has had a couple of stand out episodes as well as some spectacular performances from the cast that only appear once per season and this latest installment is no different.
So we’re going to rank the six episodes from ‘Black Mirror’ season 4 from best to worst, although it must be stated that even the installment placed at the bottom is still worth watching because this is one of the most enthralling series on television.
With that said, let’s look at the rankings for ‘Black Mirror’ season 4…some spoilers lie ahead but we will not give away the ending for any episode just in case you haven’t seen it yet!
In a dystopian future, humans are few and far between and they are living day to day while constantly fearing the hunting pack of ‘dogs’ always searching for someone to destroy. The ‘dogs’ are some sort of robotic creature that sniffs out humans and kills them on the spot.
In this story set in the post apocalyptic Scottish Moors, Bella (Maxine Peake) and her friends are on the hunt for supplies when they encounter one of these deadly dogs that doesn’t give up until every person it encounters is dead.
The episode plays out like an elaborate game of cat and mouse meets ‘The Terminator’ and while ‘Metalhead’ is certainly tense at moments, there’s not really as strong of a story — although there are some very high paced action scenes, which isn’t typical for ‘Black Mirror’.
‘Metalhead’ is the simplest concept of all the ‘Black Mirror’ episodes this year and while still strong, it’s just not as good as the other episodes from season four.
A late night party gives way to a drive home when two friends accidentally run over a biker on the road and they decide to cover up his death rather than face the possible punishment they might face because both were a little too drunk and high to take responsibility for what just happened.
Fast forward to 15 years later and the woman in the car that night, Mia Nolan (Andrea Riseborough) is happily married with a child and currently operating as a very successful architect. On a trip into the city away from her isolated home in Iceland, Mia runs into her friend from the night of that accident and he’s decided to finally come clean with at least an anonymous letter to the woman who lost her husband in that bike accident and has never fully recovered from the emotional strain because she never found closure following his disappearance.
Well, needless to say Mia doesn’t want him to say anything to anybody about this crime that got covered up and has been dead and buried for 15 years. Mia will go to any lengths to make sure that death never sees the light of day and nobody will stand in her way. Unfortunately, Mia’s actions come with consequences because in this story the technology is a device that allows authorities and insurance companies to tap into a person’s memory to see exactly what they saw while trying to solve a case. It’s tough to cover up a crime when somebody can see through your eyes exactly what happened!
‘Crocodile’ really does explore the darker nature of people, especially when it comes to protecting a life you’ve built after putting the past behind you.
An episode directed by Jodie Foster takes a look at a single mother raising her daughter and after losing her in the park one day, she decides to take the drastic step to keep an eye on her permanently thanks to a new type of technology that can be implanted into the brain where parents never have to ask the question any longer — where are your children.
Rosemarie DeWitt plays the mother, who is understandably attached to her child from the very moment she’s born, but her daughter chasing a cat out of a park leads to her decision to keep an eye where she’s at every moment of every day for the rest of her life. Needless to say her daughter Sara (Brenna Harding) eventually learns to rebel as all teenagers do but it’s tougher to get away with stuff when your mom is watching your every move.
‘Arkangel’ involves that advanced technology that defines ‘Black Mirror’ but really the episode is more about helicopter parents and their insatiable thirst for control and intrusion into their children’s lives.
3.) Black Museum
While no two episodes of ‘Black Mirror’ are the same, some feel similar in tone just like ‘Black Museum’ feels like a cousin to ‘White Christmas’, which was one of the best offerings in the history of the series.
Nish (Letitia Wright) is driving along somewhere in the back roads of America when her car needs a charge. When she pulls over to a random gas station to allow her solar panels to recharge the car, Nish peeks over at a place called ‘The Black Museum’ where tours are given daily.
There she meets an eccentric owner named Rolo Haynes, who invites Nish inside for a tour of his museum that houses artifacts from the most twisted and diabolical minds in criminal history. A quick look around the room shows that this museum also houses Easter eggs from several past ‘Black Mirror’ episodes, which is a nice twist, but Rolo’s main business is acting as a tour guide where he tells the horrifying stories behind each piece on display in his museum. Rolo explains at least two of these tales to Nish in a very ‘Tales from the Crypt’ sort of way before finally unveiling his main attraction.
This is definitely the ‘Black Mirror’ episode for season four that most qualifies as horror with more than a couple of disturbing moments that may cause you to overt your eyes. And very much like classic ‘Black Mirror’ episodes of the past, there is a knife-twisting reveal that will leave your jaw on the floor.
2.) USS Callister
The first episode of ‘Black Mirror’ season four is also the most star studded with Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad), Jimmi Simpson (Westworld) and Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother) all playing parts in this ‘Star Trek’ fantasy gone wrong.
Robert Daly (Plemons) is a gifted and talented tech genius who created a virtual reality interface game called ‘Callister’ that is now a multi-million dollar company he shares with his old friend Walton (Simpson), who is now the CEO of the company. From the very start of this episode, Daly is the sympathetic character as you begin to realize just how much people are taking advantage of him not to mention the fact that he’s an incredible pushover even while serving as the No. 2 person in charge of the whole company.
When Robert goes home, he enters a whole new world — one that mirrors his favorite television show called ‘Space Fleet’ — a carbon copy ‘Star Trek’ series with a PG rating — where he’s created digital copies of all of his co-workers to serve as the crew on the ship but in this world he’s the captain and they are all meant to follow his orders.
There are more than a couple of twists and turns in this episode that will definitely change your opinion on some of the characters and if romance isn’t your thing in ‘Hang the D.J.’ then your favorite episode of the season will probably be ‘USS Callister’.
1.) ‘Hang The D.J.’
The episode definitely feels like ‘Black Mirror’s answer in season 4 for the outstanding work done on ‘San Junipero’ in season 3. It’s an installment of ‘Black Mirror’ that still gives us a peak at what kind of technological terrors we might be tormented by in the future but ultimately has a very upbeat tone throughout.
‘Hang the D.J.’ follows two people Frank (Joe Cole) and Amy (Georgina Campbell) who are living in some sort of society where people are paired up by an online dating service in an attempt to find a person’s perfect match. The oddity with this particular application is that the person goes on a date with somebody and they are required to stay together for whatever length of time given as a parameter. One date may last 12 hours while another could go on for five years.
The end result is that a person will ultimately be granted their perfect match and the application has a 99.8-percent success rate throughout history.
Unfortunately, Frank and Amy meet early on in the dating process and their first coupling is very short before both are thrust into all sorts of other relationships by the application when it’s clear they really have something for each other.
There may not be such a thing as soul mates, especially in a world where technology picks your perfect match, but ‘Hang the D.J.’ is definitely the episode in ‘Black Mirror’ season 4 that will make you believe that everybody is meant for somebody else out there in the universe.