Black Mirror S4, E2: Arkangel – Jodie Foster (dir).

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During the mid 80’s there was a device that was able to monitor a baby so that cot death would not occur. This machine consisted of a microphone connected to a speaker or walkie-talkie and the parent would be able to hear the baby in another room. The second episode of Black Mirror goes a step further.

Marie, a single mother decides to protect her child, Sara, by implanting a device in her head that is connected to a tablet, thus Marie can see everything Sara can see and when something scares Sara it will be blurred. Eventually Marie understands that the device is restricting Sara’s perception of the real world and just puts the tablet away and removes all settings so Sara sees the things that scare her properly.

Time passes and Sara is now in her late teens and she hooks up with the neighbourhood bad boy Trick. Sara lies to her mother and goes out with Trick, which causes Marie to start reusing the tablet again. Ironically adult Sara is now doing things that are slightly more dangerous than toddler Sara used to do but that’s not the point.

Anyway Sara discovers that her mother is spying on her and it leads to a bloody mother/daughter fight and Sara leaves Marie forever.

As an episode it is ridiculous, mostly due to the unnecessary melodrama and the predictable storyline. Sure it’s a little cautionary story about letting children go and how technology brings out the inner voyeur but it has been done before in the Black Mirror universe – The Entire History of You from Season 1 had a similar plot, same with Season 2’s White Christmas. So nothing new. Like episode 1’s USS Callister, I liked Arkangel but I knew this is not the standard Black Mirror has set in the past.

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5 thoughts on “Black Mirror S4, E2: Arkangel – Jodie Foster (dir).

  1. stue1967 January 6, 2018 / 2:16 pm

    Whilst we are long time Charlie Brooker fans (i.e. Screenwipe, Philomena Cunk), we hadn’t tried Black Mirror. We’re working our way backwards so no doubt I’ll come back to your posts. As the father of a teenage girl, some of the content resonated with me but it was a little clunky in the arc of the story.

    • deucekindred January 6, 2018 / 2:35 pm

      Totally agree – personally I think series 2 is the best of the lot but series 3 has San Junipero, which is the best episode of them all.

      • stue1967 January 6, 2018 / 2:38 pm

        We’ll work backwards and let you know (it’s often how I approach life).

  2. Mark Camilleri January 6, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    I would go for the fat that the first two seasons are the the best and then Three Million Merits and San Junipero (imho) are the best of all the episodes. For antipode reasons. One is thoroughly depressing but yet very touching (plus has that mind blowing rendering of anyone who knows what love is) and the latter is extremely beautiful and mind blowing in plot and execution.

    Till know (I have watched 4 eps), this season seems the weakest, but I might be wrong.

    • deucekindred January 6, 2018 / 4:13 pm

      I agree this season was the weakest but Hang the Dj is just… wow

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