The Best Black Mirror Episodes

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Before you tell me I have been living under a rock for the last 8 years, i'll say it myself; i've been living under a rock for the past 8 years! I don't know why I never indulged into the Black Mirror hype before now, but when everyone wouldn't shut up about Ashley O I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about. Before then I had actually watched one episode, of course being the lesbian dream of San Junipero, but as nice as it is, it didn't entice me the way series 5 did.

My favourite thing about Black Mirror is how every episode is it's own story. New characters, new twists, and new technologies. I've never overly been into science fiction, but Black Mirror delivers these stories in ways that are actually believable, and some of the episodes aren't even that far fetched for what technology could offer in the near future. Each story is like watching a mini film, making it easy to dip in and out of series' and pick an episode you're interested in without following an order.

Now, i'm no TV/film buff, i'm just a 20-something girl that likes a bit of Netflix, but as i've enjoyed (some of) the episodes so much, I wanted to share my top 10 favourite episodes from series 1-5 in order of least favourite, to my ultimate go-to (click the ranking to watch the trailer!).

10. The Entire History of You (Series 1)
My only entry from the first two series, The Entire History of You is the last episode of the debut series of Black Mirror. People have implanted a "grain" behind their ear, which allows them to record everything they see and hear. Using a remote, a user can perform a "re-do", playing back their memories directly to their eye or to a video monitor. This all goes horribly wrong when a husband is suspicious of his wife's past. I liked the concept of this episode but did find the lead character Liam a little annoying to watch, hence the lowest ranking.

09. San Junipero (Series 3)
Now, my fiance is probably going to disown me for putting this so low in my top 10 as this is her all-time favourite episode, but as lovely as San Junipero was, it definitely wasn't the most hooking watch for me. The story follows a shy girl named Yorkie who meets outgoing Kelly - you guessed it, the two fall in love, but it's not straight forward as Yorkie has to visit different time zones to find Kelly again. San Junipero is revealed to be a virtual world, set across different time periods, where Yorkie and Kelly test the trial period of the system once a week. Is it a cute LGBTQ+ love story? Yes. Is it the best creation from Charlie Brooker? Definitely not.

© Black Mirror // Arkangel
08. Arkangel (Series 4)
A mother has her daughter implanted with a tracking device after she goes missing, and her whereabouts, health, and emotional state is then monitored via a tablet. As her daughter grows up, the tablet hampers her growth and reveals rebellious behaviour to her mother which takes a dark turn. I loved the idea of this episode and the concept didn't seem to be horrendously far fetched for the tracking of children in the future.

07. Black Museum (Series 4)
A young girl named Nish visits the Black Museum, where she is given a tour by the owner, Rolo. Rolo shows her various criminal artefacts, all related to technology he had been involved with creating. This episode was an interesting watch because it tells different mini stories throughout, and each story is really captivating with a massive unexpected twist of how they all tie together at the end.

06. Smithereens (Series 5)
This episode is a stand-out for me because the technology used in it is nothing we don't already see today. It is centered around Chris who is a taxi driver for Hitcher (basically Uber), who returns to that same building every day to pick up colleagues working at Smithereen, a social media app (basically Twitter). The story unravels similarly to a crime drama you'd find on ITV, and Chris' character takes all viewers on a rollercoaster of emotions.

© Black Mirror // Shut Up And Dance
05. Shut Up And Dance (Series 3)
I was immediately drawn to this episode as the lead is played by Alex Lawther, renowned for his part in Netflix's 'The End of the F***ing World' (where is series 2 please?!) - and in Shut Up And Dance his character is very similar. Kenny downloads a program to fix a virus on his laptop, but unbeknownst to him, the program activates his laptop camera which records him masturbating to internet porn. The hackers threaten to email a video to his entire contacts list, unless he follows their instructions. This episode follows the instructions Kenny has to take to save his reputation. Like the majority of Black Mirror episodes, there is of course many twists and turns along the way.

04. Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too (Series 5)
This was the second Black Mirror episode I ever watched, and was definitely the one that got me intrigued to watch more. Miley Cyrus is the star of the show, where she plays a popstar called Ashley O. Her biggest fan, Rachel, receives an 'Ashley Too' doll for her birthday, which is built to be a virtual friend and to mimic Ashley O. When Ashley O ends up in a coma, Ashley Too malfunctions and Rachel and her sister Jack follow a path to discover the dark and twisted truth about Ashley's team and attempt to save her.

03. Hated In The Nation (Series 3)
Robotic bee's - known as ADIs - have been created, and detectives discover that hacked ADIs have caused the deaths of two people by getting inside their heads. The victims had been targeted with the "#DeathTo" hashtag on social media, where the person that leads the hashtag tables is killed every day. This is another one that is delivered similarly to an ITV crime drama, so that's probably why I loved it so much (can someone please tell me when a new series of Liar is coming out?!)

© Black Mirror // Crocodile
02. Crocodile (Series 4)
Mia and her boyfriend Rob end up in a hit-and-run with a cyclist where in a panic they get rid of the body and vow to stay quiet on the matter. Many years later, Mia is visited by Rob and suggests they tell the truth about the cyclist but Mia kills Rob and hides his body, fearing the truth would ruin her marriage and career. The story unravels and takes even darker turns when Shazia, an insurance investigator, is following a trail of accounts on an unrelated accident, using a device that can visualise memories from eyewitnesses. This story has constant twists throughout and I was absolutely hooked watching it, a definite stand-out from Black Mirror.

01. Striking Vipers (Series 5)
My all-time favourite episode of Black Mirror just had to be Striking Vipers. The story was so captivating and beautifully executed - I couldn't keep my eyes off the TV and thought the concept was so clever. As the opening episode of the most recent series, the story follows Danny and his friend Karl. Karl introduces Danny to a virtual reality video game in where you can feel the physical sensations of the character when you're playing the game. The pair end up building an unexpected relationship via the game, and have to deal with the consequences in their real lives. The actors in this episode (Anthony Mackie and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) were amazing and series 6 will now have a lot to live up to!

What are your favourite Black Mirror episodes? Let's chat in the comments!

© Image Source: Black Mirror/Netflix

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