Black Mirror is returning with its last and final season on June 15, 2023. Throughout the years, Black Mirror has delivered some of the most sinister and intelligent stories, intricately woven around technology and the potential dystopian society of the near future, driven by human arrogance and ignorance. As we eagerly wait for the Season 6 of Black Mirror, which has become one of the most anticipated and discussed shows in recent years, let’s revisit the highest-rated and the ten best episodes of Black Mirror.
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1. “White Christmas” Season 2, Episode 4 (2014)
White Christmas is a Christmas special episode of Black Mirror that was broadcasted in 2014. Though, it was a special feature episode still it made it to the list of the best episodes of all time and even got an IMDb rating as high as 9.1! This episode featured Rafe Spall and Jon Hamm in the leads along with others who are all somehow interconnected through three different stories. The story is about the technology of ‘cookies’ that store replicas of humans instead of data and are used as personal assistants. And the same technology is also used to ‘block’ people in real life so that they can’t hear you and only see a grey silhouette of him/her when they are around you.
2. “Hang the DJ” Season 4, Episode 4 (2017)
Hang the DJ is based on the concept of online dating but with an expiry date. Two people Frank and Amy played by are matched on the app. They start meeting each other with the condition to not check the expiry date of their relationship on the app. But things take a bad turn when Amy starts suspecting that the app has trapped them inside some kind of simulation. Joe Cole and Georgina Campbell did a fantastic job playing the two modern-day lovers. Apart from the actors, the episode stood out because of the story which was shown less dystopian and more like a romantic comedy.
3. “Black Museum” Season 4, Episode 6 (2017)
This episode is about a woman Nish(Letitia Wright) who went to visit the Black Museum as she had been wishing to do so for a long time. However, things are not as easy as they seem as Nish is not just a keen museum enthusiast but rather has some unfinished business with the owner of the museum. Another interesting thing about this episode is the easter eggs and references from the previous Black Mirror episodes. Finding references from old episodes like Arkengel and Crocodile makes watching the episode more appealing.
4. “The Entire History of You” Season 1, Episode 3 (2011)
The Entire History of You is the only episode of Black Mirror that is written by HBO’s Succession famed writer Jesse Armstrong. The episode focuses on the advanced technology that gives an individual the capability to capture everything he/she hears or sees. The story is about Lawyer Lim (Toby Kebbell), who thinks that his wife Ffion(Jodie Whittaker) had an affair with someone in the past. So, to prove his point, he starts going through all his recorded memories. The episode shows the way technology can heavily affect a married life and create havoc in one’s life. The story is simple and has less scope to explore, still, it propels us to ponder over the misuse of technology and its effect on our modern-day relationships.
5. “San Junipero” Season 3, Episode 4 (2016)
Among all the chaos, heartbreaks, and misuse of technology that we see in all the episodes of Black Mirror- San Junipero stands out because of its heartwarming portrayal of a story. San Junipero is a simulated beach town created for the benefit of the elderly. They can enjoy living a livelier life by playing their younger avatar in the city. The episode follows the story of a reserved and shy (Mackenzie Davis) and an extroverted girl Kelly (Gugu Mabtha-Raw) who meet each other in San Junipero and fall in love. This episode is filled with memorable dialogues, cinematography, and a heart-touching story.
6. “Hated in the Nation” Season 3, Episode 6 (2016)
Hated the Nation is a hard-hitting story that includes elements of social media mobbing, nanotechnology, and the crumpling environment. The episode follows the story of two detectives (Kelly Macdonald and Faye Marsay) who are investigating a string of murders. They later found out that they were all the targets of online abuse. Unexpectedly, the murder weapons were a number of tiny robot bees that were originally created to replace the real bees who are on the brink of extinction. The episode shows the real fear that a person has in the times of the internet- online shaming, bullying, and also the repercussions of harming the environment. The cherry on the cake is the climax of the episode which is so astonishing that it leaves most viewers blindsided.
7. “Shut Up and Dance” Season 3, Episode 3 (2016)
Shut Up and Dance is the most ominous and dark episode of the Black Mirror anthology. It is based on the story of a teenage boy called Kenny (Alex Lawther) who is secretly shot while masturbating by a hacker and is asked to commit a series of strange crimes. He also meets a middle-aged man (Jerome Flynn) who is also blackmailed by the same hacker and orders the two of them to carry out a robbery. The episode is dark and ruthless and what makes the story more convincing is the stunning performances of the two leads.
8. “Nosedive” Season 3, Episode 1 (2016)
This episode will leave you thanking yourself for not living in the Black Mirror world! The story is set in a world where you can rate everyone on a scale of one to five, and everyone’s social status as well as respect is dependent on this rate. It is about a woman named Lacie (Bryce Dallas Howard) who is desperate to raise her points on a social scale. However, in the urge to earn more points, she makes mistakes and ends up lowering her points. Nosedive shows the extreme levels of ill effects that social media can have on us. It is also a take on China’s social credit system that a lot of marks and penalties for people depending on their good and bad behaviour. It also demonstrates the side effects of being dominated by society’s approval. The episode is directed by the maker of the ‘Darkest Hour’, Joe Wright and is unarguably one of the finest episodes of the series.
9. “USS Callister” Season 4, Episode 1 (2017)
This episode narrates the story of a software developer Robert Daly (Jesse Plemons), who is angry with the world because he thinks he is not getting the respect that he deserves. In pursuit of making others realize his importance, he creates a Star-trek-inspired video game and uses his own DNA to create his mini-avatars inside the game. He is satisfied with his efforts and happily rules over all these digital clones inside the game until one of them (Cristin Milioti) tries to mutiny against Robert. Among other reasons, you will also be happy watching this episode because a) it is less terrifying, and b) it is a positive ending where the villain gets his bad karma back on him!
10. “Playtest” Season 3, Episode 2 (2016)
This episode is like a nightmare for many of us! It shows a man (Wyatt Russell) who has been appointed to play an AR (Augmented Reality) game that taps into the fears of the player. The game turns frightening when the line between reality and the simulation starts to fade. This is one of the best epitomes of a psychological-horror story and would keep haunting your mind for a long time. The episode also raises the question of the vitality and use of technologies like AR and VR.
These were the 10 best episodes of Black Mirror that were also ranked high on IMDb so far. We are ready to watch some more startling and twisted realities of a dystopian future before bidding the show goodbye!