Fans get tons of excitement from the release of a new season of Black Mirror (executive producer: Annabel Jones), and part of the fun is finding the various Easter eggs left scattered through the episodes. That’s what makes it all the more amusing that Black Mirror trolled Easter egg hunting fans in Season 4 by leaving some pointedly hidden clues for them to find.
Not every Easter egg in Black Mirror Season 4 is a lighthearted dig at fans, though. Some, like the majority found in the finale, “Black Museum,” show objects or reference names from past episodes. Others are songs that recur across different episodes. And those kinds of references connect multiple episodes together, confirming an interconnected universe of the series. There are also blink-and-you'll-miss-them cameos by big name actors; “USS Callister" features Kirsten Dunst and Aaron Paul in small parts. However, there is a pair of Easter eggs in this new set of episodes that seem to be a bit more unique compared to the rest and show that creator Charlie Brooker is having a bit of fun with his viewing audience.
The first, chronologically speaking, can be found in Episode 3, “Crocodile.” At one point, one character holds up a newspaper article that’s only on screen for a flash. Pausing at that moment allows you to stop and read the text of the article: “'Of course the real question is why anyone would pause what they’re watching just to read a sentence in a printed out newspaper article,' says a voice in your head — before advising you to go and share this finding on Reddit.” And that's exactly what happened, of course. User AFellowOfLimitedJest did as the paragraph says, posting the finding on Reddit for fellow fans to see.
The teasing continues in “Metalhead,” despite the episode being rather grim as a whole. The episode focuses on a woman trying to escape a deadly drone known as a “dog.” At one point during her attempted getaway, she hops in a car. If you pause right as the camera pans over the dashboard and center console, a Reddit user named BRB_UKN noticed that them car’s screen shows hidden messages in several lines of “code” text. Several of these lines are Easter eggs of the standard variety. “BRB.attic” references “Be Right Back,” the first episode of Season 2 and “pigpoke” of course, is a reference to the first episode of the series, “The National Anthem.”
However, there’s also an Easter egg obviously meant to troll viewers. In the middle of the lines of text, there are two lines that read, “WHY did you bother PAUSING this, you freak.” Again, clearly Brooker poking fun at the community that cares enough about his show not only watch episodes multiple times, but pause it to read messages within messages, flashed on screen for only a moment or two.
What's really fun about Easter eggs is that fans never quite know if they’ve found them all. There could be another one left hidden in Season 4. That certainly was the case in season’s past. During a Reddit AMA, Brooker noted that there was at least one Easter Egg in a past episode that had never been found up until that point. So it stands to reason that Brooker may have hidden more harder-to-spot ones in this new season. It certainly seems that he gets some level of enjoyment out of not only hiding them, but interacting with fans who take the time to seek them out.
So, while it remains to be determined if another season of Black Mirror will be released, it's a given that more Easter eggs will be there to find. If they are anything like this season’s, they will link episodes or maybe be a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor. Some fans may get enjoyment from those easy-to-spot references, but others will be looking out for those deeply hidden ones. Not everyone wants their Easter eggs over easy.
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