London’s review published on Letterboxd:
Season 5 of Black Mirror, here we go!!!
Let's take a little of San Junipero and add a dash of Playtest, and then have Falcon and Black Manta play the leads. Together they are invincible. Sounds reasonable enough. And there are definite things that work. The performances by these two are good, and the themes they express in the episode are solid, if a little heavy handed.
However the time frame just is a mess. There is an unneeded first scene of them gaming before cutting to 11 years later. Nothing was added from the scene, and it kind of makes other time related events less impactful. The ending scenes were also a little too hopeful for my taste. Not in the sense that I didn't want these characters to be happy, but that it felt like a cop out more than anything. Like the director didn't want to be too harsh. It just didn't really satisfy my sadness or my happiness meters and just became a very middling ending.
I also think that the performances captured by Pom Klementieff and Ludi Lin were a bit lacking. It wasn't that they didn't try, I am sure they gave it there all. However it is incredibly hard to play a character playing another character and they were never really able to fully evoke that presence in their performances. Striking Vipers is just destined to be forgotten most likely, as it doesn't have a ton of new to offer and what it does well has been done better before.