In the future, thanks to the Grain, a chip which can be implanted on a hard drive in the brain, every single action that a person makes is recorded and may be played back. Liam, a lawyer, married with a child, suspects that his wife Fi is having a fling with the brash Jonas, whom they meet at a dinner party.Written by
don @ minifie-1
When the group of friends is discussing memories at the dinner party, part of the conversation is an implicit reference to the "Memory Wars" of the 1990s, when a battle ensued between different groups of psychotherapists and members of the public, with some cases of "planted memories" (particularly of incest or other sexual transgressions) surfacing. This led to many debates in psychiatric circles in North America and Europe over how memory works and to what degree organic memory could be relied upon to discern truth, particularly as time went on. It appears that this theme was at least part of the inspiration for the episode. See more »
At the dinner party, Jonas says "...I'm just going to watch a little bit more of the news", but when Liam replays this scene later at his home, Jonas says "...I'm just going to CATCH a little bit more of the news". See more »
For five days Liam. No call, no nothing.
So you fucked him after four days? That's heroic. I mean three days, that's admirable, but four days. I mean, you must have been gagging.
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The Entire History of You: Very nice change of pace for this episode
For the first few episodes Black Mirror has very much been a satire on modern life and technology by way of extending to an extreme scenario while also only moving everything a small step beyond what we already have in life in terms of technology and society. For the final episode of the first season then it was a real nice change of pace to find that this was a relationship drama with technology really just used as part of the human story rather than the target. The technology again is only a few steps away from where we are – with Google Glasses coming soon and this current generation being the first to have their mistakes and lives forever accessible thanks to the internet; implanted enhances are a matter of time and if you doubt this then you're just not paying attention.
The plot here sees a relationship in trouble as the guy struggles to let small things go and obsesses over looks and comments, replaying them over and over again. Other people use their memory implant like Facebook – sharing trivial observations and moments with others. The key thing in the episode is that we are human and sometimes that is for the best. While I enjoyed seeing the worst of humanity being magnified by the satire of the previous episodes, here it was done with sense of humanity – a heart rather than a sneer. The relationship drama is quite engaging and he use of the technology seamlessly becomes part of that.
The performances are good. Kebbell and Whittaker in particular play off each other well and during the shoot they film scenes of fond memories just as convincingly as they show division and hurt. The supporting cast are OK but these two are great. I was surprised in the final credits to see Peep Show creator Armstrong was the writer of this episode, but in fairness he does have a good eye for human realism and then adding a layer of exaggeration to it.
Overall this was a surprisingly human episode in the first season; it engaged me and quite moved me while also showing the dark path of technology. Sobering and engaging.
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