"Black Mirror" season 5 has now been out for a while, and though it's receiving disappointed reviews, all fans can agree that the entire show has its fluctuations when it comes to the value of each episode from the beginning. In fact, when I set out on a quest last year to rank every episode in "Black Mirror" from worst to best through season 4, I received so many more comments disagreeing with me than siding with what I thought. Granted, I now completely disagree with most of what I said in that list after reviewing it for the first time in over a year (except for how I feel about "Metalhead"), but it's the fact that fans have such diverse opinions about the show that raises the question: How much does your least favorite episode say about you?
So, let's put it to the test by seeing what the worst episode in your opinion says about what episodes you might've liked the most.
Disliked "The National Anthem"
You Probably Like: "Fifteen Million Merits", "Shut Up and Dance", "Hated in the Nation", "Smithereens"
"The National Anthem" might have been a bit too weird for you, or maybe you didn't find it very telling of the true "Black Mirror" nature consisting of the widespread impact of technology. The uniqueness of this episode wasn't lost on you, but you knew that there should have been more in this episode regarding detrimental futuristic technology. While "Fifteen Million Merits" and "Shut Up and Dance" are some of the true classics of the series, "Hated in the Nation" and "Smithereens" target the addictive, epidemic nature of technology that you couldn't find in the first episode.
Disliked "Fifteen Million Merits"
You Probably Like: "Crocodile", "White Bear", "Nosedive"
The "Fifteen Million Merits" ending maybe wasn't as shocking to you as you would have hoped it would be, or maybe you were shocked but didn't quite like catching onto the idea of how it ended. (Or maybe you really like competition TV shows and didn't want to feel attacked in this episode.) In any case, though, you might've liked how the three recommended episodes kept you on your toes the entire time, wondering what small twist would happen next, rather than waiting for one big, disappointing twist at the very end.
Disliked "The Entire History of You"
You Probably Like: "White Bear", "White Christmas", "Black Museum", "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too"
A relationship gone wrong, but you might have not liked how Liam, the main character, didn't look for some sort of justice against what happened to him. How does the episode end? With him removing his own Grain. But in all four recommended episodes, you probably enjoyed how there was some sort of consequence for the wrongdoings some of the main characters did.
Disliked "Be Right Back"
You Probably Like: "Hang the DJ", "San Junipero"
"Be Right Back" arguably is one of the saddest episodes in the entire "Black Mirror" series, and that probably didn't fare well with you. But, as many people know, both "Hang the DJ" and "San Junipero" have happy endings of their own, and you would much rather settle with that than the harshness of this episode.
Disliked "White Bear"
You Probably Like: "Arkangel", "Crocodile", "USS Callister"
The entire point (and what truly is the star) of "White Bear" is that you aren't supposed to know at all what's happening until the very end, and it can scare you a bit that you're as clueless as the main character. It's unorthodox in a show to not know more than the people in the show, and you didn't really like that. On the other hand, the three recommended episodes all have smooth-sailing plot lines that you could follow and interpret on your own.
Disliked "The Waldo Moment"
You Probably Like: "Fifteen Million Merits", "Be Right Back", "The National Anthem", "Shut Up and Dance"
"The Waldo Moment" takes on a satirical tone in most of the episode (save for when the sad ending of the story plays out), and that might have caught you off guard when looking at the generally melancholic mood of most of the show. Because of that, the four recommended episodes stay true to the vibe that "Black Mirror" gives off and keep you in your comfort zone.
Disliked "White Christmas"
You Probably Like: "Nosedive", "Hang the DJ", "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too", "Black Museum"
"White Christmas" is one of the longest episodes in the show and shows the connection among three seemingly-isolated stories, but it probably wasn't your cup of tea because of how separate everyone felt from each other (until the end). The recommended episodes, though, all consist of stories that have different people so closely intertwined with one another that you can't imagine the episodes flowing well in any other situation.
You Probably Like: "Playtest", "White Christmas", "The National Anthem", "White Bear"
"Nosedive" is one of the most popular episodes in the entire show, but you can't seem to understand why. It seems overrated to you, and you'd rather look for a story with a darker vibe that is more trademark of the "Black Mirror" mood. As a result, these four episodes are right up your alley because they encapsulate the weird, scary, and even saddening nature of the show. Happy watching!
You Probably Like: "Hated in the Nation", "Men Against Fire", "White Christmas", "The Waldo Moment"
"Playtest" is popular for its jump-scares, something that comes up in "Black Mirror" once in a while but is still a rare occurrence. Horror isn't necessarily one of the biggest parts of the show, but that's probably why you didn't like this episode. Or you just thought that the ending events spiraled downward too quickly. From this, you would like "Hated in the Nation" because of its consistent storyline, "Men Against Fire" and "White Christmas" for the intellectual debate surrounding some of the sadder parts of the episodes, and "The Waldo Moment" if you're not a horror fan.
Disliked "Shut Up and Dance"
You Probably Like: "Bandersnatch", "Nosedive", "Smithereens"
"Shut Up and Dance" made you feel as though every interaction with your technology was monitored to a degree where you could never be peacefully alone, and that startled you. As unsettling as that must have felt, "Bandersnatch" gives you the illusion of freedom through letting you play as the fate-decider, "Nosedive" chronicles the chain reaction of negativity centered around having your reputation dictated by technology, and "Smithereens" showed a man taking his own (dangerous) stance to explain how technology can ruin one's life in seconds. And what do all three have in common? Someone rebelling against the power of technology — just what you've been looking for.
Disliked "San Junipero"
You Probably Like: "Be Right Back", "White Christmas", "Striking Vipers", "Arkangel"
"San Junipero" just didn't click with you. The episode's focus kept going back and forth and seemed a bit confusing at times, and no matter how hard you focused, the full intricacy of the story wasn't easy to get. Or it might just be that you wanted a traditional "Black Mirror" sad ending. "Be Right Back", "Arkangel", and "Striking Vipers" cover the sad/strange relationships, and "White Christmas" in general shows how broken ties with loved ones can destroy one's life.
Disliked "Men Against Fire"
You Probably Like: "Playtest", "Nosedive", "Metalhead"
"Men Against Fire" is one of those episodes that plays with your thoughts after you watch because, just like the characters in the episode, you ask yourself what decisions you make. But perhaps you didn't like how there wasn't enough horror, for which "Playtest" would be perfect, or maybe there was too much horror (that's where "Nosedive" comes in, all with the same intellectual battles). Or maybe you needed a darker story, just with less inner battles; "Metalhead" has you covered.
Disliked "Hated In The Nation"
You Probably Like: "The National Anthem", "The Waldo Moment", "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too", "Smithereens"
This is one of those episodes where you either really like it, or you just don't see the point in watching it. And if you ended up here, chances are that it's the latter. Maybe you were looking forward to an episode in which those in power (especially higher-ups in large corporations or the government) were "brought to justice" in a stranger, scarier, or funnier way, which all of the recommended episodes seem to serve the purpose of.
Disliked "USS Callister"
You Probably Like: "Be Right Back", "Metalhead", "Bandersnatch", "Smithereens"
"USS Callister" is known for being colorful, having an upbeat facade, and playing out like a "Star Trek" spinoff, and you weren't going to have any of it. So for you, episodes either highlighting the demise of humanity through relying on technology ("Metalhead" and "Smithereens") or showcasing the bittersweet company technology brings to someone ("Be Right Back" and "Bandersnatch") seem to play out well.
You Probably Like: "Hang the DJ", "San Junipero", "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too", "The Entire History of You"
The ending left you unsettled and wondering where the rest of the episode was. Was that it? Is that how the episode was going to leave you? It's like there's a hole in you heart that can only be filled by an episode that wraps everything nicely in a clearly-developed ending, and "San Junipero" and "The Entire History of You" bring that. On the other hand, maybe the episode was way too sad for you, so "Hang the DJ" and "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too" would be perfect.
You Probably Like: "Striking Vipers", "Bandersnatch"
"Crocodile" seemed too normal compared to other episodes because there wasn't something you could find that stood out about it. You needed something strange, something that would be on your mind for a while from how absurd yet brilliant it seemed. "Striking Vipers" introduces the abnormality that's characteristic of "Black Mirror", which makes you wonder how something so weird could be developed so well. "Bandersnatch" also may make you feel immersed because it contains the unique factor of being interactive, something you'll think about for days after playing the episode.
On the other hand, "The Entire History of You" might not be such a good recommendation for you because of how similar the concepts of the Grain and the Recaller are.
Disliked "Hang the DJ"
You Probably Like: "Arkangel", "Striking Vipers", "Be Right Back"
If you didn't like this episode, it's probably because of how hopelessly romantic it seemed. The episode only seemed to get happier and happier (except for when poor Frank is paired with Nicola), and when it finished, you were asking yourself where the "technology-takes-over-the-world" part was. Yeah, maybe everyone using a dating system was a bit strange at first, but where's the chaos when the episode spirals out of control? "Arkangel" comes in with exactly the right amount of disaster you were looking for, and "Striking Vipers" make you think about the strange (yet completely understandable) compromise the main couple comes up with at the very end. "Be Right Back", though, is the kind of sadness you're looking for in an episode about a relationship dictated by technology.
You Probably Like: "USS Callister", "San Junipero", "Smithereens", "White Bear"
Didn't like "Metalhead"? I'm with you on this one. There was so much running, so little color (considering it was purely black and white), too little dialogue, no true meaning you could find. The episode exuded aesthetics, beautiful shots you marveled at for a few seconds then were taken away from, but that was it. Besides, "USS Callister" and "San Junipero" bring in color and vibrancy that you really needed to see (equipped with amazing storylines), and both "Smithereens" and "White Bear" had someone running with meaning. When characters were running in these episodes, you wanted to run with them.
Disliked "Black Museum"
You Probably Like: "Bandersnatch", "Playtest", "The Entire History of You"
Small references to previous episodes weren't enough for you to enjoy this episode because you expected something more to the story. Maybe you thought the highlight of the episode itself was the references, and everything else meant nothing to you. Well, "Bandersnatch" also has a story about a stuffed toy that you might find more interesting, "Playtest" still has that scary vibe in a more immersive way, and "The Entire History of You" covers the entire story not of the artifacts in a museum but of a relationship gone wrong.
You Probably Like: "Crocodile", "Smithereens", "Hated in the Nation", "The Waldo Moment"
When you first heard that Netflix was releasing an interactive "Black Mirror" episode, you could not have been more excited for all the possibilities. A show about interactive technology... using interactive technology? Unfortunately, "Bandersnatch" was a disappointment to you after all that wait. You felt the illusion of choosing your own ending but quickly realized every ending was the same. All four recommended episodes take that illusion of free will and make it a reality because people took technology and used that to their advantage. Plus, the four episodes' endings are starkly different.
Disliked "Striking Vipers"
You Probably Like: "USS Callister", "The National Anthem", "Men Against Fire"
"Striking Vipers" was a bit too weird to handle (and lacking a technology-related moral) for you, even if strangeness is one of the defining characteristics of more interesting "Black Mirror" episodes. If you're looking for strange, "Men Against Fire" is a good start because of the few jump-scares, but then "USS Callister" takes weird to a different level by connecting the subconscious to technology. For the ultimate level of weirdness, though, "The National Anthem", as we all know, is as unusual as they get.
You Probably Like: "Metalhead", "Shut Up and Dance"
To you, "Smithereens" just seemed like a guy sitting in a car with a hostage, a phone, and a message to a CEO, which all-in-all sounded pretty mundane. You felt confined to the walls and windows of the car and wanted to keep running, keep searching for something more. "Metalhead" and "Shut Up and Dance" are constantly moving, following the trails of someone who has a purpose that can only be carried out if they keep going forward.
Disliked "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too"
You Probably Like: "Men Against Fire", "Fifteen Million Merits", "San Junipero"
As people happened to catch onto, the episode felt like a darker retelling of a "princess tale", and to you, that isn't what "Black Mirror" is about. You want to go back to the classics of the show that don't play out like stories with crystal clear and perfect endings, and "Men Against Fire" and "San Junipero" have that.
Let's touch base on the part of the episode that focused on how the entertainment industry is corrupt. You want to see that on a larger scale or in a situation that truly showcases the destructive nature of money and fame, and "Fifteen Million Merits" takes on the theme of competitive television making contestants become victims of the random judgments strangers have of them (and of how money can change anyone).
Disclaimer: I'm not a certified specialist in any of this. All episodes' information can be found here.