You just watched. Well how do you like it now?
Some episodes of TV leave a lasting impression, White Bear the second episode of Black Mirror’sseason two was an hour of TV that has stayed with me all year. Black Mirror is a disturbing anthology series, the worlds presented here are only slightly alerted from our reality and thus when things go terribly wrong in them it is so easy to imagine this is the future that awaits us.
Whereas opener Be Right Back was an sad tale of a woman grieving and trying to connect to an android version of the man she loved, White Bear is completely terrifying. Truly it scared me more than any horror film because the situation Victoria (an excellent Lenora Crichlow) finds herself in as it first frustrating, she has no idea what is going on and there is something unnerving about waking up and not knowing why you are being chased, why people are filming you and who the hell you are. But White Bear goes a step further when the truth is revealed there is no relief, there is no thank god we have answers – no it becomes a question of whether Victoria’s punishment is right or not.
White Bear is a fascinating look at how the public views murderers especially when children are involved. Increasingly in the UK (and I’m sure other countries) when such cases occur in real life the media outrage kicks into gear and there are calls for the death penalty to be brought back and people readying their pitchforks.
In White Bear punishment becomes more than just life in prison or death it becomes mental torture and once again the viewer is forced to think can this ever be justified? I spent days after watching this episode thinking about the implications of what happens to Victoria, her unspeakable act of evil and the daily torment she suffers. My own conclusion is no one deserves that but the terrifying thing I’m pretty certain the majority would agree with it and what we see happen in White Bear well really could become reality. Something truly horrifying.
Favourite Episodes: Be Right Back / White Bear