S1E7:Nora Inu. This episode and this show demonstrate why Netflix’ other mashup, Bright, deserves to be more than just a movie, and to be better developed as a series, to explore the worlds we barely get a peek at.
This particular episode stands on its own, as aBlack Mirror episode “within” a Black Mirror episode, with both genre-breaking ending(s) that tied together disturbingly neat. Kudos for the titular tribute to a oft-overlooked Kurosawa 1963 classic Stray Dog, what was originally released in Japan as this episode’s title. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the b&w ground-level detective story (cop loses gun, tries to get it back, gangsters are involved), which makes me want to revisit.
I give this show an A for gender diversity. Even though the lead(s) of both stories is/are male, the women stand completely and competently as their own leads in their own stories. Change the camera angles and editing, and this could easily be led by his sister or his Morpheus/Ché mentor, with him as a supporting character. In fact, I kinda feel like we’re wasting time focusing on Takeshi’s present perspective, especially when his original Tak’s storyline was far more adventurous. In fact, the current storyline is merely an interesting epilogue/aftermath of the meat of the adventure we see only in flashbacks. This episode was necessary to bring that past into the spotlight.
This is the episode that convinced me to become a fan. But it took six episodes to flip-flop about it. There are things to like.
For me, this franchise Pinnochio, Poe, is far more “complicated” than other “human nature is so curious to my android brain” scifi templates, like Data, David or Dark Matter’s android. He’s an AI who relishes in his programming. A host avatar of his own construct/world, who takes his job too seriously and now with too much time on his hands. I’m not even sure if he qualifies as sentient, any more than any game AI, because he is pretty much that, just with far more complex subroutines and algorithms than what’s currently available. Akin to Voyager’s medical hologram, but programmed for a different audience, and different purpose.
I want to compare this as a Black Mirror twist on Memento, it’s far beyond just a flashback story.But the flashback story is pretty kickass. As if the Matrix was told as a Black Mirror episode (this BM episode within an episode mentioned earlier).
I still have two episodes to go, for what I’m hoping also ends in a Black Mirror-worthy finale, but for now, long after it aired, I’m going to probably only remember this episode.