Saturday, December 31, 2016

Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation

Hello Dwellers and Welcome to the Basement...

2016 is almost over... and this is the last episode of Black Mirror's 3rd season for me to review! This episode was titled 'Hated in The Nation' and quite frankly it's the most ambitious of all of the series episodes to date!


Without question the most ambitious of all the Black Mirror episodes produced, this episode could've easily been titled 'Bees My God'... cause what was the tech here was a 'deadly bee weapon'... and brings on thoughts of the Nicholas Cage version of 'The Wicker Man' 'Not The Bees' meme...

In all seriousness, this episode follows up on thoughts I had regard episode 5 and how the military would want the MASS implants for the perfect soldiers, in this episode we see how the government would want the 'perfect' way to spy on a nation, using something to help the environment, in this case artificial bees that have basic pattern recognition software for pollination... and how some lone self-righteous crusader could take control of it to push a moral message about the spread of fear-mongering and hate on social media, turning it into a way to create a database of who would give into the temptation to sends the bees after someone. In the wake of some of the nonsense that has happened the past few years regarding social media and a number of the real life problems its caused, hell just look at how Twitter caved into the pressure of left wing-nuts this past few months to 'target and eliminate' those with right wing-nut views. Now imagine if that was basically weaponized. Now imagine if all those who to part in it the 'getting rid' of someone were revealed as a whole and the whole thing turned on them, because they are the ones who spread the fear, hatred, a cruelty to a whole other level.
Terrifying ain't it?
Now lets talk about the episode story, which is told in a flash back by DCI Karin Parke who is explaining to a committee about everything that went down, that a journalist who was the target of online threats due to a column suddenly commits suicide, but it turns out it's part of a larger scale plot but a former employee of company that has created Artificial Bees to counter-act a collapse of the bee population. Parke and new partner named Blue, who worked in cyber forensics, investigate the mystery and we see their process step by step, from realize who's the next target to trying to protect her, to trying to access the bees' database. to discovering whose the culprit and his 'endgame' to take out all those whose contributed to the 'picking' who should be taken out, resulting in in nearly 400,000 deaths... with the aftermath being Parke being a hated public figure and Blue apparently 'killing herself' but instead going off the grid to catch the guy who did it.

My summary doesn't do the story justice, because it's extremely well paced to keep the viewer invested, plus if one pays attention, this episode has a number of references to previous episodes, in particular Blue was the one who cracked the case that lead to the events in the episode White Bear.

The performances in this is awesome up and down. Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting, Nanny McPhee, Boardwalk Empire)  as Parke is a great lead, portraying a rather 'old school' way of thinking investigator who has seen all the usual ways things turn out, she's a little patronizing, but that's due to experiences. Faye Marsay (Doctor Who: Last Christmas, Game of Thrones) is stellar as as Blue, someone who wants to prevent crimes from happening and whose expertise puts her in a life changing experience for a second time. Benedict Wong  (Doctor Strange, Marco Polo. Law & Order UK), brings a nice rounded performance to Shaun Li, an officer of the National Crime Agency, who tries to keep things hidden while also contributing to the investigation but you know he's trying to do the best he can considering his responsibilities.

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