Black Mirror is a show that reviews ways technology can get out of control and what consequences could arise from mankind playing God. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the show does everything very well. While it's an anthology, we are able to understand a world and the technology within a single episode. The characters are well developed and memorable. Also, there are Easter Eggs everywhere that happily invite theories as to how these episodes can be connected to one another.
That said, there are little details that will make no sense. Black Mirror encourages it's audience to explore and think about what they are viewing, so of course there are nitpicks. Here is a list of some confusing details in the Black Mirror universe.
The technology of the "USS Callister" episode focused on a game that you can upload your consciousness into. It turns out that the creator of the game, Daly, is a bit of a psychopath. He creates data copies of people whom he places into his own closed off game simulation that he can control. Luckily the episode ended on a happy note, which the data copies escaping into the internet while Daly is stuck in his own simulation that gets deleted and puts him in a coma.
The nitpick here is that Daly has created this game and mass produced it, so what are the chances of not discovering this possible error before? He would be doomed if consumers went into a coma by playing his game. What if the internet crashes or the game needs to update while they are logged in? What happens to their consciousness? If they don't fall into a coma while that happens, why does he?
In the episode "Crocodile" the technology that is focused on is a memory-reading device. It's used in a police investigation on the search for a serial killer. Unfortunately for the killer, that means killing everyone who has ever witnessed her crime or has seen a reason for her to be guilty. Due to this, she goes as far as to kill an entire family. Her downfall comes to a guinea pig that she left alive, which the police use to catch her since it witnessed and remembered the murder.
You can probably already tell the issue here. It's a guinea pig. Its memories would not be focused in the same way as a human being. Would it remember a human's face that didn't even interact with it?
A common theme to Black Mirror's technology is creating data-copies of a human consciousness. It's pretty obvious in various episodes that these data-copies are not seen or treated as human. In fact, they are enslaved to be like a high-quality Amazon Echo in the episode "White Christmas."In that episode, they are tortured and thrown out like mere tools despite the fact that obviously are just like normal people.
In that same episode, we learn that Joe was actually a data copy the whole time. He admits to his crime, so the police have a confession and will arrest Joe in the real world. This is strange since data copies do not have rights then why would anything they say have a stand in a court of law?
Like most Black Mirror episodes, "Hang the DJ" took a huge turn when you find out the entire episode took place inside a dating app. The app measures your chances with another person based on data copies going through a dystopian virtual world together where singles are randomly matched all the time.
The issue with this app is that it puts these couples in high-stakes scenarios where they have to rebel against society to be together. As romantic as it is, normal relationships are different. They are mostly normal days where you live in a home together and play video games or yoga or whatever it is you do. What if the real-life people get together and realize neither of them like doing the laundry or one never flushes the toilet?
The very first episode, "The National Anthem," was a story with a princess getting abducted. The demands of the ransom were unusual, as he wanted the Prime Minister to make love to a pig on television. When the Prime Minister said he wouldn't do it, the perpetrator sent the princess's chopped off finger as a warning.
Only part of the twist was that he did not harm the princess at all. The finger was actually his. With that in mind, he was an old man. How did people look at his old man finger and think that was the princess's?
This is less about a detail within a Black Mirror episode and more about an episode in general. In terms of the main theme Black Mirror works with, technology, "The National Anthem" sticks out like a sore thumb because it has nothing to do with world and reality-bending technology. It's just a Prime Minister getting blackmailed to make love to a pig on television.
What is the strangest part is that this episode was the first of all of Black Mirror episodes and yet it is the most different. Typically TV shows seek to show you what to expect out of the rest of the series in their first episode. For some reason, Black Mirror didn't to that. This episode had no underlying truths about the limitations of technology and the human condition. Why make that the premiere to the series?
The episode, "Arkangel," got a ton of backlash from fans for this mistake. The episode focuses on a helicopter mom with the power to spy on her kid with technology that makes her able to see whatever her kid sees. So she finds out her daughter has become sexually active and sneaks an emergency contraceptive pill into her shake.
However, this pill was to terminate the girl's pregnancy. That is not how emergency contraceptives work. They prevent pregnancy, not terminate it. So the mom doing this made no sense. Did the writers get their sex education wrong or since it's Black Mirror, those pills now terminate pregnancy? Even if that were true, why are they still called emergency contraception then?
In the "USS Callister" episode, the characters that were imprisoned had a three-part plan. One was to get Daly stuck in his own simulation. Secondly, they would escape into the internet. Thirdly, their DNA needed to be retrieved so Daly could not make copies of them ever again. A Reddit user has pointed out that this plan was illogical, since he would not be able to use the DNA anyway if he was never to leave his simulation.
Even beyond that, why did Daly freak out so much when he realized his team was going to escape to the internet? He could have just said, "That's okay, I'll just make other copies of you from your DNA," since he did not know that the DNA was stolen by then. Sure, they might have been able to tell the world about what Daly was doing, but they are still just data. Would anyone really believe them or care?