"Black Mirror" The Entire History of You (TV Episode 2011) Poster

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The Entire History of You: Very nice change of pace for this episode
bob the moo15 June 2013
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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Another sad yet brilliant tale of what could be.
jzathajenious1 November 2016
Black Mirror's first episode was darkly humorous and suspenseful, while its second was a heartbreaking Greek tragedy. Now we have "The entire history of you", which is neither humorous, nor devastatingly tragic. It is however painful and uncomfortable to watch. The technological aspect of this episode is simple: humans have the ability to recall their own memories at the press of a button. We can rewind, zoom in, and examine every detail of our lives in painstaking detail.

What makes this episode so painful, is that we witness the end of a once loving relationship, in all its sad, pathetic and all too human frailty and weakness. The technology that seemed so useful and essential now becomes a curse and enhances our cruel nature.

As great sci-fi should, it provokes thought about our past and future and our relationship with technology, while still telling an intrinsically human story, with real emotion and sadness.
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Brilliant and at times difficult and painful to watch
GraXXoR22 February 2018
Some people say that "we are defined by our memories" and that "without memory we would lack any perspective" with which to assess the world. Others say that "memories are meant to fade." and that "time heals all wounds."

What if we lived in a world where memories literally own us and where they never, ever fade and are accessible in high definition and slow motion replay... Forever to anyone? What if they could be stored and digitised... or even traded as a commodity? What would memories become then?

They would become our most prized possessions: More irreplaceable than hand-crafted treasures, more valuable than any diamond or gold. Imagine, our very essence and experiences captured (and with liberal editing) all the best parts distilled into a narcotic, addictive stream of consciousness, on tap wherever and whenever we desire.

We could go back, time and time again to revisit out best experiences. We could show these details at will to others on any available screen. Alternatively, we could expunge forever that which we never wish to see again, and be forever distrusted as someone with no proof of what they've done or where they've been...

Or, we could even keep those most painful moments it as a lash with which to whip ourselves while saying a dozen Hail Marys.

This is the story of a family that live in such a world, where things once experienced can be recorded forever and used to wager a strategic, rightful war on those around us. But at what cost to ourselves and our relationships?
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For the one of the finest 45 Minutes of Television Drama over the past 5-8 years
j-c-wenban11 November 2013
This for me was the best episode of the two series of Black Mirror, and also the best piece of Television drama over the past 5-8 years.

As a television production student I am critical of drama pieces, but this episode completely blew me away and gripped me from start to end. If anyone asks can television drama be effective over 45-60 minutes , I will always tell them to watch this episode.

This is a masterclass in directing by Ben Welsh. The direction of the cast was perfect, the camera-work suited the feel of the piece , and choice of locations and props for me really added to this film. How they were able to add this futuristic technology to the characters felt 'scarily' believable (especially these days with the development of Google Glasses)

For me this films shows thats you can make an effective drama without making over dramatic and unbelievable plots. As this films grabs its audience, and using its 'gritty' and 'subtle' style makes it for me as one of my favourite dramas ever broadcasted on TV
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Thru 4 seasons, this is one that epitomizes "Black Mirror."
tellison-4408719 January 2018
I have decided to only write reviews on these episodes after I watch them for a second time. I am mid-way through the 3rd season on my 2nd run. As many of my outlooks on various episodes have changed, this one stayed very much the same, which is not a good or bad thing... it's a great thing! It seems a lot of people watch this show for all different reasons. My reason is evolving and changing the more I watch it. As before, I watched it to see a dark foretelling of how technology affects our lives... I am not starting to see that technology is merely the vehicle in this series, and the vehicle drives our human nature. Human nature is becoming the theme to me more and more, and technology is a perfect catalyst to drive our inner most desires, which they can be beautiful, as well as dark and depraved.

This episode is driven by the "Grain" implant that allows us to see the entirety of all the moments we have lived throughout our lives. There are characters shown in this episode on both spectrums; those who live it and find it to now be the only way to live; and those who see how destructive it can be, and prefer to live without it. I think I would be in the latter category myself.

The way our protagonist over analyzes every little element of body language, the way things are said, so on and so forth, the more you see how quickly you can become obsessive with such a privilege. Though many drone-like people (the ones of today who are staring at their Iphone while walking amongst actual beauty in our natural world) might see nothing harmful about this, but instead see convenience, leisure, and after awhile, necessity. However, it is increasingly clear to me that it is a destroyer. A destroyer of our privacy, our humility, our ability to grow and evolve, and ultimately, a destroyer of our sanity. This is done very well by telling an impactful story of what could very easily happen within the lives of many ordinary people.

Again we come back to human nature. If such a thing were to exist, I can think of so many people I personally know who would take advantage of this exactly as our protagonist does, eventually leading to him becoming completely insane, and ultimately alone and depressed. Though human evolution is essential, and I don't wish to go back to the days of being neanderthals... this episode has as strong a message as ever, as well as being entertaining. That message is that although progress is good, perhaps we SHOULD backtrack a bit. I am already seeing that in today's world, 2018, our dependence on technology is so great, that we are approaching a time where we (collectively as a species) don't even know how to live anymore. I truly feel sorry for anyone who has been born in the new millenium. Will we forget how to build a fire, read a map, etc?

Yes, I tend to go on stream-of-consciousness tangents in my reviews... but this is what the show does to me. It makes me think like this, more so than anything I have ever watched, and this episode is one of a few that is the epitome of what Black Mirror is all about, and why I love it so dearly.
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The purpose of memory?
funkyman-1428616 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This episode leaves you with more questions than answers. It successfully demonstrates the potential implications of the evolving nature of digital storage and accessibility, specific to being integrated into memory.

Back all the way to the beginning of recording of life beyond mortal memory, when the first caveman picked up a stone and wrote on walls. Fast forward to the day that the first black and white photograph was developed. Then the first motion picture. Then the first digitally stored video. Then as digital memory advances to a higher degree along with picture quality becoming as realistic as the human eye can record, or even better. We really aren't that far away from such technology as shown in this episode. Most of my childhood was filled with adults stockpiling old photographs. But the primary theme of this episode stems from the medium of recording one's life changing from modern day selfies to actually being able to 're-do' any past memory from the point of view of your own eyes, as many times as you feel necessary. Like a cyborg-type memory controlled by a human mind.

It really breaks down the impacts on the relationships between people to people as well as between people to establishments. The mind is a complex organic machine that has evolved with habits that protect its own sanity. The ability to have a 'grain' that surpasses the protection the mind has for itself, by being able to going back to reflect upon your memory in real-time, is dangerous because it pushes people beyond the limitation of human capacity. Having a perfect memory removes an important coping mechanism inherent to the human condition, which is having it fade. An imperfect memory is necessary because it allows for the ignorance of events that would otherwise be hidden from us. With the ability to surpass our human memory we also run the risk of causing paranoia from the accessibility of detail that we would not otherwise have. The key difference between writing a journal and having a recorded memory is that our mind has to first process the memory before we can write it down, versus a raw recording that allows a variable of interpretations.

After watching this episode, it made me reflect upon my own life, for how and why I feel a need to record and store it with picture and video. Though there is momentary satisfaction in being able to have a physical 'copy' of my life, is there truly a purpose beyond that? Sure, there's a nostalgic value for very old memories, like childhood birthday parties on home video. I have to ask, what's the difference between an individual recorded event, and recording ones entire life? Well, there isn't.
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Do we really want those memories
ritikaagrawal-3224819 February 2018
Loved this episode because it looks too true to not believe. With the revolution that started with cameras and selfies, there are security cameras and drones flying everywhere. Gradually there would be cars and tons and tons of data flying everywhere. There will absolutely be no movement or activity that will be hidden but do we really want to keep rewinding and living the past activities.

Liam hardly seems to be living in the present. all his activities be it sex, drinking viewing or work are carried out by looking towards the past ... thereby no new experience. The grain chip technology is no doubt a great resource for goverment and crime agencies; classic example will be where the security guy allows him to board by looking at his past but I wonder if a human needs access to his history all the time. It will only make a person live his traumas and virtual pleasures over and over again.
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Excellent delivery of the encrypted message
kaushal018126 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Just like the previous two episodes of the series, this one proves quite worth its time. It entertains the hypothetical life of a man who lives in a time when everyone has a 'grain', a modern age beneath-the-ear implant enabling the user to record everything (s)he hears or sees.

The episode shows a man who intelligently figures out that his wife cheated on him with the baby and that the baby is not his'. Without the grain, he would have lived forever with the assumption that the baby is his own. The fight entails their divorce. Till the divorce, the only thing he can focus is his wife's non - loyalty. After the divorce, he only sees his former wife's loving and caring memories at every moment. He can't survive in his own house. Eventually, he gets rid of the grain.

The question to ponder upon is whether the grain is constructive for our life or the opposite.

The man ruins his life by dragging himself with the negative memories from the grain after the divorce. It would have been wiser to focus on the happier memories. But is it even possible for the humankind to do so!

One can argue that never let the bad memories drag you down. Cut out the grain and throw it away if you have to. Don't live in the past. But this is only keeping in mind the last 5 minutes of the episode.
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Social justice attacks
robobobotic3 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This movie clearly shows a world where, being able to record every person's words and actions and critically analyze them, can lead to the hard and harsh truth of things. Maybe Its for the greater good that we as humans are flawed, contradictory and biased. With a technology where a person's every action is recorded, you can over analyze and see these flaws. Its in almost every scientist, philosopher, investigator, detective's dream to get to the truth of things, but when it comes to the lives of regular people, some things just shouldn't be over analyzed. Most people aren't so nuanced in general (except when it comes to the important things), which is the reason for the flaws in their character. This is not only shown with Ffion's character, but other people in this movie as well, that get analyzed, with the main character replaying his memories.

Speaking of people not being nuanced - lets review this person's review of this movie: Gwendolyn8: ''The entire episode is an entitled white guy being alarmingly abusive towards his girlfriend in a massive fit of jealousy written by a male writer who actually thinks that this character is the protagonist and that the woman is a non-person story line prop and that the episode is really about something to the effect of how sometimes it's better not to remember certain things.''

-You're mistaking the word ''abuse'' with the word ''confrontation''. He is confronting her over his suspicion that she's cheating on him. Which in the end he proves that she does. Entitled? Entitled of the fact that he's being cuckolded by his girlfriend? If that's your idea of entitlement.. keep it to yourself.
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Never Forget
jp28199526 September 2018
I always wondered what if our memories are saved or viewed? Finally, an episode about this.

In the future, forgetting is not on the dictionary. They're recorded somehow and you can view it anytime, anywhere. Fantastic as it may seem, it has consequences.

Really great episode and love the drama and all.
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May contain spoilers...don't read if you haven't watched the episode
ykyogeshkumar30 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I will call this as one of the best episode of this series.The acting as well as writing was pretty good. It shows how easily technology can cause trauma, especially if you believe in century old family system and let your basic instincts drive you. As the episode progress it becomes unsettling to watch and make you feel sad for the protagonist. However I didn't feel that the technology was bad in any way because If not for technology he might have spent his life with a lie.

Thank you for reading!!
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A Drama About Infidelity... With A Sci-Fi Twist
mrstrangerjones8 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
"Black Mirror" has had many great episodes, but this is my favorite by far.

In this episode, people have implants called "grains", which they use to go through their memories. Liam (Toby Kebbel) starts to spiral into madness when he starts to suspect that his wife hasn't been faithful.

Kebbel's performance is great, and you can really buy him as a concerned and loving husband who feels betrayed.

Also, the ending is so heartbreakingly ambiguous. It is revealed that Liam's wife had slept with another man, and that her child wasn't even with Liam. The end credits shows Liam taking a razor and trying to cut the "grain" out of his head. As this happens, he sees all the memories of his wife. The screen cuts to black before we find out whether or not Liam survived.

This is possibly the best episode of the entire season.
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Imagine the life with a memory card
vampireinmycity2 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This episode is the best episode I've ever seen in all series; Imagine having a memory card in your body with bad memories that you cannot forget & forgive from you past, this will change life to worse and leads to so much problems, people will never forgive each other's and love will be vanish, cause you will never forget the things that affects you. Trust your suspicion.
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Some memories are best forgotten
dierregi12 February 2018
If we ever needed proof that some technology is not of help.... this episode shows how keeping ALL your memories can ultimately unravel your life.

From the very start we have the main character obsessing about his interview and literally playing it over and over gain, trying to guess what the interviewrs thought and if he did something wrong.

After having joined his friends for dinner, he starts obsessing about his wife and one of the other guests. One may object that maybe this guy would obsess no matter what, but for sure having technological support to enable his addiction/weakness is not helping.

Further investigation into his wife's past proves to be disastrous. Do one really need to know the truth at all costs?
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The Price of an Eternal Memory
claudio_carvalho3 January 2016
In the future, most of the population has a chip called Grain implanted to record and watch the memory of the entire life. After a job interview, the lawyer Liam Foxwell (Toby Kebbell) takes an earlier flight to meet his wife Ffion (Jodie Whittaker) in a dinner party with her old friends. When he unexpectedly arrives, Ffion is talking to her friend Jonas (Tom Cullen) and Liam finds her reaction strange. Then he watches her glances at Jonas during the dinner and he suspects they have a love affair. Liam presses his wife for an answer and she admits that Jonas and she had a love affair in Marrakesh before she meets Liam. They have sex and Liam spends the night drinking and reviewing the reunion. On the next morning, he drives to the house of Jonas and confronts him. What will be the price of his obsession?

"The Entire History of You" is another dark episode of "Dark Mirror", with a criticism to the excessive use of technology. What could be an argument between husband and wife becomes an obsession with the playback of past memories destroying their marriage. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): Not available
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One of the most painful things I have ever watched
ygudu8 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
All episodes from the first season of Black Mirror are difficult to watch, not for being bad, but for being really dark and depressive. But this one made me lose my balance and almost cry.

We all had our hearts broken at some point in life, but not all of us experienced what the main character here experienced. Getting to discover with him all the things he comes to find out... only to imagine how it all would feel makes me die a bit inside.

About how to interpret this episode, some people might see this as: if he didn't have that perfect memory the guy would get jealous for a day but would drop that, would never find out everything and would live happy with his wife and daughter. So perfect memory is bad for that reason. Maybe that was the intention of the writers (remember that girl that says that she is happier without a chip). Well, I agree that the chip is bad, but not for that...

Be analytical, understand what's behinde people, that's a important thing to do, and that's what the character do, he is over the top a lot of times and do unreasonable stuff that he should not do even in this circumstances, but in the end he was right.

The important thing about memory that I interpret is that we really should not want to live in the past (like the main guy learns in the end), a lot of times I look to my past and laugh, some memories warm my heart and then I just get sad by thinking that those moments will never happen again. It's difficult, but we should look less to the past and make new memories, by living the future.
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Season One
zkonedog3 July 2019
The trouble with most anthology shows (especially those that deal with the future, mystery, or technology) is that eventually they get compared to The Twilight Zone and come up lacking. An impossible standard, of course, but one that exists to this day (just showing how far ahead of its time that show was).

This first, three-episode season of Black Mirror tackles similar themes as Rod Serling's TZ, only focusing on technology-based themes of this modern era. The themes of this season include:

-A prime minister effectively blackmailed into a horrendous act by terrorism and social media. -A future in which humans are little more than ad-watching, avatar-updating, electricity-producing slaves, with the only escape being an Idol-like reality show. -A couple who have brain implants allowing them to remember and review every life act...for better or worse.

By and large, the themes of Black Mirror are interesting and relevant. I found the first two episodes (especially the second one) to be a bit tedious, but the third one is excellent. That's why I can only give this First Season a 3.5 star rating.

Overall, though, this proved to be an interesting enough concept for me to want to continue. I really enjoy television that makes me think, and that is the point of Black Mirror. I think (hope) the finale effort here marks a conscious effort to make sure the characters are as front-and-center as the concepts, which wasn't necessarily the case with the first two eps.
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Favourite Episode
mridulmukherjee27 November 2018
The Entire History of You - is my favourite episode in season 1 and all over one of my favourites. Storyline is so intreguing, that will put you on the edge of your seat.
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Where Does Humanity End?
Hitchcoc8 January 2018
After one accepts the technology presented here, we get to see just how dangerous it is. People are able to recall every event of their existence--the images absorbed by an implant that more than half of society uses. People become obsessed with the gizmo and soon are sharing life events. The logical evolution of Facebook. But we are fragile figures. We still have emotions and we make mistakes. The main character is incredibly jealous of his wife's past. She is far from guiltless, but if one had to live with a paranoic, it wouldn't be hard to see things moving in the direction presented here. He comes home early from an interview and attends a dinner party his wife had thrown. In the mix is a man who seems to have more interest in the wife than the husband finds acceptable. With this ability to review the events of the past, he begins to search images. It's not that simple because there is subterfuge at every turn. This is another quite fascinating offering.
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Most scary thing ever
majidbashir612 June 2019
The idea behind this episode is very very scary.. specially if you lost someone close to you recently.
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One of the best, relatable episodes of the series
yhyun-7450521 December 2018
This episode, along with a few others highlights the downfalls of the trends set nowadays which seem perfectly normal. While this episode seems like a natural step towards our future, it also addresses potential drawbacks and problems with society now. Social media and smart phones are the stepping stones to the imminent technology portrayed in this episode. We are so obsessed with sharing and recording every moment that now every special moment has become about capturing it instead of appreciating it. Even when we are right there, it is a totally different feeling when we are focused on getting the perfect video as opposed to just enjoying the moment. Furthermore, the ability to recall every moment in perfect detail is unnatural and inhibits our tendency to move on and forget. When we have some to remind us of something lost, concrete or otherwise, we fixate and grief but eventually the memory fades and we move on. We pride ourselves in having a never-failing, all-knowing, life/experience recording computer in our pocket. We have access to the world's knowledge, the ability the record/capture any experience at any time, and we believe its beneficial to us, a necessity really, but sometimes the things we think we want isn't what we want at all and none of us will realize it til it's too late. It is that important for you to prove to your friend that he/she really texted you that a few weeks ago? If we had a device that automatically records everything you see, basically spying on everyone around you ( i.e. lip reading program in the show) and on your life, that seems like a hell worse than nightmare that Orwell presented in 1984. Hell of a show and episode and highly recommend people to watch, not just for entertainment, but something to be discussed and debated.
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Sterile and ultimately pointless
matthiasladwig7 July 2019
The technology (recording everything that one sees) is just a layer on top of a standard jealousy story. This would work the same without the technology. At the same time, the production is very sterile to give it a futuristic look, but it makes everything seem very distant, almost dream-like and the characters are not really relatable because of it.

On top of that, people are not behaving in way that one would expect with technology like this, so the internal realism is lacking.

Instead of critically questioning our technology and the future we are heading into like episode 2, this is just a crowd pleaser without real substance.
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A cold hard look into human nature
vool12 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This episode hits hard. When Liam picks up the razorblade at the end, all I could think of were the suicide rates of men.

I've never seen a work of fiction explain so well why in some countries a paternity test can only be done with the consent of the mother, and why there are no routine paternity tests after birth.
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Betrayal of love revealed thanks to constant life-recording technology
jrarichards26 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Long ago, my young-teenage visits to my great aunt's house were enlivened by over-the-yard-wall quality time spent - increasingly enjoyably (and from my side increasingly romantically) with the girl next door. It was a somehow-remote place, and I long went without competition, grew blasé and stuck in the groove, if blissfully "in control" of what seemed an increasingly-fortuitous situation. Then one day, I went into the yard to find the said girl with 2 or 3 other guys older, wiser and (presumably) less boring and unadventurous than I. The girl found their company stimulating and hilarious, and all the more so when they turned their attention to mocking me. There was nowhere much to hide, and the loss of security and (exaggerated) sense of betrayal hurt terribly, and very soon generated a huge desire in me to hurt back ... which in practice I had zero capacity to do.

Many a man who has allowed himself to soften through love, to let down his emotional guard and become dependent, has met this situation, and while women of course suffer when men are unfaithful to them, a man plagued by a powerful (and absurd) mix of territoriality, pride and self-doubting vulnerability can simply go to pieces in situations where a loved female decides for whatever reason (and often with surprising calculation) "to spread it around".

If my above scenario was fortunate, it was in the fact that the revelation as to my inadequacy to hold on to someone I (believed I) cared about was quick and abrupt. This is not the case for The Entire History of You's Liam (played by Toby Kebbell) - a not-especially-sympathetic figure whose agony is nevertheless real and prolonged as he gradually realises how much he has been lied to by his ostensibly (and probably actually) loving wife (played very well by Jodie Whittaker), who nevertheless betrayed Liam with an old flame within hours of Liam's brief departure after a tiff. Wife Ffion does seem regretful, but to this day gives body-language and giggly clues that "other guy" Jonas remains "forbidden fruit" intriguing to her.

And how does Liam see the evidence for this? And how does he come to dwell on this and little else? Because he replays and replays, slows down, stops and enlarges the "footage" recorded through his own eyes thanks to an implant called a grain. Raging, he also then accesses Jonas's recordings, and those of his wife, to gain a fuller and fuller picture.

In a dinner-party context we are first given a few varied hint-insights into how a world in which such implanted grains are reasonably widespread works; but ultimately the implications are mainly considered in regard to the above love-triangle only. This is then an elemental juxtaposition of a story that is as old as the hills, and extremely familiar (even somewhat to myself in the above manner) with extreme high tech. It's also interesting that, in most other respects, the world we see here resembles ours (hence a touch of the "Never Let Me Go" scenario, whereby several areas of technological and cultural development are rather stuck in the doldrums, while one field has leapt forward beyond what we in the familiar world have accomplished).

"The Entire History..." is thus presented as an alternate reality, rather than especially the future.

Obviously, this idea also gained exploration in "The Final Cut" (of 2004) with Robin Williams - a fine film that decided to consider the implications for far more serious crimes and misdemeanours than we get in this "Black Mirror" instalment not for once involving Charlie Brooker. While Liam does drink and look potentially violent and off-the-handle, his deployment of the technology is at this stage a desperate and anguished one as much as anything, and it raises the question as to whether some things might be best left unrecorded and hence unknown. But in the world of this episode, there is nowhere much to hide from what has been recorded, and the temptation to look back at unhelpful and self-hurting things proves just as great as the temptation to relive moments of life-changing importance or joy. Basically, Liam and his life fall apart rather rapidly.

Is this actually the best or most-telling way of illustrating what a world operating on the basis of everything being recorded would be like?

I'm not quite sure.

But do we feel something as Liam faces the sick, cold, out-of-control realisation that a wife he idolises has let him down and is still only prepared to release information in snippets that mostly contradict what she has said before?

Well of course we do - and it's both uncomfortable watching and (in fact typically for "Black Mirror") also rather profoundly sad.
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Very bleak but suspenseful!
HiMoO225 May 2019
Although this episode is very dark and bleak, it's also a brilliant and a well-handled piece of drama that's mixed with unfavorable side effects of technology.
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