White Bear
Series 02, Episode 02
Show Black Mirror
Air Date 18 February 2013
Previous Be Right Back
Next The Waldo Moment

White Bear is the second episode of the second series of Channel 4's television series, Black Mirror. This episode was first broadcasts on 18 February 2013. It stared Lenora Crichlow.

Plot Edit

In a bedroom, a woman named Victoria Skillane (Lenora Crichlow) wakes up in a chair to find she can't recall anything about her life. Apparently the result of a failed suicide attempt, Victoria is surrounded by images of a small girl (Imani Jackman) (whom she assumes to be her daughter) as well as photos of her and an unknown man (Nick Ofield). Victoria sees an unusual symbol on the TV screens in the house and a calendar on the month of October, with all the dates being crossed off up until the 18th. Leaving the house, Victoria sees people constantly recording her on their phones. When asking for help and shouting at the people to stop recording her, a man wearing a balaclava with the symbol on it pulls up in a car, takes out a shotgun, and fires at Victoria. After being chased by the masked man, she soon meets Jem (Tuppence Middleton) and Damien (Ian Bonar), two people getting supplies. Damien is killed by the masked man when attempting to save Victoria and Jem, forcing them to go on the run. Jem explains that the symbol denotes a transmitter called 'White Bear', whose signal has turned most of the population into dumb voyeurs who do nothing but record everything around them. Victoria and Jem are unaffected, but are also a target for the 'hunters', including the masked man. Jem plans to reach the signal's transmitter to destroy it.

As they travel, Victoria and Jem are picked up by a man named Baxter (Michael Smiley) who is also unaffected, but drives them to a forest and holds them at gunpoint. Although Jem manages to escape, Victoria is tied to a tree and about to be tortured until Jem returns and kills Baxter. They continue travelling to the transmitter, while Victoria starts to have visions of past and future events. When they reach the White Bear transmitter to destroy it, Victoria and Jem are attacked by two hunters. Victoria is able to wrestle a shotgun away from a hunter and fires at her attacker - only for it to spray confetti.

The walls open to reveal an audience applauding after observing the escapade; Jem, Damien and the hunters are revealed to have been part of a charade all along. Victoria is strapped into a chair, while Baxter appears and explains everything: the girl that Victoria assumed to be her daughter was actually a six-year-old schoolgirl named Jemima Sykes, whom Victoria and her fiancée, Iain Rannoch (the man from the photographs), had abducted a few miles from her home. After taking her to a nearby forest, Iain proceeded to torture and kill Jemima while Victoria recorded his actions on her mobile phone. The 'White Bear', originally the victim's teddy, was a symbol of the nationwide search and murder investigation, while the symbol on the screens and on the hunter's mask was identical to the tattoo that identified Victoria's fiancé (who had committed suicide in his cell before the trial). Having tearfully pleaded guilty and insisting that she had been 'under Iain's spell', Victoria was given a sentence that the judge described as 'proportionate and considered' – to undergo this mob-recorded, poetic justice every day.

Victoria, who still has no clear memory of these events, is driven back to the compound past a crowd baying for her blood (under encouragement from the staff) and returned to the room where she woke up. She is placed back in the bedroom chair by Baxter and as she watches footage of Jemima, Baxter places electrodes on her head, wiping Victoria's memory of the day's events as she screams in agony. As Baxter leaves the compound to the sound of Victoria's screams, he takes out a black pen and crosses off 18 October from the calendar; ready for Victoria to relive the same events the next day.

Over the end credits, we see the staff (including Baxter, Jem and Damien) of the 'White Bear Justice Park' prepare for another day as they set up the scenario, and how it plays out. The voyeurs are members of the public who are there to see Victoria suffer while using their phones to record the show. The episode ends as it began, with Victoria waking up in the bedroom chair with no memory.