Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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"White Bear" makes up for its blunt social criticism with its intense scare factor and final twist.
The episode is an interesting, if far-fetched, musing on social revenge.
A commentary on many aspects of society - from the media to violence and human empathy - the ending shows just what Brooker is capable of along this Black Mirror ride, and is a story that tends to stick with those who make it through.
There may be some larger point about voyeurism or exploitation or how annoyingly fast phone batteries drain, but it's lost beneath a simplistic twist that pulls a switcheroo and fails to do much else.
This was an exciting and efficient piece of narrative rug-pulling that mocked, above all, our insatiable, voyeuristic, neo-Medieval thirst for supposedly "real-life" pain and humiliation repackaged as entertainment.
With a twist you won't see coming. "White Bear" could have easily been a classic episode of The Twilight Zone.
It's sick. But Black Mirror expertly shifts sympathies back and forth, revealing Victoria to have been complicit in the torture and murder of a child, filming her boyfriend in the act.
The presence of these hypnotizing devices can easily deceive us into thinking that "White Bear" is yet another cautionary tale against being too attached to technology, but this episode's intentions are far more unnerving.
A compelling and thought-provoking drama that keeps your sympathies shifting constantly as you try to work out what the hell's going on.
"White Bear" isn't a grim and gross tale of post-apocalyptic horror - it's a scathing condemnation of punishment as entertainment, a blistering attack on how we make a game out of suffering and take pleasure in the pain of others.
It's a story about our social appetite for punishment, a recurring theme in the worlds of Black Mirror, that leaves viewers wrestling with their own thirst for so-called justice and the competing value of empathy.
Like most Black Mirror episodes, White Bear explores issues of morality, fairness, and suffering in a way that is unnerving at times. Most of these stories are science fiction, but White Bear feels like it could happen now.
What "White Bear" lacks in pointed societal commentary, it no doubt makes up for in its ability to truly disturb.