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Black Mirror Season 2 | How the Episodes Connect - The Metaphorical Mask

Hi this is Nykole and welcome to Chroma film. This is the 2nd post of my Black Mirror series, black mirror connections. Taking a look at how the episodes of each season combine and work together to give a cohesive message. And without further ado, let's get into it. Watch on YouTube


Looks are Deceiving

In Be Right back, we meet Martha, who is at a loss after losing her lover Ash in an accident.

During his funeral, Sarah or chatty patty as I'm going to call her, starts telling Martha about a service to speak to passed loved ones, but is told to shut up before she can finish her pitch to get Martha signed up.

A little time passes and as Martha works on healing and learning how to live life without Ash, she gets a call from chatty patty, informing Martha that she has signed her up for the service - despite her reaction at the funeral.

Shortly after this call, Martha finds out she's pregnant and due to the feelings that come from grief and pregnancy, decides to use the service with the account created for her by chatty patty, and starts an online relationship with Ash's AI representative.

After getting over her initial feelings of apprehension, Martha decides to take it a step further and orders a material copy of ash.

After assembling Ash's copy she's freaked out, but the copy starts to grow on her and she's semi-relieved at how similar it is to her lost love, but after several conversations and interactions, she starts to see the flaws.

Ironically, Ash's perfect copy was defective, as it lacked Ash's essence and the little imperfections, like a missing mole, that made the original Ash a perfectly imperfect individual.

The characteristics that made Ash, who he was, were a constant reminder that this inanimate, artificially intelligent vessel could not replace the soul or the character of the man she loved.

Martha was so distraught about the loss of her boyfriend, that she essentially went into a rebound relationship (with a clone), in hopes of filling the void of not having her boyfriend

After taking a real look at herself and realizing that she needed to deal with her grief and heal - she recognized that she wasn't seeing clearly - and what initially looked attractive, was not actually attractive at all.

When watching this episode, the first thing I thought of was Stephen King's "Pet Sematary", a story about a family that was destroyed by the death of a child. Unable to deal with the pain of the loss, one of the family members takes it upon themselves to resurrect the child by burying them on a sacred burial ground. For a a short time, the family went back to normal, but they very quickly learned that just because something looks similar, doesn't mean it's the same.

Like many Black mirror episodes, this story can be interpreted in many ways, but under the statements about technology and how relationships may look in the future, is a story about a woman that didn't give herself time to heal and paid more attention to how something looked over what it actually was.

White Bear

Do You Know Who I am?

A woman name Victoria wakes up, not knowing who or where she is. Confused and only having pictures in the living room of a strange house to use as clues to uncover her identity, she ventures out to see if there's anyone in her community that recognizes who she is - but her hunt for discovery is interrupted when she's approached by a masked man on a vendetta to hunt her down.

During her escape from this mad-man, she comes across people that are willing to help her escape - but they ultimately betray her and by the end of the episode, her monstrous, true identity is revealed.

At the time of its release, the episode served as an omen to the power that social media will yield. Not just making a statement about the power of social media, but also asking social questions about punishment and prison reform.

But, In regards to the topic of this video, the episode reveals what happens when a self-absorbed person decides to sit on the wrong side of the law, willing to do anything for the sake of their own happiness - even if that means watching someone else get hurt.

An example of Victoria's vanity is shown during her first reaction after waking up in the strange house and finding a photograph of a young child. Her first instinct wasn't to find the mysterious child she assumed was hers, it was to go out in the streets asking everyone if they knew who she was, as if it's normal to assume that a random person would know you.

The episode looked into her psyche and sinister motives, giving a clue that she enjoyed the attention regardless of the origin, helping to explain why this form of punishment was a perfect match for her crime.

But it also takes a look at how terrifying self reflection can be. It requires a hard, clear look at oneself to get perspective on the things we need to change or improve on and it's something that can be difficult to do.

By the end of the story, it's revealed that Victoria wasn't the victim, but in fact the villain, having to face the fact that she wasn't running from a monster, she Was the monster.

Many of us avoid introspection because of the pain and fear of what we'll find. Wearing a mask, not only to portray a different picture to others, but to convince ourselves as well.

The Waldo Moment

Puppet for President

In the Waldo Moment Jamie is a failed comedian, who performs through an animated character named Waldo.

To pay the bills, he does political comedy, but clearly hates every moment of it.

After his most recent show, he's informed by his superiors that they want to create a full show centered around Waldo. During a meeting to discuss the pilot, he's informed that his talents as Waldo's creator are to be used to sway the public politically. Despite his initial apprehension to the idea, he goes through with it and commences to disrupt every attempt his candidate Liam Monroe makes to interact with the public.

Crazy enough, Waldo ends up winning the election, but now the beloved character is powered by someone less scrupulous and the world ends up suffering behind it.

This story does look at the whole political paradigm and addresses how some political stances are based more on the highest bidder than the issues, but digressing...

This story is a clear cut example of how people can easily be fooled when they care more about the character than the substance of the character.

We've seen it time and time again in media...A person initially has a stance that gets everyone on board, but once they have the trust of everyone, they do a full 180, taking on entirely different views than they did before.

After those views change, we're left admiring those characters based on nostalgia and not on the current ideas they actually stand for.

The story serves as a warning about the mask of familiarity. When it comes to a person we've never met in real life and regardless of how long we think we've known a person based on the images they allow us to see - we don't know who the real person is and in turn we're not truly aware of what that person is capable of and we should always stay aware of that.

White Christmas

Two Face

In white Christmas, we're greeted by two men in a cabin with one of the men seeming to be unaware of his surroundings or identity and the other bent on getting a conversation started with him.

Potter, who I'll be calling "confused man" is very secretive about his life, but Matt shares a tragic story of his own along with details about his current position to get confused man to open up about events he hasn't shared with anyone else.

Eventually, confused man, opens up and pours out the pain and grief he felt due to the horrifying things he did - essentially sealing his fate - proving that he did what he was being accused of.

This black mirror episode includes a twist for the audience as well as the characters. To our surprise, this well spoken, well dressed man wasn't just an expert assisting in a case, he was a liar and a criminal, using his skills of persuasion to help the police solve the case as a part of his own sentence

We got clues along the way about the kind of person Matt was, but his appearance and smooth words, gave the impression that he was someone else - even if that someone else seemed crooked.

The episode is a warning about trusting people based simply on the words coming out of their mouth and how they look.

We've all seen people that look like they have it all together on the outside, not realizing the financial or personal struggles they're dealing with, because they do a good job covering it up.

This episode gives a warning that appearances and words can be deceitful, not necessarily expressing the true motives of an individual. But paying attention to a person's fruits and actions shows intent and will let you know who a person is, regardless of the kind words they throw at you or the face they put on for you.

Final Note

This group of stories, takes on various levels of sci-fi - but they all touch on being able to see people for who they are, including yourself.

So far, Season 1 touched on making choices and here with season two, a strong focus is put on seeing people, including ourselves for who they actually are, not who we hope they should be...

If you want to watch these episodes, they're currently available on Netflix. And on that note, have an awesome day, be good to yourself and good to others...Peace.

Image Credits



Channel 4

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