Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for Bandersnatch
Black Mirror's newest episode Bandersnatch is an interactive experience with five main endings and a dizzying array of possible choices and consequences. Bandersnatch follows Stefan, an amateur programmer who is creating a choose-your-own-adventure video game based on a choose-your-own-adventure book by famous author Jerome F. Davies, who was driven mad by his own work and ended up brutally murdering his wife. As the viewer controls Stefan's choices and shapes his story, Bandersnatch reveals its many layers and multiple possible outcomes.
It's natural to wonder what are the "right" and "wrong" choices to make in Bandersnatch, but we'd recommend not worrying too much about this. The game (since that's really what it is) naturally guides the audience towards playing through multiple times to get different endings, so if you make a "wrong" choice that leads to the equivalent of a Game Over screen, you will usually be taken back and offered a different path. Moreover, Bandersnatch is set up in such a way that making a wrong choice and failing actually opens up new pathways once you go back. If you choose to make no choice when faced with a decision, the time will run down and Stefan will choose for you.
For those who are curious about the paths not taken, or who simply want a clearer picture of exactly how your choices affect Stefan's story, we've put together a guide to the major choices in Bandersnatch, their impact on the story, and the various possible endings that you can get.
- This Page: The First Day Choices
- Page 2: Follow Colin Or Visit Dr. Haynes
- Page 3: The Two Dreams
- Page 4: Communicating With Stefan, The Netflix Endings, & The Train Ending
- Page 5: The Murder Endings and the Pearl Ending
The First Day Choices
Bandersnatch starts off with a couple of easy choices to get you used to the way it works. You can choose either Sugar Puffs or Frosties for breakfast, and this choice will decide which cereal commercial you see at a later point in the episode. Then you can choose either to listen to either Thompson Twins or Now 2 on the bus to TuckerSoft, which will affect Stefan's answer to the later question of which music he prefers to listen to.
The first major choice occurs after Stefan has arrived at TuckerSoft, met pioneer game designer Colin Ritman and studio boss Mohan Thakur, and impressed them with his demo of Bandersnatch. Thakur will offer to let Stefan work on the game with a team at TuckerSoft, and you can choose to either Accept or Refuse.
If you Accept, you will reach the episode's first possible fail state. Bandersnatch jumps forward in time to the game's release, with Stefan watching a TV show that reviews video games. The critic says that the game is too short and feels like it was rushed to release, and gives it zero stars. At this point, Stefan declares that he has to try again, and the episode goes back to the start and replays the same day... with a few changes. Now, Colin recognizes Stefan when he enters the office and says that they've met before. Stefan is able to correctly diagnose a buffer error with the game that Colin is working on. Finally, whereas Colin previously said that he hadn't read Bandersnatch, he now says that he has read it and has played through to all of the endings.
If you Refuse the offer to work at TuckerSoft (either initially or after the replay), Stefan will seem surprised by his own refusal at first, but will then justify it by saying that he needs to work on the game alone - and Colin will back him up.
After going to TuckerSoft, Stefan next visits his psychiatrist, Dr. Haynes. She will ask if he wants to talk about what happened to his mother, and Stefan can say either Yes or No. If you choose No, Dr. Haynes will try to persuade Stefan that it's important to talk about his trauma, and you will be offered the Yes or No option again. If you choose No again, Stefan will refuse more firmly, and the episode will move on.
If you choose Yes, a flashback will reveal what happened to Stefan's mother. When Stefan was five years old, his father took his toy rabbit away and hid it, and searching for it made Stefan's mother late for the train she was supposed to catch. She asks if Stefan is coming or not, and only one choice is offered: No. Stefan's mother gets on the 8:45 train, which derails, killing her.
Following the visit to Dr. Haynes, Stefan goes to a music store with the list of recommendations that Colin gave him. He looks at two albums, and you can choose between either Phaedra or The Bermuda Triangle. This choice will affect which music plays during a later scene.