A few days after Christmas, the popular streaming service Netflix released the fourth season of their series Black Mirror. The Netflix series gained popularity and praise from their science fiction tales of a high tech world that plays out scenarios of the negative effects technology may bring to today’s world. It has become a controversial topic of conversation whether these events are actually taking place today. With the advancement of technology and social media this show has sparked debates on whether its a good or bad thing.
This six episode season began with the first episode, “USS Callister,” being 85 minutes long. Directed by Toby Hanes, this episode started off very confusing and then got crazy very quickly. The episode started off in a past present world on a spaceship with space cadets, so it leaves viewers to wonder, where is the episode going to take us?
Eventually we realize that the spaceship and space cadets are all characters and props of a game created by a very twisted man. He uses DNA from co-workers that he’s interacted with and makes them characters in his own video game. Once they are in the game they can no longer get out and have to play along or else he’ll turn them into a monster, which is digital prison. He collects their DNA from all sorts of things like lollipops, coffee cups, and tissues just to name a few. This episode set the tone for the following episodes, with the scenarios being, what if technology goes too far? And this season may or may not leave you with high tech paranoia.
The following episodes plays on that scenario, one episode that sticks out more than the others this season is “Ark Angel”. This episode was directed by Jodie Foster, and the name of the episode comes from the chip called the Ark Angel that parents can implant in their kids heads to track and monitor their daily life as means for protection. At first it seemed not too bad, the chip connects to a device that looks like an iPad and alerts parents when the child is experiencing high anxiety levels. In this particular episode a single mom uses it on her daughter but soon after her daughter is no longer a little girl and this chip becomes a complete invasion of privacy so they turn it off, but the mom could not let it go. Being so used to being able to know every single thing your child is going through became a crutch that this woman could not let go of. She ended up seeing her daughter lose her virginity, try cocaine for the first time, and because of this took complete control of her teenage life. The Ark Angel ended up being recalled and was suggested that parents no longer use the system.
In several episodes this season just like “Ark Angel” humans were used as experiments for advanced technology and the negative side-effects were always far greater than the positive outcome that was promised. As technology is getting more and more advanced it leaves room to question, how far is too far?