Black Mirror loves references -- especially self-references. Objects from one episode of the twisty anthology series can crop up in others, and their universes can smudge and overlap. But one specific connection the series has shared across its seasons is a song from 1964.
“Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)” by Irma Thomas first appeared in Season 1's “Fifteen Million Merits,” and The Wrap talked to show creator and writer Charlie Brooker about its inclusion. “It was originally selected for [‘Fifteen Million Merits’] because it has the sound of a timeless haunting classic, yet wouldn’t be familiar to most viewers,” Brooker said.
Take a listen:
Haunting indeed. But Brooker’s co-showrunner Annabel Jones said there was more to it than the song’s knack for establishing tone.
According to Jones, the song’s repeated appearances (the quickly snowballing violence of “Crocodile” in the most recent season is supplemented with the tune) come from Brooker’s infatuation with “the idea of nesting all the episodes together in an artistic universe of sorts.”
The easter egg is a fun motif, but also “adds to the overall sense of the universe or connection” enhancing the disconnected stories with a commonality beyond their dystopian technology.