Black Mirror: Season Two (2013) – Our Modern World


From “Be Right Back” to “White Chrismas”, this second season brings a series of the most emotional, sick, and terrifying. Where is my mind? This season explores the fear of technology and society. Just like the concepts in “White Bear” and “The Waldo Moment”. But, the third episode according to many people fails to use a political concept into something ridiculous. Let’s take a look at a three-episode and a special episode in Charlie Brooker’s expect the unexpected.

Life is full of illusions and illusions control everything. Just like this modern life where technology can grant many requests. “Be Right Back” is about Martha (Hayley Atwell) who is falling apart because her boyfriend Ash (Domhnall Gleeson) is dead. However, one can communicate with the deceased because of new technology. Through technology, Martha initially did not believe she would try this technology. However, she wants more. After chatting every night, Martha decided to buy a synthetic body whom the program uploaded into it. Ash’s voice and mind in an android had a real form just as her boyfriend when he was still alive.

This episode brings so many tear-jerkers and very painful. In other words, this episode has a very high emotional element about hopelessness, emptiness, and painless. But, this episode doesn’t lose from its sensation of another negative impact of technology. This episode allows technology to develop in the future. Is there maybe an AI that could replace someone who has died? Is there something that falls and sinks in each of us? Do we accept all of those with pain? The answer is no. The irony is that this episode feels natural but very, very touching.

Are criminals that cruel? Are good people are good and bad people are bad? There is a contradiction that emphasizes how one’s true nature is scapegoating someone. “White Bear” is about Victoria Skillane (Lenora Crichlow) waking up in an empty house. She can’t remember anything and what happened to her. She saw a symbol on the television screen that made her head hurt. Then, she walked out of the house. There was no one outside. It’s just that, people just peered out of the window with their cellphones in their hands as if they were capturing herself.

Simply, “White Bear” is an episode of “Black Mirror” with a mindblowing twist, confusing, and ironically. This episode explores the humanity of a person who is shaken. The world filled with drama. Every day, we only see the same character. But, what draws from which is the drama in it. How is it possible if we don’t feel hopeful with a human? However, we know that we don’t get anything from them. Once again, Charlie Brooker wrote a powerful idea, an intelligent story, and a reflection that interferes with who is evil. When there are bad people, there are even worse people. When empathy is gone, no one feels guilty or be a scapegoat. All of that is just the mere ego of everyone.

Personally, politics is no different from entertainment and fun. What distinguishes the two is not there. Those are an arena for a competition who is better. However, if the presence of an “entertainment” is most interesting, then politics cannot do anything. “The Waldo Moment” is about Waldo, an animated blue bear who criticizes the state of the British government. Rude yet humorous, Jamie Salter (Daniel Rigby) is not satisfied with his character. From behind the scenes, he felt that Waldo was not a character he wanted anymore. Morely, his character is held in an election by the society.

This episode is the most bizarre, ridiculous, and bad in this season. However, I see this episode as a representation of today’s world. This episode illustrates how a role model can influence the masses. Similar to Sidney Lumet’sNetwork“, the main character has a great power of persuasion. It then causes people to be willing to imitate it, follow it, and glorify it. YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, all of those social media and role models in it. It’s a representation of the characters in front of and behind. They are nothing more than a character seen by the public. However, this episode makes you think of the other side of those things earlier. It’s your worst-self from within us and you have to face each of yourself.

In this special Christmas episode, this episode covers you with a cold blanket and makes you have a nightmare. This episode got me into one of the best conclusions in this second season. “White Chrismas” is about Matt (Jon Hamm) in his case taking someone to be a dating streaming service for an online pervert. In this case, the story goes non-linear. Harry (Rasmus Hardiker) is a nervous young man who becomes Matt’s service. In his confession in a Chrismas party, he messed up. Harry is in a situation where the woman he meets knows that he is being spied on. And like that, Harry and the woman died together in an attempt to commit suicide.

Another story tells about Greta (Oona Chaplin) undergoes a technology where the technology copies the consciousness of her mind and is inserted into “cookies”. It’s a pea-sized seed that allows a self-conscious AI. Another story centers on Matt and Potter (Rafe Spall) talking about their respective past in a cabin on Christmas day.

This episode brings anything into one and produces an impression of what “Black Mirror” is. It’s a nightmare tale of isolation, darkness, coldness, humanity, extreme reflection, and sympathy. This episode also has the same technology as “The Entire History of You” like the segment of Potter himself with his wife. Jon Hamm as Matt is a villain in this episode. He is a manipulator and always plays with everyone. He is also great at being a narrator in bringing stories as if this were a nightmare. But, I love the ending in this episode where all of them are returned from their respective characters. In contrast to the character, there are Inception-vibes from Potter’s situation and Matt who deserve the consequences at the end of the plot twist.

For Brooker, it’s not the technology that makes us become slaves. Yet, we are bound by each agreement. A boundary strongly tied to human relations and technology. Every day, we see our eyes fixed on our smartphone either by itself or hang-out together. Without us not being aware, it is us who make the technology useful but terrible. In contrast, there is no difference between war and terror in the past. Today and tomorrow, we are still in terror and again, no one can stop it. Above all, this is probably the best “Black Mirror” season that has the matches reflection from our reality, society, politics, and social media.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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