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Tear Jerker / Black Mirror Series One

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Tearjerker
Series OneSeries TwoChristmas SpecialSeries ThreeSeries FourBandersnatch

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/grant_channel4_blackmirror103_6403.jpg
A rather deserved Thousand-Yard Stare.

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  • The National Anthem
    • Callow's horror and distress at the realization that he'll have to go through with the kidnapper's demands and his trauma throughout and after the event. For a premise that sounds darkly comical, it turns just plain dark pretty quickly.
      • While the act itself is never shown fully, we do see Callow's face during it—it's nothing but pure shame, humiliation, and horror at what he's doing.
    • The final scene shows Callow and his wife returning home after making a public appearance and she immediately gets cold, turning away from him when he tries to talk to her. The princess may be safe and Callow's even gotten a boost in his approval ratings, but it's clear his marital life is irreparably destroyed. Bittersweet Ending indeed.
    • Related to the above, there's the fact that his wife most likely blames her husband for something that was out of his control and shows no sympathy for his well-being despite the fact that he was pretty much a victim of rape.
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    • The kidnapper proves the exact point that he wanted, so he essentially won. Just as he suspected, everyone was so focused on watching Callow essentially be raped that they didn't even notice the princess being released safely. Not only that, but people are delighting in the viewing—cheering for it, even, like it's a wonderful spectacle.

  • Fifteen Million Merits
    • Abi is a soft-spoken, kindly young woman who Bing encourages to try out in the talent competition with her singing. She blows them away, just as Bing knew she would, but is not only told that singing is too obvious a talent, but that they'll only accept her as a porn actress. Abi, overwhelmed, humiliated, and drugged, dazedly agrees. That's the last that the audience ever sees her in-person. Afterwards, it's only in the commercial for her first porn film, in which she's robotic and blank-eyed. Either she's drugged out of her mind or she's been completely [1] broken by being turned into an adult film actress—or both.
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    • Bing smashing his screens and breaking down into tears after seeing Abi in a porn commercial. Not only is he forced to watch—literally Forced to Watch, as ear-splitting tones will shriek at him until he looks at the advertisement he cannot pay to skip—as the woman he loves is essentially raped, it's very obvious that he blames himself.
    • Bing's impassioned rant against the shallow and superficial system that's taken everything good from him. He's sweating, crying, and screaming like a madman, finally ripping into the three judges that represent the Crapsack World he's confined to. He's been pushed far and beyond his breaking point. But the worst part is: it was All for Nothing. He sells out. By the end of the episode, he's hosting what is basically a podcast in which he gives more "impassioned" speeches about the system and its abuse...all while reaping the benefits of taking part in it. The shard of glass he used to threaten his own life is now an accessary for Doppel users to buy. Bing is living in comfort, in a wide-open room with a view (that may or may not be simulated), but the blank stare on his face tells that he's not at all proud that he gave up his views for comfort.
    • By the end of the episode, Abi is still a forced porn star. No one is going to save her, least of all her former best friend Bing, who has now decided to join the very system that forced her into pornography.

  • The Entire History of You
    • The entire episode revolves around Liam's suspicions that his wife is cheating on him with Jonas. With the help of the Grain technology, he goes through every tiniest detail as "proof," like Ffion just laughing at a joke of Jonas' that Liam didn't think was funny. It steadily becomes worse and worse, though, and his breaking point is when he discovers that the one-week fling with a random person Ffion once told him about was in fact a six-month relationship with Jonas. It's incredibly distressing watching Liam go completely insane as he hyper-focuses on every tiny thing.
    • What makes Liam's obsession even more heartbreaking, however, is that in the end...he was right. Ffion not only cheated on him four days after he briefly left her, it is heavily implied that their daughter may in fact be Jonas'. The entire confrontation scene is just so visceral it's hard to watch, from Ffion's Oh, Crap! reaction to realizing she's been caught and her ensuing pathetic attempts to cover her tracks, to Liam's completely broken state. The scene ends with Liam forcing Ffion to show him when she and Jonas had unprotected sex, all while Ffion hangs her head in shame.
    • Though it happens off-screen, Liam either kicks Ffion and their baby out, or she's left him. The house is empty and quiet, and Liam is once again obsessively going through his memories—but this time, of happier ones with Ffion. It's just little things, like her smiling at him as he walked into the room, or the utterly domestic scene of asking him which dress she should wear. It's not just clear as day that Liam is now left with a broken heart from losing his wife, but that he's coming to a realization: yes, Ffion cheated on him, and yes she lied about her and Jonas' past relations, but she only loved him. In the last memory he looks at, Ffion wraps her arms around him from behind, content and blissful with him. In reality, Liam is utterly alone.
    • The last scene of the episode is Liam tearing out his Grain, and with it any and all memories of Ffion. Only now does he realize how obsessively he's used it, and when he finally decides to get rid of it, it's because he knows he'll keep re-watching memories of happier times with his wife.

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