One of Netflix’s most beloved sci-fi shows has come back with a fifth season this summer of 2019, and it’s more bad than good. With only three episodes this season, there was a lot of skepticism on how good the episodes would be and how they would fill the void of a skimpy episode line up, so let’s see how they rank. *SPOILER WARNING*
WORST: Episode 2, “Smithereens”. This episode explores a day for rideshare driver Chris, who kidnaps an intern for a popular social media company and holds him to in turn speak with the head of the company. There was a lot going on in this episode, but somehow nothing going on at the same time. The message of the episode could be that social media is toxic and addictive. And while that does come through at the very end, it was hard to see the point of all the action that happened, even after you find out about how he killed his wife. After all that happened, you would think that when he finally got to talk to Billy Bauer it would be about something more than just a awkward confession. They could’ve done this episode so much better , but it is what it is. All in all, it’s just draggy and not very well thought out.
MEH: Episode 3, “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too”. This episode tells of both a naive teen’s liking of a pop star, and how said pop star’s life is crumbling to dirt in her rise to fame. I’m not going to lie to you, the only saving grace of this episode was Miley Cyrus’ performance. You thought Hannah Montana was good?? Well this blows it out of the water for sure, she HAS grown of course. There was a lot of action and little buzzpoints but there wasn’t much substance to this episode. Girl likes pop star, pop star comes out with a product, girl buys and bonds with product, pop star gets drugged into a coma, product somehow becomes pop stars consciousness and the rest is a classic “saved by the prince” type of tale. The storyline of how Ashley O became depressed in her stardom and the relationship with her aunt should have been explored more. The episode could have been way more in depth if they had done so, it would’ve had layers. All in all, it wasn’t bad, just not as good as it could’ve been.
BEST: Episode 1, “Striking Vipers”. This episode goes into the what if’s of a friendship and how technology isn’t any help in pushing those boundaries. This episode honestly had me a bit shook, in true Black Mirror style. It had everything you expect from Black Mirror and I couldn’t have asked for more. Insertion of the black community being LGBT+? Check. Technological advancements that make you question the future and kind of fear it? Check. Relationships being tumultuous, but somehow there’s a snappy twist at the end? Definitely check. This episode is pretty simple, like others you know and love in the series, but it packs a punch. It makes you think about future technologies, and how they’ll affect your relationships with those you love. All in all, it followed the formula of a classic Black Mirror episode and I can’t complain.