Home » TV Review » TV Review: Black Mirror Season 2, Episode 3: The Waldo Moment

TV Review: Black Mirror Season 2, Episode 3: The Waldo Moment

Black MirrorWARNING: This contains a seemingly endless supply of SPOILERS.

If you’ve not watched it, do so. Then throw up your last meal, then come back and read this when you’ve (sort of) recovered.

The third and final episode of Charlie Brooker’s dystopian series Black Mirror, The Waldo Moment was far less bleak than the previous episode.

A nice way to end the series, it tells of a cartoon character done good. Starting with a gimmick to annoy a local politician it quickly escalates into a kind of Big Brother scenario with people listening to a blue cartoon bear over an actual human being.

By the end Waldo runs the world with a great big smile and an iron paw.

Tackling politics and disengagement from the population at large and the youth in particular, it criticises politicians for playing the system and being generally terrible human beings. But it is no less harsh on the general population who would vote for and take orders from anyone, no matter how ridiculous.

In fact, it is the ridiculousness they respond to, the absolute lack of any position other than “things are rubbish.” The people love a gimmick.

It then proposes that such a symbol could be used around the world. At first it seems ridiculous, but then symbols are hugely important in every society. Waldo represents the coca cola of politics, the recognisable brand that everyone wants a part of.

Significant parts of world culture are being homogenised and standardised. It is only politics that seems not to do this, though it actually does. Through international organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, pressure is placed on weaker countries to bow to the pressures and the interests of the rich. In the 21st century the idea of old colonialism is dead. Rather, things are run from a distance and those in power would prefer for there not to be a symbol against which the masses can mobilise. In that regard the episode falls behind a little.

Nevertheless, it was a great episode and a satisfying conclusion.

Bring on series 3.

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2 thoughts on “TV Review: Black Mirror Season 2, Episode 3: The Waldo Moment

  1. The CIA character’s approach was interesting – not sure it would work in practice, but I can believe there’d be those who’d think of it.
    I think if it became clear Waldo was used by those in power it’d lose it’s effectiveness, which is why the ending dystopia rang a little false. Maybe if they’d shown a democratic African/South American government being undermined and overthrown?

    Still, I found it strangely uplifting, the thought that apathy is the worst possible approach to devious or careerist politicians.

    • They are a movement funded by the super rich (ie the Koch Brothers), yet the myth that it is a spontanious uprising of the disenfranchised to fight opressive powerful forces is taken hook, line and sinker.

      The amount of mythe people believe on a daily basis is staggering, plus given the influence of brands in society it wouldn’t be too far fetched for one to be used simultaniously over the world to grab power.

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