All The Ways Black Mirror Season 5 Is Connected To Bandersnatch

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
You might be wondering why Black Mirror season five only has three episodes, compared to the regular six episodes that Netflix has been pushing out for the last few years. Blame that on the interactive Black Mirror episode “Bandersnatch.” Initially, the choose your own adventure episode was supposed to be a part of season five, but it eventually grew too big that it needed to stand on its own.
"'Striking Vipers', we actually shot before we started shooting 'Bandersnatch'. 'Smithereens', a little bit of that overlapped with 'Bandersnatch,’” series creator and writer Charlie Brooker explained to Digital Spy. "But then as we worked on it more, it became apparent that 'Bandersnatch' was the equivalent of doing a whole season in itself. "It just made more sense to do it as a standalone thing, so we decided to complete 'Bandersnatch' and put that out first, then release the remaining three stories, because they're a good compliment to each other.”
While we might only have three new episodes to watch, at least they’re three new episodes that follow the same Black Mirror pattern of connecting to the larger Black Mirror universe. Every single episode is connected to each other somehow, and “Striking Vipers,” “Smithereens,” and “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too” are no exception. There are a few ways that season five connects directly to “Bandersnatch” and beyond.
Billy Bauer
The head honcho for Smithereens, Billy Bauer, receives a quick shout out at the end of “Bandersnatch.” During the closing credits for “Bandersnatch,” where we jump to present day, we see a scroll at the bottom of the news that reads, “Senate committee grills Smithereen CEO Billy Bauer over Russian bots." Ah yes, that sounds like something Billy should be grilled on.
White Bear
There are references to white bears all throughout Black Mirror (with “Bandersnatch” even using the white bear logo as a way to draw out the choose your own adventure style of the game). While we don’t see an actual white bear in season five, “Striking Vipers” shows us a quick look at a polar bear in Striking Vipers X. “Bandersnatch” also has a secret easter egg game on its website about a white bear game.
U.S.S. Callister technology
This one is more for season four, but it’s clear that “U.S.S. Callister” isn’t leaving the Black Mirror world anytime soon. Just like the Billy Bauer shoutout on the news in “Bandersnatch,” we learn that Space Fleet is having a reunion.
But even bigger than that, the same technology that Robert Daly (Jesse Plemons) uses to get to the Callister in the episode is what Striking Vipers X uses to play the game. While it’s not confirmed, the technology here seems to be brand new and fancy, which suggests that “Striking Vipers” takes place before “U.S.S. Callister.”
Ashley O & Smithereens
Not a reference to another season, but a reference between episodes. When Chris (Andrew Scott) opens his Smithereens app one of the trending topics is Ashley O playing at Wembley.
Black Mirror season five is available on Netflix now

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