If you have not yet watched the new "Black Mirror" film, "Bandersnatch," you are in for a TREAT…. and by TREAT, I mean three to four hours of a mind-blowing interactive gaming style type movie, which has never been done before. "Black Mirror" has been known as the television show that is "telling" the future and it is great at making you think everything is a conspiracy theory. The creator, Charlie Brooker, examines modern society with each episode while observing a new technological advancement with its pros and cons. The show was first released in 2011 on a British Television Channel and now has a movie, a television special, and eighteen episodes. Two of the episodes ended up winning a total of six Emmy Awards.
The point of this article is to help you play the game in a way that you will know your outcome. After personally watching Bandersnatch and ripping my hair out about not knowing how to properly watch the game, I decided to dig into some research…. so, stop now if you do not want any spoilers but let's be real, everyone likes knowing the secret!
*SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD*
There is no final ending (that we know of). There are only five "confirmed" endings which means the paths could truly be endless. Even when you reach an ending, Stefan, the main character, wakes up again and you start over. Shout-out to the writer and creator of this masterpiece for going down the rabbit hole of possibilities just for us to have some Friday night entertainment. Not only did I procrastinate my other responsibilities for three hours to watch and play, but it had me questioning everything I have ever known.
After researching different articles and trying out the options to reach an ending, I will be providing the ultimate cheat sheet to reach each at least five endings. Now, I am not saying trust me on this because, throughout the movie, Stefan begins to feel controlled so even if you picked something for him, sometimes he refuses. I am bringing together all the information I found and truly hoping for the best for you.
A quick note: You are asked simple questions at the beginning about Stefan's music choice and favorite breakfast cereal. This shouldn't change your outcome. I think this was Netflix's way to help us practice for the bigger questions.
Ending #1 Accept or Refuse: So, let's cut to the chase. Your main character is a game designer who created a game after the book "Bandersnatch" in the '80s. The book is all about choosing your own path, like a game. This was supposed to be the first game created like it. After multiple interactions with new characters, Stefan is offered an opportunity to create the game with his dream development team. You click "Accept" or "Refuse". If you click accept, it flashes forward to a bad review of the game and a disappointed Stefan. Then, Stefan wakes up again.
Ending #2 All for Netflix: At one point, Stefan demands to know who is controlling him. You get the option of telling him you are, "Netflix" or a symbol that stands for paths. If you choose Netflix, you can then choose to tell him what Netflix is. Remember, these characters are set far back enough to think that a "streaming platform for TV" is a crazy idea. He ends up back in his therapist's office describing what Netflix is to her. The therapist then discusses how Stefan's life is too boring for entertainment so who would watch it? You then get a choice of two different types of "yeah" and a fight scene starts… then you hear "CUT". Stefan is on a Netflix set of the movie as an actor, but Stefan doesn't understand that. It ends with the crew Ending #3 calling for a medic.
Ending #3 Oh Bloody 'El: There are many endings where Stefan ends up killing someone and it usually comes down to his father. Morally, it took me a while to choose this because I was too sad for the dad to believe it. After choosing "Kill," Stefan hits his father in the head with an ashtray. In the version I played, Stefan tried to call his therapist and you are asked to type in her number. If you type it incorrectly, Stefan goes off on a rant which leads to the therapist's assistant leading 911 to Stefan's house when he is burying the body. Stefan is in jail watching his game being rated a low score.
Ending #4 It Was Nice Knowing You: What I did not mention before was that there was a gaming prodigy Stefan looked up to named Colin. You get the option to ditch dad at one part to follow Colin who soon gets Stefan into a load of trouble. We meet Colin's girlfriend and his baby named Pearl. Basically, they do what seems to be LSD. Colin is spitting truth about government conspiracies and they end up on the balcony. Colin says "one of us has to jump". I am still trying to figure out why, but I chose Colin to jump and then Stefan woke up again. The weird part is, you won't see Colin ever again after that… even if it is a wrong turn in the game and you start over, he is gone for the rest.
Ending #5 The Ending That Created Madness: So, going back to Stefan deciding to kill his father. You are given the option to chop up the body. Disgusting right? Well, choose it if you want to feel complete on the inside (even though it is not a for sure ending). Stefan does the gross deed and finishes his game. It shows clips of him being happy with his final product and it getting a 5/5-star rating. It flashes forwards to Stefan being arrested, the game being removed from the shelves and an interview with a girl named Pearl making a new Netflix series called Bandersnatch in honor of Stefan's game (see the connection). I was given one final question when Pearl's computer froze; break it or spill tea on it. I chose spill tea and then Stefan woke up again.
Personally, ending #5 made me feel complete but I went through about five other endings that are not like the ones above to get there. There were endings involving the death of another family member, finding out the dad is a part of a secret corporation, and Stefan going critically insane. The craziest part is... We are making decisions for a guy that is designing a game about making decisions based on a book about making decisions…. It was exhausting just typing that! I am still trying to figure out how they created such a mind game for the screen but all I know is, it will go down in history. Now, the main question is… what ending is YOUR cup of tea?
Want to feed your Bandersnatch addiction more? Check out the articles I found my research from!