The missing endings we wanted to see in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch - The Verge
The Verge - Tue 8 Jan 19:21 GMT

The missing endings we wanted to see in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch - The Verge

Netflix’s interactive Black Mirror episode ‘Bandersnatch’ has become a social-media sensation as viewers analyze it together, but the major complaint has been that series creator Charlie Brooker didn’t give the story a flawlessly happy ending option. Does it …

  Almost as soon as Netflix’s interactive Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch hit the streaming service on December 28th, internet detectives were racing through the story, trying to map the branches and discover all the available endings to the choose-your-own-adventure narrative.

  Tasha: Back in October, when we got the first hints that Bandersnatch was coming, I semi-joked that Netflix might use the choose-your-own-adventure format to definitively prove whether the majority of Black Mirror viewers preferred the gutting endings of episodes like “Fifteen Million Merits” or “White Bear,” or comparatively upbeat, hope-filled endings like the ones in “San Junipero” or “USS Callister.”

  Given that approach (I did something similar with Bandersnatch, using the online guides to get to every ending I could, eventually by starting over and fast-forwarding a lot), in a way I feel like the whole project is the “definitive ending,” that Bandersnatch as a holistic many-threaded story about choice and paths not taken is a much more interesting project than any one conclusion.

  Tasha: That sounds like the meta, self-reflective version of Black Mirror talking, but I also think a straight, non-meta twist on the same idea, where Stefan releases his own madness into the world in the form of a game, and it drives everyone who plays it insane, would be pretty interesting — and very Black Mirror 1984, given that it would be yet another “technology gonna kill us all” story.

  This is a science fiction horror story, and the surreal and speculative elements worked into the story fit just fine for me — but Bandersnatch lost a little of its narrative credibility for me with endings like the “fight the therapist” branch, which just felt like goofy meta-narrative for humor’s sake, rather than a viable Black Mirror story ending.