Black Mirror’s “Bandersnatch” Gives Viewers the Power (Warning: Spoilers)

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The highly anticipated Black Mirror movie called “Bandersnatch” was released over Christmas break, and it has people talking. Bandersnatch is the first interactive episode that allows the viewer to select options that will affect the plot ending. Select which type of cereal the main character will eat, and that will determine what happens next. However, the options become more difficult to choose as they become more dangerous.

“Bandersnatch” is rumored to have five plot endings:

  1. Stefan dies on the train as a child.

Allie Brammer, a sophomore at PLNU, said that her version ended with Stefan dying in the train wreck with his mother. By choosing a specific combination of options throughout the episode, this version ends with Stefan finding his toy rabbit as a child and joining his mother on the train, which derailed and killed them both.

“I initially chose the safer decisions, the decisions I thought would be best for Stefan, especially as a psychology major, I was like, ‘Yes, go to therapy; get better!’” Brammer said that she felt connected to the main character and wanted to choose the safest options for him, but it gradually became harder and harder to choose a safe option.

2. The doctor’s office is a movie set.

Michael Leto, a Junior at PLNU, said that his ending included Stefan finding out he, along with everyone he knows, is an actor, and that Dr. Hayne’s office is the movie set. Leto felt differently about his connection to Stefan, saying that it felt more like a test to see what happens, rather than investing in a character’s emotions.

3. “Bandersnatch” is highly successful; Pearl Ritman reboots game.

This outcome included a plot that led to Stefan murdering his father so he could focus on perfecting the game. After the game was released, it received five-star reviews. When the public found out about the murder, all copies were pulled from the shelves. Later, Colin’s daughter, Pearl, found an old copy of the game and plans to make a reboot for a streaming service, which is assumed to be Netflix.

4. Stefan goes to prison.

Stefan is sent to prison for killing either his father or Colin. People discover that Stefan is a murderer before “Bandersnatch” is released, and the last scene shows him scratching the infamous “white bear” symbol into the prison cell wall. PLNU sophomore Danny Martinez got this version of the story by choosing more dangerous options for the main character.

He says, “I feel like movies never take the chance and always try to go for the happy endings.” Martinez felt similar to Michael Leto because he did not connect with Stefan. “I think the options made it feel more like a science experiment.”

5. Stefan’s dad pulls him out of Dr. Hayne’s office.

When Stefan visits his psychiatrist’s office, he tells her that a 21st-century being is controlling him. Dr. Haynes suggests that if someone were controlling him, his life would be more dramatic. At this suggestion, she pulls out a weapon and they begin to fight. Peter, Stefan’s dad, intervenes and drags Stefan out of the building.

With all these possibilities, no outcome gave the viewer a happy ending; each one was pretty bleak. Charlie Brooker, the main writer for “Bandersnatch,” purposely made the options harder and harder for people to choose, leaving the viewer unsettled in the ability to control a character via technology.

“I think that’s what “Bandersnatch” wanted you to do too,” Brammer said, “make really hard decisions.”

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