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The only three Black Mirror episodes you need to watch.

Netflix’s popular sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror is back and once again making us think about the way technology is transforming our lives for the better and (more often) for worse.

All six episodes of the series’ fourth season dropped in the midst of the holiday break in late December, so many fans haven’t gotten around watching any of the new episodes yet.

If this is you, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by choice right now. After all, in this standalone series, there’s no reason to watch the season in order, or even in its entirety.

You also might have heard about the mixed reactions to this year’s season, as some critics claim the series has lost its way. And while we disagree and happen to think all the episodes are worth a watch, we’ve narrowed it down to best. If you only watch three episodes of Black Mirror’s fourth season, make it these.

Arkangel

When Netflix was first teasing us with the next season, Arkangel was the episode they decided to feature in a creepy trailer to hook us in.

The premise is a single mum, after temporarily losing her toddler daughter at a playground, decides to take slightly extreme measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Marie (played by Rosemarie DeWitt) takes her daughter, Sara, to a clinic where company Arkangel implants an experimental device into her head that allows her mum to track her every move, as well as some other more invasive features.

As you can guess, things don’t exactly to plan and we see the horrific outcomes of helicopter parenting taken to the extreme.

Listen: The Binge team discuss the episode that will scare you off spying on your kids. (Post continues.)

The episode takes a sharp look at the paranoia that can come with parenting and the potentially damaging consequences of using ramped-up 21st-century technology that allows us to feed it. It also happens to be the first Black Mirror episode directed by a woman, actress Jodie Foster, who gives us an accurate portrayal of a worried mum and her changing relationship with her daughter as she enters her teens.

If you were a fan of helicopter parenting before this ep, you won’t be after watching.

Black Museum

The sixth and final episode of the season is perhaps the most confronting. While driving by, Nish pulls into the Black Museum, which houses technological artefacts – which of course, being set in the future, don’t exist (yet?). Split into three mini-stories, like White Christmas season two, each one explores a different invention and its consequences.

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Writer Jessie Stephens told The Binge co-host Laura Brodnick on Mamamia’s TV and pop culture podcast the episode “blew my mind”. She particularly liked the final story, which she thought was the perfect metaphor for internet trolling.

Listen to Laura and Jessie’s discussion about Black Museum’s meaning. (Post continues.)

Hang the DJ

Despite its ominous title, this episode is the lightest of the bunch. It follows a couple who have been matched by futuristic dating app The System as their relationship develops. The app has the ability to match people with a 99.8 per cent success rate and even gives lovers an expiry date for their relationship.

The episode provides a commentary on dating apps and how their prevalence is changing the way people interact, date and form relationships. But unlike every other episode of Black Mirror that leaves you sure this technology would not be a good idea, The Binge host Laura Brodnick actually likes the sound of The System, describing it as “a better form of arranged marriage”.

Listen: ‘The System’ is a lot like Tinder and claims to find your perfect match. Could this be the only Black Mirror episode to have a happy ending?

“I was watching this and thinking, ‘I know I’m meant to be upset by this…’ but it actually looked quite feasible,” she said in the podcast’s special deep dive of the show.

“You know what, it would be kind of nice for a machine to tell you, ‘you’re dating this person for this amount of time and everything’s taken out of your hands and eventually we will find you your perfect match’.”

Want more? Listen to the full episode of The Binge’s Black Mirror deep-dive or download from your favourite podcast app.

Have you watched all of Balck Mirror’s fourth season? Which was your favourite episode? Tell us in the comments below. 

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