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Rich Knight

All 5 Episodes Of Black Mirror Season 6, Ranked

Annie Murphy In Black Mirror

Black Mirror Season 6 is finally here! But, was it worth the 4 (!) year wait? Well… sort of? Listen, I enjoyed Season 6 of Black Mirror. I really did. That said, I kind of look at this new season like one of my favorite bands experimenting and releasing a “weird” new album. Usually, I struggle with it at first, but on repeated listens, I come to love it. 

In that way, I have faith that this new season of Black Mirror, which I already wrote about how pumped I was for, will grow on me. But, as of right now, some of these new episodes just don't feel like Black Mirror to me. 

And, that's just fine! I like new things. With that out of the way, I'll be judging this new season on a number of factors, including creativity, the performances, and the general feeling I got with each episode. So, with all that said, on with the list! 

Oh, and HUGE spoilers up ahead. You've been warned.   

(Image credit: Netflix)

5. Mazey Day 

Starring Zazie Beetz, Clara Rugaard, and Danny Ramirez, this episode concerns the price of celebrity, and how one can lose one’s soul to the vulturous paparazzi. Zazie Beetz plays one such member of the paparazzi, but leaves it behind, only to be pulled back in by a large payday to get a picture of a starlet who did something terrible, and is suffering because of it… or so we’re led to believe.  

What follows is why myself, and everybody I’ve talked to about this season, agrees makes this the worst episode of the season. The “twist” of the celebrity being a werewolf doesn’t really make much sense, contextually, with the rest of the episode. One thing I love about Black Mirror is that it’s often a commentary on something relevant. But, while the first half of the episode has some surface level stuff to say about the onus of being a celebrity, the werewolf part says… what exactly?

Honestly, I got more out of something like Marvel’s Werewolf by Night than I did from this episode. “Mazey Day” may not be “The Waldo Moment” levels of bad when it comes to Black Mirror, but I definitely don’t think I’ll be seeing it on anybody’s best episodes of Black Mirror list any time soon. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

4. Joan Is Awful 

The star-studded episode, “Joan Is Awful” features Salma Hayek, Annie Murphy, Himesh Patel, and Michael Cera. In this commentary on Netflix itself, a woman named Joan (Murphy) has a Netflix-esque show created about her that basically exposes and even embellishes her life to make it “must-see” TV. This is all made possible by the lengthy terms & conditions policies that nobody really reads through. 

Here's the thing. "Joan Is Awful" is about as Black Mirror an episode as you can get. Is it a commentary on current (and near-future) events? Yep. Does it have interesting technology? Yep. A driving storyline that crescendos into a pessimistic/"but-there's-still-time!" Slightly optimistic ending? Yep. Hell, it even has notable guest stars in out-of-character roles. This episode has it all!

So, why is it toward the bottom of this list then? Well, because it's A LOT. And, I don't necessarily mean that in a good way. The message of how we're willing to give so much of ourselves away on the internet is a bit muddled, and sort of gets lost with Salma Hayek's role in the episode. And, while riffing on the platform it’s featured on is funny, the joke runs dry by the end. Overall, it's an okay episode, but it doesn't reach the heights of something like, say,  "Nosedive." 

(Image credit: Netflix)

3. Loch Henry 

Our very own Philip Sledge had an interesting analysis of "Loch Henry," discussing its twist ending, and yeah, the ending is quite something. But, like Philip, I think the entire episode leading up to that twist is pretty fascinating as well.

Starring Samuel Blenkin, and Myha'la Herrold, the episode concerns a couple filming a relatively boring documentary in a seemingly pleasant Scottish town, but then change track and film about a serial killer that disrupted the town… only to become a part of the story itself. 

"Loch Henry" is cheekily teased in the preceding episode, "Joan Is Awful," so it was fun to see the continuation of canon (along with multiple mentions of the fake, "Sea of Tranquility" show). But, unlike "Joan Is Awful," which seemed to get lost midway through, "Loch Henry" was thoroughly engaging all the way up to this disheartening conclusion. Overall, a really good episode. 

(Image credit: Nick Wall/Netflix)

2. Beyond The Sea

Let me just make something clear. "Beyond The Sea" is probably the most frustrating episode this season for me. Starring Aaron Paul (who played one of the best characters in one of my favorite shows, Breaking Bad), and Josh Hartnett as two astronauts (in an alternate timeline 1969, for some reason) who are on an important, multi-year mission up in space, but, through questionable technology, allows them to also have replicas of themselves down on earth. These replicas continue living life on Earth with their families, and all seems great.

That is until a real whack job screws everything up with a home invasion that kills off one of the astronaut’s whole family, leaving him with nothing. What follows is what you kind of expect to happen. The astronaut who loses everything borrows the body of the other astronaut, and basically falls in love with his wife. It all leads to a really dour ending. 

And, that may be why it was so frustrating for me, since I kind of figured where the episode was heading. At least, to a certain extent. 

“Beyond the Sea” is a good episode that gets close to being great, but doesn’t quite reach those heights. It has a SUPER fascinating form of technology, but the story around it doesn’t quite live up to the actual innovation of the tech. The story kind of meanders after the shocking moment in the middle, and even though "Beyond the Sea's" ending is chilling (and bleak), I didn't find it all that interesting. Maybe on repeat viewings, I’ll come to love this episode like I do other episodes like “White Bear,” or “The Entire History of You,” but for now, I'm still kind of on the fence about it. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

1. Demon 79

When ranking the best seasons of Black Mirror in the future, I think a lot of people's positioning of Season 6 will depend on what they felt about the season's capper, "Demon 79," which may be the least Black Mirror episode yet (It even went under the moniker of "Red Mirror," to suggest that this was something entirely different from the typical Black Mirror episode).   

Starring Anjana Vasan, and Paapa Essiedu, "Demon 79" is about a shoe saleswoman who is coerced into having to kill 3 people in order to prevent Armageddon. 

"Demon 79" goes full horror and feels like it could be its own separate series. That might sound like a bad thing, but I actually think it’s great. And, the best word I can use to describe this episode is "charming."

It's funny, and pretty much a story about a girl and her demon. I love that it's a period piece that really feels like that time period, and all of the characters are fleshed out and fully realized. I don't know if I want more Black Mirror episodes like "Demon 79," since it feels so different from what I expect out of Black Mirror,  but I'd be perfectly happy to get more "Red Mirror" episodes, if that was possible. 

And, that’s the list. But, what do you think? For more news on all things Black Mirror, make sure to swing around here often.  

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