Black Mirror is a cryptic reflection of our current society. Sometimes it looks at the dangers of technology, other times it holds the mirror to ourselves. It’s not a happy show, but if you are interested in delving into the human psyche and dissecting our own depravity, then this show is for you. However, the show is not without its flaws. Whether it’s something a plot hole or an event that’s not explained, here are ten things about Black Mirror that make no sense.
10. How Does No One Notice Princess Susannah?
In the episode “The National Anthem” Princess Susannah is held captive by a radical performance artist who hopes to get British Prime Minister to commit lewd acts live on TV. In addition, the kidnapper aims to show how oblivious people are to the events that happen right outside their door. That said, it is later revealed that she was found wandering around on the Millennium Bridge and had been released 30 minutes before the broadcast started. If you are not familiar with the streets of London, this bridge is right in the heart of downtown. So somehow, when people were on the streets of London prior to the broadcast, no one saw her? Presuming the Princess is someone most people would recognize on site, it’s hard to believe that no one saw her.
9. Who Legalized The Justice Park?
In the episode “White Bear”, convicted child killer Victoria Skillane endlessly relives a day of torture that is enjoyed by justice-seeking vigilantes - but how did this happen? Someone first had to invent the idea of a “Justice Park” and get its practice legalized. At least from today’s point of view, that’s an enormous leap of logic and morality. Torture is a violation of the Geneva conventions and is viewed as an international human rights violation. What cataclysmic event took place in order for something an international fundamental as Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to be sidestepped?
8. Why Didn’t Cooper’s Mom Report Him Missing?
The episode “Playtest” starts with Cooper sneaking out in the middle of the night to go backpacking around the world. While we don’t know how long he has been gone, he is seen visiting at least seven countries all around Europe and Asia. How long before someone reports him missing? We know his mom continues to call him throughout his trip and he never answers or replies in any way. Any rational human being would report him, and once police discover his passport is missing, tracking him down via airline records would be straightforward.
7. How Long Do Kelly And Yorkie Last In San Junipero?
How long is eternity? In the conclusion of the fan-favorite episode “San Junipero”, the minds of Kelly and Yorkie are uploaded to the San Junipero cloud permanently. In theory, this means that until TCKR Systems turns off the power, Kelly and Yorkie are there forever. It’s hard to wrap your mind around the idea of a literal forever, and if you can’t really leave this one party town, how long before you just get bored of your virtual existence. Plus, if they are constantly adding permanent residents and having visitors, how long before the whole pace gets overcrowded?
6. What Killed The Bees?
In the episode “Hated In The Nation”, a tech company called Granular develops robotic bees called ADIs, or Autonomous Drone Insects, to counteract a drop in the United Kingdom's bee population. In our own world, we are experiencing a drop in the bee population that is being linked to the use of fungicides and pesticides containing a class of chemicals called “neonicotinoids”. We don’t have any evidence that suggests this is the same or different in the Black Mirror universe, but the general population seems to be largely apathetic to both the decline of real bees and the prevalence of their substitute.
5. The Omnicorder
In the episode “USS Callister”, Robert Daly is a reclusive but smart man. In the “Space Fleet” themed server of the game his company is working on, his in-game avatar has a device called an omnicorder that allows him to control the game. Knowing the game continues to run when he is not online, he is smart enough to take the device “with him” when he logs out. In the episode’s climax, Cole tricks Daly into leaving the omnicorder on the beach while he pursues the vague hint of a sexual encounter. If this device is the single most powerful item in the game, and he knows his crew are actually problem-solving, sentient beings; why on earth would he ever leave his omnicorder unattended?
4. 99.8% Match
The dating app seen in the episode “Hang the DJ” runs simulations of people in dating scenarios. From the events that transpire in the episode, it appears that “rebelling against the system” is counted as a point. In the episode’s conclusion, the couple we see shows that 1000 simulations were run and 998 rebellions were recorded. What happened the other two times? Did they just go about their normal lives within the simulation until the software just ended?
3. “The Dog”
“Metalhead” follows the plight of Bella trying to flee from robotic “dogs” after the unexplained collapse of human society. Bella is obviously afraid of this robot and knows that the shrapnel embedded by the robot is a tracking device so clearly she has encountered these robots before. That said, society has clearly collapsed in the somewhat recent past and whatever created these guard robots is long gone. Who created them and what is their original purpose?
2 - Pretty Much All Of Bandersnatch
The idea of parallel timelines and deterministic philosophy is mentioned by Colin in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch as a quasi-explanation for the branching paths that are played out. To a degree, it’s true - each choice is being played out by all of us, simultaneously. Colin both jumps and doesn’t jump. However, there are two main sticking points. If Stefan chooses to have Tuckersoft help make his game, we see the first ending and Stefan says, “I should go back”. In fact, in every “failure” ending where Stefan is watching his game being reviewed on TV, he says the same thing. What is he talking about? At no point is the idea of time travel mentioned in any capacity. As for the second point, the second time Stefan meets Colin “for the first time”, Colin not only has a passing recognition of Stefan, but Stefan has retained memories from the previous play-through. The only explanations delve into complicated theories that involve passing through the 6th dimension, but that’s for another article.
1. The Guinea Pig
Insurance companies will always find a way to not pay out claims if they can, and the Black Mirror universe is no different. In the episode “Crocodile”, insurance companies have developed a device called a Recaller that accesses memories and plays them back like a fuzzy movie on a TV screen. In the episode’s conclusion, Mia kills the husband and infant child of the insurance broker in order to prevent their memories from being accessed to identify her in her crimes. However, Mia is caught because police use the Recaller on the family guinea pig. We are somehow asked to believe that not only can the Recall team communicate clearly enough to the guinea pig to evoke the memories of the murder it supposedly saw, but to then also provide a picture clear enough to identify someone. Rodents have notoriously poor vision and completely lack depth perception and we are supposed to believe the police made a positive identification?