The 2nd Best Black Mirror Episode Voted On By The Members of ABW
Welcome back to the countdown to find the best episode of Black Mirror. For those who are new to the countdown I’ll give you a quick update on the list. Coming in the 5th spot was my personal favorite episode, Playtest. Following that to come in at number 4 is one of the most popular episodes, Shut Up & Dance. Coming in at the number 3 spot is the Christmas Special episode that plays like a movie, White Christmas. Which brings us today’s reveal for the number 2 spot which is Black Museum.
After hundreds of votes, the people of ABW voted Black Museum the 2nd best episode of the Black Mirror series. It’s not even on my top 10 list personally, but it was a solid episode. That’s just how great of a series Black Mirror is. Even an episode I would consider as one of the weaker episodes, is still a pretty good episode. There’s many reasons I feel there’s no reason Black Museum should be any where near the top 5 list, but I’ll save those reasons for later in this analysis. While I’m not a big fan of this episode, there’s many on ABW who are, hence the episode being ranked so high. So I will be dropping a few quotes from them on why they loved the episode the way they do.
Now before I begin the analysis of this episode, I’ll do a somewhat quick summary of what took place in Black Museum. If you haven’t seen the episode yet, SPOILER ALERT. If you’ve seen this episode you may think it reminds you of another Black Mirror episode, White Christmas. Why is that? Well because it follows an identical structure to that episode. It has one main character telling 3 stories to another character within the story.
The episode begins with a black british woman by the name of Nish driving up to what seems to be a deserted museum. She’s welcomed to the guest-less museum by it’s proprietor Rolo Haynes. The museum is filled with old equipment and items from failed technology experiments. As Nish walks around the museum we see many items from previous episodes of the series, which was the biggest take away from the episode. That let the viewers know that all of the Black Mirror episodes are in the same universe. Hopefully they won’t focus too hard to maintain that and lose the creativity of the show, but that’s a separate discussion.
So at this point of the story, while Nish is walking around the museum where she’s the only guest. Rolo begins to tell her stories behind each piece of technology equipment in the museum. Now as Rolo Haynes is begins to tell these stories we quickly learn he took part in these experiments. Not only that, but he was essentially the face of the organization who was behind these experiments. Which brings in the moral and ethical aspect to the episode. While most would deem Haynes to be the antagonist of this episode, some may view Haynes as the protagonist. It depends on how you’re viewing it.
Hayne’s first story is about a doctor who becomes an addict of pain. A lot of times when patients come in and try to describe to the doctor what they’re feeling, ultimately the doctor has to guess what you may be feeling. Haynes creates a form of technology that will allow a doctor to feel what their patient is feeling. The eager doctor “Dr.Lawson” is convinced to test out the implant device. At first the device works and everything is great. Dr.Lawson even begins to take the device home and uses it in the bedroom. The implant works so good he can feel his woman’s orgasm, which gives him a double nut, so to speak.
The drama ensues when one of his patients passes away while he’s connected to her via implant. Apparently right before people die there’s a rush of endorphins. At that point he becomes addicted to pain and is chasing that feeling of approaching death. Of course nobody wants their doctor hoping they die soon, so he gets told to take some time off. He ends up inflicting pain to himself at home. He eventually finds a homeless man to kill and gets caught by the police.
The 2nd story follows a couple by the name of Jack & Carrie. It starts with them meeting at a club. Jack smashes and they quickly become a family with a baby boy. In a scene that’s probably only hilarious to me, Carrie gets ran over by a van, while Jack was standing right there and could’ve told her to move. Carrie lives, but is stuck in a coma. Using some new technology for comas, Jack is able to communicate with Carrie with a device that blinks green and red for yes and no. Jack is approached by the one and only Rolo Haynes. Haynes says he’s created a new device that will allow Carrie to see through his (jack) eyes, feel what he feels and hear what he thinks. They would basically be sharing the same brain. Without much thought, Jack agrees to it.
Anybody with any type of sense can see this wouldn’t last long. They begin arguing constantly. The device allows Jack to “pause” Carrie, which will remove her from his head until he feels like bringing her back. Jack and Carrie agree to a set schedule. Jack gets a new girl and spends less and less time with Carrie. If you thought this story couldn’t get any more ridiculous, Jack then decides to put Carries consciousness into a stuffed monkey. The idea of it was to allow Carrie to converse with their son in some way. Again, if you have any sense you know kids play with toys for 3 days and then are done with them. We learn that it’s illegal to “kill” the consciousness from even a bear. As Rolo is telling Nish the story, Carrie’s consciousness is still inside of the stuffed monkey which is now in the museum.
The 3rd and final story begins with a brotha in prison after being convicted of murder. Lee was accused of murdering a dismembering a weather woman’s body and is now on death row. Not a second too late, here enters Rolo Haynes. Haynes offers Lee a substantial amount of money for the rights to Lee’s digital consciousness. After realizing how much that money can be beneficial to his family he agrees.
Rolo takes Lee’s consciousness and takes it back to the museum to create a game so to speak. The game allows people to pull a lever which gives the perception that they’re killing Lee in the electric chair. The people see that it’s a digital game so they think nothing of it, even though paying a kill a digital black man is still sick. You’re supposed to only pull the lever down for 10 seconds or so, but some end up paying Rolo extra to fry Lee for longer. Lee gets fried under electric chair so many times daily that his brain becomes cooked. He’s no longer able to talk and can barely stand up straight. His ex wife comes to the museum to see that he’s a shell of himself. She so disturbed that she ends up going home and kills herself.
Fast forward some years and here we are, with Rolo and Nish. Now while Rolo has been telling Nish these stories you can visibly see Rolo has been increasingly sweating as the stories went on. By the time he finishes the story of Lee, he’s slouched in a chair and red in the face. That’s when it’s revealed that Nish is Lee’s daughter. She changes from her british accent to an american accent and let’s Rolo know she has poisoned him. She then takes Rolo’s consciousness and puts it with her dad’s digital consciousness and then kills them both. But somehow Rolo is still alive and she makes a keychain of his consciousness. Nish leaves the museum and gets in her car to end the episode by revealing she also has an implant with her mom in her head.
Now where do I begin. While I will say it was a decent episode there’s many reasons I wouldn’t put it in the top 5. As I stated earlier, the structure to this episode has already been done with White Christmas. So it loses points in originality. Secondly, the 2nd story in this episode is beyond ridiculous. What person would have their ex or even their current girlfriend in their brain so they can now monitor everything though and decision? Who would think putting her into a stuffed animal would be a good decision? There’s too many idiotic parts in this story for me to say it’s a top 5 episode, especially when the structure to the episode isn’t original and was executed much better in White Christmas.
Trust me, I get it. I know this is aBlackWeb. I know we love to see black excellence. I know we love to see black pride and power. I know we love to see black people get revenge on crooked white folks. But as far as the story itself, it pales in comparison to the other episodes in this series. Of course this is solely my opinion. Here’s some of the opinions from members of ABW who think differently than myself:
i like the tales from the crypt/hood feel of Black Mirror
i like the dude being stuck in the museum after his death and having to experience death all those times like he did..
i like how it reminds me of white christmas which might be my favorite episode..
i really liked black museum
– King Du From The ABW Community
While I don’t agree with this episode being in the top 5, I must admit it was an entertaining episode. Be sure to stay tuned for our revealing of which episode was voted the best Black Mirror episode of the series. That will be dropping some time this week.