Black Mirror was a somewhat obscure British TV series with echoes of The Twilight Zone—obscure until the show got a second life on Netflix, where Season 3 premiered in 2016. Created and written by Charlie Brooker, each stand-alone episode focuses on technology and its potential to dehumanize individuals and entire societies. Season 4 just hit Netflix yesterday, and fans of the series will be pleased.
While only one of the 6 episodes wasn’t fantastic, there were definite standouts. Below, I’ve ranked each episode of Black Mirror Season 4 from best to worst. I’ve included trailers and synopses for each, along with a brief assessment of what makes them exceptional (or merely acceptable). Give it a read and let us know what you think in the Comments section!
Related Article: Before You Watch: 10 Tips for Spotting Twists in “Black Mirror” Season 4 (Now on Netflix)
Are you a fan of Black Mirror? What was your favorite episode of Season 4? Let the debates begin!
USS Callister (Directed by Toby Haynes)
Official Synopsis: A woman wakes up on a Star Trek-esque ship where the crew praises their all-knowing and fearless captain.
The campiness of USS Callister hides a truly nightmarish tale of virtual slavery and hidden psychopathy. Both hysterical and shocking, this episode speaks to the ways technology can allow people to indulge their most fantastic and sadistic fantasies.
Hang the DJ (Directed by Timothy Van Patten)
Official Synopsis: A new dating app hits the scene, but insists that singles need to meet before 12 hours.
Don’t think every episode of Black Mirror has a depressing ending; Hang the DJ offers hope for finding a soulmate while questioning the ability of technology to identify a person’s perfect match. This episode offers the season’s most unexpected yet satisfying twist.
Arkangel (Directed by Jodie Foster)
Official Synopsis: After nearly losing her daughter, a mother invests in a new technology that allows her to keep track of her.
Privacy, technology addition, and the pros and cons of desensitizing children to violence are explored in Arkangel, an episode directed by Jodie Foster. While most moms and dads can understand the security benefits and peace of mind that would come from “chipping” kids, this episode shows the downside of technology-assisted helicopter parenting.
Black Museum (Directed by Colm McCarthy)
Official Synopsis: A woman enters the Black Museum, where the proprietor tells her stories relating to the artifacts.
The greatest thing about Black Museum is that it’s like 4 mini-episodes and one: Three unique stories with a wrap-around subplot that brings the tale to its fiery conclusion. This episode explores the possibility of granting civil rights to a virtual consciousness.
Crocodile (Directed by John Hillcoat)
Official Synopsis: A woman interviews various people using a device that allows her to access their memories.
The uncredited star of Crocodile is the stark Icelandic landscape that serves as a backdrop for the episode, as well as a physical manifestation of the cold and bleak themes explored within. While the protagonist of Crocodile proves herself completely detestable, viewers can nonetheless relate to her plight, as one lie begets another until her life spins into oblivion.
Metalhead (Directed by David Slade)
Official Synopsis: In the post-apocalyptic landscape of the Scottish Moors, a woman attempts the survive the land full of “dogs”.
My least favorite episode of Black Mirror Season 4 is Metalhead, a black and white offering that’s about a woman being chased by a Terminator-dog for an hour. There’s a “what’s in the box?” mystery that adds intrigue and poignancy but can’t save the episode from slipping into the doldrums.