Black Mirror season 5 review: Striking Vipers, Smithereens and Miley Cyrus bring the heat

CNET | 6/5/2019 | Jennifer Bisset
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Black Mirror's fifth and latest season is out on Netflix on Wednesday, and with it comes something special. Like the outstanding USS Callister from season 4, new episode Striking Vipers is another stroke of brilliance from writer Charlie Brooker, who continues to deliver groundbreaking stuff despite the anthology's increasingly familiar tech-gone-wrong formula.

With a reduced number of episodes compared to previous seasons, not one story drops in quality. You may have heard that one of those episodes stars Miley Cyrus, who brings star power like never before to classically twisted Black Mirror fare.

Look - Episode - Spoilers

Let's take a quick look at each episode with as few spoilers as possible.

Turns out Miley Cyrus and Black Mirror are a good match.

Black - Mirror - Categories - Flashier - Episodes

Black Mirror episodes seem to fall into two categories: the big flashier episodes of its Netflix era (its earlier seasons first aired on Channel 4 in the UK) and the introspective quieter episodes that focus on relationships.

Nodes similar to those used in USS Callister.

Vipers - Mixture - Couple - Technology - Combination

Striking Vipers balances a mixture of both. Focused on a married couple upended by seemingly innocuous technology, its big-tech small-story combination makes it one of the great overall episodes of Black Mirror. Some feat five seasons in.

We follow Danny and Theo, settled in their lives and on their way to having another baby. Yet the return of Danny's college buddy Karl sees Danny rekindle his old flame for... a piece of technology that has now seen a few upgrades. It leads to a twist you'd have to be Bran from Game of Thrones to see coming, and forces Danny to question whether he really is OK with the current status of his life.

Episodes - TV - Black - Mirror - San

This is one of those episodes of TV that feels fresh. It'll bring other great Black Mirror episode San Junipero to mind, as well as The Entire History of You and...
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