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Newest Black Mirror episode starring YOU

The choose-your-own-adventure style Black Mirror: Bandersnatch drags the viewer into the plot and outcome of the episode

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Newest Black Mirror episode starring YOU

Pictured - Fionn Whitehead

Pictured - Fionn Whitehead

Pictured - Fionn Whitehead

Pictured - Fionn Whitehead

Thara Tha, Reporter

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You may have heard of the Netflix hit show Black Mirror, known for its compelling storylines, deeper meanings and hidden messages. Its latest installment, unlike its previous counterparts, is an interactive, “choose-your-own-adventure” style experience, which directly involves the watcher in the plot of the story, allowing certain choices to be made throughout the episode by the watcher to result in one of five major endings.

In Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, viewers are for ten seconds presented with the option to make a decision between two choices for Stefan, the protagonist, in his everyday routine, with choices such as picking between listening to a Thompson Twins or a Now That’s What I Call Music! CD. The special follows the story of the young video game enthusiast and programmer, taking off after Stefan is offered a deal with a major gaming company for his new video game pitch called Bandersnatch, which, you guessed it, is also a choose-your-own-adventure game.

Bandersnatch, Stefan’s game, is the first of its time in the 1980’s-set installment, quickly capturing the innovative, commercial minds of the video game corporation who are fast to support the idea and offer him a spot on the team.

“I wasn’t very amused at the start of the episode; I thought the idea was cool and I liked making simple decisions but it wasn’t as captivating as everyone said,” junior Annette Lee said, “but as soon as the main character realized he wasn’t making his own choices, that’s when I saw where this was going and why it shook so many.” As the episode progresses, the choices intensify, and Stefan begins to take notice of his inability to control this urge telling him to pick these options, describing it to his therapist as if someone or something is controlling him.

This is when things take off and Bandersnatch truly takes on the chilling, mind-boggling Black Mirror form – rather than choosing whether the viewer would like Stefan would like to eat Frosties or Sugar Puffs cereal for breakfast, viewers choose how to directly communicate to Stefan to (or not to) explain to him that he is being controlled by somebody in the early 21st century on a streaming network called “Netflix”.

“The part where they mention a ‘Netflix viewer from the future’ as the one guilty for controlling his life for their entertainment made me as the Netflix viewer feel personally attacked, like I was literally a part of the episode and was ruining this poor kid’s life,” Lee said, “I felt bad for Stefan.” Regardless of the choice made, this is generally the part where Stefan thinks he isn’t in control of his own body or actions, especially upon trying to explain to his dad and therapist why he’s freaking out at his computer, and often stopping himself from following through on actions that feel like out-of-body demands.

From here, the choices result in very varied outcomes, some of which can leave the protagonist either dead, incriminated, or back in his childhood – to name a few – but to get to experience each outcome and go back to change a wrongly made choice would either restart the entire episode or go back to the scene introducing Stefan to the idea that a Netflix user is controlling him.  

“I’d probably give Bandersnatch a 7/10,” Lee said, “it was disturbing at times but unlike any show I’ve seen and it was creative, and I liked controlling the outcome of the episode. I’d definitely rewatch it again to test out all the different outcomes.” As suggested, the episode requires from viewers eager to find out all of the possible endings a long but riveting process of going back and making decisions viewers didn’t the first time watching through, in order to see all of the various possible outcomes of the plot. But with a fair 7.5/10 rating on average, it is clear that Black Mirror: Bandersnatch left many viewers captivated, shaken, and curious for more.

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