Peepshow's Jesse Armstrong tones down the satire for the the final installment of Charlie Brooker's series.
The final instalment of the Black Mirror mini-series concluded with The Entire History of You. It’s a look into a not too distant future where mistrust and self doubt linger but the stench of discomfort is purgeable one way or another.
A chip planted behind the ear gives you access to a whole database of memories all stored and accessible for your convenience. Every comment, glance or facial expression is logged. Andy Gray would be back in his element with all the rewinding, pausing and fast forwarding.
The episode begins with Liam Foxwell (Toby Kebbell) sitting through an appraisal at his law firm. He navigates his way through industry waffle and ethical conflictions hoping to be kept on.
Once out of the boardroom Liam shuffles through his internal hard drive to assess his own performance and his chances. They’re not good.
In the evening, at a party with the old gang, friends and acquaintances ask for a redo on the on the big screen so they can all offer advice. The horse has already bolted of course and the awkward “We hope to look forward to seeing you again” phrase said by one of his employers means Liam is in no mood to share.
He’s offered protection by the smooth talking Jonas (Tom Cullen) a man too keen on hugging and as we’ll later find out too keen on Liam’s wife, Ffion (Jodie Whittaker).
Uncomfortable dinner conversation is led by the dominant ladies man as the guests discus past relationships in minimalist open plan rooms so urbane looking, Kevin McCloud would gush.
Liam is suspicious of the chemistry bouncing off the oak wall and following bitty domestic arguments and apologies; that suspicion festers into obsession.
Like a contemporary jealous Facebook user going though photos and wall posts, he riffles through his memory banks; interpreting body language and glances between Jonas and his wife.
Every comment, glance or facial expression is logged. Andy Gray would be back in his element with all the rewinding, pausing and fast forwarding.
“I’m faithful to my box of cornflakes” is the humourless line Ffion finds so funny and no matter how many times he plays it to himself or the couple’s babysitter; his wife is the only one laughing.
He spends all night drinking and examining the evidence, building his case ready for the impending marital confrontation.
Bit by bit he presents Ffion with damaging footage. It’s footage that in isolation could be interpreted as inconsequential but together they provide a pretty convincing argument that Ffion and Jonas have history.
Slowly the story unravels and lies are exposed. The two met in Marrakesh before Liam entered the picture and embarked on a relationship that lasted a week. Or was it a month? Or maybe six?
Liam drunkenly makes his way to Jonas’ bachelor pad for a showdown. Jonas’ admission during the dinner that he regularly accesses his own private wank bank of previous encounters would be memorable even without the redo technology.
Liam attacks, the not so affectionately named, “King Dormouse Dick”, forces him to delete the memories of his and Ffion’s relationship and happens upon conclusive evidence that leads him doubt the paternity of his infant daughter.
In this world, written by Jesse Armstrong of Peep Show fame, you can’t get away with just saying something didn’t happen, you have to prove it. You have to show it because instantly accessible memories say more than words ever could.
The Entire History Of You doesn’t thwack you in the face with satire quite as hard as the previous Black Mirror episodes – Charlie Brooker is only in a producing role – but anyone with a Facebook profile will see the connection. It begins with harmlessly checking a partner’s profile and before long you’re on photo 2275 from June 2008 when he or she is looking too relaxed with someone else.
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