If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: In the post-apocalyptic landscape of the Scottish Moors, a woman attempts to survive the land full of “dogs”. (IMDB)
Writer: Charlie Brooker
Director: David Slade
Running Time: 41mins
Out of all the episodes so far this season, this has felt the least Black Mirror though that’s okay. This episode felt like a sci-fi short film. It is the shortest episode so far this season, clocking in at 41 minutes, which was just right. Some may not like how vague this episode was about the setting and they may be right, however it wasn’t so much about the setting but rather the journey.
The black and white style used to tell the story fit nicely with the post-apocalyptic landscape where a woman named Bella (Maxine Peake) fights to survive in a land riddled with autonomous killer robots who were called dogs. The episode didn’t really explain how the land came to be other than in subtle dialog early on or anything about the dogs themselves, however, the moment when a dog appeared for the first time was a great surprise.
The majority of the episode featured solely Bella but she was definitely up to the task. She was exciting to watch as although she may have been afraid throughout the episode, she showed strength and was determined to survive and make it back to her family. The cat and mouse game between her and the dog was fun to watch as it felt reminiscent of the Terminator movies where Bella would lose the dog and it would always seem to find her again. Every episode of Black Mirror so far this season (I haven’t yet watched past seasons), has had a sad ending and this episode was no different and this one was even more so in how it wrapped everything together at the end.
There may not have been that much of a story here but the lack of story allowed us to focus on the emotion of the episode and for that it succeeded. Each episode this season has featured a strong lead performance and Peake as Bella was no different. She was excellent in every scene as we would feel her range of emotions right along with her despite not knowing anything about her. She was fun to watch all the way until the end.
Overall, this was a good episode that may have not been the most Black Mirror and may be too vague for some but it let us form our own conclusions about what was happening while we watched a beautiful and compelling, albeit short survival story featuring a strong central performance by Maxine Peake.