Monday, 18 February 2013

Today's Review: Black Mirror: White Bear

Yeah, I'll probably end up reviewing all three of these. Tonight we got the answers behind that mysterious symbol flashing up in the ad breaks of last week's episode. In White Bear, Lenora Crichlow plays Toni, a woman who wakes up in an empty house with no memory. Upon leaving she finds herself being filmed by everyone around her, and soon finds herself chased by a guy with a shotgun and a strange symbol on his balaclava.

Sound confusing? Well, it is. For at least the first three quarters. We're dragged along behind Toni with only fragments of story and random flashes of memory, and the confusion only builds up as more twists and turns occur. With no real explanation given for what's going on, and only around 20 minutes until the end, I was starting to worry that Charlie Brooker would not deliver in this episode. Of course, I was wrong, and it all comes to a head with a very succinct few scenes that certainly leave a lasting impression. The last part of this episode truly captures what Black Mirror is all about, a very uneasy near future scenario that we can probably imagine happening.

It just takes a hell of a long time to get to that point. All the other episodes have pretty firmly established the uncomfortable scenarios that they will play out quite early on, but White Bear concerns itself with being more like a horror movie at the beginning. It's certainly well shot, with some great performances, but while other episodes have held my interest and had me thinking within the first few minutes, this one left me confused and begging for answers most of the way through, and looking back a lot of the stuff that was never explained in the beginning didn't really end up mattering anyway. White Bear was certainly a good watch, but it's not quite up to the standard that has been set by earlier episodes. Thankfully next week's looks pretty good.

 My rating: 3/5

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