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​Charlie Brooker Explains Ending Of Black Mirror Episode 'Smithereens'

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

​Charlie Brooker Explains Ending Of Black Mirror Episode 'Smithereens'


Black Mirror has returned for its long-awaited fifth season, this time taking on the format of earlier series with just a small handful of episodes.

There are three, to be precise, and if you've already managed to watch them all since they were added to Netflix this morning (well done you, for starters), you'll have seen 'Smithereens', which stars Andrew Scott, Damson Idris and Topher Grace.

The episode is all about 'a cab driver with an agenda' on a day that rapidly spirals out of control.

You see, the cabbie is a former social media addict who holds an employee of a tech company hostage to try and attract the attention of a social media mogul so that he can hear his story.

Andrew Scott in Smithereens. Credit: Netflix
Andrew Scott in Smithereens. Credit: Netflix

The episode concludes with a police standoff, and Chris - who has a gun, but does not plan on using it on the hostage - decides to take his own life. However, as the intern tries to stop him from shooting himself, the police take their shot.

What we don't know is who was killed by that shot - as the action simply cuts to people checking their phones to see what happened.

This means that once again in Black Mirror world, we're faced with an ambiguous ending - Charlie Brooker's fave.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Brooker explained: "Really it was about how this massive drama - this most important day in several people's lives - was reduced to ephemeral confetti that just passes us by; just one more little crouton of a notification.

"So it was about the disposability of it and how it becomes just another distraction for a myriad other people."

Charlie Brooker. Credit: PA
Charlie Brooker. Credit: PA

So, while seeing a big dramatic moment reduced to notifications on people's phones may be frustrating to the viewer, it sounds like that was entirely intentional.

Brooker didn't dispute that other interpretations could be right, though.

One viewer tweeted: "Okay i just wanna say. That Smithereens ending. Everyone looking at their phones and moving on... it's like how so much fucked up shit happens around us everyday and we don't even blink an eye."

Another said: "That Smithereens ending got me so emotional. A human reduced to a notification. Could be any of us, probably will."

What did you think about the ending? Let us know over at Netflix Bangers on Facebook.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: black mirror, Entertainment, TV and Film, Netflix

Jess Hardiman
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