Black Mirror: Bandersnatch left a lot of viewers confused because of the various different endings. It is one-of-a-kind because you, the viewer, have an influence on the movie’s outcome.
Today, we will uncover the different twists and endings of the film. We strongly suggest that you watch it first before reading this review so that you can catch up with our explanations. And yes, the film is about five hours long if you watch all the possible scenarios.
WARNING: Major spoilers alert! No part of this film will be left uncovered in this review!
The Story’s Background
Bandersnatch is about a young person, Stefan, who is trying to get a career as a videogame creator. Instead of creating free slots with bonus rounds, he makes a game called Bandersnatch. It is a game that is based on a book of the same title, and it allows players to make choices.
The player’s choice would supposedly affect the outcome of the game. He creates the first part of the demo and presents it to a company. The boss liked what he did. Now, Stefan gets an offer from this boss, and you, the viewer, have to decide whether to take the offer or not.
Take note: this offer means that you have to complete the game before Christmas.
This is where the different endings begin. In these endings and choices, you are Stefan, the lead character.
Ending 1: You accept the offer and complete the game before Christmas. Because you rushed the game, it was bad and was rated 0 out of 5 stars.
Ending 2: You agree to take the deal and work hard on it. You start to get a nervous breakdown. In a scene, your father offers to take you out. In here, you can choose between spilling the tea on your computer or scream at your father.
If you spill the tea on the computer, the game is destroyed—end of the story, and the story starts over again. Now, you have no other choice but to scream at your father. After that, you walk out and see Colin. You follow Colin and then you get to the psychedelic scene.
Ending 3: Colin dares you to jump. Since you are high, you do, and you die.
Ending 4: You go back to a situation where you have to choose whether you want to drink the pill from your psychiatrist or not. If you drink the pill, you’ll finish the game before Christmas, but it is low-quality, and you receive bad reviews.
Ending 5: You go back to the tea situation but instead of spilling the tea, you talk to your Dad and say you want to see your psychiatrist. The doctor asks you if you want more action. You say yes, and then you get two more endings.
- A: You jump out of the window, and you meet someone who says this is not part of the script, which makes you realize you are part of a movie set.
- B: You fight the female doctor, and your father fights you, too.
Both A and B result in you being taken away.
Ending 6: You kill your father with an ashtray, and you have two more choices. Here, Colin asks if you can make the deadline. Your choices are:
- A: You can make the deadline and you kill Colin.
- B: You cannot make the deadline, and Mohan shows up; you kill him and bury his body; the dog finds his body, and you get arrested for drug use.
- C: You chop up your father’s body, you finish the game on time, and you receive rave reviews, 5 stars, on Christmas.
On ending C, police will find out later that you killed your father, and your game is taken off the market.
After that, we fast forward to the future, where we see the daughter of Colin and Kitty, Pearl Ritman. She takes the task of creating a movie about Bandersnatch and making a movie for the TV platform called Netflix.
It is at this point that we all now realize, as viewers, that what we are watching is her work. And like Stefan, she is going mad. Like the other option with Stefan, we are given an option here to let Pearl pour tea over her computer or destroy it.
Finally, we get to the safe or vault where you can choose passwords. There are four total passwords:
- If you choose the password TOY, you will go back to the time when you were a child and your mom never got into an accident. However, this makes you come with your mom and ride a train which crashes and you die.
- The other password is PAX, the Bandersnatch demon will surface, and you will wake up knowing that it is only a dream.
The other two passwords can only be accessed if you go to Colin’s house and complete the psychedelic storyline.
- The third password is JFD. If you choose this, Jerome F, Davis, the author of the book Bandersnatch, appears.
- The last password is PAC, which means Program and Control. In here, you open a safe and find out that you are part of a government test subject in an experiment. Then, you realize that you have been drugged all your life, and that your dad and your doctor are part of the whole government experiment.
In the exit scenes, Stefan puts a cassette tape in his player, but there is nothing there but static.
The movie is a confusing one, as you are taken from one storyline to another. Making a wrong choice leads to the wrong ending, and you are forced to go back to the previous choice and select the remaining option. While the movie can be completed in about an hour and a half, this length only covers a single ending. But if you explore all possible endings, you will be watching the movie for more than five hours.
The moral of the story is that we have no choice. While we may have the illusion that we have free will, everything has been planned already.