Endings and Easter eggs in Netflix's Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

CNET | 12/28/2018 | Joan E. Solsman
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With Netflix touting more than a trillion possible permutations, the streaming service's first grown-up stab at an interactive movie -- Black Mirror: Bandersnatch -- offers a lot to unravel.

Netflix has been making interactive choose-your-own-adventure videos for more than a year, but Bandersnatch is the first that isn't a cartoon for kids. The interactivity is simple: A or B choices that branch the plot. But Bandersnatch gives the model a self-referential spin by building the story around a choose-your-own-adventure novel.

Netflix - Press - Materials - Movie - Endings

Netflix press materials note the movie has "5 main endings, with multiple variants of each." Two threads in the Black Mirror subreddit and a Discord thread, in addition to chatter on social media, have tried untangling the knot. So far, different endings and Easter eggs have emerged.

After two relatively inconsequential interactions about cereal and music, the story starts to offer crucial choices that take you to different plot points or assign attributes to your account that determine what choices you may see in the future. These determine the possible passwords you can enter into the locked cabinet in Stefan's dad's office, and they influence the options for how to respond when Stefan calls out "Give me a sign!" when he's grappling with the idea that somebody is controlling him.

Protagonist - Stefan - Game - Programming - Hero

Protagonist Stefan (left) interacts differently with his game programming hero, Colin (center), and Tuckersoft CEO Tucker (right) depending on the choices you make.

Whatever Netflix defines as an "ending" to add up to "five main endings" isn't really clear, but here are some of the permutations and endings that viewers have mapped out.

Stefan - Tuckersoft - Team - Game - Failure

You choose for Stefan to work with Tuckersoft. Backed by a team, the game is a messy failure with a zero-out-of-five rating. After watching the game review on TV, Stefan yells out that he wants to try again and...
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