Black Mirror: Every Episode Ranked From Good to Best
By Mat Elfring | @ImMatElfring on
In case you haven't heard, the new season of Netflix's Black Mirror is out, and it is incredibly brilliant. This third season of the series is the first to head to Netflix before it reaches Britain's Channel 4. This series follows the same format as The Twilight Zone where each episode is features a standalone story about an aspect of our culture and use of technology. The majority of the episodes are a downer. There are very few happy endings here.
Now that we've watched all of the newest season, it's time to take a look at what episodes are the best in the series. That's why we're ranking every episode of the series, from good--because there isn't a bad episode of this series--to best. If you're not caught up, you don't need to worry. We're not getting into spoilers for any of the episodes. If you're new to Black Mirror, consider this your watching order.
13. "The Waldo Moment" (Season 2, Episode 3)
The "least amazing" episode in Black Mirror's lineup is "The Waldo Moment." The episode follows a comedian who voices an animated, loud-mouthed bear and the animated bear stumbles his way into becoming a political candidate. Surprisingly enough, a lot of what happens in this episode mirrors what is going on in American politics in the 2016 presidential race.
12. "Men Against Fire" (Season 3, Episode 5)
"Men Against Fire" follows a soldier in the near future. The military has waged a war against human-like beings called "Roaches." Eye-implanted technology makes these soldiers better at their job. While the overall episode is fantastic, it does take a while to get off the ground.
11. "Fifteen Million Merits" (Season 1, Episode 2)
"Fifteen Million Merits" is Black Mirror's most futuristic episode to date. In a world where people have to pedal bikes to make "merits," and reality television is life, one man does what he can to help the dreams of another person. If that sounds really uplifting, don't worry, this is Black Mirror, and there's rarely a happy ending. The thing that brings this episode down a bit is that there are a lot of high-concept elements, so it takes time to adjust to the world.
10. "Shut Up and Dance" (Season 3, Episode 3)
In "Shut Up and Dance," a young man is blackmailed by someone over the internet and must do their bidding, which involves a series of tasks. The only problem with "Shut Up and Dance" is that it follows the same formula as another episode, which we won't mention here, so nothing gets spoiled. After watching every episode, you'll easily be able to figure it out when you've seen the whole series.
9. "Playtest" (Season 3, Episode 2)
"Playtest" is the only episode, so far, that dives into the world of video games. Things get a little too real for an American traveling abroad as he becomes involved playtesting a new VR game that looks and feels way too real. Much like the episode "White Bear," Black Mirror tries diving into the horror genre here and does a pretty good job with it. The whole episode, outside of the game, has a wonderfully eerie tone.
8. "Hated in the Nation" (Season 3, Episode 6)
"Hated in the Nation" is the final and longest episode of Season 3, coming in at an hour and a half. A journalist dies after one of her articles gets a tremendous amount of hate online. Could social media be behind her death? Much like "Men Against Fire," it takes a little bit to get to what this episode is really about; however, "Hated in the Nation" breaks the Black Mirror formula a bit by coming off as more of a buddy cop movie over just another episode.
7. "Nosedive" (Season 3, Episode 1)
"Nosedive" thrusts viewers into a near future that seems all too plausible. Characters on this episode live in a world where they rate everything and everyone. Social media affects people in the real world and vice versa. This episode brings up some interesting topics like how others see us and how we act to adjust that. It's one of the more thought-provoking episodes and a dynamite way to kick off the third season.
6. "White Christmas" (Season 2, Episode 4)
In "White Christmas," two men in a log cabin--one of which is played by Jon Hamm--share their history with one another. What makes this episode interesting is that it weaves three narratives into a singular episode. At times, it may feel a little cramped, but there are specific moments in "White Christmas" that are incredibly haunting.
5. "White Bear" (Season 2, Episode 2)
A woman wakes up in an unrecognizable home and finds people filming her at every turn. No one will talk to her and a group of masked maniacs are trying to kill her. "White Bear" is a tale that twists and turns viewers through a hellish landscape where they'll be torn on who to trust. It's the most successful horror episode to date.
4. "The Entire History of You" (Season 1, Episode 3)
In the future, many people have implants allowing them to record and playback moments from their lives. Tensions grow between a husband and wife because of these implants, as their past comes back to haunt them. "The Entire History of You" plays on paranoia and trust and becomes uncomfortable to watch. It's brilliantly done and widely considered to be one of the better episodes of the series.
3. "San Junipero" (Season 3, Episode 4)
While Black Mirror is known for being a bit of a downer, "San Junipero" is the only episode in the series that has warmth to it. During the '80s, a shy woman meets an outgoing woman, and they share a connection with each other. We can't discuss more about this episode without giving it all away, but it's easily the best episode from Season 3, and it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
2. "Be Right Back" (Season 2, Episode 1)
A woman's husband passes away, and she gets involved in a new program that allows her to talk to him. There are a lot of similarities between "Be Right Back" and "San Junipero" as both episodes deal with love and loss, but what makes this episode standout is that it asks the question, "How do we move on when we feel like we've lost everything?" It deals with death and the grieving process in an honest and frank way.
1. "The National Anthem" (Season 1, Episode 1)
If you've ever talked to anyone who has seen Black Mirror, they've probably brought up "The National Anthem." A princess is kidnapped, and the kidnapper demands the Prime Minister has sex with a pig, on live television, or else he'll kill her. This episode is unforgiving and haunting. It sets the tone for the entire series. It's a simple--yet insane--plot that is gripping and will have viewers on the edge of their seats, cringing.