Black Mirror passed me by when it was first aired, but having recently been introduced to the first two seasons i’m glad i finally got to see them. But would the third season which has made the jump to netflix live up to the dark previous outings……Join Film and TV Nerd to find out!
Owing perhaps to the lengthened nature of the episode, there were so many incredible moments packed into ‘Hated in the Nation’. The scenes as Parke and her ‘shadow’, Faye Marsay’s Blue Coulson, try to protect Clara Meades (Holli Dempsey) were thrilling. But more significantly, the climactic sequence, and the one most evocative of Hitchcock, as the ADIs swarm and zone in on the 300,000 targets, was downright chilling.
Then again, picking moments out of such an episode perhaps does it an injustice. Even if earlier episodes this series had a more intimate emotional punch, ‘Hated in the Nation’ was arguably the most complete episode the show has had. In every sense, it just worked – as a police procedural, as a dystopia, as a social allegory.
Indeed, by coincidence more than anything, it’s the most immediately relevant episode we’ve had. While the show is always fundamentally familiar, the influences on ‘Hated in the Nation’ were barely in the rear view mirror. Chancellor Tom Pickering’s orders to ‘shut down’ the ADIs, regardless of environmental and economic impact, to save his own life, came as this week’s political debate was one of similar expediency concerning more specifically the potential expansion to Heathrow, but also more broadly the continued referendum fallout. And, that we should be so reliant on artificial interference in the mould of the ADIs to maintain the environment isn’t so farfetched (even if the validity of such salvation might be), given the news in the past month that we have passed the 400ppm carbon dioxide threshold, for good.
Indeed, even if the inspiration for the episode was Brooker’s own brush with the baying mob back in 2004 – when he wrote jokingly in The Guardian effectively asking for someone to assassinate George W. Bush – the vitriolic discourse surrounding the incoming child refugees is an accurate parallel too. I’m often wary of over-politicising films and television (even if the idea of apolitical material is questionable), yet where Black Mirror and its ilk are concerned, it exists to asks questions, and to ignore the issues raised is to do the show a disservice.
Overall, ‘Hated in the Nation’ was a superb finale to this run – slickly produced, brilliantly acted, and highly germane to the world in 2016.
This season was very much hit and miss for me and the news that Jodie Foster is due to direct some episodes of season 4 does little to fill me with confidence – but over all this season has been very welcome and I look forward to seeing what is in store next time around.
So out of a possible five stars – season 3 of Black mirror earns:
I enjoyed it. Its watchable, however very far down the ‘watch again’ list
What did you think of this episode and the season overall?
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