This is a Christmas Special of Season 2, and it is special indeed. Because this episode actually contains many references from all the past Black Mirror episodes. Of course, that’s not all that made it special, as it contains a very interesting story that actually involve similar technologies from past episodes as well! So let’s take a look at how well they are implemented to the storyline!
First of all, White Christmas is actually separated into 3 mini stories that forms a larger story at the end. Gone are the normal ‘End of Part One’ etc and instead everything is cut more naturally with greater fluidity. It begins with two men, Joe and Matt, who stay together in a remote outpost for some unknown job. It is Christmas and Matt plans to celebrate it by cooking some food for both of them. Matt tries to chat with Joe, but he does so by saying his own story first, when Joe asks about his original job. The story’s perspective changes to that of Matt in the flashback, where a technology called Z-Eye is planted into everyone as a form of Augmented Reality. In the past, Matt was a dating coach who helps guys to get girls. Things then began to reach a nasty conclusion and back to the present, Matt then tells Joe about his real job, as the dating coach is just his side hobby. Joe eventually trusts Matt enough to tell him his side of the story.
Now, what makes this episode in terms of storyline and pacing so great is that every scenes and flashback act like parts of the puzzle. The pacing is handled masterfully, with each flashback and scene adding on some backstory which will link to the next subtly. There is a great use of CGI which are surprisingly unobtrusive and works great for the story. This episode basically exaggerates the function of Facebook into the real augmented world. Imagine the Block function in Fb, then project them into real life, where you can only see silhouettes of the person and muffled voice if you are blocked. It can literally drive people crazy and such technology is already done online. Also, the use of AI in this story exaggerates how a sentient AI is being reproduced through copying of human’s mind, resulting in artificial slavery when we force them to do the work for us.
The actors are great and they really display their emotions and characters well. Music is played sparsely but effective in the certain key moments. The way everything is tied up at the end is just marvellous and I could say it is one of the most surprising ending as well. Though, everything is foreshadowed, so if you pay attention, you can actually figure it out yourself.