The wait is finally over! The third season of Black Mirror was released on Netflix, and the wait was SO worth it.
The hit television series came back with an amazing cast and some of the best episodes on television in recent memory. Although it was a short season of only six episodes, some of them were longer than the usual episode length, making it feel more like six movies.
The first episode is "Nosedive," which stars Bryce Dallas Howard and Alice Eve and was written by Parks and Recreation's Michael Schur and Rashida Jones.
The episode follows Lacie Pound as she tries to up her approval rating in order to get a discount on a house. This kind of reality is not that far off, making it a good starting point for those who may have not watched the show already, but the overall message makes you grateful that it's not our actual reality.
The episode has its comedic moments, which are sometimes needed in a show like this one, but it still contained the overall eeriness that Black Mirror will always have.
The second episode is "Playtest" and is one of the highlights of this season.
Hannah John-Kamen makes her return to the show as Sonja while Wyatt Russell stars as Cooper, a man who is traveling the world and decides to test a game for a big company in order to make some fast money to return home.
The episode shows us how far virtual reality can go, especially now with its popularity constantly increasing. It answers the question, "What would happen if virtual reality actually got into our brains?"
This episode is perfect for this season with a horror house taking up the majority of the setting for the episode. Following Wyatt's survival in the house, being how video game savvy he is, it was nice to sometimes see him say the things that I was sometimes thinking. The comedic moments were much needed in this episode, giving it an extra special layer. The ending, however, is what makes this episode so incredible. Just when you thought it was all over, the truth gets revealed, showing us how much technology can affect each other in all the wrong ways.
"Shut Up And Dance"
"Shut Up and Dance" is the following episode starring Alex Lawther as Kenny, a teenager who gets caught in a big blackmail scheme after hackers get their hands on sensitive information about him.
While "Nosedive" and "Playtest" are all episodes that can happen in the near future, "Shut Up and Dance" is an episode that looks like it can happen right now.
There is no advanced technology or special app that is not yet invented in it; instead, it's a simple hacking and what can happen if your information gets in the wrong hands. The episode makes you root for Kenny in the best way possible, hoping that he, and everyone else stuck in this web, can get out. But, as soon as you find out what Kenny is really hiding, it makes you think and wonder if you really should've been rooting him in the first place or how much would this episode have changed if you knew the secret right from the beginning.
"San Junipero" can easily be considered the highlight of the season.
San Junipero is a town where everyone is free to do what they want with who they want. The episode takes place in the 1980s, but the music, 80s references, and clothes aren't the only amazing things that make this episode so phenomenal.
The episode itself shows us that happy ending is entirely possible in not only Black Mirror but also for LGBT couples as well. Especially after an entire television season where lesbian and bisexual couples were being killed, this episode is a rejection to the ideas that have plagued these couples for so long.
If there is one episode that I would recommend this entire season, it would be this episode. It has everything that you would hope Black Mirror to have, but it also is something that society to see and understand so badly. My biggest hope is that this episode gets the recognition it deserves, not only with viewers but also during awards season as well.
"Men Against Fire"
The fifth episode is "Men Against Fire" and is one that definitely leaves you wondering how far the military can actually go.
The episode follows a soldier named Stripe, played by Malachi Kirby, as they fight against an enemy known as roaches. Advanced military technology implanted in their eyes allows them to improve accuracy, share information with their fellow soldiers, and help them train.
Of course, this is not all that it seems, as the technology glitches for Stripe, causing him to see what is truly there and who the military's true enemy is.
The episode is not only heartbreaking as you're watching it, but the ending itself left me in tears. It shows you how easily history can repeat itself with specific circumstances and how humans can easily be blinded, both figuratively and literally, with the influence of technology.
"Hated In The Nation"
The sixth and final episode is "Hated in the Nation", and it is the longest episode of the season, clocking in at about an hour and a half.
After the death of a journalist who was receiving death threats online through Twitter, a detective is searching for the murderer. But, after another person who was also receiving online death threats also dies, they soon find out the issue might be bigger than they thought.
I was afraid I wasn't going to like this episode, especially with its long run time. However, it is one of the episodes that just grabs you and instantly keeps you until the end. It not only shows us what may be the ultimate consequence of cyberbullying but that the technology we never thought could hurt us can actually cause us the most harm.
I admit: the one thing that I thought was the greatest idea to come from this show and that I hoped would be implemented in real life is the one thing that scared me at the end. But, that's Black Mirror at it's best, and this episode certainly did not disappoint.
Black Mirror Final Thoughts:
While this season is shorter than the rest, it still does not lack in anything that makes Black Mirror the hit that it is. Charlie Brooker continues to create stories that not only make us think but also haunt our dreams.
It's exciting to know that this won't be the end of the series, as it has already been renewed for a fourth season of six episodes by Netflix. It'll be exciting to see where Brooker will take us next, and, if this season shows us anything, it's that the possibilities are endless.
Black Mirror is currently available for streaming on Netflix.