Black Mirror “Smithereens”

So, yeah, social media and rideshares….man…

It’s Black Mirror.  There are going to be problems with one or both of those.

Yeah, it’s both.

So, we start off meeting a rideshare driver named Chris.  Sherlock actor Andrew Scott plays Chris.  And considering he was Professor Moriarty on that show, you better believe Chris may be a little bit crazy.

But this is Black Mirror.  It won’t be that kind of crazy.  It’ll be justified crazy.

Anyway, Chris attends a support group for people who lost loved ones.  There he meets a grieving mother who lost a young daughter to suicide.  After a one night stand, Chris learn the woman has been trying to access her daughter’s social media account for a company called Smithereen.  Smithereen actually has a headquarters in London and Chris sometimes picks up people there.

So, one day, he decides to kidnap an employee from there.  He got a ride from there, and furthermore, he has a gun.

Bad news.  The guy’s an intern.

But hey, we got to see Andrew Scott go a little nuts with a gun.  All he wants is to talk to the guru/CEO of Smithereen, one Billy Bauer (Topher Grace in what isn’t really bad casting).  Why?

Well, here’s the thing.  Chris is spotted driving his hostage through the English countryside by the local cops.  He’s in a stand-off.  And he actually does climb the corporate ladder to finally get through to a surprisingly sympathetic Bauer.

But along the way, we find out Smithereen actually knows more about Chris than the cops do.  And Bauer has something called “godmode”.  What does Chris want?

He wants to say his fiancee died, and it’s his own fault, not the drunk driver that hit them as they drove home one night.  Why?  Because he was checking his Smithereen account on the phone.  Chris doesn’t actually want anything.  He doesn’t want to hurt the intern.  Heck, he mostly wants to die.  The only thing he accepts from Bauer is the password for that grieving mother he met earlier.

And then, as the intern tried to stop the suicide, a sniper shoots Chris, presumably dead, off-screen.  And life goes on.

So, what do we see here?  We see a social media takeover, with everyone more or less powerless to look away.  Hell, even Bauer admits as much.  It’s not really groundbreaking technology this time around.  It’s just a really tragic episode where people can’t look away from their phones.  No one really looks bad here because, well, that’s life.

You know, none of that seems to be much of a revelation either.

However, it’s still Black Mirror.  We can’t expect happy endings, and the season is almost over.

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