Black Museum finishes off the fourth season of Black Mirror. It, like many of the episodes, was said to be the worst episode of the series. It's easy to see that because it seems to have only been created to shock audiences. It reminds me a lot of the first episode of Black Mirror from Season 1 that was also created solely for its shock value. Both of them stuck with you. You couldn't help think about it every once in a while and shudder. It grosses you out, but they had just enough cutaways from the creepiness to keep you watching. Black Museum was not the worst episode, but it’s not the most intriguing either.
The main plot deals with a girl who visits the Black Museum. She talks with its tour guide and learns about three different technologies, all with their own gruesome ends. However, the last technology reveals her true purpose and she kills the tour guide (more on that later). It’s a good twist which makes the episode average and not horrible. We also see some of the other technology that was used in the show, such as the tablet from Arkangel, and the cloning device from the USS Callister. This means that this “future” takes place after the other episodes. I really have no idea what the timeline is, but it’s interesting to think about and try to piece together.
The first story is about a doctor who is sold a piece of equipment to feel his patients' pain. This makes him a great doctor, but also turns him into a serial killer looking for pain because he gets off on it. It’s an interesting and creepy story that you’d tell around a campfire. But the more I thought about it, the doctor isn’t really that shocking. There are actual serial killers, psychopaths and sociopaths who get off on people’s pain without that technology. So why is this a scary story? I guess because it means any of us has the ability to kill and sexually enjoy it?
The second story is actually kind of funny and takes the edge off the last one. A man and his wife are married, but the wife goes into a coma. He's sold a technology that could extract her conciseness, and put it in his head. Her body would be buried, but her consciousness/soul would live on. This all goes to shit however because the husband realizes he doesn't like her seeing everything he sees, and being his "backseat driver." It is heartbreaking, but has a great twist. I really liked the actress playing the new girlfriend and found the whole thing really believable.
The third story is about consciousness, again. The tour guide - who sold and acquired all of these deviant objects - gained the power to take out someone’s consciousness and put it into a TV. He did this with a death row inmate so they could electrocute the body over and over for money, but the body wouldn’t have a consciousness so they wouldn’t feel pain. The girl who visits the museum happens to be the inmate’s daughter. She kills the tour guide for torturing her father.
I definitely think the more recent episodes of Black Mirror have been more violent. There’s no episode that doesn’t deal with violence or sex, even when it was owned by Channel 4. However, it was a lot more tame with the blood, sex, and gore. It’s definitely more horror than psychological thriller. I wouldn't recommend this particular episode to anyone with a weak stomach.
24 year old English major and ESL Teacher. Currently living in Fortaleza, Brazil. Feminist and kill joy with a cause.