Review: Black Mirror Season 4 Episode 2 “Arkangel”

Similarly to the premiere, Charlie Brooker has found another excellent, compelling and initially heart-breaking concept, yet is unable to fully commit to any one idea, character vision or arching thematic purpose. Central to this episode is the notion that parental codling limits an individual’s exposure to the harsh realities of the world, meaning that when they do encounter such dangers or sudden unusual facets, they cannot react in a sensible or educated manner. Set within a smartly designed world, an every-day, working class society meant to represent the common family, the episode quickly becomes predictable and slow, with no jaw-dropping or disturbing moment, and no real catharsis or developing characters. Instead the two leading ladies jump between being extremely relatable and distant. The ending doesn’t work because of this, as it takes a massive leap and the audience is left wondering who we are meant to sympathise with. Is it the character whose actions are being commented upon as overly protective, and therefore the cause of the climactic events, or the one who commits a crime that goes past belief. Again ‘Black Mirror’ finds itself confused. 6.6/10

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