- The first episode, Nosedive, is set in a dystopian Crapsaccharine World filled with Stepford Smilers who wear pastel colors. In this world, a person's score on social media denotes their social status, to the point that there are certain places people aren't allowed to go if their popularity rating drops below a certain level. It also reduces all social relations to a numbers game. It's strongly implied that popularity points are actually a type of currency. Imagine if every time you lost your cool or even if someone just didn't consider an encounter with you meaningful, your bank account started hemorrhaging dollars in the hundreds and thousands?
- The main character of the episode, Lacie, is first introduced to us as a "low four", that is, a person with a rating of 4.0-4.4. She's just a little bit too proud for her own good, undertaking superficial tasks in order to advance her own social status. However, through a series of misadventures, she finds herself gradually losing points after making a cab driver wait for her, yelling at an airport stewardess, and asking a guy for help while he's busy watching porn on his phone. By the end of the episode, she is a Laughing Mad 1.1 Princess in Rags who has a complete breakdown at her Alpha Bitch fake best friend's wedding, which results in her becoming a 0.0.
- The cherry on top of this despair cake is that the episode has No Ending, it just ends with Lacie screaming insults at another 0.0 man in a jail cell across from hers — though some might consider this an Esoteric Happy Ending, as in an earlier scene she meets a former 4.6 who is now a 1.4, who lost it all by simply telling all her Alpha Bitch friends to fuck off. It's implied therefore that Lacie finally has the freedom to do or say as she pleases without fear of retribution, and given that her motivation was simply to find contentment, it can be inferred she has found Happiness in Slavery. Probably only a "happy" ending if you're Albert Camus, though.
- Playtest. If dying abruptly during a test because you left your phone on wasn't paranoia-inducing enough, look at the situation from an Adult Fear perspective. The main character's mother loses her husband to early onset Alzheimer's after watching him deteriorate, and a year later, her son disappears to travel the world, seldom or never returning her calls, and not letting her know he's okay. Then his mother accidentally causes his death by trying to call him again, causing interference that kills him less than a second before the test begins.
- On another note, the tech spotlighted in this episode is virtual gaming technology, with the spotlight being on Survival Horror. While the things coming at you are holograms, and thus can't actually hurt you, it's still pretty scary, especially for people who are just very jumpy and skittish by nature.
- The third episode, Shut Up and Dance, is pretty terrifying when Kenny's dark secret is leaked to the tune of Exit Music (for a film) by Radiohead, enough to make one physically sick after rooting for the supposedly innocent blackmail victim. Especially because that soundtrack is perfect "YOU HAVE BEEN CAUGHT OUT!" music. However the cherry on top is Kenny's mother's Wham Line:"What did you do Kenny?! They're saying it's kids! That you've been looking at kids! And Lindsey saw it. There's a video of you. All of her friends have got it! KIDS, Kenny! Tell me it's not..."
- Plus, Kenny's look of shock and horror as the police close in is haunting. Especially the final shot of the episode where he seems to be looking directly at the camera with that haunting look on his face. The presence of police cars in general the way they suddenly come up in the next-to-last shot doesn't help.
- The scene in the restaurant with Kenny's eagerness to talk to the kid is pure Adult Fear in hindsight if you have kids of your own.
- Not to mention the hackers making Kenny fight a man he doesn't know to death in the woods, with him stumbling from the woods in shock, Deadly Nosebleed and all.
- The fifth episode, Men Against Fire, gives us Roaches, Humanoid Abominations with black eyes and needle thin teeth. Soldiers, gifted with MASS implants (which assist them in virtual display and seeing the Roaches as inhuman) are tasked with slaughtering Roaches. In reality, Roaches are downtrodden civilians, seen as no better than roaches. The whole point of the implants are to form them as inhuman monsters, to take away any moral ambiguity of murdering very much human civilians en masse.
- The gratuitous sequence of Stripe having to relive his stabbing of the Roach, this time without the implant working, thus having him (and us) watch him butcher a terrified young man to death.
- The ending gives us something worse: Stripe's entire life is a lie, his house is a burnt out ruin in the ghetto, and his wife/girlfriend is not real. The MASS implants made him see a suburban house and a beautiful woman instead of his actual house. They simply wiped his memory of never having these things.
- The last episode, Hated in the Nation, has an irresistible (if dreary) premise: those that are targeted by a certain hashtag end up dying the next day. The third victim is implied to have been blissfully unaware of their actions leading up to their death. Imagine you accidentally say or do something that ends up viral in a negative light. Now imagine people calling for your death. Now imagine that happens in the most excruciatingly painful way possible.
- To elaborate on this method, imagine having a tiny, little, robotic bee burrow its way through your ears, eyes, nose, or mouth and into your brain. It decides to keep burrowing up until it nestles in the pain center of your brain, which makes pain so excruciating that you go into what resembles a seizure and are willing to do nothing short of suicide to make the pain stop. The methods of suicide could be anything from putting a bullet through your temple to slicing open your own throat. Have fun with those images.
- The scene in the 'safehouse' where the robotic bees gather up and are able to smash windows down is very effective nightmare fuel due to the tension and camera angles used showing the swarm at its most aggressive. And the team completely fail to protect the hashtag victim from the robotic bees due to them swarming in the vents, the fact that they failed to give her a mask didn't help things, culminating in the usual seizure and a Deadly Nosebleed.
- The Reveal that everyone who used the "Death To" hashtag was killed by the ADIs. We see an elementary school teacher get targeted, and it happens while school is still in session. The poor children...
- The sight of the hundreds of covered corpses in the warehouse, knowing that it's only a small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of victims who used the hashtag, including Nick, who just used it to try to get a reaction out of Scholes.
Nightmare Fuel / Black Mirror Series Three