It’s weird to think about episodes of an anthology series being sequenced in a specific way. After all, creating stories that are enhanced by watching them in order defeats the purpose of an episodic anthology. The third season of Black Mirror certainly doesn’t need to be viewed sequentially, but the experience of going from ” Nosedive” to episode two, “Playtest,” makes a strong case for doing so.Black Mirror has always done darkly funny satires, like the debut episode “The National Anthem,” and season two’s “The Waldo Moment,” which has gained terrifying new layers since Donald Trump’s improbable ascent to the top of the Republican Party. But the show has never done anything quite as explicitly funny as “Nosedive,” the episode that will go down in history as the Black Mirror installment that gave the audience permission to laugh. Because that permission has been granted, “Playtest” looks like another relatively lighthearted episode at first, which makes it all the more unsettling when it gets darker and crueler, leading to one of the most cynical endings in the show’s history.
The Second Episode of ‘Black Mirror’ Imagines the Worst VR Experience Ever