The fourth season of Black Mirror was a mixed bag for some. Folks bemoaned the oddly old-school romantic sentiment at the heart of “Hang The DJ” and the on-the-nose swipe at gamer culture and online bullying of “USS Callister.” And though there was darkness aplenty (especially in “Crocodile” and the Romero-esque “Metalhead”), more than a few folks bemoaned the “lightness” of this latest season. One can’t deny that the series has shifted from its leaner, much (much) meaner beginnings. But there’s probably an argument to be made that where the early seasons of Black Mirror existed to warn us about getting too cozy with our brave new world, a 2018 audience could stand to watch a happy ending or two.
One thing folks weren’t expecting was an Amicus-style anthology riff as the season finale. Taking its cues from films like that studio’s Torture Garden, Asylum, and The Monster Club, “Black Museum” adopts a classic retro-horror anthology model as a young girl (Letitia Wright) is given a tour of a menagerie of malevolent machinery, each with its own nightmarish backstory. With its framing device, creepy host (Douglas Hodge) and EC Comics-style denouement, it was a clever homage to an old format, and a solid finale for the season.
AND it tied much of the Black Mirror universe together! Glimpsed throughout the episode were callbacks to the series’ earlier episodes, and odds are you didn’t catch them all. Knowing how much y’all love a shared universe, here’s Netflix with a helpful behind-the-scenes video, complete with insight from creator Charlie Brooker, and a better look at the rotten Easter eggs contained in the episode. It’s a fun, quick watch, and it gives us an excuse to hash out our feelings about the entire season in the comments below.