Black Mirror

Watch Black Mirror Season 4 Ep. 3 “Crocodile” & Bandersnatch, answer discussion questions

  1. Thinking about last week’s discussion on defining crime, is what Mia and Rob did a crime why or why not? Was it an accident? An accident and then a crime? At what point did it become a crime (in your opinion)? Can accidents be considered “criminal”? What do you predict would have happened if they had called the police at the time of the incident? What would you have done in this situation?
  2. The Classical school calls for swift, severe and certain punishment. Should they be punished? To what extent? Death penalty?
    2a. Is the death penalty ethical? Why or why not?
  3. The Classical School also asserts that crime is rational AND free. The positivist school focuses more on motivations of behavior, absence or lack of free will, and crime as a reaction to legal institutions (see pg. 4 of positivist reading). Evaluate the actions of Mia from either a Classical or Positivist perspective. Were their actions rational? Did they have free will? Why or why not?
    This video may be helpful as you attempt to answer the questions below
  4. Bandersnatch brings up several questions about the concepts of free will and fate. The episode itself was advertised as a “choose your own adventure” experience. But I often found myself not wanting to choose either of the options at certain points in the episode, or I felt pressure to pick one over the other – especially when Collin and Stefan are on the balcony. Did you feel this way as well? How much free will does this episode actually offer the viewer? How much free will does Stefan have?
  5. The old woman in the documentary states “if we have no free will and everything is planned out for us, who cares if we become, say a murderer. It’s not our fault, it’s already pre-planned”. This echoes the most extreme views of the positivist school. The argument between the Classical and Positivist schools is a question of fate or free will. What are your thoughts?

Sample Solution