The Best Black Mirror Episode Of The Series
We’re finally here. For those visiting the site for the first time I’ll catch you up on what’s been happening. About a month ago we held a tournament to find out which Black Mirror episode people thinks is the best. We had hundreds of votes and was able to come up with a top 5 list. Coming in at number 5 was my personal favorite episode, which is Playtest. Voted as the 4th best episode was the incredible episode titled Shut Up & Dance. Coming in at number 3 on the list was the movie like episode, White Christmas. Voted the 2nd best episode of the series was last season’s season finale, Black Museum. Now here we are.
As I stated, my favorite episode of the series came in at number 5. So this list isn’t my list. While I don’t %100 agree with our list’s order, for the most part I’m not mad at our list. The episode that garnered the most votes was the highly relatable episode, The Entire History of You.
As I normally do, I’ll do a not so quick summary of the episode before I give my analysis of the episode. The episode begins with a young lawyer by the name Liam who’s living in a futuristic world. This world would be terrifying to anyone who opposes a society that’s completely under surveillance. Liam like most people in the story has an implant called a “grain” that records everything he sees and hears. With this device a person can rewind and play any event from their past, either in their head or play it on TV for others to watch.
After coming home from an appraisal at work, Liam meets with his Wife Ffion at a dinner party with their friends. Once he walks in he sees Ffion in the corner giggling with a man(Jonas) he’s never met before. They introduce and small talk for a while then head to the dinner table with the other guests. Like most people in relationships, he notices his wife acting a little more friendly than normal with the same guy he saw her giggling with. After they leave the party Liam asks Ffion about her history with the Jonas. After denying the extent of her prior relationship she had with Jonas, she finally gives in to Liam’s interrogation and admits to having a sexual relationship with Jonas.
After a heated exchange and argument, Liam apologizes and they eventually make up in the bed. We see how the ‘grain’ has even changed the dynamic in the bedroom. Both Liam and Ffion watch old sex sessions they’ve had with each other while having sex. Shortly he returns downstairs and re-watches the events from the dinner party earlier that evening. Liam sits and analyzes the video while drinking liquor the entire night. Ffion eventually wakes and comes downstairs to find Liam still sitting on the couch replaying last night’s events. He berates her and demands more details from Ffion about her relationship with Jonas. She refuses and returns back to their bedroom. He drunkenly takes the car keys and heads over to Jonas’ house.
Liam walks into Jonas’ house and finds Jonas there with another lady from the dinner party. Liam begins demanding that Jonas remove every memory he has of Ffion from his grain or he’ll remove the grain physically. Jonas eventually complies. On the way home Liam notices that when Jonas put his history with Ffion on the TV screen to prove he was indeed erasing the memories, there were sexual memories of Ffion from 18 months ago. After learning his assumptions were right and Ffion was indeed cheating on him, he storms into the house and demands answers.
Now that Liam knows she’s been cheating he’s now unsure if their daughter is his being that she was sleeping with Jonas during the time their daughter was conceived. He demands Ffion to play her sexual encounter with Jonas from 18 months ago to prove they used protection. After claiming she erased it she finally shows it to Liam and we learn she was yamping and they didn’t use protection. She pretty much hints that their daughter is indeed Jonas’. The episode ends with Liam replaying good times he had with Ffion and then ultimately removing the grain from behind his ear.
While this isn’t my favorite episode, it’s definitely one of my favorites and in my top 5. It encompasses everything that there is to love about Black Mirror. It displays both the pros and cons of our current and possibly future technology and how more often than not, the ends don’t justify the means. While permanently having surveillance on everyone can help prevent crime and allow us to save one of the most precious things we as humans have, our memories. The cons simply outweigh the good. Privacy is actually one of most precious possessions and unfortunately it seems we won’t realize that till it’s too late.
While we haven’t gotten to the point we all have grains, we’re closer to that than we think. Pretty much every person has a smart phone of some sort which is very similar to a grain. It’s a device that has the capability to record our audio and visuals all day every day if we choose to. If you’ve seen the episode Shut Up & Dance you know that we can easily be recorded without even knowing that we are, but being that we can’t do without our phones, we’re somewhat asking to be watched.
But again, we’re much closer to having grains than we realize. In the episode the woman who Jonas took back to his crib from the party decided to remove her grain. Based on the discussion at the dinner table she was somewhat viewed as an outcast and looked at as less than for not having one. It seemed like everyone at the airport that Liam was at in the episode needed to have a grain in order to board the plane, which I’m sure would be one of the many reasons someone would feel forced to have one. The other downside to it was the sex scene mentioned earlier, where Liam and Ffion spent the entire time watching old sex encounters instead of actually enjoying the moment. Does that sound familiar? We can see at most concerts or any major event, most people have their iphones up recording the event and looking at it through their phones instead of enjoying the moment.
We live through our technology more than ever and I don’t see it ever slowing down. This episode displays perfectly the dreadful road we may very well be heading down if we don’t proceed with caution. While the episode tells a great story within a romance, which makes it very easy for people to relate to and immediately evoke emotions being that we all have dated or are currently dating someone we’re in love with and would be crushed to experience what Liam did. However this episode like most Black Mirror episodes, it was multi-layered with many lessons and jewels lying beneath the surface. The government loves poking at our fears, one major one being security. After 9-11 took place our fear as a country was at an all-time high and he played to that to the point we the citizens voted for laws to be passed which allowed them to legally monitor our every move if necessary. That was the beginning of us as a society slowly losing our privacy.
I can talk about privacy within our country for hours, but I’ll keep this about the episode. I’m obviously not the only one who thoroughly loved his episode, hence it being voted #1. Here’s what a few others from our Community thought about the episode.
Loved the episode, absolutely hated the invention/technology in that episode. Holy sh*t imagine the divorce rate with that sh*t.
The Hue – From The ABW Community
The fact that ALL his suspicions were validated was just too ill… like that episode coulda had him be irrationally wrong and still be fu*ked up… finding out he was right and she was fu*king him even recently was that twist of the knife.
King Du – From The ABW Community