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'Black Mirror' support group: I don't want to miss a thing

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “The Entire History of You” | Aired Dec 18, 2011

Episode 3 of Black Mirror opens with our hero, Liam (Toby Kebbell), at an appraisal for his job. He’s told that if he’s invited to stay with them, he’ll have to “pull an exhaustive redo next week.” What’s a “redo”? We soon learn, as Liam replays his memory of the appraisal in a taxi on the way to the airport. In this universe, everyone has a memory chip called a “grain” implanted in their brains, so they can replay any memory instantly.

Question 1: Why? Why would you ever want that? Why, why, why?

At the airport, the security screener has Liam redo his last week while he zooms in on faces. My question still stands. What if he’d looked at a naked person? That’s not cool! I certainly wouldn’t let anyone with a grain see me naked. Or drunk. Or without makeup.

Liam arrives at a dinner party, stopping outside to redo his last encounter with the hostess, Lucy (Amy Beth Hayes), in order to refresh his memory. He’s able to greet her by name and recall the details of their last conversation. She, not so much. Okay, so there’s one selling point for grains.

Once inside, we meet Liam’s wife, Fi (Jodie Whittaker), whom Liam catches briefly canoodling with Jonas (Tom Cullen) before she notices Liam. She introduces Liam to the other guests and asks how his appraisal went. Soon, the whole party is pressuring him to redo his appraisal for their amusement.

Question 2: Can you imagine these things in high school? Just, ugh.

Sixteen Candles underwear scene

Liam asks Fi is he’s ever met Jonas before. She says no. Liam pulls a redo of his arrival, and the awkward look on Fi’s face when she saw him. Three cheers for Willow Grains, the technology that allows you to stew and stew and stew until you drive yourself mad.

During dinner, Jonas monopolizes the conversation, blathering on about how relationships are a sham. He says that by the end of his last one, he’d use grain footage of earlier conquests to, um, entertain himself. I wonder if you could get a court order to have your exes delete all their sexy memories of you.

Back at home, Liam and Fi relieve the babysitter, Gina (Mona Goodwin), and invite her to stay the night. Then, they watch a redo of their baby’s memories to check up on her. Wow, I would not want to be a babysitter in this universe. Or a child.

Question 3: Parents, is this awesome, or a terrible invasion of privacy? My kid’s 6, and sometimes I wish I still had a baby monitor in his room.

Liam brings up Jonas again. Fi admits that they were together for a brief period. Liam pulls up a redo of an old conversation to catch Fi in a lie. He then calls her a bitch, they make up, and then have the most tragic sex I’ve ever seen. At first, it appears to be, um, very good (lay off me; I’m not an erotica writer), but it’s then revealed that they’re both watching redos of better times while they actually have a very lazy and sad bang.

Question 4: Exactly how hard did you cringe during that scene? I thought my collarbones were going to collapse into themselves.

Nathan Fillion cringing

Fi goes to sleep, and Liam goes downstairs to torture himself with redos. Oh, and he’s drinking. A lot.

In the morning, Liam forces Fi to watch the canoodling scene again. Then he pulls a redo of the party during which there was another redo of another party playing in the background. It’s Grainception! Stay with me, here: He is sharing his memory of someone else sharing their memory. And in the background of that memory, we can clearly see Fi and Jonas making out. He’s caught her in another lie—they were together for a lot longer than she let on.

If the firm doesn’t keep Liam on, they are absolute morons, because this guy is the best lawyer I’ve ever seen.

Question 5: Why do they even need courts and lawyers anymore, though? Just play the redo and let’s be on with it.

Liam, now drunk on both power and brown juice, decides to go for a drive to Jonas’ house, because of course he does. He walks in like he owns the place and proceeds to make Jonas terribly uncomfortable by being mildly threatening and more than a little funny. I really like this guy.

Things escalate quickly, and Jonas ends up hitting Liam in the head with a bottle. We then jump to Liam waking up behind the wheel of his car, which is currently hugging a tree. Unable to recall what happened, he plays a redo and sees that he forced Jonas to erase all his memories of Fi. For proof, he has him pull up the entire catalog on his screen.

Liam goes home to confront Fi. He asks if he’s really the baby’s father. He then shows her his redo of the Jonas fiasco, zooming in on a particular thumbnail Jonas erased. The thumbnail shows a naked Fi in the same bed she’s now sitting in. She claims to have used a condom, but Liam lawyers her real good, and demands to see the redo.

Question 6: Oh, God, Liam, how could you watch that? How?

Lee Pace covers his face

Oh boy, now we’ve gotten to the super-depressing flash-forward. At first, it’s lovely: Liam, Fi, and the baby are in the bedroom, everyone loves everyone … But wait. It’s just a redo. The real bedroom is devoid of anything but an empty bed. No Fi. No baby. Not even the crib. Liam staggers from room to room of his barren house, playing redos of his family, now absent.

Then he goes into the bathroom and rips the grain out of his skull, which is the most reasonable thing anyone’s done on this entire episode. And, scene.

Question 7: That was probably for the best, right?

Black Mirror is currently streaming on Netflix.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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