Black Mirror “San Junipero”

Wait, hold on.  What the hell is this?  An episode of Black Mirror with a happy ending?!?

Let me check something…yeah, also written by series creator Charlie Brooker.

Here’s the thing:  we’re over halfway through the third series of this show, and this is the first unambiguously happy ending we’ve seen.  Maybe Bryce Dallas Howard shouting profanity in a move of joyous freedom from some silly points system counts, but not like this one.

And it’s structured beautifully.

Opening in what looks like a very stereotypical 1980s setting, we meet Yorkie, a young woman going to a local dance club.  There she meets Kelly and, well, they fall in love.

That’s right.  Two women fall in love.  And the fact they are women basically never really comes up much.  Yorkie does admit to being engaged to a man named Greg, and Kelly’s got a dead husband, but…you know, there’s something that seems off.

Self-repairing mirrors.

Some sort of something that happens at midnight.

The stories seem a little weird.

And then…Kelly disappears, and Yorkie decides to try looking for her in other time periods in and around the same town of San Junipero.

So, time travel?

Well, not quite.

See, San Junipero isn’t real.  Both Kelly and Yorkie are far older than they look.  As they are still alive, they only get five hours in San Junipero a week.  But they can download their consciousness into the simulation when they die if they choose for some kind of immortality. Nothing they said is a lie either.  Kelly was married to a man for 49 years before he died.  He opted not to download himself.  She’s slowly dying of something.  Yorkie was kicked out of her parents house when she came out to them, got into a car accident, and has been a quadriplegic for the past 40 years.  Greg is her nurse.  If he marries her, he can have her legally euthanized.  That’s the only reason he’s marrying her, and he’s a really understanding guy.

So, what happens?

Kelly marries Yorkie and eventually opts to stay in San Junipero with Yorkie when she dies herself.

That was…beautiful.  I didn’t know Brooker had it in him.

I’m sure that will be completely different when I get to the next one.

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