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Home > A Look Back At The Craziest Episode of Black Mirror

A Look Back At The Craziest Episode of Black Mirror

Black Mirror: Craziest Episode

The Game of Consequences

The Sci-Fi anthology series – Black Mirror – has become synonymous with unnerving stories about technological deviance and its consequences. The increasing concerns about our world’s digitization inform unimaginable horrors in the Netflix series. While some episodes lean fully into a brand of technological dystopian horror in the distant future, the most challenging and captivating entries are ones that could directly relate to our present society. “Hated in the Nation,” the sixth and final episode of Black Mirror’s third season, is one such episode – concerning a wealth of present-day concerns. 

Set in a near-future United Kingdom, public officials and private citizens alike are murdered in a serial string of mysterious killings after being condemned by the public on social media. The episode follows London Detective Karin Parke (Kelly MacDonald) and tech-enthusiast/trainee detective  Blue Coulson (Faye Marsay) as they seek to resolve the murders. The pair uncover that government-funded autonomous drone insects (ADIs), created to replace bees after populations died out, are responsible for murdering the most hated figures of social media. “Hated in the Nation” is an evocative episode that touches on environmentalism, government surveillance, and online hate.

The Tech

Central to nearly all Black Mirror plots, there is a piece of tech that is either unfathomably impressive,  being used with malintent, or going completely rogue. The ADIs in this episode function as the in-universe replacement for bees to prevent an environmental disaster.  Aside from the depressing notion that our planet’s pollinators have been essentially killed off (and the real-world truth this is based on), the ADIs represent the cynicism of government-funded enterprises. It eventually is revealed that the image recognition software in the ADIs – primarily used to detect flowers to pollinate – has a backdoor for government operations and surveillance. This backdoor is exploited by an unknown assailant who uses the ADIs as tools for murdering despised personalities based on their number of mentions online.

Perceived anonymity motivates death threats and further uncivil behavior online. “Hated in the Nation” reveals that the ADIs are killing the most unpopular people based on a “game of consequences,” which counts the number of occurrences the hashtag #DeathTo is associated with one’s name. Online hate garners real-world consequences: as the ADIs use facial recognition and AI to track the victims, then burrow into their brains to cause indescribable pain. This episode directly associates toxic online behavior towards hated public figures with tangible consequences. In addition, it serves as a critique of the misuse of surveillance technologies, promoting stark Orwellian punishments.

Black Mirror: The Craziest Episode

The Motivations and Consequences

The anthology Netflix series has the benefit – and challenge – of creating self-contained stories. While it could be difficult to have viewers bond with unknown characters over a relatively short runtime, the series has consistently accomplished just that. The duo leading this episode are veteran Detective Parke and bright-eyed trainee Detective Coulson. While they initially clash on their optimism of solving the case, the pair remain prudent and persistent in their efforts to stop the killings during the events of the episode. Their emotional qualities lend the episode to the noir genre, as their endless efforts become consistently undermined by the enactor of this vicious plot. 

It’s not a Black Mirror episode without a moral lesson. While the episode shows the boiling hatred online being consequential in the murder of hated public figures, the real goal unravels as the detectives continue to follow the trail of the assailant. The climax of this episode of Black Mirror ends with a twist sure to have audiences question their online behavior.

The goal of Black Mirror is to reflect on the nightmares of technological dependence. Being able to relate to the distress the protagonists and citizens feel is when the series is at its best. “Hated in the Nation” demonstrates the Netflix series stretching real-world elements and fears into dark consequences. The viewer can rest easy knowing the perils of Black Mirror exist solely in fiction – for now.

Black Mirror is streamable on Netflix now.

 

 

Black Mirror: Season

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Thomas Cooper is a writer for Dead Talk News based in San Antonio, Texas. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Communications with a concentration in Digital Media from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Aside from film, Thomas also loves to talk about vinyl record collecting and custom PC builds.