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BEN WEHRMAN

***Spoiler-free***

I’ve been saying it for years: Black Mirror is the best show on Netflix, and a contender for greatest show of all time. Period. But with any show that takes as much creative risk as this one, there’s a wide range of quality between the best and the worst.

Here are my personal picks for every Black Mirror episode, ranked!

23. “Smithereens” (S5E2)

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For a show that built its fame through bizarre storylines, this episode really lacked that trademark originality. I did like the ending, but it just felt like anyone could’ve written this episode.

22. “The Waldo Moment” (S2E3)

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Like Smithereens, this episode didn’t have much to offer. It’s average at best.

21. “Arkangel” (S4E2)

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It’s a unique idea, and definitely worth the watch, but this is one of the few episodes of the show I’ve only watched a couple of times and don’t feel like I need to see again. Straightforward story, and not a whole lot of depth.

20. “Be Right Back” (S2E1)

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Many sites rank this as the best episode of the series, but along with the rest of the first season, I found it fairly average. The plot is interesting and the acting is good, but it’s just too slow for me.

19. “Striking Vipers” (S5E1)

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This one marks a big step up from the previous episodes in this list. It may not be quite up to par with my top 15 threshold, but you gotta give the writers kudos for coming up with one of the most ridiculous storylines of the entire show.

18. “Crocodile” (S4E3)

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A fascinating case study of the possibilities that could arise from excessive surveillance in society. Superbly acted.

PS: Not the best one to watch with your kids.

17. “Nosedive” (S3E1)

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It’s good, but a bit overrated. A solid mid-tier episode.

16. “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too” (S5E3)

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Definitely my favorite from Season 5, I feel like this one is very underrated.

Has a true diversity of genres within one episode. It really feels like a full movie, complete with drama, action, and a great performance by the entire cast.

I could’ve done without the slapstick humor attempts from the robot character, but Miley Cyrus knocked it out of the park in my opinion.

15. “The Entire History of You” (S1E3)

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Another one that’s fairly overrated in my opinion. Entertaining, but predictable.

14. “The National Anthem” (S1E1)

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THE BALLS it took for the producers to release this as the first episode of their show is nothing short of legendary.

13. “Bandersnatch” (Special)

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This one is difficult to rank, because it’s the only interactive episode of the show. Thus, the enjoyment you get out of it completely depends on how focused you are on playing the “choose your own adventure” game.

If you’re sleepy or sidetracked, it’ll be a giant waste of time. If you’re smoking weed with your buddies while all completely locked in, it has top 5 potential.

The only issue I have with the episode is that it felt like Netflix couldn’t decide if it should let you truly choose a path, or just force you to see every path through a series of rewinds. This led to it feeling like a bit of a discombobulated mess…although I guess that’s kind of the point.

12. “White Bear” (S2E2)

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A contender for biggest WTF episode of the series. Great twist at the end.

11. “San Junipero” (S3E4)

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It hurts that I can’t put this one higher on the rankings, but as we approach the top 10, the competition is starting to get fierce! I fully understand why many people put this one in their top 3.

10. “Fifteen Million Merits” (S1E2)

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Narrowly edges out the pilot for the top spot of Season 1.

Fifteen Million Merits puts a great new spin on a classic future scenario, where all humans are basically a colony of hamsters on a wheel.

9. “Playtest” (S3E2)

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This one comes with a nostalgia bonus for me, because I happened to watch it the first time while backpacking myself!

Strangely, it actually gets me kinda excited for the future potential of VR video games…

8. “Hang the DJ” (S4E4)

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By far my favorite of the “light” episodes. It’s the perfect curveball of warm, fuzzy, and sometimes hilarious among the dystopian insanity of Black Mirror.

7. “Black Museum” (S4E6)

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The complete clusterfuck of storylines all weaved into one is something that only Black Mirror can pull off this well. It truly feels like 3 movies in 1.

6. “White Christmas” (Special)

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Along with Black Museum, this is Black Mirror plot-writing at its best. A crazy amount of creativity and loopholes went into this one, making it well worth the 74 minutes of airtime.

5. “Hated in the Nation” (S3E6)

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Of all the episodes of Black Mirror, this one has the most blockbuster movie feel to it. Fantastically directed, and a cinematic masterpiece from start to finish.

4. “Men Against Fire” (S3E5)

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The first Black Mirror episode I ever watched, and still one of my favorites. Excellent blend of drama, thriller, and dark suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the episode.

3. “Metalhead” (S4E5)

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As a big horror fan, I absolutely loved this episode. The monochrome filter is such a unique touch, and the fact that this is the only episode of any major modern show to do this makes it that much more brilliant.

Exciting, suspenseful, and downright disturbing up until the final scene. Just as you should expect from Black Mirror.

2. “Shut Up and Dance” (S3E3)

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The kid in this episode wins my endorsement for best acting performance of the entire series. He absolutely freakin nailed this role.

Shoutout to Bronn too.

1. “USS Callister” (S4E1)

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giphy/netflix

In a crowd of top-level competition, I had to give the ultimate honor to USS Callister.

I still remember watching that first scene and thinking…”what?” What transpires next is a beautifully-cascading chain of events that grips the viewer in a way that few television shows ever can. Top-notch storytelling, acting, and I absolutely love how the final chase scene turns into an old-school Star Trek homage.

Simply brilliant.

 

~~~

 

That’s it folks — I hope you enjoyed this list of every black mirror episode, ranked!

With a show this unique (and completely insane), I’m sure no two people have the same exact list.

I’d love to see how your favorites compare — drop your Top 5 Black Mirror episodes in the comments!

-Ben

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