Charlie Brooker explains the ending of Black Mirror’s Striking Vipers

It left viewers with a lot to think about

Black Mirror returned with series five earlier this month, and the three episodes left viewers with a lot to think about. Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too (starring Miley Cyrus) unpicked the the dark side of celebrity, Smithereens saw Fleabag‘s Hot Priest (Andrew Scott) tackling the powerful world of social media – but it was Striking Vipers that left everyone with that very confusing Black Mirror-esque feeling, throwing many questions in the ring about love, fidelity and sexuality.

The episode sees college friends Danny and Karl begin a sexual relationship inside the world of a virtual video game. And it left viewers with heaps of questions.

But it seems even creator Charlie Brooker can’t decide on his thoughts and feelings about the complex issues presented in Striking Vipers.

‘One of the things I found fascinating about writing it, is that I don’t quite know where I stand on a lot of the issues,’ he told Metro.co.uk.

‘Is he being unfaithful? Yes he definitely is, but also no he isn’t because it’s not really happening.

‘Then again, it sort of is really happening… Is this a homosexual relationship they’re having? Yes it is, but also no, it isn’t. So there’s all sorts of stuff going on.’

By the end of the episode, Danny’s wife Theo is aware of her husband’s virtual relationship with his best friend and the couple come to an agreement – once a year, Danny spends the night in the game with Karl, and Theo is free to enjoy a one-night stand.

Brooker went on to explain why he chose to end the episode that way and where inspiration for it came from, continuing: ‘I think there’s a bit of a porn analogy going on. There’s definitely a commentary on male awkwardness or trying to negotiate what this friendship is in this big curve.

‘The big spanner goes in the works and they’re not quite sure who they are in a way and what they mean to each other and how they express that, and there is a way where you can communicate.

‘It’s not just between the men – the three of them, there’s a problem with communication, there’s some sort of block that goes on throughout the episode. There’s definitely similar tech to San Junipero and the way it plays out is very different. We were sort of thinking of things like porn and an analogy for that that hopefully isn’t grubby.’

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